11 Since, then, we know what it is to fear the Lord, we try to persuade others. What we are is plain to God, and I hope it is also plain to your conscience. 12 We are not trying to commend ourselves to you again, but are giving you an opportunity to take pride in us, so that you can answer those who take pride in what is seen rather than in what is in the heart. 13 If we are “out of our mind,” as some say, it is for God; if we are in our right mind, it is for you. 14 For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died.
2 Corinthians 5:11-14
First of all, what does Paul mean when he writes we know what it is to fear the Lord? Well just a few verses earlier he wrote the following:
7 For we live by faith, not by sight. 8 We are confident, I say, and would prefer to be away from the body and at home with the Lord. 9 So we make it our goal to please Him, whether we are at home in the body or away from it. 10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each of us may receive what is due us for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad.
2 Corinthians 5:7-10
The judgment of God is to be feared. In fact the goal is to please Him, whether we are at home in the body or away from it. This is true because all of us must appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each of us may receive what is due us for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad. Rewards or lack of them are going to be determined by what we did, what we do, whether good or bad. Of course we want to do what would bring us rewards, so what brings rewards?
The number one thing mentioned in verse 11 is when we try to persuade others about Jesus as the Christ. Not only do we wish to do this, but we want to be clear about what we are trying to do both to you and to God. We know God can see our hearts and know what we truly desire. However, we are not trying to claim something for ourselves, but want you to understand the difference between us and those who glory in what is seen – their appearance – rather than what is in the heart … our hearts.
The next two verses really drive this point home. What we do, it is for God! What makes them do this? Christ’s love compels them! The love of Christ compels them because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died.
Compels … forces or obliges them, Christ’s love is so wonderful and great it compels-forces-obliges them to persuade others of the Gospel and to fear God.
How about us? What are we doing to persuade others? Do we fear God sufficiently enough to want rewards when we meet Jesus at the judgment seat? If we do not fear God and act accordingly we need to reexamine our faith and ask why we do not fear Him and His judgment. Something to pray on this last weekend of the year and as well ask someone we know is lost to join you at church. Do so with kindness and love as there is a limit to our persuasion powers as the final result is up to them and the Holy Spirit.
So make the most of this weekend and Remember to Go to Church. The time may be very short for you or for that person or for any one of us.