1 Corinthians 4: Final Exam
By Derward Poole
1 Corinthians 4:1-5 - “So look at Apollos and me as mere servants of Christ who have been put in charge of explaining God’s mysteries. Now, a person who is put in charge as a manager must be faithful. As for me, it matters very little how I might be evaluated by you or by any human authority. I don’t even trust my own judgment on this point. My conscience is clear, but that doesn’t prove I’m right. It is the Lord himself who will examine me and decide. So don’t make judgments about anyone ahead of time—before the Lord returns. For he will bring our darkest secrets to light and will reveal our private motives. Then God will give to each one whatever praise is due.” (NLT)
Upon completing our education, most of us are relieved not to have any more tests. Two summers ago, when I walked out of the office of Dr. Bret Sullivan, President of Covington Seminary, it was like a six year heavy weight had been removed. However, our testing days aren’t quite over, because God has a final examination of sorts for believers. And just as we needed to study to demonstrate scholastic progress, we should also be preparing for the day when the Lord assesses our life.
Although believers won’t be judged for their sins since Jesus bore them on the cross, we are nevertheless accountable to God for how we have lived since salvation. We will all stand before the judgment seat of Christ to have our works evaluated for the purpose of reward. Some of the deeds that we thought were good will be found worthless by the Judge who knows our motives, whereas others will be rewarded.
There are many factors by which the Lord evaluates our lives, and His knowledge of every detail is absolute. We will have no excuses for wrong motives or wasted time and opportunities. Therefore, we should live in light of eternity every day of our life, seeking to please the Lord with our thoughts, motives, words, and deeds.