“Whatever we build on that foundation will be tested by fire on the day of judgment. Then everyone will find out if we have used gold, silver, and precious stones, or wood, hay, and straw. We will be rewarded if our building is left standing. But if it is destroyed by the fire, we will lose everything. Yet we ourselves will be saved, like someone escaping from flames.”
1Cor. 3:12-15, CEV
“The fire doesn’t make you what you are; it reveals what you were.”
Christianity at the end will basically an incendiary endeavor. We understand this and know the need for quality, which we should be building into our lives. What makes us think this is that fire is the metaphor that describes what the Holy Spirit is doing. A torch will be set to ones construction. This sounds all wrong and yet it does explain our built-in need of proving what is authentic. Our building supplies may vary, and the quality will need to be continuously monitored. Things that are real, will last.
When we see the torch thrown on the pile, we must get ready for it to burn all that can be burned. This is undoubtedly an unpleasant and anxious process, but it happens no matter what we think. Only fire will determine our authenticity. As it burns, only precious jewels, gold and silver show a magnificent durability. The rest is reduced to ashes. Things of permanence are left when everything is burned away. We rake through the ash piles looking for the things that have endured. Gold and silver, red rubies and glittering diamonds are that which will survive. The fire could not destroy these precious things.
For years this passage has frightened me. My anxiety over this has grown when I actively consider the negligence and foolishness of my life. When I think about what could be, I’m intimidated by this principle of testing, and the ‘Day of Judgement’. It is hard for me to rest in grace on these days.
I guess I feel responsibility, accountability and my awareness of shame. I have lived my life somewhat ‘frantically’, which has disturbing consequences for me. I don’t want them. I do not want to be evaluated with the torch. The day of judgement frightens me. I do not want to be brought to terms with my mammoth sized foolishness. It makes me very nervous.
But my reading of the Word makes judgement inevitable. But we have been given time and space to change our lives. There is no way we can skirt this reality, the man who was building could choose any foundation he wished– would it be the rock, or the sand? It’s all on you. It’s your call.