As a Christian, I know that when I die, I am going to Heaven. I also know that there will be two judgments in Heaven: (1) What has been referred to as the ‘Great White Throne Judgment,’ which is where unbelievers will be judged, and every single one of them will fail the test and be cast into Hell for all eternity; and (2) What is sometimes referred to as ‘The Bema Seat Judgment,’ also known as the Judgment Seat of Christ. This is where the believer’s works will be tested, as by fire, to see what amount were done for the sake of Christ alone. Everything done for selfish reasons will be burned up. For whatever works remain, that believer will receive a reward. The Bible mentions several types of crowns that will be given out. However, believers will then cast those crowns at the feet of Christ, because it is only because of Christ that we could do any of those things, just as it is only because of Christ that we can even be saved from Hell.
So, knowing these things, how should I then live my life?
Have you ever seen an extremely obese person with a huge plate of food…and a Diet Coke? Have you ever thought to yourself, “Do they actually think that Diet Coke is going to help them lose weight, when they are also eating all that food?” The Diet Coke might possibly help to ease a guilty conscience or help them feel slightly less embarrassed about their weight, but its not going to make them thin.
Or, think about a guy whose dream is to become Mr. America or Mr. Olympia: If that guy only works out 10 or 15 minutes a day, do you think he will ever even come close to reaching that goal?
Similar to the person who eats a huge meal and yet drinks a Diet Coke, or the person who works out 10-15 minutes a day and expects to become Mr. Olympia, I find myself, on the average, spending between a few minutes, to maybe 15 minutes, reading and studying the Bible, and maybe somewhere between a couple minutes, to maybe a little over 30 minutes a day, total, in prayer. Yet, I spend a few hours a day watching TV, a couple hours on top of that if I watch a DVD movie, maybe ½ hour on top of that if I play a PS2 game (lately I’ve been playing Fight Night, which is a boxing game), and several hours a day on the Internet (e-mail, Facebook, etc.) Granted, a fair amount of that time spent reading and replying to e-mails, as well as on Facebook (and blogging) has to do with talking about God. Still, if I want to become as Christ-like as I can during the time I have left on this earth, then should I not be spending much more intimate time with God, reading and studying His Word, and in prayer? The saints of old spent hours every day in prayer, as well as hours reading and studying God’s Word; and they had to do it by candlelight, because most of them had no electricity. I'm not talking about becoming a recluse monk. I'm talking about the fact that what we put into our minds affects how we live, how we act, how we talk, and how we think. If I am having a problem with anger, lust, prejudice, etc., then putting thoughts of love, forgiveness, etc. in my head will help that. If I want to act more like Jesus did, then I need to re-program my mind to think more like Jesus thought, and the way to do that is through reading/studying the Bible, and prayer. If I want to get to know God better, the way to do that is by reading and studying His Word. If I want my actions to change, and live more like God wants me to live, then I need to spend more time in His Word. TV, movies, and other earthly pleasures and entertainment and luxuries are not going to help that. Besides, TV and movies are mostly filled with ungodly, wicked, evil things that do affect and influence the person who watches that stuff, and the more you are exposed to it, the more it affects you, generally speaking (even if you don't notice it at first). 'Garbage in, garbage out.'
If Jesus Christ is the most important thing, and the most important One in my life, then I should spend more time with Him than with anything else. On my deathbed, I won’t care a bit about how much time I spent playing PS2 games, or surfing the net, or watching TV. But I will care how much time I spent reading the Bible, studying the Bible, memorizing Scripture, and, probably most of all, telling others about Jesus, so that I can hopefully bring as many with me to Heaven as possible.