Not totally sure if this is the right subforum for this...
I hear from time to time, in sermons and in videos, people talking about how actions we take here can result in rewards being given (or not given) in Heaven.
Most often, it seems to be used as a way to get people to do works. Yes, I get that we should do works, but to me it's like people have this thought process of "wow, I can't tell people they have to do works in order to gain salvation, what else can I use?"
It's on my mind now and then because it does come up, and to me it seems superfluous. Sewing faith yields works, that I understand, but ... let's be honest. When the alternative is eternity in the lake of fire, is there anyone here that would be the least bit upset to find themselves having to spend eternity with God but somehow labeled as a homeless person on the streets of gold?
neural I understand what you’re asking and I really don’t know if there will be rewards. But I do know that Jesus told the thief on the cross “today you will be with me in paradise”. He didn’t have time for anything but faith - he was seen as righteous because of the blood of Christ. We are seen as righteous for the same reason - faith plus nothing. The cross worked! That’s reward enough for me. And I don’t think we’ll be homeless. 😊
Theif "Remember me when you come into your kingdom"
Jseus (to Roman guards casting lots for His clothing) "Hey guys..guys! yeah, you, could you go grab a bucket of water and throw it on this guy here?"
Roman guards laugh and go back to casting lots.
Jesus: "Sorry bro, you gotta get baptized. "
Or maybe it went like this:
Thief: "Remember me when you come into your kingdom."
Jesus: "Hey, you there! could you guys put the dice down for a minute and take the nails out of this guys hands and feet so he can go spread the gospel?"
Thief: "Remember me when you come into your kingdom."
Jesus: "I'll see what I can do, but you'll need to repeat My prayer 10 times, with 10 hail Mary's, and.. hey, did those guards just auction off your Rosary? Bummer."
(no, I'm not mocking the purveyors of works based salvation.. I'm applying their belief system to what I consider the most important "conversion to Christianity" in history, it just so happens that it exposes the silliness of it all.)
Some people want to meet Noah when they get to heaven. Others want to meet Paul. Me? When I've met God Himself, and find the opportunity to seek out people, I want to meet that thief.
I really enjoy the articles Greg Lauer publishes every month, and this one on the Bema seat is no exception. I absolutely believe we will be rewarded in the Millenial Kingdom, and I believe we will also have regrets as to how much we didn’t do. It’s not until “the new heaven and the new earth” that we don’t remember the old anymore.
I used to struggle with this idea of working for reward, but a little book by John Piper called “The Dangerous Duty of Delight” really helped me to see that God wired us to work for reward and also commanded us to “build up treasure for ourselves in heaven”. Praise God that the cross was enough and nothing else is needed! But I do think we are commanded to invest the gift we’ve been given. The foolish servant was condemned for burying his talent instead of investing it for more.
We each have talents to invest while the master is away, and he who is faithful over little will be given much.
I won't go into it in detail, but satan used the parable of talents for a long time to try and convince me that Salvation could be lost, so it kind of sets me off when brought up in that regard.
In the perspective of eternity, the idea that there is any sort of merit or such seems to become inconsequential.
If we assume there is some form of reward that can *only* be obtained while here on this fallen Earth, then are we to assume that there are, therefore, different social classes in eternity? The haves and have-nots repeated forever? I hope not, but even still, a beggar on the streets of gold is going to have fellowship with the Creator. The beggar will live in the eternal light of God. This is likely no small amount more pleasurable than the lake of fire.
If I sound grouchy, it's because I'm weary. I have believed for a long time, but my struggle over the past 15 years or so regrading salvation has made me very tired, and I am at a point in my life where the "reward in heaven" issue finds me irritable.
I'm not scoffing, nor am I trying to brush off the issue as nonsense. I just get annoyed when "pastors" and others bring up the issue of rewards as a way to push people into a works based mindset.
I will openly admit that it is incredibly selfish of me, but there is one primary reward I am after: Eternity in heaven. This is not to say that I only believe in God for "fire insurance". I believe in God and in His Son for many other reasons. If for some reason I stand in front of the Great White Throne 1000years in the future, I will not be there because I am an atheist, that is for sure, nor will I try, if it is even possible, to make some claim against the judgement, but I won't be there because I was a "fire insurance" believer.
Anyway, it's unlikely the full details will be known until we're there and not here, but I definitely am not going to enter the Kingdom expecting anything other than a shaded golden floored back alley corner to sleep in.
(side note: I had a point, honestly, but wherever it is, it didn't get to my fingertips from my brain).
but I definitely am not going to enter the Kingdom expecting anything other than a shaded golden floored back alley corner to sleep in.
neural if you get there first save a spot near you for me
Back when I was a new believer I'd say things like "i dont care if I end up in a cardboard box on the street, as long as I'm there". I understand things a lot more now than I did then.
We are to receive crowns when rewarded. All of which get cast back at His feet as He alone is worthy. The idea of rewards is of little consequence to me. We are commanded to be faithful to Him and even when we are not, He is towards us. To me that reward is quite sufficient.
May I say I love your use of humor -- earlier .... thanks it gave me a chuckle this morning....
Paul uses the phrase -- "crowns" -- which we end up casting down at the feet of Jesus.
He also mentions that our "works" will be tested by fire and some will be burned up while others will endure through the fire .... does that mean we will have sort of reward or "brownie points" for having something go through the fire? Not really sure cause we are told in other places in scripture that the only fruits produced in our life's -- will be those that were produced by the Holy Spirit as we follow His promptings in our ever day life.
I really doubt there will be a "caste" system in heaven -- but if there is that "little alley" you and mike talk about will be several miles long/wide --- (see post about the size of New Jerusalem) -- I do not think anyone is going to be "hurting" there....
Dear neural , I am really sorry I brought up something the enemy has used against you. I didn't realize. I know what a horrible, big fat liar he is and how awful it is when he uses God's word against us. Please forgive me if I poured salt in a wound.
If it helps any, I think part of what we will be rewarded for is our heart toward him and understanding His sufficiency and not our own. Constantly crying out, "Have mercy on me, a sinner!". Man looks at the outward actions, but God looks at the heart. Here is an excerpt from the article above:
"For example, some of the crowns mentioned in Scripture are awarded to those who maintain a certain state, such as living in expectation of the Rapture or striving to crucify the flesh and living a life characterized by holiness."
Since all of our deeds are filthy rags before him, the conclusion I have come to, for what it's worth, is that TRYING to do things for Him, and then failing repeatedly, gives us a better understanding of how worthy He is and how desperately we need a Savior. It helps us to see the depths of our sin and unworthiness. I think that is what will be rewarded: how much did we depend on Him for whatever measly work we might be able to do here? Did I overcome yelling at my kids? (At least once?) It's only by His grace. Did I stop eating more than I should? It's only by His grace. Did I ask Him to help me fight for joy when I feel like all hope is gone? It's only by His grace. I think those who are given more responsibility in the Millenium will be those who understand His sufficiency the most thoroughly, and I think this understanding comes through trying to invest what we have been given and thereby realizing how much we need Him.
For you will not delight in sacrifice, or I would give it; you will not be pleased with a burnt offering. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise. Psalm 51:16-17
I think the heart that says, "Lord, I just want to be with you and I am hopeless on my own" is EXACTLY the kind of thing that will be rewarded.
Post by barbiosheepgirl on Mar 20, 2018 8:54:52 GMT -6
Blessed is he who comes to Christ on his death bed.
The longer we lives this life in the flesh the more chance for there to be a struggle, against the principalities that deceive. Believing in Jesus does not keep you from walking apart from Him, there is an obligation to that relationship.
With each struggle we either practice Faith which leads to righteousness or we are deceived with some idol of work, element of the flesh. A believers' work is to practice the things which pleases God. He and ONLY HE can tell you what that is. It's called Hearing God. Doing that alone please Him. And it is done so when we seek Him in everything, especially in His Word (the Bible), but He is capable of using anything to get our attention.
Has anyone ever idolized a person for his expertise in knowing end times prophecy? Are each one of us "watchers" listening to Him or to men's interpretation? The pharisees and scribes were practiced in knowing the words of the Lord, but they still failed to recognize Him. They were full of the knowledge of the Law, judging instead of loving, working the deeds instead of doing this: worshiping, honoring, humbling themselves before Him. Practicing the things of God is not a 'work' but an honor to Him.
12So then, brethren, we are under obligation, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh— 13for if you are living according to the flesh, you must die; but if by the Spirit you are putting to death the deeds of the body, you will live. 14For all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God.
See the active present and future tense of this writing? It in not a one shop one stop deal with Jesus. This Spirit by which we are being led, that's how we Hear Him. And when we walk In Him, then we can hear Him, and work appropriately. We begin to know what pleases Him.
Do not be deceived, All, that watching is what pleases God especially if it is watching thru the filter of men of stature, men who seem to have the approval of the masses. Has any of us given HIM a chance to tell us what He Thinks about His future Coming?
For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ, 1 Thes 5:9 KJV
witness1 Thank you, and I didn't take it personally. Really love what you wrote here about failing repeatedly. There is wisdom in there. I was struggling last night with trying to fully comprehend what it means that Jesus forgave us of *all* our sins, including all future sins. It is not something that God condones at all (see Romans 7), but when someone accepts Christ, and gains eternity, it matters now what they do from there on out in regards to salvation. If they truly believe and are saved, they could "fall away" and it would not affect their salvation, because Jesus has forgiven them for anything they have done, or will do. Including the whole Prodigal Son scenario. They fall away and go live in the world, knowing they are sinning and enjoying every minute of it, yet they are still forgiven. That is a difficult thing to grasp, but then, it is also difficult for many to understand that Jesus have died for the sins of EVERYONE. Not just those who believe in Him. All 7.5billion people on earth right now live under grace, and are forgiven. Salvation is not about being forgiven, it's about accepting that Jesus is/was the only one who's sacrifice is sufficient to give such grace. So yes, when we try and fail, it is a reminder of grace.
I have tons of prayer requests, but one little one would be that I can remember what witness1 said in this regard here. That means a ton to me, and if I can commit it to memory, that would be good.
I will absolutely be praying for you. That the enemy will not be able to get a foothold and that the Lord will wash over you with truth. What a gift that He is faithful when we are faithless!
With regards to rewards and the "caste system", I think we may misunderstand "rewards". I don't think it is just going to be in the form of mansions or clothing or jewels, although that could be part of it... I don't know. I certainly don't see it as the "haves and have nots" though.
These last several months have gotten me to thinking: "Lord, forgive me for not being more excited about the end of this age. There are certainly some things I'm ready to be done with: my sin, pain, suffering, etc. But there are some things I am really enjoying: the Bible study I recently started, the homeopathic medicine I'm learning about, the new conviction you gave me to spread the Gospel. I'm not ready for those things to end." And the message that I've received is that these good things are just beginning. There is work to do in the Millennial Kingdom. There are souls to lead to the throne, to keep them from falling away at the end of the 1000 years when Satan is loosed. I see the "rewards" we will receive to be enhanced opportunities to do this good work (without our sin to get in the way!!!). Serving Christ is the greatest reward there is. I think those who will have the most opportunity are those who love the Master the most, and those who love Him the most are those who realize how much they have been forgiven.
47Therefore I tell you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven—for she loved much. But he who is forgiven little, loves little.”
Last Edit: Mar 20, 2018 9:54:16 GMT -6 by witness1
If they truly believe and are saved, they could "fall away" and it would not affect their salvation, because Jesus has forgiven them for anything they have done, or will do. Including the whole Prodigal Son scenario. They fall away and go live in the world, knowing they are sinning and enjoying every minute of it, yet they are still forgiven.
I am not proud of it. Looking back at that time of my life and even prior to that when I was "walking" the walk, I see God's presence in my life along the way teaching me and molding me into a better person than I was.
In my early years of being saved I judged everyone by their works (evidence of salvation). What really struck me in my return to faith was that I had to deal with my own hypocrisy towards that mentality. Problem was that though I knew I wasnt worthy and felt I had to earn my way back into His grace, He was far greater and merciful to me. He showed me how He forgave Israel (in the OT) time after time after time after time. They turned away to idols, lusts and anything but Him and every single time He took them back. Now that was never without consequence but He did not refuse them. Then it was like the proverbial light bulb and I was free of the bondage I was taught.
My story is quite deeper than that but I thought to share that small snippet as it seems appropriate to the dialogue at this point
John 13:35 By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.
"Scripture teaches that for the believer God's justice has already been fully and forever satisfied at the Cross in relation to the believer's sins. If God were to punish the believer judicially for his sins for which Christ has already rendered payment, He would be requiring two payments for sin and would therefore be unjust. Such a concept (punishment for sin) erroneously disparages the all-sufficiency of Christ's death on the cross." (emphasis in original)
— Samuel Hoyt "The Judgment Seat of Christ in Theological Perspective" (Part 2) Bibliotheca Sacra
So then is it wrong to seek rewards? Say for example I decide to give money to the church, does it matter if the thought crosses my mind that if I give money I be rewarded, or is it more important that I gave the money? Not that I will ever deserve a heavenly reward. I will prob be sleeping in the alley way near some of the rest of yall on this post.
EnochWalked: www.pnas.org/content/early/2020/07/21/2002655117 "yields for wheat grown in indoor vertical farms under optimized growing conditions would be several hundred times higher than yields in the field". Farming would be weird if this became popular.
Aug 3, 2020 20:09:42 GMT -6
yardstick: Re: PNAS article: “A quart of wheat for a denarius, and three quarts of barley for a denarius, and do not waste the oil and wine.” Rev 6:6
Aug 3, 2020 22:12:48 GMT -6
yardstick: from the article: "...However, given the high energy costs for artificial lighting and capital costs, it is unlikely to be economically competitive with current market prices."
Aug 3, 2020 22:13:27 GMT -6
boymaker: Any thoughts about Hurricane Isaias/Isaiah?
Aug 4, 2020 0:21:20 GMT -6
Anon: Matthew 16:25 KJV 25For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it. I was thinking how applicable this will be during the time of tribulation.
Aug 4, 2020 15:17:35 GMT -6
EnochWalked: I'm hearing the explosive material was mostly ammonium nitrate (fertilizer?). "The chemicals were there for years found in an abandoned ship in the sea next to the port." Apparently the government was warned 6 months ago but didn't heed the warnings.
Aug 4, 2020 15:25:20 GMT -6
yardstick: not a nuke, but definitely a very large bomb. nuke clouds and shockwave dont disburse that quickly, plus there would be an EMP to knock out phone vid/electronics. not to mention the peeps taking vid would be dead from radiation
Aug 4, 2020 20:15:20 GMT -6
EnochWalked: "The explosion occurred three days before a U.N.-backed court is due to deliver a verdict in the trial of four suspects from ... Hezbollah over a 2005 bombing ... Hariri was killed by a huge truck bomb on the same waterfront". Weird timing.
Aug 4, 2020 21:59:53 GMT -6