There are really two questions here. First, “are you saved?” And second, “have you been following the Spirit, living in God’s love, and obeying and working for the Lord?”

The first question is easy to settle. If you have not received Jesus as your crucified and resurrected divine/human Savior from sin and sin’s punishment in Hell, simply trust Him right now for salvation. He promises to immediately and irrevocably save all who put their faith in Him. (John 6:47; Ephesians 1:13,14; 1st Corinthians 15:1-4). These verses are quoted in my “Most Spiritually Helpful and Comforting Bible Verses” post.

Those who believe in Jesus as Savior are indwelled by God’s Spirit immediately, whether or not there is a dramatic experience.

When Judgment Day arrives, whether you and I are still on earth, or whether we have died and we awaken from death at the resurrection, we will go to Heaven to be with Jesus, the Father, and the Holy Spirit forever, because God has forgiven our sins through Jesus. God has declared us “not guilty” because of our faith in Jesus. This is known as “justification.”

The second question has to to with the evaluation of our lives. What did we do for Jesus after we were saved? How much did we live following the Spirit, by our spirit’s conscience and intuition? What was the quality of the things we taught? This evaluation of our lives is the believer’s judgment. It has to do with God burning up our worthless works, but not burning us, as we are saved. It is a day (and a heavenly future) of great rejoicing for those who have been faithful and productive in serving Jesus with their lives.

I woke up thinking about this this morning, because it is easy to evaluate our lives according to the world’s standards. “How happy were you?” “How rich were you?” “How many children did you have?,” instead of by God’s standard of measurement: How faithful were you to serving God? How much did you spread the Gospel? How biblical was your teaching, if you were a Bible teacher? How loving were you? How many people did you gently and respectfully and graciously tell about Jesus? How many poor people did you help?

God has judgments and rewards waiting after this life, just after we die.

This is a very short life, and to make it your goal just to make money, have a big house, be comfortable only, and don’t rock the boat–is a disappointing way to live in light of the facts of eternity. Just when you get the bank account full and the house paid off, it is time to die and to face God’s judgment.

There are better values to live by than that.

–Curtis Smale