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PASTOR MIKE RAMSEY: The right motive for reaching the lost (column)

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Mike Ramsey

Pastor Mike Ramsey pastors Solid Rock Baptist Church in Springville. He can be reached at and

2 Corinthians 5:9-11, "Wherefore we labour, that, whether present or absent, we may be accepted of him. 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. Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men; but we are made manifest unto God; and I trust also are made manifest in your consciences."

In verse nine, we see the ministry of Paul. It is not enough to speak with our mouths, we must back it up with our lives. 

The word “labour” means to be “eager or earnest to do something” and is translated in our King James Bible as labour, strive and study. One writer said “labour means to have as an ambition.” The word “accepted is “euarestos” and means fully agreeable: it is translated acceptable (-ted), wellpleasing, according to Strong’s Concordance.

We have the certain knowledge that one day we will give an account of our lives to the Lord. That should motivate us to be faithful in obeying His commands in every area of our lives, including the final instruction He left to, “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature” (Mark 16:15).

In verse 10 we see the manifestation of Paul. In addition to obedience, there is another motive for sharing the Gospel -- the knowledge that each person must stand before God either saved or lost.

Friends, this is a sobering thought. Charles Spurgeon described that day this way: “If you haven’t looked at Christ on the cross, you’ll have to look at Him on the throne -- with great trembling. The sacrificial death of Christ will be brought before the eyes of all who refuse to accept His free gift of forgiveness and eternal life. In Bethlehem, He came in mercy to forgive sin. In the future, He will come on the clouds in glory to establish justice. 

“What will we do without a Saviour? On the day of judgment, there is nothing we can do if we have not trusted Christ.” The judgment seat of Christ will judge our works and not our sins.

If we live only for the praise of men, we will not win the praise of God at the Judgment Seat of Christ. 

It behooves every Christian to examine his own life to see if he is ready for the Judgment Seat of Christ. Wanting to give a good account before Christ is a worthy motive for Christian service.

Finally, Paul spoke about his motivation. 

Paul mentions the “terror” of the Lord. It is more than a reverential fear, but understanding the judgment of God. 

The only hope of salvation is found through faith in Jesus Christ. Paul understood the God of the Bible. He is not just a God of Love. He is just, therefore, His wrath is just as great as His love. Psalms 9:16 says, “The LORD is known by the judgment which he executeth: the wicked is snared in the work of his own hands. Higgaion. Selah.”

John Phillips said, “The life of Paul was obvious to everyone. His life should be a convicting force to all who read his epistles. Every thought of God should inspire us with holy fear and reverential awe.”

There is no other way to Heaven. God’s plan for people is to hear the Good News and be saved and for His children to tell them. This is a wonderful privilege, but it is also a heavy responsibility. Remembering that judgment is coming, we should do all we can to reach the lost.

1 Peter 4:18 says, “And if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear?” Each person you meet today will one day stand before God. Have you warned them of the judgment to come?

Pastor Mike Ramsey pastors Solid Rock Baptist Church in Springville. He can be reached at and