“Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father.” (John 14:12)
“And he that overcometh, and keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations:” (Rev. 2:26)
Not only does our walking with God in the last days involve our faith and lifestyle, but it also involves the works that He has called us to do before His return.
“I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work.” (John 9:4)
There are those who might say, “God never called me to preach or teach. I don’t believe that He has called me to work for him.”
Perhaps you may not be someone that God has called to stand before a congregation, or in front of a classroom, or to go to a foreign country.
Nevertheless, we as believers have all been given a job and works to do.
“I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called,” (Eph. 4:1)
In our English language today, the word “vocation” means our job or livelihood. In the original Greek the word translated “vocation” means an invitation or a calling.
Before we can understand what the works are that God has called us to do, we must understand what they are not.
“How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?” (Heb. 9:14)
Dead works are those religious works done in the name of God for the wrong reason.
“Then said they unto him, What shall we do, that we might work the works of God?” (John 6:28)
“Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.” (John 6:29)
The night before Jesus spoke these words, He had multiplied the loaves and fishes to feed the multitude, and now they had awoke hungry and came looking for Him to feed them again.
Jesus knew their hearts and told them that the only reason they sought Him was for the loaves and fishes to feed their hunger, not for the words which He had to say.
Their reply was to ask Jesus how they could do the works of God. Their meaning was that if they knew how to multiply loaves and fishes then they would not have to seek for Him to do it.
Jesus said that the work of God was to “believe on Him” whom God hath sent. The word “believe” in the Greek means to “entrust” or to “commit”. It does not mean to have a “head knowledge” of something, but it means to totally commit and entrust one’s life to what we believe in our heart.
Dead works are works done for the wrong reason. The works of God are birthed in faith and love.
“Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works.” (James 2:18)
One group believes that by witnessing they will receive a better resurrection. Another believes that by having a large family they will obtain favor and a better place with God.
Some believe that by repeating certain prayers it will earn God’s forgiveness.
Then there are those who believe that perfect church attendance, tithing, praying, helping the needy, or visiting the sick will prove their devotion to God and to others.
These are all works done for the wrong reasons. They are all works done to obtain something. Whether it be to obtain something from God or to obtain something from others, they are all dead works.
“And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.” (1Cor. 13:3)
The only works that please God are those works done out of love and faith. We don’t do works to obtain God’s love and acceptance, but we do works out of gratitude because of God’s love and acceptance.
“We love him, because he first loved us.” (1John 4:19)
Works done out of love and faith are the works that please God. These are the works that will remain. These are the works that will endure the last days.
“For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.” (1Cor. 3:11)
“Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble;” (1Cor. 3:12)
“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.” (1Cor. 3:13)
“If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward.” (1Cor. 3:14)
Every work that we do shall have eternal ramifications, whether it be for the good or the bad.
“For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.” (2Cor. 5:10)
Just as God desires that Jesus Christ be revealed in every aspect of the Word of God, He desires that every aspect of our life be a reflection of Christ.
Whether it’s being a parent, a guardian, or a spouse; whether it’s being a student, an employee, or a worker in a church or ministry; or whether it’s just deeds we do to help our fellow man, it all needs to be built upon the foundation of Jesus Christ.
“And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.” (Col. 3:17)
The works done out of love, compassion, and faith are the works of gold, silver, and precious stones. When built upon the foundation of Jesus Christ, they shall abide the fiery trials and endure unto eternal reward.
The works done for pride, duty, gain, or for any other carnal reason are the works of wood, hay, and stubble which shall be consumed by the fire and cause the doer to suffer loss.
“In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord:” (Eph. 2:21)
“In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.” (Eph. 2:22)
We are God’s building, the temple of the Holy Ghost, built upon the foundation of Jesus Christ. If we build our building with works of faith and love that glorify God, then we will walk with Him and our building will endure the perilous times of the last days.
“And Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him.” (Gen. 5:24)
“By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him: for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God.” (Heb. 11:5)
The Bible says that God has chosen you. It says that before you were even conceived in your mother’s womb, He knew you and He loved you.
God has also called you. He has called you to walk with Him, to be His bride, and to follow in His steps.
“For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps:” (1Peter 2:21)
However, the Bible says:
“Can two walk together, except they be agreed?” (Amos 3:3)
We cannot walk with God if we are not in agreement with God. We come into agreement with God when we know His Word and we submit our lives unto it.
“If ye love me, keep my commandments.” (John 14:15)
If we are to walk with God, our attitude has to be, “If God said it, then I believe it. If it comes from Jesus, then I receive it. If God tells me or asks me, then I will do it.”
Anything less and it dishonors the Bridegroom.
In the Old Testament, when a man chose his bride he gave gifts unto her as a token of his love and commitment. The gifts were also a sign that He would return for her. We do the same thing today with the giving of an engagement ring.
Jesus also honored this tradition in the New Testament.
“Wherefore he saith, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men.” (Eph. 4:8)
Whether they are salvation and forgiveness, His Spirit, His word, or His grace; whether they are the abilities to preach, teach, give, govern, or help; whether they are spiritual gifts or spiritual fruit; they are all given by God and they are for His honor.
We honor Him by accepting them, cherishing them, and adorning our life with them.
“And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.” (Rev. 21:2)
When Jesus returns as a Bridegroom for His Bride, will He find us walking in agreement with Him?
Will He find that we have accepted everything that He gave His life for?
Will He see that not only have we received every gift that He purchased with His own blood, but that we have adorned our life with them for all the world to see?
Will He find us following in His steps, doing His works, and obeying His Word?
If He does, then we will be as a “bride adorned for her husband.” We will be His bride “not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing” and He will catch us away to the “marriage supper of the Lamb.”
“Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready.” (Rev. 19:7)
“And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints.” (Rev 19:8)
“And he saith unto me, Write, Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb. And he saith unto me, These are the true sayings of God.” (Rev. 19:9)
Until He returns and we are called, we can be assured that He will walk with us and preserve us in these last days, so that we too will hear those wonderful words,
“Well done, thou good and faithful servant, enter into the joy of the Lord.”
The choice is ours to make.
(TO BE CONTINUED)