Salvation and Rewards: Part Three
We know that we shall not receive our rewards now, but at some future time... But just when will this time of rewarding be? The Bible gives us the answer to this question.
We are expecting our Lord Jesus Christ to return at any moment. When He comes, all those who died believing in Him will be raised from the dead and given beautiful bodies like the body of the Lord Jesus. At the same time those believers who are still alive, will be changed. Their bodies will be made like that of Lord Jesus, too. (Read 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18, 1 Corinthians 15:51-52, and 1 John 3:2, and show that these truths are to be found in those verses.) It will be then, when the dead in Christ have been raised, and the living changed and caught up into the air to meet the Lord, that God will look at our records to see whether or not we shall deserve a reward. Read Matthew 16:27. Luke 14:13-14 are the words of the Lord Jesus. He told His followers to be kind to the poor and the sick and crippled, and they should be recompensed, or rewarded, when? At the resurrection of the just. And when is it that the just, or the believers in Christ, are raised? It is when Christ comes again. So we can see clearly that the rewards will be given when the Lord Jesus comes. Then the books will be opened, and God will review the history of our lives. The sins have been blotted out, for Jesus died to do that. But the record will show a list of our good—works, or, if we have not been faithful and done the good works that we should, there will be a great blank space. What a sad thing that would be, for that would mean that we would not receive any rewards.
Why does God say He will reward those who are faithful? I think we can guess. Why does a father sometimes offer a reward for a fine report? It is because he is eager to have his child try hard. He wants to encourage them. Just as God is eager to have you try hard to do good works, and wants to encourage you. Of course we ought to do right, just because it is right, and because we know God desires it, but our Heavenly Father knows us very well, and He sees that if He offers us rewards, it will help us and encourage us.
In Matthew 5:11-12 the Lord spoke to those who would have great trials and persecutions. He encouraged them by telling them that their reward for bearing this persecution would be great in Heaven. Read over the promises of rewards and see how each one encourages us to be faithful and earnest in our work for the Lord. (The teacher can make a list of the references from the foregoing lessons, and present them at this time.)
Think about the great rewards that God has promised, and see if it does not help you to be more faithful. Anything that you do well, whether it is your school work, or your work at home, or anything at all, if you do it for Jesus' sake, deserves a reward. Even a cup of cold water given to someone, because you want to please Jesus, will receive a reward in Heaven.
- When will we receive our reward?
- Why is it that God desires to reward us? Do we deserve this?
- Why must we receive new bodies?
- Go and read 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18, 1 Corinthians 15:51-52, and 1 John 3:2 and see what the scriptures teach about our new bodies.
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