God's Reward System

        


        There are consequences for our decisions. Then there are rewards concerning our work or service for whomever in our life. Humanity has consequences for deciding to believe in Christ or not. Deciding to believe in Christ's sacrifice for one's life grants eternal life in Heaven with Jesus and fellow believers. Deciding not to believe in Christ's love gift will result in eternal separation from God in the Lake of Fire with all like-minded individuals. However, both locations will have their populations judged according to their works or deeds here on earth.

        Jesus says at least twice, once in Matthew 16:27 and then again in Revelation 22:12 that He is returning soon with rewards. According to the eschatological scholars I have studied, the prophetic mountain peaks still to come are - 

  1. The Rapture, 
  2. The Bema Seat
  3. The Wedding of the Lamb, 
  4. The Tribulation, 
  5. The Second Coming or Glorious Appearing of Christ, 
  6. The Wedding Supper of the Lamb, 
  7. The Millennial Kingdom of Christ, 
  8. The Great White Throne Judgment and 
  9. The New Heavens, New Earth and New Jerusalem.

        The Bema Seat or Judgment Seat of Christ is the testing and purification of The Church's works/deeds by the Holy Spirit after The Rapture. 

"we make it our goal to please him, whether we are at home in the body or away from it. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each of us may receive what is due us for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad." - 2 Corinthians 5:9-10

        This judgment not only rewards believers for their appropriate contribution to Christ but also clothes all believers in His perfect attire - His holy righteousness.

"Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless." - Ephesians 5:25-27

        This presentation of The Bride's Gown is Christ's righteousness manifested as physical, white robes on believers. The robes will be given to be worn after this purification process called The Judgment Seat of Christ or The Bema Seat - "to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless.". Don't worry, the robe will be a perfect fit.

        Paul mentions a special Day is coming when the Holy Spirit, described as fire in many Scriptural passages, will "reveal" and "test" the "quality of each person's work". Paul stresses this in his letter to the believers in Corinth.

"By the grace God has given me, I laid a foundation as a wise builder, and someone else is building on it. But each one should build with care. For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ. If anyone builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw, their work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each person’s work. If what has been built survives, the builder will receive a reward. If it is burned up, the builder will suffer loss but yet will be saved—even though only as one escaping through the flames. - 1 Corinthians 3:10-15

        I do not seek to pass The Bema Seat or Judgment Seat of Christ as "even though only as one escaping through the flames." "The apostle Paul was alerting us to the fact that once the foundation of Jesus Christ is laid in our lives, it is our responsibility to build on top of that foundation. This foundation cannot be improved upon, but what is built on top of it depends on us." - p.220, Renner, Sparkling Gems of the Greek 2

        The Great White Throne Judgment is the testing of works/deeds to merit reward(s) of non-believers after Christ physically reigns a thousand years on this earth. These dead are eternally damned to the Lake of Fire for not choosing Christ as their Savior and not living a Christ-like life, but they are still rewarded.

"Then I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it. The earth and the heavens fled from his presence, and there was no place for them. And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Another book was opened, which is the book of life. The dead were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books. The sea gave up the dead that were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead that were in them, and each person was judged according to what they had done. Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. The lake of fire is the second death. Anyone whose name was not found written in the book of life was thrown into the lake of fire." - Revelation 20:11-15

        A few things believers and those considering Christianity should know about God's Reward System - 

        God does not honor, favor or reward the loud and proud charity givers. Practice charity to the needy privately and you will be rewarded. "Be careful not to practice your righteousness in front of others to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven." - Matthew 6:1

        Reward demands personal sacrifice and is merited for those who are persecuted because of their belief in Christ Jesus. Effort and labor have to be engaged and toward a goal usually in challenging conditions for a reward to be justified. You will not see reward for nothing in God's kingdom and everything is documented. "Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you." - Matthew 5:11-12

"If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that?" -Matthew 5:46

"He regarded disgrace for the sake of Christ as of greater value than the treasures of Egypt, because he was looking ahead to his reward." -Hebrews 11:26

        However small you aide the most youthful of The Kingdom, your reward will not be lost. "And if anyone gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones who is my disciple, truly I tell you, that person will certainly not lose their reward." - Matthew 10:42

        A believer's purpose in the lives of others, be it a planter/waterer/harvester, will be rewarded. "The one who plants and the one who waters have one purpose, and they will each be rewarded according to their own labor." - 1 Corinthians 3:8

        Taking the higher road or better moral decision will result in higher rewards. "But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked." - Luke 6:35

       In this performance-based world, many of us have a job or career and work in a company in order to achieve our goal, outcome, payment or reward. Within God's kingdom, He already paid for your family membership which includes awesome benefits, now all your works/deeds should be out of gratitude or thanksgiving. The writer of Hebrews supports this by saying, 

"without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him." - Hebrews 11:6
 
        If you have the mindset of He died for me, I'll live for Him, then God's favor of rewards naturally follows. I encourage my fellow Christians and those considering the Christian faith, make the right decision, choose Christ Jesus and enter God's Reward System.

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