By David Stahl

          Okay here is the good news right up front. At the end of the day (when our life is over and we stand before a holy God) it does not matter what our ministry was while on earth, how much money we gave the church, or what we did for the pastor and God’s people.  No all of this is over.  All of our good works and well intentions are over. At the end of the day (when our life is over and we stand before a holy God)  what matters is what we did with Jesus Christ.  God will say to us, “who do you say Jesus is?”  A couple of days after Michael Jackson died I was sitting in a sauna with some friends (one being my dear friend Pastor Foster) and my friends (many call   themselves Christian) were recounting Michael Jackson’s life, his dancing  and singing ability. Well, I chimed in and said, “yes he was a great singer and dancer, but when he stood before God He did not ask him to sing a song or dance a lick.”  Well the sauna got deathly quiet.  You would have thought I let the air in the room out.  I said, “oh no when Michael Jackson (like us all will) stood before God He only asked him one question, what did you do with my Son Jesus?”  I cannot speak for Michael Jackson (maybe for him it is  too late), but I can only speak for myself.  In my heart I want to be able to say, “thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God” as Brother Peter had this revelation. In Matthew Jesus was talking to the disciples and asked ” . . . . whom do men say that I the Son of man am? 14 And they said, Some say that thou art John the Baptist: some, Elias; and others, Jeremias, or one of the prophets.  15 He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am? 16 And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God. 17 And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven.”  (Matthew 16:13-17) The disciples were quick to reply with earthly responses, except for Peter.  Jesus asked and they told the truth, “they said, Some say that thou art John the Baptist: some, Elias; and others, Jeremias, or one of the prophets.” Jesus then brought it home to the disciples as He always did,  “But whom say ye that I am?” And of course Peter speaks up first not because he is a loose cannon, but because he has the right answer, “Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.  Jesus was quick to commend Peter while giving him a back handed love tap.  Here Jesus called him “Simon Barjona”  (not his name) or blessed art thou old man of the flesh.  I have also heard Jesus here was referring to Peter’s nature and comparing it (his nature) to the wild golden doves from the Isle of Barjona that could not be tamed.  Saying Peter was like a wild golden dove beautiful in flight, but had a wild streak in him that could not be tamed. Now this had great significance for the other disciples because Jesus was teaching them to understand who Christ is, to be able to understand the kingdom, to understand anything of God it must not be by flesh or blood (man’s wisdom and ways), but must be “revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven.”  We must allow God through the Holy Spirit to reveal the secrets of the kingdom, the mysteries of the Gospel, wisdom, the mystery of God, of Godliness,  all of these and more must be revealed to us we cannot learn them with head knowledge or book learning.  I do believe this is what Paul was teaching the Church at Corinth when he said, Wherefore henceforth know we no man after the flesh: yea, though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet now henceforth know we him no more.”  (2 Corinthians 5:16)  or if we have known Christ in salvation and then try to know Him after the flesh (book learning and through carnal ways) then we know Him no more.  God must reveal Himself  personally to us by the Spirit.  Remember “carnal” just means not of the Spirit, worldly.  We Christians like to make this word something more than what it is. Too many Christians try to know God after the flesh, carnally:  through books, education, music, dance,  flag waving, even service to our brothers and sisters, but that is not the way God wants us to know Him. God wants us to come to know Him through the Spirit, through revelation as the Holy Spirit reveals the truth of God’s nature and character to us.  What benefit is it to us if we come to know about Him and even use some of His power yet never come to know His person?  Oh how we go after the truth in the word of God, but when God begins to reveal the truth about our nature and character (oh me) quickly we shut down.                     

  At the end of the day (when our life is over and we stand before a holy God) it does not matter what we have done or said for God, all of our good works will be over.  I remember when Charles Haun was gathered to his elders (and I believe he is with the LORD) in July 1996 his wonderful wife Violet was left with his Bible, his ministry, all of his office (how I use to enjoy him and his office) equipment, all of his outstanding writings, his luggage that he used to travel countless 1,000s of miles, his watch, his personal clothing, his tooth brush all of this and more now was in Violets care. I look around and wonder what will happen to all of those things I hold near and dear to my heart.  I have laid out in my last will and testament who gets my swords and weapons, and some other things, but in the end all of this stuff does not matter.  What matters is what did we do with Jesus and did we keep the faith till the end.  In Ecclesiastes the Preacher gives us “the conclusion of the whole matter.”  He writes,  “Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man. 14 For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.”  (Ecclesiastes 12:13-14) The “whole matter” is to “Fear God and keep his commandments.”  There is a day coming when we all will stand before a holy God, great and small, sinner and saint alike.  Not because I say it, but because the Bible says it.  In Revelations John says,  “And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.”  (Revelation 20:12)  So we shall be judged as the Preacher says in Ecclesiastes and John says here in verse 20:12.  What will be judged according to John will be our works.  Maybe that is why so many Christians want to do good works for God thinking the more good works they do the greater chance they have making it into heaven.  Well not so fast my friend.  Our works will be judged, but it will not be how many or what kind of works we did for God, oh no.  What will be judged will be how we did those works for God. Did we do them with the right heart conditions, motives, and intentions.  These will be the standard our works will be judged.  You see in God, it does not matter what we do for God, but it matters how we do it.  Do we do things with the right heart condition and for the right reasons.  One of the first times I went to Nairobi, Kenya I had the wonderful pleasure of meeting Faith Mutua.  Faith is the wife of Pastor Joseph Mutua. So many wonderful memories with the Mutuas and their girls.  Well one day I was talking with Faith and we got on this subject and I made the statement , “it does not matter what we do for God, but it matters how we do it” and Faith (a tiny lady) looked at me and jumped up on the chair and said, “I see now.  I see how I can compete with someone like you and Jake (a mutual friend).  I am just a house wife and you all travel the world in ministry, holding huge meeting, sharing deep truths. I thought I was in some type of completion, but now I see it matters not what we do for God, but it does matter to God how we do things for Him.”  At the end of the day (when our life is over and we stand before a holy God) our works will be judged and rewarded (maybe for another article) accordingly.  It will not matter what we do for God then, but it will matter then how we do things for God, have we kept the faith to the end, and what we have done with Jesus Christ.