For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive good or evil, according to what he has done in the body. (2 Co 5:10)
St. Paul is not talking about non-Christians here. He is talking about himself and the Corinthian Church (and by extension about all of us). And he says that we will be rewarded or punished based upon our deeds.
Now some people may object that this implies salvation by works. But that is not what St. Paul says. In the first place we all sin, and we cannot save ourselves from our sins by anything that we do. So we are saved from the punishment we deserve because of our sins by grace alone. On the other hand we are not free to live however we wish when He has forgiven us: “If you love Me, keep My commandments” (John 14:15). The one who sins mortally sins against his love of God, and he will be judged accordingly if he does not repent. Love of God is not a content-free proposition: if we love Him, we will obey Him.
It is vital that our love for God increase in ways that help to decrease our love for earthly sources. Because God defines idolatry as “other gods” that are close to us, it is our love for closeness to God that must increase.
Welcome to the Catholic Blog Directory. I’d like to invite you to participate in Sunday Snippets–A Catholic Carnival. We are a group of Catholic bloggers who gather weekly to share our best posts with each other. This week’s host post is at http://rannthisthat.blogspot.com/2013/06/sunday-snippets-catholic-carnival_29.html
I lose count of how many times works are shown to be essential to salvation.
I really liked the last sentence. Very true. And what is it that most of us don’t want to do? Obey God.
Thanks for your thoughts, Christian & Barbara. I think it takes a prior commitment to *not* seeing the importance of obedience in order to miss this fact in the Scriptures.