“Wherefore we labour, that, whether present or absent, we may be accepted of him.”
II Corinthians 5:9
In the first part of this chapter, Paul speaks of the promise of Heaven and the hope of eternal life. He also says that while we are here, we have been given the earnest of the Holy Spirit’s presence in our lives. One day, we will be with God in Heaven, but now He is with us on earth.
In this context, we have our text verse that says, “Wherefore we labour, that, whether present or absent, we may be accepted of him.” The phrase “accepted of him” is not indicating that He might reject us as His children, or that our salvation is uncertain. The words “accepted of him” mean that He would be pleased with us. We want to be pleasing to our Master. Whether present in this world or present with the Lord, we are STRIVING TO PLEASE HIM. Our past is behind us, our present is provided for, and our future is secure. Therefore, whether we are here or in Heaven, we want to be “accepted of him.” We want God to be pleased with our lives. A child of God, who is living by faith and has his affection on things above, is interested in pleasing the Lord Jesus Christ. We know there have been many times when we have not been pleasing to Him, but our aim in life is to please Him. We ought to consider what it is that our Savior approves of and what He would definitely not be pleased with.
Obviously, a person could never be pleasing to God if he is unsaved or living in the energy of his flesh. We are also sure that we are not pleasing to God if we are indulging in sinful and carnal practices, or living in sin. If we are not obeying His commandments, He will not be pleased with us. When we are not living by faith, it is not pleasing to the Lord. We are plainly told in the Scripture that it is impossible to please Him without faith. The verse that follows our text introduces the subject of the judgment seat of Christ. When we get to Heaven, we all will stand before the Lord and give an account for the way we have lived our lives. Paul had this appointment in mind when he spoke of being “accepted of him.”
When we see Him in Heaven, when our eyes behold our great God and Savior, we want Him to be pleased with the way we have lived for Him and served Him. We want to hear Him say, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant” (Matthew 25:21).