Receiving For The Wrong We’ve Done

Q. I was wondering about Col 3:23-25. It says that whatever we do should be done unto the Lord to receive a reward, but whoever does wrong will receive for the wrong he has done because there is no respect of persons. If whoever means whoever, then does that mean believers will receive for the wrongs they have done?

A. I think there are two aspects to this teaching.

First, believers should not expect that just because their sins are forgiven they can avoid the earthly consequences of their behavior. Since the context of Col 3:23-25 is working, it means slothful work habits can be reprimanded or even penalized regardless of our beliefs.

Second, in 1 Cor. 3:10-15 Paul said that some of our earthly works might not stand the test and will be burned up at the bema seat judgment. This will cause a believer to suffer loss, but will not adversely impact his or her salvation.

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