Everyone of us here today are interested in "payday". Whether you are making $100,000.00 per year, waiting patiently for a social security retirement check, or if you get $25.00 a week for a part-time job. We all look forward to receiving what we have earned, we deserve it! This is a law of life. If a person works for another they are supposed to get payment for that work. That same law of payment applies in the spiritual realm. God also pays off! He pays in two ways:
1. If you serve sin: Judgment!
2. If you serve Him: Rewards!
Judgment is one of the biggest topics in the Scriptures. Paul warned a group of intellectuals on Mars Hill of the coming judgment. cf. Acts 17:30-31. Jesus said in Mt. 12:36, "But I say unto you, that every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment." Solomon warned of living our lives as we please without regard for the things of God. cf. Eccl. 11:9. But God does not always wait until the end of life to pay off. We often face judgment right here. There is an old saying that says "a young man needs to sow his wild oats." However, there is an older saying found in Galatians 6:7, "Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for what - soever a man soweth, that shall he also reap." There is a payoff for sins both here and hereafter.
I. Calvary is a Picture of Judgment.
A. He was "made sin" for us. cf. 2 Co. 5:21
1. He did not sin, but He was made sin for us
2. All of our sins and the sins of the world were upon Him.
3. Sin had to be punished and God's wrath fell upon Him instead of us.
B. He was "lifted up" for us. cf. John 3:14-15
1. In Numbers 21:5-9 we find the account of when the Israelites were suffering God's judgment of fiery serpents, because of their rebellion.
2. The people repented of their rebelliousness and asked Moses to intercede for them.
3. God instructed Moses to make a serpent of brass, and put it on a pole: all who had been bitten would be delivered if they would look upon the brazen serpent.
4. Man, bitten by the serpent of sin, is condemned to die.
5. But when they look to Calvary in faith, they are delivered!
C. He was "made a curse" for us. cf. Gal. 3:13
1. Think of it, He was the finest person who ever lived:
a. He opened blind eyes.
b. He caused the lame to walk
c. He cast out devils.
d. He healed the sick, and raised the dead.
2. Every touch was tender and blessed, but He became a curse for us to redeem us! 3. Even the thorns upon His brow pointed to judgment.
a. In Ge. 3:17-18 we are told that God cursed the ground to bring forth "thorns and thistles".
b. When we look at the crown of thorns upon our Savior's brow, we should be reminded of the fact that He took upon Himself the judgment of sin for mankind.
c. Calvary is a picture of Jesus' payday for sin, but He didn't deserve it; He did it all for us!
II. There is a Payday for the Christian.
A. There is a "payday" for sins.
1. A believer's past sin is judged at Calvary, but...
2. Christians do sin after they are saved.
a. Some would say that God rejects a believer who sins, and that he must be saved all over again.
b. That isn't true! Listen to God's Word in Psalm 89:31- 33.
c. Hebrews 12:6-8 speaks of the chastening of God's sons.
3. When Christians sin, God will punish them or chstise them right now, and that chastisement will be for their own good.
4. Illus: Lady who said that she sinned all the time and God had never chastened her. Preacher read v8.
5. A believer who sins will have a payday of God's chastisement because God loves him too much to let him continue in sin!
6. 1 Co. 11:31 says, "For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged."
a. That means that if we would confess our sin and get it out of our lives, we will then escape the chastening rod of God.
b. Illustration: House rule, if you do wrong and come to me about it I will not punish, but if you do wrong and try to hide it or lie about it you will be!
B. There is a "payday" for works.
1. God has promised to reward those who will work for Him.
2. Mt. 16:27, "...He shall reward every man according to his works."
3. The Word of God mentions several crowns or rewards that a believer can receive.
a. The crown of rejoicing: the soulwinner's crown.
b. The crown of life: given for faithfulness.
c. The crown of glory: for those who preach the Gospel.
d. The crown of righteousness: for those who love the appearing of Christ.
e. The incorruptible crown: for those who run the race well.
4. It is possible for a believer to lose rewards if they do not remain faithful.
5. What a tragedy to have to stand before Christ empty- handed with nothing to offer to the One who has given us so much!
III. There is a Payday for the Lost.
A. The Great White Throne Judgment. cf. Re. 20:11-15
1. The One who died for you, but you rejected, will be sitting on the throne.
2. He will judge you out of the things written in His books.
3. This will not be a judgment to determine whether you will go to hell or not.
4. That was determined when you rejected Christ as Lord and Savior.
5. "And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire."
B. Some will be surprised!
1. There are those who say, "God is a God of love...He won't send anyone to hell."
2. Others say that there is no such place as hell, but God's Word tells us more about hell than heaven.
3. There are those who are trusting in their own deeds to take them to heaven rather than the shed blood of Jesus Christ, but Jesus will say "...depart from me... I never knew you" cf. Mt. 7:21-23
Conclusion: Payday is coming! Will you be ready? Are you saved today? Christian, are you serving Christ with your life today? Will you be surprised like the rich man in Luke 16 who woke up in hell crying "have mercy on me...for I am tormented in this flame"? Jesus paid it all...He took our place that we might go free! Do you need to come this morning?