OUR FATHER WHO REWARDS THOSE WHO EARNESTLY SEEK HIM
1 Corinthians chapter 3 verse 15 says this;
If it is burned up, the builder will suffer loss but yet will be saved—even though only as one escaping through the flames.
The Apostle Paul, writing to the Corinthians, told them that the work that they do for the kingdom of God must be built on the true and sure foundation of Jesus Christ.
What is built on this foundation is then measured for quality. Whether the work one does is of gold, silver, gems, wood, hay or straw, these works will be tested by fire and the works that survive the test will be the basis for rewards.
The works that are destroyed will be to the loss of the ones who did them though they themselves will be saved but only very narrowly.
In Mathew chapter 7 verses 22 - 23, Jesus Himself said that there will be many people who will come to Him on the day of the Lord expecting that the works they did in His name would be the basis for their reward but instead, the Lord will reject them because He never knew them and because they practiced lawlessness.
This seems to refer to the fact that the works that were done by them were burned up in the test of fire leaving them with no basis for entering the Lord's reward. The passage reads this way;
Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’
People will be shocked when they realise that the things they had done in the name of the Lord were considered by Jesus to be acts of lawlessness because they were unauthorized by God and as such, there was no reward. Even though they were saved, they were made to depart from Jesus and they would stay separate from Jesus in eternity.
This sobering point leads one to ask the question: How can a sincere believer do the work of the kingdom in such a way that it does not burn up in the test?
At least part of the answer to this question must be in what is said in Hebrews chapter 11 verse 6 that reads this way;
And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.
The unequivocal statement, 'without faith, it is impossible to please God', hints that the people whose works were burned up were those who did not have faith because they did not approach God to seek Him because they did not really believe that He existed nor did they believe that He was a rewarder of those who earnestly sought Him.
They went through the motions of doing things using the authority in Jesus' name to prophesy, cast out demons and do miracles which likely gained them attention and fame but they did so without earnestly seeking the Lord personally and thus they did not know the Lord nor did He know them.
We should seek the Lord earnestly and believe stridently in Him and do the things that He asks us to do believing that He is a rewarder of those who trust in Him and obey Him.
Our works that are done in faith at the Lord's direction will endure the test of fire for they are initiated and sustained by Him.