The Bible states that we will receive a reward according to our works at Christ’s Second Coming!
(Rev 22:12) And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be.
And yet we know that we are not saved by our works but rather by our faith in Christ.
(Eph 2:8) For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
So what are these works that we are to be rewarded for and what is that reward?
There are some places in the word that talks about our receiving something based on our actions. Let’s look at a few of those and see if we can figure it out.
The one that comes to mind first is, of course, the parable of the Talents;
The Parable of the Talents
Mat 25:14 For the kingdom of heaven is as a man travelling into a far country, who called his own servants, and delivered unto them his goods.
Mat 25:15 And unto one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one; to every man according to his several ability; and straightway took his journey.
Mat 25:16 Then he that had received the five talents went and traded with the same, and made them other five talents.
Mat 25:17 And likewise he that had received two, he also gained other two.
Mat 25:18 But he that had received one went and digged in the earth, and hid his lord’s money.
Mat 25:19 After a long time the lord of those servants cometh, and reckoneth with them.
Mat 25:20 And so he that had received five talents came and brought other five talents, saying, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me five talents: behold, I have gained beside them five talents more.
Mat 25:21 His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.
Mat 25:22 He also that had received two talents came and said, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me two talents: behold, I have gained two other talents beside them.
Mat 25:23 His lord said unto him, Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.
Mat 25:24 Then he which had received the one talent came and said, Lord, I knew thee that thou art an hard man, reaping where thou hast not sown, and gathering where thou hast not strawed:
Mat 25:25 And I was afraid, and went and hid thy talent in the earth: lo, there thou hast that is thine.
Mat 25:26 His lord answered and said unto him, Thou wicked and slothful servant, thou knewest that I reap where I sowed not, and gather where I have not strawed:
Mat 25:27 Thou oughtest therefore to have put my money to the exchangers, and then at my coming I should have received mine own with usury.
Mat 25:28 Take therefore the talent from him, and give it unto him which hath ten talents.
Mat 25:29 For unto every one that hath shall be given, and he shall have abundance: but from him that hath not shall be taken away even that which he hath.
Mat 25:30 And cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
Now this is a powerful parable with tremendous potential regarding our Future.
Based on how much we increase the talents/gifts that we were given can determine what authority or ranking that we will have in the Kingdom of God. For here we see that those who improved or strengthened their talents were given rulership over many things. Note when you look at the parable of the Pounds you see that the rulership was dependant on the amount of increase that we each make or earn if you will;
The Parable of the Ten Minas(Pounds)
Luk 19:11 And as they heard these things, he added and spake a parable, because he was nigh to Jerusalem, and because they thought that the kingdom of God should immediately appear.
Luk 19:12 He said therefore, A certain nobleman went into a far country to receive for himself a kingdom, and to return.
Luk 19:13 And he called his ten servants, and delivered them ten pounds, and said unto them, Occupy till I come.
Luk 19:14 But his citizens hated him, and sent a message after him, saying, We will not have this man to reign over us.
Luk 19:15 And it came to pass, that when he was returned, having received the kingdom, then he commanded these servants to be called unto him, to whom he had given the money, that he might know how much every man had gained by trading.
Luk 19:16 Then came the first, saying, Lord, thy pound hath gained ten pounds.
Luk 19:17 And he said unto him, Well, thou good servant: because thou hast been faithful in a very little, have thou authority over ten cities.
Luk 19:18 And the second came, saying, Lord, thy pound hath gained five pounds.
Luk 19:19 And he said likewise to him, Be thou also over five cities.
Luk 19:20 And another came, saying, Lord, behold, here is thy pound, which I have kept laid up in a napkin:
Luk 19:21 For I feared thee, because thou art an austere man: thou takest up that thou layedst not down, and reapest that thou didst not sow.
Luk 19:22 And he saith unto him, Out of thine own mouth will I judge thee, thou wicked servant. Thou knewest that I was an austere man, taking up that I laid not down, and reaping that I did not sow:
Luk 19:23 Wherefore then gavest not thou my money into the bank, that at my coming I might have required mine own with usury?
Luk 19:24 And he said unto them that stood by, Take from him the pound, and give it to him that hath ten pounds.
Luk 19:25 (And they said unto him, Lord, he hath ten pounds.)
Luk 19:26 For I say unto you, That unto every one which hath shall be given; and from him that hath not, even that he hath shall be taken away from him.
Here we see that ten servants were given a pound each but the difference here is that they were given different rewards based on the amount each pound had gained. One gained ten pounds and as a result was given rulership over TEN Cities, while the one who gained 5 pounds was given authority over 5 cities.
So you see that what we receive as a reward in the Kingdom is based on the effort to grow that we put in during this life. Faith in Christ saves us but our rewards once we enter into the kingdom will be based on our works. We will EARN those rewards.
But note that both parables show clearly that even if we have faith/belief, if we do not work at growing and overcoming we might well lose that which we have.
But should we even be concerned about what our works will earn us? Isn’t that a bit selfish? Well, let’s look into that a bit.
Remember the disciples trying to get a higher position in the Kingdom?
The Request of James and John
Mar 10:35 And James and John, the sons of Zebedee, come unto him, saying, Master, we would that thou shouldest do for us whatsoever we shall desire.
Mar 10:36 And he said unto them, What would ye that I should do for you?
Mar 10:37 They said unto him, Grant unto us that we may sit, one on thy right hand, and the other on thy left hand, in thy glory.
Mar 10:38 But Jesus said unto them, Ye know not what ye ask: can ye drink of the cup that I drink of? and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with?
Mar 10:39 And they said unto him, We can. And Jesus said unto them, Ye shall indeed drink of the cup that I drink of; and with the baptism that I am baptized withal shall ye be baptized:
Mar 10:40 But to sit on my right hand and on my left hand is not mine to give; but it shall be given to them for whom it is prepared.
Mar 10:41 And when the ten heard it, they began to be much displeased with James and John.
Mar 10:42 But Jesus called them to him, and saith unto them, Ye know that they which are accounted to rule over the Gentiles exercise lordship over them; and their great ones exercise authority upon them.
Mar 10:43 But so shall it not be among you: but whosoever will be great among you, shall be your minister:
Mar 10:44 And whosoever of you will be the chiefest, shall be servant of all.
Mar 10:45 For even the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.
If you read this passage carefully you will see that Christ was not so much concerned that that wanted a higher position in the Kingdom, it was just that it wasn’t His to give. That was going to be determined by the Father and it would be based on their works. But, He wanted to know if they were willing to do what was needed to gain that position in the Kingdom.
Now the other disciples were upset about it but Christ explained to them that being a ruler in the Kingdom was really about being able to serve the people not about being set up above them as the world does.
We should want to be the best servant possible in the Kingdom so that we can be of better service to Christ and the people.
Look at this scripture that talks about the difference between us as we are resurrected into our Spiritual bodies;
1Co 15:39 All flesh is not the same flesh: but there is one kind of flesh of men, another flesh of beasts, another of fishes, and another of birds.
1Co 15:40 There are also celestial bodies, and bodies terrestrial: but the glory of the celestial is one, and the glory of the terrestrial is another.
1Co 15:41 There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars: for one star differeth from another star in glory.
1Co 15:42 So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption:
1Co 15:43 It is sown in dishonour; it is raised in glory: it is sown in weakness; it is raised in power:
1Co 15:44 It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body.
As we are raised to our Spiritual Bodies each of us will have different celestial glory or power if you will. Some like the Sun others the moon and others like the various stars. Brethren to me this is reflective of each of us having a different level of power/glory as celestial beings. The more power we have the better we can serve. But how do we earn that authority and/or power?
The rewards that Christ brings with him are obviously based on our works but what are those works? Is it keeping the ten commandments? Keeping the Sabbath and the Holy Days? Supporting our groups? No, I say it is much more than just that.
Look at what Christ said to the Laodicean time period of the Church:
To the Church in Laodicea
Rev 3:14 And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God;
Rev 3:15 I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot.
Rev 3:16 So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.
Rev 3:17 Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:
Rev 3:18 I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.
Rev 3:19 As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.
Rev 3:20 Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.
Rev 3:21 To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.
Rev 3:22 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.
Notice that God is displeased with this grouping of His people because they did not think that they needed anything. They were self-satisfied and not changing or overcoming.
(Luk 17:10) So likewise ye, when ye shall have done all those things which are commanded you, say, We are unprofitable servants: we have done that which was our duty to do.
We must go beyond what we have been charged by Christ to do physically. We have to be about changing our lives, becoming more like Christ in the way He acted, thought and even reacted. The word tells us to put on Christ:
(Gal 3:27) For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.
As we reach deep into ourselves to find the hidden sins and root them out, as well identify the lusts of the flesh and the pride of life and armor ourselves against those fleshly desires, we will be doing the works that will increase our rewards.
(2Co 4:2) But have renounced the hidden things of dishonesty, not walking in craftiness, nor handling the word of God deceitfully; but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God.
(1Jn 2:16) For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.
These are the building blocks were we build our rewards in heaven.
The gifts of the Spirit are the tools that we must begin using and building on:
Keep in Step with the Spirit
Gal 5:16 This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.
Gal 5:17 For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.
Gal 5:18 But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law.
Gal 5:19 Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness,
Gal 5:20 Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies,
Gal 5:21 , murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.
Gal 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,
Gal 5:23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.
Gal 5:24 And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.
Gal 5:25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.
Gal 5:26 Let us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one another, envying one another.
Read this whole segment as it shows what we should be building and also what we should get rid of. This is showing clearly the “spiritual” application of the 10 Commandments.
Here is one more segment of God’s word that talks about us adding these gifts to our faith to absolutely ensure our entrance into the Kingdom.
Confirm Your Calling and Election
2Pe 1:3 According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue:
2Pe 1:4 Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.
2Pe 1:5 And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge;
2Pe 1:6 And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness;
2Pe 1:7 And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity.
2Pe 1:8 For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
2Pe 1:9 But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins.
2Pe 1:10 Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall:
This is how we absolutely make our calling and election sure. But there is one more verse to this that adds weight to what I have been saying about earning a larger reward so that we can be better and more profitable servants in the kingdom;
(2Pe 1:11) For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
Do see that bolded section. If we are growing in these things we will be provided with an abundant entrance into the Kingdom. Remember some of us will have more power and authority than others based on our works in this life.
We need to be preparing to be the most “Profitable Servants” we can be in this world and in the world to come.
Remember how Paul talked about “Winning the Race”?
1Co 9:24 Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain.
1Co 9:25 And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible.
1Co 9:26 I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air:
1Co 9:27 But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.
We should be running this race to WIN, not uncertainly but with purpose and commitment. We really should be looking beyond salvation here. We are going to be part of the General Assembly of the Church of the Firstborn in the Kingdom.
Heb_12:23 To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect,
We are not being called to do a lightweight Job here brethren. We will be the rulers with Christ of the Kingdom of God for eternity. There will never be anyone else that is part of the “Church of the Firstborn“. We must be preparing ourselves for the authority and rank that we will need to profitably serve the people of God in the Millennial Kingdom and beyond.
Rev_20:6 Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.