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Awards: Are there awards we can qualify to receive in Heaven?

Gary Googe Mar 02

The short answer to this question is yes. However, to understand this subject, it is important to distinguish God’s rewards for regenerate Israel vs. His rewards for us today. They are NOT the same. People today who have accepted Christ’s death, burial and resurrection as the basis for their salvation are called members of the Body of Christ. This “Body” is comprised of all the believers of this which is called the church or assembly of God’s people in this Dispensation of the Grace of God. All these people have various degrees of rewards that they will get to enjoy in forever in heaven. On the other hand, there’s regenerate Israel. They, too, will enjoy eternal rewards. But their rewards are said to be associated with a restored new earth, a kingdom on earth.

Question: What are you doing with your life today that would cause the Lord your God to want to reward you for it in eternity?

Question: What are you doing with your life today that would cause Him to want to keep you here, serving Him longer?

Let’s take a look at some principles that provide at least a basic understanding of this.

Principle #1:

God is going to reward His people in eternity.

The Apostles to Israel once asked the Lord what they could expect in terms of reward for the losses and suffering they experienced because of their faithfulness to follow Him.

Matthew 19:27-30

27 Then Peter answered and said to Him, “See, we have left all and followed You. Therefore, what shall we have?”

28 So Jesus said to them, “Assuredly I say to you, that in the regeneration, when the Son of Man sits on the throne of His glory, you who have followed Me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.

29 And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife or children or lands, for My name’s sake, shall receive a hundredfold, and inherit eternal life.

30 But many who are first will be last, and the last first. [Emphasis added]

Principle #2:

All judgment has been committed to Jesus Christ.

John 5:22,23

22 For the Father judges no one, but has committed all judgment to the Son,

23 that all should honor the Son just as they honor the Father. He who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent Him. [Emphasis added]

Romans 14:10-13

10 But why do you judge your brother? Or why do you show contempt for your brother? For we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ.

11 For it is written:

As I live, says the Lord,
Every knee shall bow to Me,
And every tongue shall confess to God.”

12 So then each of us shall give account of himself to God.

13 Therefore let us not judge one another anymore, but rather resolve this, not to put a stumbling block or a cause to fall in our brother’s way. [Emphasis added]

Principle #3:

God’s reward will be for works of faithfulness through one’s knowledge and application of His word.

II Corinthians 5:6-10

Therefore we are always confident, knowing that, whilst we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord:

(For we walk by faith, not by sight:)

We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.

Wherefore we labour, that, whether present or absent, we may be accepted of him [well-pleasing to Him].

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]

Principle #4:

This judgment is not to be confused with the Last Judgment, the Great White Throne Judgment of Revelation 20:11-15. They are both judgments of works, but one is for believers (The Judgment Seat of Christ) and the other (The Great White Throne Judgment) for unbelievers. One is to receive wonderful awards to be enjoyed forever, while the other is to receive sentencing to eternal suffering.

Revelation 20:11-15

11 And I saw a great white throne, and him 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, 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.

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.

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]

Principle #5:

The things done of the flesh, and not of the Spirit will not pass at either judgment (The Great White Throne or The Judgment Seat of Christ).

I Corinthians 3:9-15

For we are labourers together with God: ye are God’s husbandry [field], ye are God’s building. [He uses three metaphors]

10 According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise masterbuilder [architect], I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon.

11 For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.

12 Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble;

13 Every man’s work shall be made manifest [made clear]: 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 [remains or endures] which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward.

15 If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire. [Emphasis added]

Principle #6:

This judgment will be personal.

Romans 14:10

10 But why do you judge your brother? Or why do you show contempt for your brother? For we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ. [Emphasis added]

Romans 14:12

12 So then each of us shall give account of himself to God. [Emphasis added]

Principle #7:

This judgment will be fair.

He has all the facts by which to make this judgment.

Hebrews 4:13

13 Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do. [Emphasis added]

He is perfectly righteous or just.

Psalms 145:17

17 The Lord is righteous in all his ways, and holy in all his works. [Emphasis added]

Jeremiah 12:1a

1a Righteous art thou, O Lord, when I plead with thee: [Emphasis added]

Principle #8:

The exact nature of our rewards is unknown, but we do know we will reside in positions of rulership with Christ.

Ephesians 3:20

20 Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, [Emphasis added]

I Corinthians 2:9-10

But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.

10 But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God. [Emphasis added]

Principle #9:

The Apostle Paul tells us our citizenship and our rewards are in heaven.

Philippians 3:20-21

20 For our conversation [citizenship] is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ:

21 Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself. [Emphasis added]

Principle #10:

The exact time of the Judgment Seat of Christ is unknown, but we do know it will occur at the “appearing” of the Lord Jesus Christ (Approx. 7 years before His Second Coming).

II Timothy 4:1

1 I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom; [Emphasis added]

Principle #11:

The fundamental principle upon which this judgment is based says that man shall surely receive the reward he deserves for his service to our Lord.

Galatians 6:7-10

Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.

For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.

And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.

10 As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith. [Emphasis added]

Principle #12:

We owe the Lord our service because of the high price He paid for us.

I Corinthians 6:19-20

19 What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?

20 For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s. [Emphasis added]

Principle #13:

As long as we live here, we are to live for Him, knowing that death will result in great gain for us at this Judgment Seat of Christ.

Philippians 1:21-25

21 For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.

22 But if I live in the flesh, this is the fruit of my labour: yet what I shall choose I wot not.

23 For I am in a strait betwixt two, having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ; which is far better:

24 Nevertheless to abide in the flesh is more needful for you.

25 And having this confidence, I know that I shall abide and continue with you all for your furtherance and joy of faith; [Emphasis added]

Principle #14:

Knowledge of the Judgment Seat of Christ should cause us to let all our decision-making be a reflection of God’s Word in us.

Colossians 3:23-25

23 And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men;

24 Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ.

25 But he that doeth wrong shall receive for the wrong which he hath done: and there is no respect of persons. [Emphasis added]

SOME EXAMPLES:

1—Devoting time to prayer.

Philippians 4:6

Be careful for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. [Emphasis added]

I Thessalonians 5:17

17 Pray without ceasing. [Emphasis added]

2—Having “honest” (decent) dealings with all people.

I Thessalonians 4:12

12 That ye may walk honestly toward them that are without, and that ye may have lack of nothing. [Emphasis added]

Romans 13:13-14

13 Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying.

14 But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof. [Emphasis added]

3—Being obedient to principles that govern business relationships and those in authority over or under us.

Ephesians 6:5-9

Servants, be obedient to them that are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in singleness of your heart, as unto Christ;

Not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but as the servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart;

With good will doing service, as to the Lord, and not to men:

Knowing that whatsoever good thing any man doeth, the same shall he receive of the Lord, whether he be bond or free.

And, ye masters, do the same things unto them, forbearing threatening: knowing that your Master also is in heaven; neither is there respect of persons with him. [Emphasis added]

Colossians 3:22-25

22 Servants, obey in all things your masters according to the flesh; not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but in singleness of heart, fearing God;

23 And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men;

24 Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ.

25 But he that doeth wrong shall receive for the wrong which he hath done: and there is no respect of persons. [Emphasis added]

Chapter 4:1

1 Masters, give unto your servants that which is just and equal; knowing that ye also have a Master in heaven. [Emphasis added]

4—Being obedient to principles that govern family relations and those in authority over us or under us.

Ephesians 5:22-25

22 Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord.

23 For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body.

24 Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing.

25 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; [Emphasis added]

Colossians 3:16-24

16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.

17 And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.

18 Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as it is fit in the Lord.

19 Husbands, love your wives, and be not bitter against them.

20 Children, obey your parents in all things: for this is well pleasing unto the Lord.

21 Fathers, provoke not your children to anger, lest they be discouraged.

22 Servants, obey in all things your masters according to the flesh; not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but in singleness of heart, fearing God;

23 And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men;

24 Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ. [Emphasis added]

Principle #15:

With reward in mind, good works, that is, applications of God’s word, should be performed by us in every area of life.

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]

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, thoroughly furnished unto all good works. [Emphasis added]

Titus 2:13-14

13 Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ [A reference to the Rapture];

14 Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works. [Emphasis added]

Titus 3:8

This is a faithful saying, and these things I will that thou affirm constantly, that they which have believed in God might be careful to maintain good works. These things are good and profitable unto men. [Emphasis added]

Principle #16:

Our eternal reward will be in direct proportion to our faithfulness to accurately represent Jesus Christ, realizing that man’s greatest need is Jesus Christ. Our primary goal in life should be to cause others to want to be receptive to Him.

Philippians 1:20

20 According to my earnest expectation and my hope, that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but that with all boldness, as always, so now also Christ shall be magnified in my body, whether it be by life, or by death.

Principle #17:

Our main goal should be to please Christ so as to qualify for “the prize” of reward God offers at the Judgment Seat of Christ

Philippians 3:13-14

13 Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before,

14 I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. [Emphasis added]

Principle #18:

As in the achievement of any goal, self-discipline is of primary importance. We much choose to make decisions that run contrary to our own sinful desires and those of the world.

I Corinthians 9:24-27

24 Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain.

25 And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible.

26 I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air:

27 But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway. [Emphasis added]

Principle #19:

As with the apostle Paul, our last thoughts on this earth should be to do with our anticipation, even excitement about receiving the rewards from our Lord that will be due to us.

II Timothy 4:6-8

For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand.

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]

Again, I ask the same questions we started with.

Question: What are you doing with your life today that would cause the Lord your God to want to reward you for it in eternity?

Question: What are you doing with your life today that would cause Him to want to keep you here, serving Him longer?

A final comment:

There will be no equality in heaven. Here on earth, one of the best places to find equality is in a prison. There everyone eats the same thing, wears the same thing, has the same type of room and bed, and get the same amount of time for sleep. Socialism and communism promote equality. In heaven, there will be complete innequalilty. The degree of our blessing in heaven will be proportionate to our faithfulness to our Lord in time. The Lord Jesus Christ will serve as a perfectly righteous judge. The knowledge and realization of this should be highly motivating for all of us.

 

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