“He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: he which is filthy, let him be filthy still; and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still. And, behold, I come quickly: and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be” – (Rev.22:11,12).
When the Lord Jesus returns it will be ‘reward time.’ Our righteous judge and Savior will reward “every man” according to their works, their actions, practices and course of life. He will reward “every” man, both the good and the evil, the saint and the sinner. Usually we hear only of rewarding the good but not the evil, but our Lord will give to “every man” according as his work shall be. The definition of reward is – (something that is given in return for good or evil done, or received).
Jesus said the same thing in (Mt.16:27) “For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works.” At His second coming the Lord Jesus has individual rewards that He bestows personally – “My reward is with me.” No saint or sinner has been rewarded finally for his life works yet. We await the Righteous Judge who only can reward justly. I’m preaching on the doctrine of eternal rewards.
The reward does not mean salvation. Salvation is a free gift from Christ, not of our works, but by God’s grace. But then we are rewarded for our works performed after we’re saved. Heaven and hell are rewards for the saved and the lost. “The righteous shall rejoice when he seeth the vengeance… So that a man shall say, Verily there is a reward for the righteous: verily he is a God that judgeth in the earth” – (Ps.58:10,11). Again – “Only with thine eyes shalt thou behold and see the reward of the wicked” – (Ps.91:8). Every born again Christian is rewarded with heaven and eternal life and everyone not saved is rewarded with hell and eternal death. But there are degrees of blessing in heaven and degrees of punishment in hell. Even earthly judges give different rewards to the wicked. The man who stole $500.00 is not punished the same as a serial killer, although both go to prison. One may go to a minimum security prison and one to a maximum security prison. One is punished with hard labor and not the other. The wisdom of Christ will reward each saint and sinner according to his works.
While salvation is a gift, there are rewards given for faithfulness in the Christian’s life after he’s saved. Rewards become one of the great motives of his newborn life – or should. Of course we should serve the Lord out of love. The more you love Christ, the more you will serve Him and the more rewards you will receive. But the fact remains that the Bible promises all of us rewards. God gives us salvation by faith and He gives us rewards for good works by faith also. The decision to serve Christ after we’re born again and the diligence employed in doing so, are our responsibility and our contribution and God sees that as rewardable. Surely the 90% Christian will receive greater rewards than the 10% Christian. “…Which also beareth fruit, and bringeth forth, some an hundred fold, some sixty, some thirty” – (Mt.13:33).
When you labor for the Lord everyone does not get the same pay. You get paid and rewarded by piece work, the more you work, the more you get – “The laborer is worthy of his reward” – (I Tim.5:18). Again – “And every man shall receive his own reward according to his own labour” – (I Cor.3:8). Run for the prize of eternal rewards. “Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompense of reward” – (Heb.10:35).
The Lord Jesus taught about rewards 13 times in Matthew alone. The first time is a “great” reward for being persecuted for righteousness sake. The reward is God’s blessing. “Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceedingly glad: for great is your reward in heaven…” – (Mt.5:10-12). He tells us of a reward for praying in secret and not in public to be heard of men and not God - (Mt.6:5,6). A reward for loving your enemies – (Mt.5:43-46). A reward for doing your alms in secret and not sounding a trumpet before you – (Mt.6:1-4). A reward for fasting in secret and not for worldly glory to be seen of men – (Mt.6:16-18). A reward for receiving a prophet or a righteous man – (Mt.10:40,41). A reward for even giving a cup of water to someone – (Mt.10:42). Every good work done in Christ’s name and not for public show or self-glory, will be rewarded. And the “great” reward for suffering persecution and of course martyrdom for Christ. We will soon have many saints that will receive the “great” reward of persecution and martyrdom when they are killed because they refuse to worship the Beast and receive his mark – 666. And all who take part in the persecution and murder of God’s saints will receive their just rewards.
It is written in (I Cor.3:12-15) “Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; Every man’s work shall be made manifest: 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. If any man’s work abide which he hath built there upon, he shall receive a reward. If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.” God will evaluate the quality of every true believer’s work whether it is good or bad – acceptable and thus worthy of rewards, or unacceptable, to be rejected and unworthy of rewards. The acceptable works that he or she has done is portrayed by the symbols of gold, silver, and precious stones, that which is valuable and can stand the test of fire without being consumed. The unacceptable works are portrayed in the symbols of wood, hay, and stubble. All sinful deeds, thoughts, and motives, as well as all good deeds done in the energy of the flesh will be consumed like wood, hay, and stubble before a fire because they are unworthy of reward. “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” – (2 Cor.5:10).
I work as a school custodian and my pay check is my reward for my good work. But two custodians were fired, one for stealing and one for being lazy and speaking filthy words. They received their rewards for bad work – amen. Yes – “The laborer is worthy of his reward” – (I Tim.5:18). There are heavenly rewards and hell rewards for our works done during our lifetime. There’s a payday coming for everyone.
Paul was helped by the brothers and sisters in the Lord and he said – “For ye had compassion of me in my bonds, and took joyfully the spoiling of your goods, knowing in yourselves that ye have in heaven a better and an enduring substance. Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompense of reward” – (Heb.10:34-35). A born again Christian must look beyond this earthly life to the rewards that await him in heaven. Rewards are to motivate us to continue on being a good witness with our talk and with our Christian walk. “Therefore, ye beloved brethren, be ye steadfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, for as much as ye know that your labor is not in vain in the Lord” – (I Cor.15:58).
Make sure you’re saved and born again and have the reward of paradise in heaven with our Savior. The two thieves that died on crosses on either side of Jesus, show us the rewards of evil in this life. Both were thieves and both were crucified. But one thief got saved on the cross and was rewarded with heaven and the other was rewarded with hell. “And one of the malefactors which were hanged railed on him, saying, If thou be the Christ, save thyself and us. But the other answering rebuked him, saying, Dost not thou fear God, seeing thou art in the same condemnation? And we indeed justly: for we receive the due reward of our deeds: but this man hath done nothing amiss. And he said unto Jesus, Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom: And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, To day shalt thou be with me in paradise” – (Luke 23:39-43).
The repentant, believing thief was condemned to death on the cross but was not condemned to hell – “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life” – (Jn.5:24). Most everyone on planet earth has been a thief at some time in their life and if they die without being saved they will be justly rewarded by Christ with eternal death in the lake of fire. At Christ’s second coming, He will come as a thief in the night and catch the unsaved in their sins when they don’t expect Him and they will receive their evil and just rewards. “And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be.”
If you’re never been born again of the Holy Spirit and become a new creature in Christ, call upon the Lord Jesus today. Repent of your sins and believe on the Lord Jesus in your heart by faith and you will receive forgiveness of sins and be born again. God loves you and He gave His only begotten Son to die on the cross for your sins – the Just for the unjust. O do not spurn this gift of God’s grace and love in His beloved Son. There is no other salvation from your sins and hell. “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved” – (Heb.4:12). His very name JESUS, that was chosen by his Father, means Savior. Call upon the Lord Jesus to save you with a repentant heart. And when you are born again, work for the Lord.
Keep your eyes on ‘reward time’.
Keep your eyes on the eternal not the temporal.
Pastor Mike Storti
5000 N. LaCholla-
Would love to hear from you!