The Ultimate Fulfillment
Time is short and eternity is long.
It’s hard to imagine living forever because everything in our world has an expiration date. The milk in your refrigerator has an expiration date; your car registration has an expiration date, and even your body has an expiration date. You may have heard people say, “Nothing lasts forever.” Well, nothing on earth lasts forever.
But there are three things that will last forever: God’s Word, eternity—and you.
Yes, one day your body or “earth suit” will give out and you will slip out of it like a pair of pajamas. The breath of God in you will return to God and you will meet your Maker. Paul said that “to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord” (2 Cor. 5:8).
You will meet the One who created the Milky Way, the majestic Rocky Mountains—and gave His life on the cross for your sins. In that moment, the opportunities you had to make a difference for Christ and fulfill His purposes in the world will be gone, never to be recovered. Your moments will be swallowed up in time.
That may not seem like a big deal because the earth and all its troubles will be a distant memory. After all, if you are a Christian, you will slide into eternity in bliss and nothing that you did on earth will matter in heaven anyway, right? Wrong. If you are in Christ, certainly your sins are forgiven and your punishment has been paid for but everything good you did on the earth will matter in a big way in heaven.
In his book, “A Life God Rewards,” Bruce Wilkinson writes,
“Have you ever sat, eyes glued to the television watching the Olympic awards ceremony with tears streaming down your cheeks? I have. There is something about the scene that pulls at a person’s heart.
Your favorite athlete climbs the steps of the awards platform, her national anthem fills the stadium, her nation’s flag waves in the spotlight. Her years of sweat and self-denial have paid off. She has finished her race. And she has won.
Now, as thousands applaud, an Olympic official drapes a medal around her neck.
One day you and I will have our own rewards ceremony in eternity. The halls of heaven will ring with praise and celebration. Witnesses from every nation and every generation will watch with eager anticipation. Even angels will pause...“
When your time on earth is over, if you are a Christ follower, it will be your turn to stand on the platform to receive your rewards for what you have done on the earth.
2 Corinthians 5:10 says, “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.”
The only investment that matters is what God values
When you were growing up did your parents say, “If you get an A, I’ll give you a dollar”? If so, then you could tell what they valued by what they rewarded. It’s the same way with God. You can tell what He values by what He rewards. And what He rewards are the only investments that really matter.
Here is a list of what God has specifically promised that He would reward us for:
- God will reward you for sharing of your time, talent, and treasure to further His Kingdom (Matthew 6:3-4; 1 Timothy 6:18-19).
- God will reward you for seeking Him through spiritual acts such as fasting and praying (Matthew 6:6, Hebrews 11:6).
- God will reward you for submitting to your employer as a faithful steward (Matthew 24:45-47; Ephesians 6:8, and Colossians 3:22-24)
- God will reward you for self-denial in His service (Matthew 16:24-27)
- God will reward you for serving those in need in His name (Mark 9:41)
- God will reward you for suffering for His name and reputation (Luke 6:22-23)
- God will reward you for sacrifices you make for Him (Luke 6:35; Matthew 19:29)
How can you leverage your skills and passions, and what God has given you to make a difference in eternity? Will you waste the time that you have been given on things that don’t last? Every second is an opportunity to invest your life into what God values and store up for yourself treasures in heaven (Matthew 6:20).
In Bruce Wilkinson’s book, A Life God Rewards, Pastor Charles Stanley is quoted as saying, “The kingdom of God will not be the same for all believers." Let me put it another way. Some believers will have rewards for their earthly faithfulness; others will not. Some will reign with Christ; others will not (See 2 Tim. 2:12). Some will be rich in the kingdom of God; others will be poor (See Luke 12:21, 33). Some will be given true riches; others will not (See Luke 16:11). Some will be given heavenly treasures of their own; others will not (See Luke 16:12).
When your life is over, will you experience ultimate fulfillment from rewards in heaven? Or will you be filled with regret?
The choice is yours.
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