Two Fires

Monday, Oct. 12                                                                    

It’s quite possible to be a member of God’s church, converted, born again, bound for heaven, named as an ambassador, if you will—but not functioning as an ambassador.  As Christians, we are put to work.  The job is to represent Christ in this world.  No functioning as an ambassador is like like salt without its saltiness (Mt. 5:13), or like hiding our light under a basket (Mt. 5:15).  After this life is over we will be judged as to how well we do this.  Paul puts it in terms of going through the fire in 1 Cor. 3:10-15.  The context of this analogy is building God’s house and doing it on the foundation, which is Christ Himself.  If Christ is not the foundation, the work will be useless and subject to destruction.  Good works (gold, silver, and precious stones) will not be destroyed, and will be rewarded (v. 14).  Works that are not built on Christ (wood, hay, and stubble) will be destroyed by fire and will not be rewarded.  This passage has to do with rewards, not one’s eternal destiny.  But there’s another kind of burning.  The parable of the wheat and the weeds in Mt. 13:24-30 is not dealing with ambassadors or workmanship.  It deals with the conflict between believers and unbelievers—and their eternal destinies.  The obvious problem is that the weeds keep the crop from flourishing.  But the owner (God), for whatever reason, doesn’t want the weeds removed until the harvest time.  When the crop is harvested, the weeds will be separated from the wheat and destroyed by fire.  This fire is not to separate good works from worthless works, but how God will judge believers and non-believers.  Here’s mixed metaphor for you.  A good ambassador promotes God’s goal of making weeds into wheat.  How well are you doing this?

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