1 Corinthians 3:15
If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.
Your score is your score. However, we all invariably catch ourselves being that guy with the score followed by the “if I hadn’t missed a three footer for birdie on 3”, or “if I didn’t hit my ball out of bounds on 6” reasoning. Using the same reasoning, one could reply with “your score would’ve been higher if you didn’t chip in for par on 10 or make the 30 foot putt on 14 for bogey.” We like to justify our scoring with reasons it should be lower instead of more likely reasons it could be much higher.
We are saved to do works, not by our works. Our rewards in heaven will be the result of our good works or our labors for Christ here on earth. We often hear it mentioned that so-and-so was saved by fire meaning that he or she barely made it into the gates. We cannot be barely saved or barely lost. The Holy Spirit either dwells within or it does not. The Holy Spirit leads us to words and action which result in heavenly rewards while possibly not resounding applause from the world. Preachers who appease to “itching ears” and preach doctrine contrary to the word of God will find sermon outlines singed by fire.
Our works will be judged as to whether they were done for the glory of self or for the glory of God. The works of self or of the world will not withstand the fire and will be destroyed and worthless in the life to come. The believer is still saved, but will not receive any wages or rewards for these efforts. There will be no excuses for any of these diminished returns. Our rewards or lack thereof will not have any asterisk providing others an explanation. Let us make an effort to proclaim the power of Christ – he can still heal, empower believers, and perform miracles. The word of God is the light by which our deeds, actions, motives, and works will be tried.