Archive | November, 2008

Living a Life that God Rewards

3 Nov

Paper by Jonathan Doctor, Ph.D.

 

 

Revelations 22:12 “And behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to give to every one according to his work.

 

 

Every Christian should want to live a life that God rewards. We are bought with a price and we do not live for ourselves but for God. We are to follow Jesus with a whole heart  and be committed to His Plan for our lives.

 

 Every little choice we make can make an Eternal difference. Every good deed we do, every seed we sow will produce a harvest, some of the harvest we will enjoy on this earth, but most of it we will enjoy in Eternity.

 

 

Revelations 20:13b And they were judged, each one according to his works.

 

 

It is by Grace that we have been saved, not by our works but our works will make an Eternal Impact and we will reap what we sow. Our God is a God of the Payback, in fact one of His Names is Jehovah Gmolah, the God Who pays back.  He also introduced Himself to Abram as “Thy Exceeding Great Reward” and we know that “vengance is Mine, says the Lord, I will Repay”.

 

 

There is no question that God is a Just God and He will repay those who do evil as well as those who do good.

 

 

Matthew 16:27 “For the Son of Man will come in the glory of His Father with His angels, and then He will reward each according to his works.

 

 

There will be a Judgment Day someday and we all will be accountable to God as to what we did on the earth. The first question is “Have You accepted My Son Jesus Christ?” and the next important question would be “ did You serve Me?” or “What did You do with all that I gave you?”

 

 

Some will hear “Well Done, Good and Faithful Servant, enter into the joy of the Lord.” While others will hear “You wicked and lazy servant, depart from me..”

 

The choice is ours. Everything we do here on the earth is linked to what will happen in eternity. I am not talking about Salvation by works but rewards by works.

 

 

II Corin. 5:10-11 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad. 11 Knowing, therefore, the of the Lord, we persuade men;

 

This judgment seat is in heaven. Only Christians will be there. We, as Christians, will be judged on what we have done in this life as Christians. This is not a judgment to determine whether or not we enter heaven, but will determine degrees of rewards in heaven.

 

We all shall have to give a solemn account of ourselves before the judgment seat of Christ. The Greek word for this judgment seat is “BEMA.” It is a judgment for which each may receive “rewards” for the things done “in or through our body” while on earth. Some believe this judgment will happen at the rapture before the marriage supper of the Lamb.

 

The “Judgment Seat” of Christ is actually a “Reward Seat” The word here used for Judgment is a Greek word used for “rewards”. You see the wicked will not be at the Judgment Seat of Christ because this is a Reward ceremony for those who gave their lives to Christ and served Him with their works, time and talents.

 

This Greek word Bema for Judgment here is referring to good rewards for those who have attained them. It also speaks of rewards of bad things we have done as Christians. In verse 11 it is written that in knowing this we should have a holy fear of the Lord and persuade men.

 

 

This Judgment is for only Christians, and all Christians will be there. The Lord is going to judge our works and motives. Why we did the things we did, why we said the things we said and what we did or did not do for the Lord in Service to Him. This Judgment will not be over our Salvation, for that is secure as we “continue in His Word” and remain His Disciples; Everyone will see your works be judged by the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords.  

 

 

This brings the thought; What are you doing for the Lord? Are the works you are doing going to be burned away like wood, hay and stubble or are your works going to be like  Gold, silver and precious stones?

 

 

We as Christians have become New Creations In Christ and we have been Born Again, we are now ministers of Reconciliation telling the world the Good News of what God did at the Cross to reconcile them to God. We carry the Good News as Ambassedors to this dying world, we are the ones that God has Committed His Word of Reconciliation.

 

 

The word committed in these verses means to put in  and leave responsible. God has put the word of reconciliation in us and holds us responsible to share it. The word reconciliation  means to be restored back to God’s favor. That my friend is Good News!

Why can’t we share Great News like that? Souls are hanging in the balance for this Good News.

 

Daniel 12:1-3

Every one who is found written in the book.2 And many of those who sleep in the

dust of the earth shall awake, Some to everlasting life, Some to shame and

everlasting contempt. 3 Those who are wise shall shine Like the brightness of the

firmament, And those who turn many to righteousness Like the stars forever and ever.

 

Those who have rejected Christ will rise to the Great White Throne Judgment and they will be rewarded for their wickedness. Their wicked works will be rewarded.

  

Romans 14:10 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 So then each of us shall give account of himself to God.

 

 

Paul is talking to Christians, he is not speaking to sinners. Paul is telling them that Christians should not judge each other. We are accountable to God for our conduct. In our daily walk with God we should be doing that which pleases Him.

This is interesting that while we are in this lower state, in this mortal body, we will be “judged” for “heavenly rewards.” Yet we are not saved by works, but by the grace of God! Paul is speaking to the church at Corinth how they “should build on the foundation of Christ.”

 

1 Corinthians 3:13-15—each one’s work will become clear; for the Day will declare it, because it will be revealed by fire; and the fire will test each one’s work, of what sort it is. If anyone’s work which he has built on it endures, he will receive a reward. If anyone’s work is burned, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire.

 

1 Corinthians 3:12-13, Amplified—But if anyone builds upon the Foundation, whether it be with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, The work of each [one] will become [plainly, openly] known (shown for what it is); for the day [of Christ] will disclose and declare it, because it will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test and critically appraise the character and worth of the work each person has done.

 

The gold, silver, and precious stones, could stand the fire; but the wood, hay, and stubble, will be consumed. There is some controversy over “what is wood, hay, and stubble.”

 

Here is an example;

 

”If we have preached the necessity of incorporating the law with the Gospel, or proclaimed as a doctrine of God any thing which did not proceed from heaven, we shall suffer loss-all his time and effort will be found to be uselessly employed and spent. Some refer the “loss to the work, not to the man”; and understand the passage thus: If any man’s work be burned, IT shall suffer loss-much shall be taken away from it; nothing shall he left but the measure of truth and uprightness which it may have contained.”

 

So here is our “basic challenge”—Once the foundation of Jesus is laid, we must begin building with gold, silver, precious stones, those things which will survive the “trial of fire.” To survive the trial of fire our works have to be in line with God’s Word—both the written Word and the Word spoken by the Spirit to our heart. These “works” have to come from our “heart.” In Matthew 25 we have the parable of the talents, two people brought forth “good works”, one did not.

 

If our works on this earth bring forth an increase for the “kingdom of God” in the earth, the reward will be an eternal one. Again, what we do in this natural body, as a Christian, will determine “rewards” in heaven!

 

If a person does not accept Jesus as Lord and Savior during this lifetime that person is already sentenced to eternal separation from God.  

 

As Christians, we must live a Life that God rewards, we must not live to please ourselves but to Please Him Who Died for us. We must change our values, motives and priorities in  order to live for the rewards to come.

 

 

Matthew 25:21 “His lord said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant; you were faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.’

 

 

In this age in Christianity, we have the same problems humans had thousands of years  ago. Expect for the iPod’s and Computerized toys of technology man has the same basic needs and problems as when Jesus said these words. One of the biggest broblem in Christianity is selfishness and a self serving attitude. 

 

In the last days as well as in every day people will be “lovers of themselves” with no love  or care for others. For Jesus to even have the audacity to tell the rich young ruler to give away all this prize possessions and follow Him was a problem for the rich young ruler.

 

When Jesus tells us to deny ourselves and pick up our cross people run to the next church.

 

 Self sacrifice is entry level Christianity. Jesus said to those who desire to be great in the Kingdom of God that they must be a servant of “all”. When Jesus hands out rewards He  will not say “well done good and famous superstar” no He will say “Well Done Good and Faithful Servant.”

 

 

Matthew 19:21 Jesus said to him, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell what you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow  Me.”

 

Especially in the 21st century, the thought of being a servant is like being the scum of the

earth. Nobody is taught in the State University on “how to be a servant of all” I mean it should be taught because it is the way to the top baby, and its all about success and  winning and gimmy gimmy gimmy, my name is Jimmy and I’ll take what you Gimmy.

 

 

Jesus taught that the way up is down, He taught the humble will be exalted and those who  

exalt themselves will be humbled. It seems that the 21st century human is becoming a ego

without a conscience, but I am believing that you who are reading this is not one of them.

 

 

In order for us to be the greatest in Heaven is to have pure, humble motives, and be that servant. Be willing to make a self sacrifice for Christ and the Gospel, be willing to serve  another person no mater if they can reward you or not.

 

 

Matthew 19:26 “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

 

 

Jesus offers good wages for Eternity to come as well as for the here and now. Mark says  it this way:

 

 

Mark 10:29-30 So Jesus answered and said, “Assuredly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife or  children or lands, for My sake and the gospel’s, 30 “who shall not receive a  

hundredfold now in this time—houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands, with persecutions—and in the age to come, eternal life.

 

 

Although many times we will receive a reward and blessing in the here and now. If Jesus promises it than we can expect it, The Lord takes pleasure in prospering His servants (psalms 35). But there are times, many times that we will not see our reward until  Eternity.

 

 

Luke 14:12-14 Then He also said to him who invited Him, “When you give a dinner or a supper, do not ask your friends, your brothers, your relatives, nor rich neighbors, lest they also invite you back, and you be repaid. 13 “But when you  give a feast, invite the poor, the ed, the lame, the blind. 14 “And you will be

blessed, because they cannot repay you; for you shall be repaid at the resurrection of the just.

 

 

We cannot withhold service based upon if we will be recognized for it in the here and now or not. We have a sure reward in heaven and we must be faithful as a servant to all.

 

Luke 6:22-23 Blessed are you when men you, And when they exclude you, And revile you, and cast out your name as evil, For the Son of Man’s sake. 23 Rejoice in that

day and leap for joy! For indeed your reward is great in heaven,

 

 

Matthew 20:8 “So when evening had come, the owner of the vineyard said to his steward, ‘Call the laborers and give them their wages….

 

 

If man rewards you or not, know for sure that when Jesus comes He will reward you.

 

 

Mark 9:41 “For whoever gives you a cup of water to drink in My name, because you belong to Christ, assuredly, I say to you, he will by no means lose his reward.

 

 

You will not lose your reward for your labors of love in His Name. God is a Just God and He will make Sure you get what you deserve.

 

 

Matthew 6:6, “But you, when you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly

 

 

Stay faithful in your praying, your giving of time and finances. Stay faithful, Your Prayers, fastings, Tithes and offerings, volunteering your time and talents go a long way  and will bring great rewards, some here and now but most importantly in Eternity. God will Reward You Openly with the Blessing that you deserve.

 

 

Matthew 6:19-21 Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; 20 “but lay up for yourselves

treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

 

  

A life God Rewards is a desire of mine. I have changed, by the Grace of God and will continue to change my life and prioritize it to what really matters. I want to spend my  days serving God for what He has done for me through Jesus Christ. I willingly lay down my life, deny my fleshly, sefish desires in order to be what God wants me to be. I pick up my cross daily and follow Jesus, I hope you do to become a “servant of all”.

 

 

 

The Word of God also reveals to us that there will be evil rewards to those who continue  in their sin and living a selfish life.

 

 

Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is , but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord

 

 

There is a payday someday and if we do not get rewarded immediately on this earth we know for sure that we will get rewarded in the great “Day” to come. The Bible says that  “God is not mocked, whatever a man soweth, shall he reap”. God is not going to let our  works (good or bad) be without a reward.

 

 

Matthew 23:14 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you devour widows’ houses, and for a pretense make long prayers. Therefore you will receive greater condemnation.

 

 

For those who refuse to repent and continue in their hipocrasy they will receive a “greater condemnation” which means a big bad reward.   

 

 

Romans 2:5-10 But in accordance with your hardness and your impenitent heart you are treasuring up for yourself wrath in the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God, 6 who “will render to each one according to his deeds” :  7

eternal life to those who by patient continuance in doing good seek for glory, honor, and immortality; 8 but to those who are self-seeking and do not obey the  truth, but obey unrighteousness—indignation and wrath, 9 tribulation and anguish, on every soul of man who does evil, of the Jew first and also of the Greek; 10 but

glory, honor, and peace to everyone who works what is good, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.

 

 

God is a Righteous Judge and a Righteous Judge makes sure that every person gets their Just reward that is due. Notice in verse 8 that those who are self seeking and do not obey  the Truth (the Word) will reap and get a reward of God’s Wrath and indignation. 

 

 

 

Revelations 20:11-13 Then I saw a great white throne and Him who 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 , small and great, standing before God, and

books were opened. And another book was opened, which is the Book of Life.  

And the were judged according to their works, by the things which were written in the books. 13 The sea gave up the who were in it, and and  

Hades delivered up the who were in them. And they were judged, each one according to his works.

 

 

 

Romans 6:23 declare that the wages (rewards) of sin is , but the gift of God is  Eternal Life in Christ Jesus. Every person on this earth will have to give an account to God for what he did on this earth. Every sin must be rewarded with . Either you must pay the price or you could accept Christ as your substitutionary sacrifice, Who died on the cross to pay for your debt.

 

 

Christ paid a debt that He did not owe, You have a Debt that you cannot pay. The  rewards of sin is – eternal separation from God Who is Life. Christ took our place at the cross in order to give us justification with the Judge in the High Courts of Heaven.

 

 

Justice is satisfies at the cross but you must accept the offer. Romans 6:23 also says that   “but the Gift of God is Eternal Life in Christ Jesus”. God offers you a Free Gift, but like any free gift you must accept it, it is not yours until you accept it and say “thank you”.

 

 

Repentance is defined as a change of mind, a change of heart, a turning away from sin, and selfishness and a turning to God and living a life that pleases Him.

  

 

I Corinthians 3:11-15 For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12 Now if anyone builds on this foundation with gold,  silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, 13 each one’s work will become clear;

for the Day will declare it, because it will be revealed by fire; and the fire will test each one’s work, of what sort it is. 14 If anyone’s work which he has built on it  

endures, he will receive a reward. 15 If anyone’s work is burned, he will suffer  

loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire.

 

 

I want you to see that there is no other foundation that one can lay other than Jesus Christ. We cannot find salvation in any other than through Jesus Christ. On the “Day”  that our works will be tested by fire we will see it be revealed by fire which works were  of a gold, silver or precious stone standard. Our works will either stand the test or be burned up like wood, hay or straw. Each ones work, every ministry, every church, every  word, every deed will be tested. Our motives will be tested, why we did what we did and it will be revealed.

 

 

This scripture also reveals to us that we as Christians will not be burned up but our vain  works will. If our works do not stand the test than we will suffer loss, not loss of salvation but of a reward that we could have gained if our works stood the test of Holy Fire.

 

In closing I hope that I have stirred you up to good works for our Savior. I call the little book of Titus in the New Testament the “book of good works” because in it the writer  admonishes us to do good works. I leave you with a few:

 

Titus 1:16 They profess to know God, but in works they deny Him, being abominable, disobedient, and disqualified for every good work.

 

Titus 2:6-7   Likewise, exhort the young men to be sober-minded, 7 in all things

showing yourself to be a pattern of good works;…

 

 

 

Titus 2:14    Christ  who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every  

lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people, zealous for good works.

 

 

 

Titus 3:8 This is a faithful saying, and these things I want you to affirm constantly, that those who have believed in God should be careful to maintain good works. These things are good and profitable to men.

 

 

 

Titus 3:14 And let our people also learn to maintain good works, to meet urgent needs, that they may not be unfruitful

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