“Our works are dead when we prefer the glory that fades to the glory that endures”.
Paul says: “I want you to affirm constantly that those who have believed in God should be careful to maintain good works. These things are good and profitable to men.” (Titus 3:8).
However, the pastors of our churches are passionate practitioners of dead works. Paul says: “Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.” (Colossian 3:17).
But pastors preach in their own names. They are “holier than thou,” presenting themselves as exemplars of righteousness. They are proud and boastful. “Everything they do is for show.” (Matthew 23:5).
Jesus says: “Take heed that you do not do your charitable deeds before men, to be seen by them. Otherwise, you have no reward from your Father in heaven.” (Matthew 6:1).
But pastors proclaim their charitable deeds on the rooftops and invite their congregants to do the same. When you hear Christians saying things like the following, know that God is not impressed:
“I was the pastor of the biggest church in Nigeria.” Dead works!
“I preached the gospel in the rural areas of Nigeria for 50 years.” Dead works!
“I established a multi-million-naira fund to help the poor in Nigeria’s inner cities.” Dead works!
“I was a member of the prayer squad in my church. We prayed at midnight every night for 50 years non-stop.” Dead works!
“I am the praise worship leader in my church.” Dead works!
Dead works are works of self-righteousness. They are works that bring honour and glory to men. They are works for which we receive praise from men. They are works for which we receive earthly rewards.
Pastors are not only full of dead works; they promote dead works in the churches. You might have heard some Nigerian pastors saying this:
“I know some people are telling you not to pay tithe. Do not listen to them. They want to kill you. You go die quick.” Dead works!
If you do not pay tithe, things will be tight for you.” Dead works!
“Immediately after this convention, restitute your ways with your congregation. Make it clear to them, anyone who is not paying his tithe is not going to heaven, full-stop.” Dead works!
As a young believer, I was obsessed with the desire to end up in heaven. All my prayer points were about going to heaven. But one day, the Holy Spirit engaged me on my preoccupation. He wanted to know why I was so determined to go to heaven.
I could not answer Him because I wanted to go to heaven because I was afraid of going to hell. So, He told me heaven was not for me.
Do not believe the lies of pastors. Heaven is not for those who want to go to heaven out of fear of going to hell. Heaven is only for those who want to go to heaven out of love for God because they want to be with Him.
Loving others more
Dead works are proclaimed in the name of righteousness but are abominable to God. Jesus says: “These people draw near to Me with their mouth, and honor Me with their lips, But their heart is far from Me.” (Matthew 15:8).
“I was a faithful husband to my wife for 70 years.” Dead works!
“I faithfully and diligently took great care of my two autistic children and sacrificed everything for them.” Dead works!
Jesus says: “He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me.” (Matthew 10:37).
Our love for others become dead works unless they come out of our love for God. Jesus says: “Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.” (Matthew 25:40).
Dead works are works done not according to the will of God. They are works that are not done because of the love of God. They are works that seem to be good but are done from wrong motives.
Jesus is the redeemer. But He only redeems our loses in this world. He does not redeem our gains. If we receive a reward for something in the world, that thing automatically becomes a dead work and we forfeit the great reward for it in heaven. But if we reject the reward of the world, “great is our reward in heaven.” (Matthew 5:12).
Jesus says: “I do not accept praise from men. (John 5:41). If we accept praise from men, we forfeit the praise of God. The work for which we are praised become a dead work. Accordingly, I grieved when Newsweek named a Nigerian pastor as one of the 100 most influential men in the world.
Jesus says: “If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.” (John 15:18-19).
Good works are the works that please God and not men. They are works that redound to the glory of God and not of men. They are works for which we shall get rewards from God and God alone. Once we are rewarded for anything by men, it is a dead work for which we will get no reward in heaven from God.
Approving the excellent
Paul prays: “That (we) may approve the things that are excellent, that (we) may be sincere and without offense till the day of Christ, being filled with the fruits of righteousness which are by Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.” (Philippians 1:10-11).
God is the only one that is excellent. His name is excellent. (Psalm 8:1). The things that are excellent are the things that pertain to Him. God only does excellent things. (Isaiah 12:5). It is God who is: “wonderful in counsel and excellent in guidance.” (Isaiah 28:29).
Therefore, our works are dead when we approve the things of men instead of the things of God.
We are deep up to our necks in dead works when we prefer surfing the net to spending time with God. Our works are dead when we prefer making money to making a joyful noise to the Lord. Our works are dead when we prefer success in the world to the good success of God. Our works are dead when we prefer gain in the world to the great gain of the kingdom of God.
Our works are dead when we prefer the visible to the invisible. Our works are dead when we prefer the physical to the spiritual. Our works are dead when we prefer the glory that fades to the glory that endures. Our works are dead when we love our lives and are determined to save them rather than lose them.
Jesus says: “He who loves his life will lose it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life.” (John 12:25).