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Reward: For what will God wish to reward you in eternity?

Gary Googe Oct 26

I think that’s a question we all need to ask ourselves often.  We find in the Bible that there are two major judgments that are coming up.  One is for unbelievers and the other is for believers.  As you might imagine, the one for unbelievers won’t be a pretty picture.  All who are there for it will be under a sentence of eternal condemnation.  The name of that event in Scripture is the Great White Throne judgment.

Revelation 20:11-15

11 And I saw a great white throne, and him [Jesus Christ] that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them.

12 And I saw the dead, small and great [these are all people who are unsaved as unbelievers], stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.

Because all sins were judged at the cross of Christ, the subject of this judgment is man’s works of righteousness, all of which are unacceptable to God.

13 And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works.

Again, the Scripture tells us works will be what is judged on this occasion.  There’s no mention of sins because they were all judged at the cross of Christ where He bore them all in our behalf [Revelation 1:5 cf. II Corinthians 5:21].

14 And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.

15 And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire. [Emphasis added]

Never be so foolish as to think this won’t happen.  God keeps His word perfectly.  If you’ve not made right preparation for eternity, you will be there and you will not escape being cast into this lake of fire.  The warning God has provided needs to be taken seriously.  The way to prepare now and to escape this judgment is to accept God’s love and accept what He has done to provide you with a way of salvation.

I Corinthians 15:1-4

1 Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel [the good news] which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand;

By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain.

For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures;

And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures: [Emphasis added]

I mention this passage often because of its extreme importance.  It explains in simple terms what one must accept and believe as the basis for one’s salvation.  No personal works of righteous at all are demanded.  Salvation only comes by faith alone in the Savior God provided.

Ephesians 2:8-9

For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:

Not of works, lest any man should boast. [Emphasis added]

No, none of us will have a basis for boasting.  No one earns or deserves such a blessing as that of salvation and deliverance from the condemnation of God.  However, the moment a person accepts Jesus Christ as their Savior they are forever moved from a position of condemnation to one of eternal blessing.

Romans 8:1a

1 There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, [Emphasis added]

But please notice that from the moment you are saved, your “works” do count for something.  In fact, from that moment on, good works that are properly motivated are extremely important.

Ephesians 2:10

10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them. [Emphasis added]

God has provided a way of life He wants each of us to live.  At the heart of it we are to serve as Christ’s personal representatives on this Earth in all we say and do.  Please note the content of this next passage.

II Corinthians 5:19-20

19 To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.

20 Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God. [Emphasis added]

By becoming a believer, you have moved from a position of condemnation to one of blessing.  You have also moved to a position of great opportunity and responsibility.  Opportunity in that you can now work to qualify for special rewards you’ll get to enjoy for all eternity.  Responsibility in that this is something that goes with the position you now hold.  You are an ambassador for Christ! This means you are a personal representative for Jesus Christ in all you say and doWe all need to take that role seriously.

II Corinthians 5:19-20

19 To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word  [the message] of reconciliation.

20 Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God. [Emphasis added]

How you function in this role of representing Him will depend entirely upon you.  Your ongoing desire should be to represent Him well because of all He’s done for you and all He’s going to do for you.  Wonderful rewards await all those who represent Him well.

II Corinthians 5:10

10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad. [Emphasis added]

Other passages serve to remind us of the reward God intends to give us for the works we do in serve to Him.

I Corinthians 3:13-14

13 Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is.

14 If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward.  [Emphasis added]

These are rewards we will apparently get to enjoy throughout all eternity.  All this serves as extra motivation for us to learn God’s word and to live by it every day of our lives.

We find that at the end of the apostle Paul’s life these were rewards he was eagerly anticipating.  We know practically nothing about the nature of these awards, but they must be wonderful.

II Timothy 4:7-8

I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith:

Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing. [Emphasis added]

Yes, this is all vague.  The details about the awards are not given.  But it is made clear that how well we function as representatives of Christ is going to determine what rewards we are given.

Representing Christ well demands that you take on His thinking.  That only happens as you allow the teachings of His Word to transform you.  To each of us an appeal has been made for us to take the initiative to make this happen.

Romans 12:1-2

1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God [because of how He has blessed you], that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.

And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. [Emphasis added]

This tells us that as this transformation occurs, we become a living example of the tremendous value of being a believer and an honorable ambassador of the Lord Jesus Christ.  The quality of your thinking should become a draw to cause others to want to follow your example.  This is exactly what we see the apostle Paul exhorting others to do.

I Corinthians 4:16

16 Wherefore I beseech you, be ye followers of me. [Emphasis added]

I Corinthians 11:1

1 Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ. [Emphasis added]

Question:  Is this something you feel you can exhort those people in your life to do? It should be! And it can be! But the only thing that’ll bring that about is your faithfulness to take in and apply God’s Word.  You have to make up your mind to make that a priority.  Isn’t this something every believer should do? Is there even one good reason why all believers shouldn’t do this?

Life is full of distractions.  Every believer will face them. This is all about priorities.  If you want this bad enough, it will happen.  If you don’t, people will know.

Many years ago, I heard about the concept of living one’s life in the light of eternity.  Apart from what you do in service to our Lord, those things only have temporal value.  But everything you do to represent Christ will have eternal valueWith that activity comes eternal reward that you’ll get to enjoy forever.  Many people like a list, so I’ll give you some examples of what I’m talking about.

Making time in prayer and Bible study a daily part of your life.

Matthew 4:4

But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God. [Emphasis added]

Learning truths of the Bible with the objective of applying them.

II Timothy 3:16-17

16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:

17 That the man of God may be perfect [mature], thoroughly furnished unto all good works. [Emphasis added]

Becoming eager to present the gospel of Christ to others at any time.

Romans 1:10-11

10 Making request, if by any means now at length I might have a prosperous journey by the will of God to come unto you.

11 For I long to see you, that I may impart unto you some spiritual gift, to the end ye may be established; [Emphasis added]

Helping people understand the meaning of rightly dividing Scripture.

II Timothy 2:15

15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. [Emphasis added]

When you exercise your own spiritual assets in relation to others, many can be blessed.  If you’ll make it a priority to do these things habitually, you’ll be amazed at the difference it’ll make in the lives of others as well as in your own.  I think we’ll all be amazed at the rewards God will bestow on all those who have faithfully served Him.  It would, therefore, be wise for us all to walk through each day with all this in mind.

I’ll leave you with one final question.  What all could you do today that would make a positive difference in how God rewards you in eternity?  One day at a time and one decision at a time you can end up with quite a collection of rewardable activities.  I encourage you to begin [or continue] that journey now.

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