"Evangelicals reject the doctrine of a second chance for unbelievers. We recognize that there's no opportunity to come to Christ after death. But it's equally true that after death there's no second chance for believers. There's no more opportunity for us to walk by faith and serve our Lord in this fallen world.
We can't do life here over again. There's no retaking the course once we've failed it. There's no improving a D to an A. No rescheduling the final exams. Death is the deadline. There's no extension.
A basketball game is over at the final buzzer. Shots taken late don't count. When the trumpet heralds Christ's return, our eternal future begins and our present opportunity ends. If we have failed by then to use our money, possessions, time and energy for eternity, then we have failed -- period.
"But we'll be in heaven and that's all that matters." On the contrary, Paul spoke of the loss of reward as a great and terrible loss. The fact that we're still saved is a clarification, not a consolation-- "if it is burned up, he will suffer loss; he himself will be saved, but only as one escaping through the flames" (1 Corinthians 3:15). Receiving reward from Christ is unspeakable gain with eternal implications. Forfeiting reward is a terrible loss with equally eternal implications. How dare we say that being in heaven is all that matters to us, when so much else matters to God?
This life is our opportunity. Scripture does not teach what most of us seem to assume-- that heaven will transform each of us into equal beings with equal possessions and equal responsibilities and equal capacities. It does not say our previous lives will be of no eternal significance. It says exactly the opposite."
Money, Possessions, and Eternity, p.119, 120
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