F o r e w o r d b y J a c k
H a y f o r d :
skilled approach taken by Rick Howard and Jamie Lash to this
awe-inspiring theme is peculiar in this respect: It is both
entertaining and frightening. If 'entertaining' seems glib,
know that it is only in the sense that it is highly engrossing.
If 'frightening' seems
undesirable, know it is only in the sense that one is led to a
new awareness of our ultimate accountability for our life.
It may strike some as a superficial generalization to say that
every Christian should hear this message, but it seems in
today's mental and moral environment that it would merit such
priority consideration. This message is a sobering summons to
our souls - a sensitively discussed but starkly honest
presentation which will enrich the viewer. We need the
weight of such teaching to balance the truths of our
expectations of God's blessings with the truth of God's
expectations of us. Here is ballast for the soul - a
blessing in both smooth and stormy times."
— Jack Hayford,
Church on the Way
College and Seminary
This Was Your Life
Howard & Jamie Lash
is published by Chosen books, a division of Baker Books.
I was hard at work one Monday
morning in downtown Memphis when the phone rang. Mondays were especially
busy for a director of Youth for Christ. The phone call was from one of my
board members, an enthusiastic layman who always moved me by his
consistent witness and love for Jesus Christ. Ed had been an
uncompromising friend to me and a great support to my ministry.
“I need to see you for a few minutes this morning,” he said in a
“Impossible, Ed,” I replied. “It can’t be today. Could we meet midweek?”
“No, Rick, it has to be now. I’ll come down and wait for a break in your
I heard a click. The line was dead.
Ed came and sat in my office as I continued with my work. Then I heard him
ask quietly, “Rick, have you ever thought much about the Judgment Seat of
I did not even look up from my papers. “Oh, I know there’ll be one, Ed. .
There was silence. When I finally glanced up in curiosity, I saw tears
streaming down his face. I felt ashamed.
“Oh, Ed, forgive me! Obviously you have something to share that’s far more
important than this work.” Grabbing my Bible, I turned my chair toward my
friend. “O.K., what’s on your mind? I think I’m ready.”
For almost three hours Ed walked me through the Scriptures on
the Judgment Seat of Christ. When he finished, he put his hand on my
shoulder and prayed a simple, fervent prayer. Then he stood up, hugged me
and was gone. I was stunned. Years earlier Ed had been a Golden
Gloves boxing champion. Had he slammed me with his fist, he could not have
made a bigger impact on me than he had that morning.
Continue Reading Chapter One
In 1987 a friend told me about a video that he said contained
"the most motivating teaching" he had ever heard in his life. It was
entitled "The Judgment Seat of Christ" by Rick Howard—whom I had
never heard of.
(I have since learned that Rick Howard has shared this message
in over eighty countries around the world.) I asked if I could
borrow the video. Since then I have watched that tape sixteen times!
Never has a single message impacted my life so greatly.
Even though I had already been a Christian for many years, I had
never been taught about the Judgment Seat of Christ. Now I feel like
I’m getting ready for the Olympics—only it’s a million times bigger
Much of the church has been lacking incredible
motivation God intended us to have because we’ve neglected an
incredible truth God intended us to have. Martin Luther said,
"There are only two days on my calendar: Today and that
Only believers will be at the Judgment Seat of
Christ. Unbelievers will be judged at the Great White Throne
Judgment (See Revelation 20:11-15). The issue at the judgment of
believers is not punishment. Christ has already borne the
punishment for our sins. God will be evaluating our
lives—looking for things to reward!
God sent His Son to make both salvation and
fruitfulness possible. Salvation gets us to heaven; our
fruitfulness will be evaluated once we get there. How we serve
God in heaven forever is being determined by how we live
this life! The importance of how we live this life cannot be
On that Day, some Christians will rejoice "with
great joy" (Jude 24) while others will "shrink back from Him in
shame" (1 John 2:28). All who put their faith in Christ will be
in heaven, but some will hear "Well done, good and faithful
servant," and some will not. Some will wear crowns indicative of
the Father's pleasure upon them, and some will not. Some will be
invited to "enter into the joy of their Master," and some will
not. This is very serious indeed! (cont.)
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