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Works on Fire

There will come a day when the works of believers will be tried with fire. 1 Corinthians 3:14-15 states, “If anyone’s work which he has built on [Christ] endures, he will receive a reward. If anyone’s work is burned, he will suffer loss…”

Fire is seen throughout the Bible as consuming the impure. Fiery swords guarded the entrance to Eden from the sin of Adam. Fire consumed the cities of Sodom and Gomorra. Fire from the Angel of the Lord consumed Gideon’s sacrifice. Fire devoured the offering of Elijah so thoroughly that the altar and surrounding water was consumed as well. In the end, fire will consume the Earth. Most importantly, from the lighting of the sin offering’s fire by God in Leviticus 9:24 until the time of Christ, offering after offering was burned up. No offering was perfect, so all were consumed.

The Bible describes works that are not satisfactory as wood, hay, and stubble. These are works that are performed outside the will of God. “Bondservants, be obedient… with fear and trembling, in sincerity of heart, as to Christ; not with eye service, as men-pleasers, but as bondservants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart.”1

It is sure that a portion of our works will be destroyed at the seat of reward, less for some, but sadly more for others. Fortunately, this isn’t a question of our eternal security. “If anyone’s work is burned, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire.”2

The Bible likewise describes works that are satisfactory as gold, silver, and precious stones. These are works performed in the will of God, and they will last forever.3

There is only one person who had or will have no works burned. Jesus Christ said, “I do nothing of myself,” and, “I always do those things that please Him.”4 Even at the eve of his crucifixion, Jesus stated, “Father, if it is your will, take this cup away from me; nevertheless not my will, but yours, be done.”5 There was not one action in his life that was selfish or insincere or willful.

His works were flawless.

When Jesus Christ went to the cross and became sin for us (his greatest work), the fire of God’s wrath toward that sin fell on him. Under the cload of darkness, the penalty of our sins was poured out on the Savior… but praise God he was not consumed! Fire consumed the impure, but the perfect Savior was still there. Hebrews 10 records this glorious revelation: “By that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. And every priest stands ministering daily and offering repeatedly the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. But this Man, after He had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down at the right hand of God…”6

We see then, that there is no work of ourselves that can be pleasing to the Father. If we would have works that will be preserved for eternity, monuments to magnify the glory of God, then our works must be done in Christ’s will.

In the words of C. T. Studd,

Only one life, yes only one,
Soon will its fleeting hours be done;
Then, in ‘that day’ my Lord to meet,
And stand before His Judgement seat;
Only one life,’twill soon be past,
Only what’s done for Christ will last.

 Only one life, a few brief years,
Each with its burdens, hopes, and fears;
Each with its clays I must fulfill,
living for self or in His will;
Only one life, ’twill soon be past,
Only what’s done for Christ will last.


  1. Ephesians 6:5-6 []
  2. 1 Corinthians 3:15 []
  3. 1 John 2:17b – …he who does the will of God abides forever. []
  4. John 8:28-29 []
  5. Luke 22:42 []
  6. Hebrews 10:11-12 []

2 Comments on "Works on Fire"

  • Pam Sheeks Amos says

    Praise the Lord.

  • David says

    that’s powerful!

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