Philippians 2.12 commands, work hard to show the results of your salvation, obeying God with deep reverence and fear.
Easter has just passed for most Christians: it is the time for celebration of the life, death and resurrection of God in Jesus the Savior. It is a celebration because humanity no longer is required to be perfect in order to get to heaven. It is a celebration because humanity is no longer measured by their own performance for earning heaven. It is a celebration because God is offering a pardon for all disobedience against Him by every person who has ever lived who will simply ask God for His pardon through Jesus the Savior.
Christianity is the world’s only religion that demands not performance for entering heaven but humility before God by receiving freely His gift offered to us through Jesus the Savior. Every other religion requires certain works to get to heaven as though the good deeds of humanity could outperform their bad deeds somehow ‘earning’ them God’s required pass into heaven.
The idea is ludicrous that we can demand from God anything or call Him to account for His decisions or behavior. Christians simply depend upon the faithfulness of God, the love of God, the promise of God, the history of God, and the Word of God to give them entry into heaven by His grace through the performance of Jesus the Savior.
Having received so gracious a gift Christians are now commanded to work hard showing the world that God’s work is not in vain. Christians should outperform all other people in good works because they are motivated by love and thankfulness not by necessity for gaining heaven.
Christians have been given heaven therefore they are to work hard as people destined for heaven living according to heavenly values. Christians are free to give and serve without reciprocity because God has already given them a pardon, they already have peace with God, they already have found God’s favor, they already know their destiny.
Christians understand that the God Who crucified His beloved Son in judgement for humanity’s disobedience will one day judge everyone who has rejected the beloved Son as Savior. God Who did not spare His Son will not spare anyone who rejects the Son but will cast everyone to eternal torment for disregarding the grace of God manifest in Jesus the Savior.
This God is to be revered and honored because He is serious about the future of the world. This mighty God has a history of judgement from Noah to Israel to Jesus to the promised return when He will judge for a final time the lives of humanity. This God will separate the world into those who loved Him through Jesus and those who ignored Him by despising Jesus.
This God will give eternal life in paradise to those who loved Him but will give eternal life in torment to everyone who ignored Him.
We have good reason to fear God, we have good reason to revere God and we have good reason to work hard for God: we love Him because He is good and He has done great things on our behalf!