Christian and His Rewards
Revelation 22:12 And behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be.
We all want to be rewarded for things we have done. In all aspects of our lives whether in our job, in the school, in sports etc., most of the time we are motivated because of rewards. The problem is sometimes no matter how hard we try, somebody can do better than us, so the rewards we wanted goes to others. This is the fact of life and the truth that we must accept. Sometimes our hard work will never be appreciated or recognized at all. However, the most important thing is, for all the good things that we have done, big or small, appreciated or not, the Lord who is in heaven knows it and that’s all that matters. He gives rewards sometimes in a way we never expected.
When Germany invaded Poland in 1939, Jewish refugees poured into Lithuania. A large group went to the Japanese Consulate, where they found a sympathetic diplomat named Chiune Sugihara. Against his government’s orders, Sugihara issued exit visas for an estimated 6,000 Jews, writing them by hand almost nonstop for a month until the Soviets closed the embassy. His “reward” was eighteen months in a Soviet prison camp with his family after the war, and dismissal from his post when he returned to Japan. For years he lived in obscurity, feeling disgraced. But in 1985, Sugihara was honored by the Israeli government for his heroic efforts.
I. The Bible tell us that Christians have rewards:
A. Colossians 3:24 Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ.
B. Revelation 22:12 And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be.
C. Salvation is not a reward but a gift
Illustration: A reward for results
After a preacher died and went to heaven, he noticed that a New York cabdriver had been given a higher place than he had. “I don’t understand,” he complained to St. Peter. “I devoted my entire life to my congregation.” “Our policy is to reward results,” explained St. Peter. “Now, what happened , Reverend, whenever you gave a sermon?” The minister admitted that some in the congregation fell asleep. “Exactly,” said St. Peter. “And when people rode in this man’s taxi, they not only stayed awake, they prayed.”
A. The saved will receive rewards not the unsaved
B. Rewards in this life:
1. Material blessings—Mt. 6:33, Ps. 37:25
In my native country Philippines, there is a faithful Pastor who were able to send his son to a medical school. Medical school fees are very expensive and only the people who can really afford can manage to do it. According to his members, because of his great faith to the Lord and his faithfulness in serving Him, the only thing lacking is for the fish to “jump into the pot” so their needs would be met.
2. Long life– Prov. 3:1- 2 – I’ve seen Christians live to see their grandchildren.
3. Peaceful life– Prov. 3:2, Jn. 14:27, Phil. 4:7- Only Christians can live peacefully even in the midst of problems and tribulations. Christ gives us peace which passeth all understanding.
4. We casts our problems to Jesus I Pet. 5:7 – Jesus is with us and will never leave us even how big our problem is.
5. Protection in our employment — Mal 3:11 –
Lorrie Anderson, missionary to the head-shrinking Candoshi Shapra Indians of Peru, was looking for a quiet place for her daily time of Bible reading and prayer, so she went down by the edge of the river. After reading the Bible, she took up her prayer list. Eyes closed, she did not see the deadly anaconda weaving through the water until it struck, burying its fangs into her flesh. It withdrew to strike, hitting her arm again and again as it held her, screaming, in its coils. It reared up for the death blows. Then suddenly the giant snake, never known to release its prey, relaxed its grip and slithered off through the water. While Lorrie was being treated, a witch doctor from a nearby village burst into the hut and stared at her. She couldn’t believe Lorrie had survived. She said her son-in-law, also a witch doctor, had chanted to the spirit of the anaconda that morning and sent it to kill the young missionary. “I’m certain,” Lorrie said, “that except for the protection of God, it would have worked.”
C. Spiritual gifts (1 Cor. 3:12-15) – the Bible mentions the following crowns:
1. Incorruptible Crown – 1 Cor. 9:25- 27- Crowns for runners-not one made of cheap materials but an eternal one. For those who master the old nature
2. Crowns for Soul winners – 1 Thess. 2:9, Prov. 11:30, Dan. 12:3 – the crown of rejoicing (perhaps each convert will be a jewel for that crown. How many jewels will you have in your crown? You ought to have one for each year of your Christian life.
3. Crowns of Righteousness – 2 Tim. 4:8 –crowns for anticipators- everyone ought to win this crown. Each and every one of us should be watching and waiting for the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ.
4. Crowns of Life- Jas. 1:12, Rev. 2:10 – crowns for faithful ones. There seems to be 3 conditions for winning this crown.
1. Enduring temptation, overcoming evil.
2. Loving Him- easy to love Jesus. Rev. 2:10
3. Being faithful unto death, enduring to the end, even to martyrdom
5. Crowns of Glory – 1 Pet. 5:4, 2 Tim. 4:1-2- crowns for true pastors, elders, under shepherds, missionaries, and teachers. To be faithful over the Lord’s heritage and to hear His “well done” is really glorious.
6. Crowns of Gold – Rev. 4:4- crowns for all the redeemed – all the redeemed men have their crowns too.
Illustration: How Many People Will Be In Heaven Because of Us?
Spurgeon commented, “One reason some saints will have a greater fullness of heaven than others will be that they did more for heaven than others. By God’s grace they were enabled to bring more souls there.”
Those words should cause all of us who know the Lord to do some serious thinking. How many people will be in heaven because of us? Our desire should be that when we reach our eternal home, some will say to us, “I’m so thankful for you. It was your testimony, your life, your invitation to accept Christ that accounts for my being here today.” The apostle Paul anticipated the joy in heaven of seeing people who were there as a result of his ministry (1 Thess. 2:19-20).
Yes, heaven’s joys will be the fullest for those who have helped lead others to Christ. So do all you can to bring to Jesus those who are lost in sin. That’s how you can lay up pleasures in heaven!
D. Additional glory for believers — I Cor. 15:58
1. To be with Christ—Jn. 14:3
2. Reign with Christ– II Tim. 2:12
3. Heir of all things—Rom. 8:17
4. Behold his face–I Jn. 3:2
5. Shine as stars—Dan. 12:3
Do not be worn out by the labors which you have undertaken for My sake, and do not let tribulations ever cast you down. Instead, let My promise strengthen and comfort you under every circumstance. I am well able to reward you above all measure and degree. You shall not toil here long nor always be oppressed with griefs. A time will come when all labor and trouble will cease. Labor faithfully in My vineyard; I will be thy recompense. Life everlasting is worth all these conflict, and greater than these. Are not all plentiful labors to be endured for the sake of life eternal? Lift your face therefore to heaven; behold I and all My saints with me—who in this world had great conflicts—are now comforted, now rejoicing, now secure, now at rest, and shall remain with Me everlastingly in the kingdom of My father.
I cannot give illustrations and explanations for each verses but I want you to know the things which we can have if we are in Christ. For those who are already saved, be steadfast. For those who have not received Christ as their personal Saviour yet, don’t delay. Eternal life and eternal rewards awaits you.