The Beast & The Bema Seat

What will your life reveal when you are on the Bema Seat meeting Jesus.

Linn Winters
Jan 27, 2019    44m
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Pastor Linn Winters talks about the mid-point of the tribulation, he discusses where Christians will be during this time. He explains that we won't be on Earth, because we will be taken away in The Rapture. We will be in the Bema Seat, reviewing our life with Jesus. He asks you to think about what will be in your pile of eternal riches when you face Jesus? Video recorded at Chandler, Arizona.

Transcription
messageRegarding Grammar:

This is a transcription of the sermon. People speak differently than they write, and there are common colloquialisms in this transcript that sound good when spoken, and look like bad grammar when written.

Linn Winters: 00:27 Hey Cornerstone, how are you guys doing? I'm super, super glad that you're here. It's the third week of a series that we're calling The End. It's actually just a survey, a flyover, of The Book of Revelation. And if your first time, if you're a guest today, here's what you just need to hear. So, there's so much in The Book of Revelation, and there's just no way to get through all this, so we're going to fly over the top, we're going to hit the highlights. The hope is, that you're going to finish this series, and be able to say, you know what? I've got a pretty significant, pretty well rounded, understanding of what The Book of Revelation says. I could sit down and have a cup of coffee with a friend, and we could carry on a good conversation, and I could interject because I've got a really good foundation about what this really is.

Linn Winters: 01:17 But the other part of it is simply this, that you and I would come away from this conversation changed in our lives. There's a passage in scripture that simply says this, that when it sinks in, when I begin to realize that I live with the reality that Jesus could come back at any moment, that the rapture could happen, he could just say, okay, we're calling this done. When that begins to hit me, all of a sudden I began to rethink things a little bit. And suddenly really, really important things just rise to the top, they become obvious. And I go, oh, I've got to spend more time, I need to pay more attention to those. And things that don't matter so much, do I get the next pay raise, all the sudden drift down to the bottom, and don't worry me so much. When I get my eyes set, and understand the future and what's coming. So our hope is this, that you and I are not only going to gain a whole bunch of knowledge in this conversation, we're going to have life change because of this conversation.

Linn Winters: 02:23 All right? So if you've been here, you know that last week we got you to the midpoint of the tribulation, and so here's what we're going to go after today. Revelation chapter thirteen really ends up being kind of a midpoint state of the union. It's almost as if God just stops and says, okay, let me tell you the status of where we are right now. And so you and I are going to unpack Antichrist because we told you at the very beginning, he's just one leader amongst many. Truth is a lot of people probably wouldn't even recognize him, but by the time you get to the middle, he has consolidated power. He's actually become the singular world leader at this point. So we're going to unpack what's going on with him, how that power shift has showed up. And then the second thing we're going to go after is what are you and I doing? So remember, we get raptured up, right? All of us that are Christ followers end up in heaven. Are we just standing looking over the rails and watching the tribulation? What's going on for you and me during the tribulation? And we're going to land that part together too.

Linn Winters: 03:28 So here we go, and if you have your bibles you can grab them. Go to Revelation chapter thirteen. I'm not going to walk us verse by verse through it, but if you want to kind of follow along there you can. Revelation chapter thirteen, state in the union. And Revelation chapter thirteen talks about two beasts. Beast number one is Antichrist. And what you need to know is, is that scripture wants to be super, super, super clear with you and me at this point, to say that the thing that is empowering him, the thing that is giving him so much success, the reason his policies are succeeding is that Satan is behind all of it. That Satan is absolutely in control, and working side by side with Antichrist. What we don't know is this. Is he aware? Does he know that? In other words does he sit there and go, no, I know. I know, as a matter of fact, I have no hesitation that I'm in league with the devil, but that I'm doing his bidding, and that's what's happening. Is he personally aware of that, or is he a person who is just so secular in their thinking? In other words, his ideas and his... are just so far away from the Bible, so far away from what Jesus would ever teach, that he is unknowingly just doing the bidding. That it's almost as if Satan is the puppet master, pulling the strings of his life. And we don't know that for sure, but what scripture wants you to know, without hesitation and beyond a shadow of a doubt, is that Satan is absolutely manipulating, and behind every bit of his success, and every one of his decisions.

Linn Winters: 05:21 The second thing is, and it's actually kind of interesting, it tells us that he ends up mortally wounded. That something happens, it says that he was struck in the head, he has a head wound. He actually dies, and then comes back to life. Isn't that intriguing, I mean stop and think about this for a second? Remember we said that Antichrist is going to be perceived, especially by the Jews, as being the actual messiah, the fulfillment of every bit of the Old Testament prophecy. Isn't it interesting that Satan, empowering him, would choose to mimic the death and resurrection of Jesus as a way of validating him to the world? To say, hey look, this guy is supernatural. And so what's going to happen in the moment, is we are going to say, look, that whether you are part of a Muslim, or whether you were Catholic. It doesn't matter what it is, this guy, this guy is the prophet, this guy is the messiah. He is the fulfillment of everything that this world has ever hoped for, and ever believed, and here's this miraculous sign. Some people have wondered and said, hey, is it possible that the reason he ends up with a head wound, is that some well meaning Christian during the tribulation recognizes and says, oh wow, this is the Antichrist, I'm going to put an end to this and tries to assassinate. We don't know, right? That's all guests and speculation, but what scripture is clear in his that he ends up with a head wound that is mortal, that he dies and he comes back to life again with the power of Satan behind him.

Linn Winters: 07:09 A third thing, by the time we get to the middle of the tribulation, there is a one world government. He has consolidated power. And what you need to know at this point, he's not just the world leader, he is the world dictator. He has taken an absolute and complete control, that to stand against him means death. He is going to inflict his desire, and his will, on the world whether they want or not. He will have achieved what so many before him have tried, and that is, he will be the singular ruler of the entire earth. It's interesting when scripture describes him in this moment. It talks about that he has a seven heads, and ten horns, and he has feet that look like the feet of a bear, and he's got the mouth that looks like the mouth of a lion. And Theologians have tried to process that, and tried to figure out what it is. And there seems to be a leaning that says, you know, maybe this whole, you know, multiple heads, horns is talking about political alliances. It's talking about a lot of nations coming together for the first time. They all used to be independent, but now they've all combined. Back when the European Union founded, lots of theologians were going in that moment, hey, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, is this what scripture was describing? Because you've got countries surrendering and combining their economies, and agreeing to use a common currency. And is this the beginning of that one world market, that one world government, coming into place? Now since then, we've had Brexit, and who knows? Right? And the reason we're left to speculate a little bit is because we're looking through a mist. You know, we're trying to make things out, but not seeing them with absolute clarity. But again, what we do know, and what scripture doesn't hesitate to say, is that by this point he has absolutely consolidated his power. He is the worldwide dictator, and every single country is underneath his thumb during this period of time.

Linn Winters: 09:16 There's a second beast, and the second beast is a false prophet, who begins a one world church. Isn't that interesting? Think about this for a second, that Satan would found a church. That Satan in a moment when he has absolute control of the world, he's got his minion leading the entire thing, and yet he would take the time to move in a religious direction, and he wound a one world church. I mean, why would he do that, right? I mean, why? Why? Why? Here's something interesting, the church will be what we call ecumenical. And what we mean by that is simply this, it will take the stance that says, hey, it really doesn't matter what you believe, as long as you believe something. And if you are sincere, and if you're seeking after God, who cares? Who cares if you do that as a Buddhist, or if you do that as a Christian, or if you do that as a...It doesn't matter, just as long as you are a God seeker, that's what's important as long as you're sincere. And see, the idea would be this, that it's like God is sitting on the top of a mountain, and if you happen to get to God or discover God by following Christian teachings, we'll all the more power to you. But if you happen to get there by doing Buddhist teachings, we'll good for you, why would I condemn that? Because at the end of the day, we're all going to get to the top of the mountain, and there's going to be the same God sitting there. So if you get there by being a Muslim, or if you get there by being a Mormon, who cares, all trails, right? As long as you're sincere, as long as you're moving in a good direction or right direction, then that's all that matters. And why would I judge you, and why would I tell you that your way is wrong, because we're all getting to the same God? You realize that's a lie. You realize it's not even logical, because it would mean that God had created paths to him that were deceptive and lies.

Linn Winters: 11:47 Matter of fact, think about it this way, if you went to a doctor and you got diagnosed with stage four cancer. And you said to the doctor, okay, what's the best possible treatment? What do I do now that I've been diagnosed with cancer? And if that doctor said to you, know what, how you treat cancer really doesn't matter, as long as you're sincere. So if you want to go eat apricots seeds, or if you want to go stand on the side of a mountain and do Buddhist chants, it doesn't matter. As long as you're trying, and as long as your heart's in it, it doesn't matter. And here's what I know, you ready for this? You would be visiting a different doctor by that afternoon, because that makes absolutely no sense. Sincerity is not an answer, because you can be, ready for this, sincerely wrong. And if you've got cancer, if you've got a life threatening disease, you don't care about sincerity, you want to be right.

Linn Winters: 12:51 And here's what you need to hear. There is only one cure for the human condition. There's only one cure for what's broken in you and me, and for the sin that keeps us separated from God, there is only one answer. Matter of fact, grab your bibles real quick. Go with me to the book of John. If you're not familiar, go to the back of your Bible, work to the left. John chapter three, probably the most familiar verse in all of scripture. John chapter three, verse sixteen, here's what it says, "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have everlasting life." And people look at it and say, look it just said God's love, right? So if God is love, you're telling me that if someone doesn't get it right, if someone doesn't...That God would allow them to go to hell, that he'd send them to hell for getting it wrong? So wouldn't a loving God say, hey, I don't care, you know, if you were mistaken, as long as you were sincere. Have you read the rest of the verses, have you read what comes before John 3:16, and after John 3:16? Because you realize this is actually Jesus explaining how to go to heaven, how to have a relationship with God. So here we go. John Chapter three, let's go to verse fifteen. Here's what it says, "That everyone who believes may have eternal life in.." Next word. "In him." Is Jesus referring to himself. "That everyone who believed could have eternal life in him. For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whosoever believes in him shall not perish, but have eternal life. For God did not send his son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God's one and only son." Guys, guys, guys, guys, guys, this isn't some theologian who came up and twisted the words around, this is Jesus telling you and me, hey guys, there's only one cure for what's broken in us. And it's not about sincerity, t's about getting it right, it's about the cure.

Linn Winters: 15:40 See, matter of fact, Jesus even goes on at one point and he says, Hey, look, there's this broad road, there's just like super highway, and there are tons and tons and tons of people on it. And they would say, hey, you know what? I'm, you know, I'm doing my thing, and you know, I'm smoking my pot and finding God, whatever that is, right? I'm doing my thing. And Jesus says, look, there's...I don't know why I said that, but anyways, I guess I'm getting turned into angry pastor. All right, so there's this broad way, and there's a whole bunch of people on it. And what Jesus said is, guys, here's what you need to understand, that broad way, that way this seems so appealing, and so many people are traveling. That way leads to disappointment and it leads, Jesus said, to destruction. You will not, you will not, you will not find God on the broad path. Matter of fact, Jesus said, the way that leads to God is narrow, and there's just a few who figure this out. And Jesus said, I am that path, I am the way. Matter of fact, grab your bibles again, go with me to John chapter fourteen, John chapter fourteen, verse six. This is Jesus again, and here's what he says, "Jesus answered, I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one, no one comes to the father except through me."

Linn Winters: 17:26 You guys look, here's my best guess. In a room like this, I just promise we've got some people in the room. And you go, well, you know, Linn, this is actually good. Because, I've been a good person, I've gone to church most of my life. I was an altar boy. I've prayed, I've prayed to Jesus. And I mean, I love Jesus, you know, whatever that is. I get it. I get it. You're describing sincerity. What I'm asking, what Jesus is asking, is have you ever made a life changing, believing, decision to claim Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Savior? Have you ever done that? And I just want to encourage you that if in this moment you're going you know, I don't know, a hundred percent, I don't know for sure. Then why wouldn't you make it to the front of the church, when the services over, why wouldn't you grab one of our counselors and just so you know I think maybe, but I don't know. And I just want to be absolutely sure that I have chosen the Jesus way, would you pray with me? It'd be one of the best decisions you've ever made, you could walk out of here with confidence today.

Linn Winters: 18:41 Last thing about this whole false church, and everything going on, eventually they will turn against Christians. Now it may be over this very thing that you and I just talked about, right? They may just look and go, hey, how come you guys are so narrow minded? Why are you so judgmental? How come you're telling us that all the other things, and all the other people, doesn't count? That's hate speech, right? That's just, I dunno, I dunno. But also Christians will refuse to worship Antichrist. And so in the midst of all that, they'll just say, okay, we don't need narrow minded, hardcore, judgmental people like you in the world. Maybe, and again, this is my speculation, so I just want to say out loud. Remember we talked about the head wound that happens to Antichrist? Maybe that's a sincere Christian who says, hey, I'm going to intervene, I'm going to do something. I don't know. All I know for sure is, is that by the mid point of the tribulation, they are killing Christians by the thousands. They have no toleration left, they're completely done, you and I have become the enemy and they're going to kill Christians as fast as they possibly can. There is no place for them in the world.

Linn Winters: 19:59 Now, at this point, we are bonafidely depressed, because we've been talking about the tribulation, going whoa, it gets worse. Matter of fact, we were talking amongst some of the staff, and they were saying, Linn, it just keeps getting worse. If we keep doing this, the next time we do communion, we're going to have to replace the bread with Prozac. Because we're just going to be an depressed church. But let me remind you, okay, we're not here, right? In other words, remember Christians, the church, already got caught. None of us., if you're sitting here today, you cannot possibly go through that. None of us are here. We're in heaven, okay? The only people who, as Christ followers, are doing this are people who figured Jesus out after the rapture. So here comes the million dollar question, we'll then what are you and I doing, while all of this is going on? And scripture actually tells us that while we are in heaven, there's a thing going on called the Bema seat. The word Bema simply means judgment. It's the judgment seat. There's a moment in which every one of us, all of us Christ follower, stand in front of Jesus and give an account for how we've lived our lives. Now, here's something that's interesting. This Bema seat is only for the church, it's only for Christians. So there are no old testament saints at this judgment. There are no Christians who followed Jesus after the rapture, and died in the tribulation. The only Christians who are there are part of the Bema seat, it's the church, it's you and me standing before Jesus giving an account.

Linn Winters: 21:47 So grab your bibles because there's a wonderful description of the Bema seat in scripture. It's First Corinthians and again, if you're not familiar, go to the back of your Bible start working to the left, first Corinthians chapter three, verse eleven, and there's a pretty detailed description of what this looks like. First Corinthians, chapter three, starting in verse eleven, "For no one can lay any foundation other than the one that is already laid, which is Jesus Christ." Look, if you're going to build a life, build it on Jesus. Let every other decision, every other, let the foundation be your relationship with Jesus Christ, that the foundation you build your life on. If anyone builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay, or straw, their work will be shown for what it is, because the day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will testify the quality of each person's work. If what they have been built survives, the builder will receive a reward. If it's burned up, the builder will suffer loss, yet will be saved even though only as one escaping through the flames. So here's what it says, look, every single one of us is going to stand in this moment, will all be at the Bema seat, and God is going to look at our lives. He's going to evaluate how we've lived. Here's what's interesting about the moment, did you notice that it does not mention sin? Isn't that interesting? So there's no big screen, you know, there in heaven. And then every ill lived moment, every rebellious, sinful moment of our life goes up on the screen and everybody gets to see it. Why is that? Because, you ready for this? Because when you and I became a Christian, when we accepted Jesus as our savior, every one of those deeds, every one of those things was placed under the blood of Jesus Christ. And God said this about our sins, I will take them, and I will remove them from you. I'll take them as far from you as the east is from the west, and I will never, never, never, never, never remember your sin. How cool is that, right? That your and my worst moments, God says, no, no, no, no, they're under the blood of my son. Now I need to tell you that this bugs me a little bit. Let me tell you why it bugs me, because some of the people that have hurt me the worst in my life have been Christians. And when they've hurt me, you know when they've done their thing, then my natural reaction is to do this. Alright, you dirty dog, and then I take a few steps away waiting for the lightning to strike them, right? And then it doesn't happen. Right? Matter of fact, they're going on happy. They don't even seem to notice how deeply they've hurt and wounded me, and a matter of fact there are even prospering. And so then here's what I tell myself next, okay dude, here's the deal. One day we're going to get to heaven, and you've got to stand in front of my Jesus and given an account for what you just did to me. And I'm going to stand right next to you, while he asks you about it. And then I get to this passage, and I go crud. God placed that thing that they did to me under the blood of Jesus, and they'll never, never, never. And then it occurs to me, I've got some things. See, I've got some moments I've treated other Christians really bad, and I've got moments where I will open my mouth and lies came out, moments when I wasn't very honorable. And in the grace of God, you ready for this? In the grace of God, it will never be shown, because he placed that under the blood too. And in that moment I go you know what? It's okay. It's okay that what you did to me may never get talked about, because what I did to others won't either. And guys, I'm just telling you, the Bema seat is a good moment, because sin is not present because of Jesus Christ.

Linn Winters: 26:48 So then you'll say, hey you know, Linn, then what is this about? What are we giving an account for? This is a judgment about rewards. This is a moment in which God is going to say, hey, we're going to examine, we're going to take a look at how you've lived your life, and see how much of it actually had any eternal content. How much of it was lived for the kingdom, and not just for ourselves? And so here's what's interesting. You and I, as we live life actually have two piles. Matter of fact, Jesus talked about this a little bit. Remember he said to us, he said, hey, be careful be careful, be careful that you don't lay up for yourselves treasures on this earth, where moth and dust corrupt. See, what Jesus said in that moment is, hey, there's an earthly pile, right? There is an earthly pile that's just all about your life here, and what you need to get is, this can't be the only pile you build. Because this is a zero sum pile. Everything you put in this pile, and leave in this pile, amounts to zero when you're done. Which means, when you and I bought our houses, let's just be honest. We just said, hey, I liked the floor plan, I like the neighborhood, it's got great schools for my kids, and the truth be told you and I buying our house was really about us, right? It was all about me. And so that's an earthly thing, right? When we bought our car, here's what I'm pretty sure. You probably did not pray and fast before you bought your car, right? You went down to the dealership, you said, hey, here's what I'm looking for, it's got to have enough seats to hold my kids. Some of us said, I don't want it to have any seats, because I don't want to take my kids, right? Whatever that was, right? And you and I bought a car because it was the right car, it was good for you and me. But it also means, you ready? That it probably goes in this zero, it's an earthly thing, that's just a zero sum pile. Most of us, when it comes to our finances and we go, look, you know, when I earn it you know, this is about my mortgage, and this is about having some vacation, and this is about cable, and all those things that it takes just to do life. Zero some pile.

Linn Winters: 28:59 Time. Hey, it's my life, right? So I get to do, you know, if I want to join that club, or be part of this, or sign my kids up for that, right? My time is my time. Zero sum pile. Now look, this is not a sinful pile. That's not what I'm saying, right? I've got a great house. I've got a great right, right? All of us have a whole bunch of stuff in this pile. Jesus simply said this, don't let your entire life be this pile, because this pile doesn't amount to anything. Be sure that you get something to this pile, to the eternal pile. For instance, someone decides, hey, this year for vacation, I'm going to go on a missions trip. So think about this for a minute. I'm going to take my vacation time, and use it to go on a mission trip, and you're ready for this? And I'm going to pay, I'm going to pay, to go on that missions trip. So that I can go to a foreign country. Go to a group of people who probably still don't understand my Jesus yet, and I'm going to do my very best to let them know a little bit more about him. That'd be eternal, right? I mean, that'd be an eternal decision, an eternal moment in my life.

Linn Winters: 30:25 Let me give you another one. So I've got a dear friend and the question came up, hey, what's something you're most proud of? And here's what her answer was. She said, when my father was dying, my kids sat there at his bedside, and they asked him and they said, Papa, do you know Jesus? And they began to explain to their grandfather how to ask Jesus into his heart, and they're on his deathbed with his grandchildren talking, he asked Jesus to come into his life and save him. That's eternal, right? That's grandkids choosing the last moment that they have with their grandfather to make sure he's okay with God. That's eternal, right?

Linn Winters: 31:16 And all Jesus is saying, all this is to say, look guys, we're all going to probably have pretty significant piles there, right? Big piles. Just be sure that some things, gets to this pile. Now here's a here's good news. You and I can actually redeem some of the stuff that's in this pile, and get it to the eternal side. For instance, that house, remember the house we bought because we liked it. It was my house and I'm going to...What if you and I in a moment said, I think I'll foster, I think I'll take a foster kid in. I mean there are kids who are at the worst possible moment in their lives, their lives are completely falling apart, probably have absolutely no Christian type of influence. What if I brought him into a Christian home, showed them something, that could be life transforming. And I've got a spare bedroom, I got a room that's got nothing but boxes in it, and we call it the office, right? And all of a sudden, ready? At least one room, right, would have eternal significance. Because you want you and I would be leveraging things that it started in this pile, and we'd, right? But what about my car? It's okay, right? It's a cool car. It's a great car, and all this stuff. What if you and I made the decision and said, you know what I'm going to do with my car? On Sundays, I'm going to pick up neighbor kids whose parents don't go to Cornerstone and I'm going to get them to church, so that they can hear about Jesus. You'd be taking this thing that belonged...And you'd be bringing some sort of eternal significance, right? And all of a sudden you and I are in a different place to say, hey, what do I have that I've placed in this pile, that if I just thought about it a little bit differently, I could actually move it to the other pile?

Linn Winters: 33:01 And then, you ready for this? First Corinthians just told us that when things get to this pile, they may not be what they seem. That some of these things are going to be really, really valid, and they're going to be things that really...And some of them, some of them aren't going to be so good. Matter of fact, remember it's said, but when it gets to this pile, some of it's going to be gold, some of it's going to be silver, some of it's going to be precious stones, some will be wood, some will be hay, some will be straw. So think about this for a moment. If you take gold, silver, or precious stone and you throw it in the fire, right? Because remember what'd this say? Everything we get to this side, it's going to get put in the fire to find out if it's legit or not. You throw gold, silver, precious stone, it comes out the fire. Matter of fact, gold and silver actually purifies in the fire, comes out better for the fire. But you throw wood, hay, and straw into the fire, what happens to it? Burns up. Think about this, isn't an interesting that the Bible says some of the stuff that looked like it was really forgot, and looked like it was...It's not going to make it past the examination, it's going to burn up.

Linn Winters: 34:29 So here's what we're going to do. I'm going to give you a couple of scenarios. You're going to help me decide, are we going to put it in gold, silver, precious stone or is that a wood, hay, straw moment? Okay. Alright, so let's do this one. So you're a family that has a $100,000 a year income. And you decide, okay, I'm going to become a tither, right? That's what I'm going to do, I'm going to become a tither. So I'm going to leverage some of this over into the eternal. Now here's the deal, you've still got 90,000 left, right? You're still going to pay your mortgage, you're not going to worry about whether or not you have food, right? You're still taking a vacation, but you've leveraged some of this, to something that's not you, it's him, and it's others. It's eternal. Gold, silver, precious stone, wood, hay, Straw, what is it? All right? Apparently you guys are Baptist, and someone told you not to talk in church, okay? I need you to be Pentecostal, and you're going to preach to the preacher, right? You got it. Alright, so $100,000 income decided to tithe gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw. Gold, okay. Let me change the story. You're a single mom, you've got to $53,000 income, and you're raising three children. And now you decide you're going to tithe. Well, what that means is getting to that mortgage payment every month is going to be a little bit scary. You're not taking vacation. You probably don't have cable. Gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw. Whoa, whoa, whoa, you just had one Christian that you said did this, and it didn't cost them much at all, it was easy. They didn't have any serious sacrifice, they didn't have any fear to overcome, right? And now you had somebody who with legs trembling, and heart fearing, stood in that moment and mustered the courage to say, I'm going to follow God. And all of a sudden you go, you know what? There's two Christians doing exactly the same thing, but because that thing costs one Christian more than the other, one of a maybe receiving gold for that, and the other one may be receiving something else. Isn't that interesting?

Linn Winters: 37:11 Let's try it again. There was a gal in the church, and she's heard the pastor say, hey, you need to be in a growth group. You know, you need to be doing something besides Sunday morning. And so she goes to her husband and says, hey, I think we should host a small group in our home. Okay, people can come over, we can study our bibles, we'll build community, we have to have small group in our home. But in her heart, you ready for this? In her heart the reason she wants people coming to our home, is because she wants people to see her home. She's got this amazing home, and she's done all this decor inside. And she's hoping all those wives are going to come over and go, oh, you're so amazing. Gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw. See, that one's hard, right? It's hard because think about this. Because on the one side we're going, well, at least people are coming to her house and they're learning their Bible, they're getting into Christian community. But the reason she's doing it, is so much about me, and not enough about him. And I wonder how many of the things we've done in our life that are just a little messed up like that, that I could do something that's really, really good, but do it for the wrong reasons, and it changes it. I got a mom and she says, hey, I've been listening to Pastor Linn, and I think we ought to be doing some community in our home, I think we ought to start a Bible study. But here's the deal in her life, she's got two kids in soccer, she's got a daughter in dance. The reality is it feels like every single evening she has to rush home, and doesn't have a ounce energy. Yet, she says, you know what? I think we ought to do this anyways. I think we ought to do it because it's the right thing to do, and other people are going to grow in their faith. And so she makes the decision to have a small group in her home. Which means she's going to rush home, at the end of the day, she's going to work her head off to just try to get the house presentable, so people can do Bible study in her home, because it's the right thing to do. Gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, and there you see it, and all of a sudden you and I realize that moving things from there to there, is about doing the right thing for the right reason. And the, you ready? And the greater the sacrifice, the more precious to our savior. And so everything we've ever done in our life gets in here, and then God puts it in the fire to say, let's find out what it really was.

Linn Winters: 39:44 What if Jesus came back tonight? So we're done, right? In other words, Jesus comes back, it's the rapture, we're done. And you and I, because all of us are, are now in the judgment seat, right? We're all at the Bema seat giving an account for our lives, and I'm just wondering in that moment, how our lives would stack up? Would we be in that moment, standing there with just a few coins. And have to say, hey God, that's the total sum of what I was able to leverage over into what is eternal in kingdom. That's the totality of how I lived my life. And guys, look, I want that moment to be totally different than that. See, I want there to be such a big pile in front of me, that I can't see over it. That Jesus is going, hey Linn, is that you behind the pile? How cool, think about this guys, think about this. How cool would it be if you're in Heaven, we've just finished the Bema seat, and you're standing behind a pile that represents how you've lived your life, and you have to peek over it. And Jesus goes, Jeff, is that you? Amy, is that you? Well done. Well done, good and faithful servant, that's exactly what I was hoping you'd do with your life. Wouldn't that'd be the best moment in your life?

Linn Winters: 41:33 And no wonder, no wonder, no wonder scripture says, that when you and I begin to see the future, when you and I began to realize that this stuff is real, it changes how I live my now. Matter of fact, let me read that passage to you one more time. First John, chapter three, verse two, "Dear Friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when Christ appears, we shall be like him, for we'll see him as he is. All who have this hope in them, purify themselves, just as he is pure." See, all of the sudden important things get really important. Am I obeying my Lord? Am I living in a way that pleases him? Am I taking care of my family? Important things get really important, and little things get really little. Who cares if I never get that right, when I believe, when I know, that my Jesus is coming back.

Linn Winters: 42:57 Let's pray. Hey, Dearest Heavenly Father, we just come to you in this moment. And God, I pray for all those in the room who would say, hey, I've been sincere, and you know I've been a church person all my life. I've prayed to God, I would even probably tell you that I love God. But as we had that conversation about having a deciding, choosing, believing faith in Jesus, I was left with a question mark, wondering if I'd really, really ever sealed the deal. And my prayer is just for every one of those people that as soon as this service gets over, they'd walk to the front and just say, you know I just want to make sure, I just want to leave here without a shadow of doubt in my life. I want this to be more than sincerity, I want it to be my choice. God, and pray for those of us in the room who are Christians, that we would begin to reexamine our piles. That we would begin to say, if some day I stand in front of God, I give an account for how I've lived my life, man, I want a pile. I want Jesus to look my direction and say, well done, that's exactly what I hoped you would do with your life. God, let that be our story. In this we pray in Jesus' name. Amen.



Recorded in Chandler, Arizona.
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Cornerstone Church
1595 S Alma School Road
Chandler, Arizona 85286
480-726-8000