The Test of Fire
Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is. ~1 Corinthians 3:13
Precious metals are always tested by fire to ascertain authenticity. Gold and silver are placed into a crucible, which then gets inserted into a very hot furnace. After the metal has been melted down into a hot liquid, all of the impurities, known as dross, would float to the surface. The purest gold or silver would have the least amount of impurities. The fire revealed of what sort it was. This morning, let us see what will happen to the works of believers when our works are tried by fire.
We see a time of reckoning.
“Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it.” Every believer is a steward of the gifts, talents, and responsibilities that God has entrusted to us. All of our works after we are saved must be reckoned before the Lord. Reckoning means to be accounted for. There is no hiding of our works. There will be no revising of our works. Everything that we did will be made manifest. This day of reckoning follows the Rapture of the believer and will be conducted in heaven by our Lord. It is a day that only the Lord Himself knows. It is a set day and one that we must remember is inevitable.
We see a tested revelation.
“Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is.” Every man’s works shall be tested by fire. First, the fire will reveal the material we built upon. Did we build our lives with gold, silver, and precious stones that will endure the fire? Or did we build our lives with wood, hay, and stubble that will burn in the fire? These perishable materials are works that will have no impact for eternity. Second, the fire will reveal what kind of motives we build with. “Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord come, who both will bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and will make manifest the counsels of the hearts: and then shall every man have praise of God,” I Cor. 4:5. The counsels of the heart and the hidden things of darkness will reveal our motives and our methods in serving God.
We see the tearful regrets.
“If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.” As every believer watches his works being reckoned by the Lord, the wood, hay, and stubble that we had built upon will burn. This believer will suffer loss. Works that we thought would count for eternity will burn. In the parable of the talents, the servant who buried his talent had this talent taken from him and given to the servant who doubled his five talents to ten talents. This loss means that there is no reward. Will you have tearful regrets in heaven that your motive for serving the Lord was wrong? Will you have tearful regrets that you built with perishable material?
We see the truthful reward.
“If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward.” The material that continues through the fire will reveal the truthfulness of the believer’s stewardship. Was he faithful? Was he fruitful? There is the absolute guarantee that he shall receive a reward. Laying up treasures in this life will result in moth-eaten and rusted earthly treasures. Laying up treasure for eternity with the right materials and motives will result in eternal rewards.
The fire will test our works. Don’t let weariness or the Wicked One distract you from serving the Lord. Be a faithful steward and have a long-term view of eternity.
Have a works-filled God Morning!
Bible Reading Schedule: Ezekiel 46-48