Or, to put it another way, you are God's house. Using the gift God gave me as a good architect, I designed blueprints; Apollos is putting up the walls. Let each carpenter who comes on the job take care to build on the foundation! Remember, there is only one foundation, the one already laid: Jesus Christ. Take particular care in picking out your building materials. Eventually there is going to be an inspection. If you use cheap or inferior materials, you'll be found out. The inspection will be thorough and rigorous. You won't get by with a thing. If your work passes inspection, fine; if it doesn't, your part of the building will be torn out and started over. But you won't be torn out; you'll survive—but just barely. 1 Corinthians 3:9-15 (The Message)
If you’ve ever constructed anything, you know that a visit from the building inspector is often dreaded and rarely celebrated. No one wants to hear that their hard work must be undone by more hard work to eventually be built correctly. But no one wants to end up under a pile of rubble from shoddy construction either.
The good news is that spiritually, even if believers do shoddy work, they can still make it to Heaven. They “will be saved, but only as one escaping through the flames” (1 Corinthians 3:15, NIV). Whew.
Paul writes these words to the Corinthians to challenge their connoisseur attitudes toward their relationship with God. Some said, “We’re followers of Paul Hybels.” While others said, “We follow Apollos Stanley.” While we must admit that different churches and different ministries reach different people, the end goal is the same: that God would be glorified and the Kingdom would be built.
Rick Warren is not going to reach the same crowd as John MacArthur and vice versa. When it’s all said and done there isn’t an expository heaven separate from a felt-need one. There is only one Heaven, and we must be careful before we send a ministry to the other place.
So, what has God called you to build? A Small Group, a class, a relationship with a neighbor? God didn’t call you to sit and soak and sour. He called you to build.
The second question is: How’s it going? Are you building daily or in your spare time? Are you asking what spare time is?
It’s exciting to think that God wants to involve us in what He’s doing. But, that’s exactly how God works. We don’t need to work to get to Heaven, but there is satisfying, life-giving work to be done.