Bill, I do not know how much thought you have given to the upcoming judgement seat of Christ. I would like to share a few thoughts that you may have not considered. Okay?
In my opinion, every person in that “great multitude of Christians” of which Richard wrote, all too ashamed and embarrassed to look up at Jesus, was a Jesus-and-us christian when on earth. (Jesus-and-us became Jesus-and-me the instant he/she entered eternity.)
This is so important because, as I see it, every christian who has become a member of a church is a Jesus-and-us christian. (Membership is a public declaration of one’s commitment to a church. The religious trap has been sprung.) A Jesus-and-me christian would never make a pact with anyone other than Jesus Christ.
A Jesus-and-me could do the very same good deed as a Jesus-and-us and the Jesus-and-me would be rewarded at the judgement seat of Christ and the Jesus-and-us would “suffer loss”. How could this be?
Jack and Jill, not related and not acquainted, are both on the streets handing out gospel tracts, one on the west side of town, the other on the east. Jack was moved by the Holy Spirit; Jill was motivated by Pastor Whoever. Jack responded to the Holy Spirit because he was a Jesus-and-me; Jill responded to Pastor Whoever because she was a Jesus-and-us. One was serving Christ, the other was serving a christian. When he sang, “Though none go with me, still I will follow” he meant it; when she sang those same words she didn’t.
Jill began her christianity the way we all do. Jesus was “first love”. In time her loyalty shifted from Jesus to christians. (Paul: “I fear that somehow your pure and undivided devotion to Christ will be corrupted.” NLT) Before, she loved her brothers and sisters, now she followed them, doing what they did, going where they went, saying what they said.
Jesus said, “If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love.”
One might conclude that since both Jack and Jill were doing the same thing they would be equally rewarded. I don’t think so. Jack was obeying Christ’s command; Jill was obeying the pastor’s call to action.
I don’t think it’s a stretch to amplify Christ’s words thus: “If you keep My commandments because they are My commandments, you will abide in My love.”
I am sure catholics and the mormons obey certain mandates of Christ because they are catholics and mormons. Same with church members. They obey certain commandments of Christ because they are members of a local church. They do what’s expected of them.
To Jesus, motive is everything.
There wasn’t in that “great multitude of Christians” one Jesus-and-me. Not one. How can I be so certain? Jesus promised, “He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit.” Much fruit is “treasures in heaven”, eternal rewards that “neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal.”
You and I will see that great multitude of barren (or mostly barren) christians. Hopefully we will be observers only.