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Summary: God promises us rewards in heaven based on how we live for Him now. This is the third sermon on Eternity. John Bevere’s book, Driven by Eternity was used for this sermon.

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For Heaven’s Sake!!!

(Eternal Rewards)

Sermon Series: Driven By Eternity

Sunday September 23rd 2007

Intro: Last week I did my best to describe and excite you about what Heaven is like. How many here are really looking forward to Heaven? Do you want to know how you can make Heaven even more wonderful? God has more in store for you than just entrance into heaven.

He actually WANTS to ADD to blessing for Eternity. He will Reward you for every sacrifice, good work, faithfulness and prayer. Everything you have given up for His Name’s Sake will be multiplied back to you in Heaven.

A major theme in Scripture: God will reward or punish according to a person’s good or evil deeds.

In the final few verses of the Bible, Jesus again reminds us:

Revelation 22:12-13 "Behold, I am coming soon! My reward is with me, and I will give to everyone according to what he has done. 13I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End.”

BEHOLD: I want you to consider carefully what I am about to tell you, if you grasp this concept, it will revolutionize your life.

Let’s assume we will all live to be 100 years old, we will spend 25 years growing, learning and training for the next 50 years of work. During those 50 years we work, buy and save for retirement. Let’s say that we retire at the age of 75 and spend the last 25 years of life in the blissful retirement years. Right? That means for 50% of our lives worked and prepared for the last 25% of our lives. That’s considered wise investing: Sacrificing now in order to invest so that you can provide for a better life later.

That’s earth math; but what about Heaven math? Is it any different?

Any finite number divided by, or compared to, infinity equals zero.

• 80 years / infinity (eternity) = 0

• 100 years / infinity (eternity) = 0

• Even if you lived to 150 before dying; your life on earth is zero compared to eternity.

Your life span on earth isn’t even a blip on the screen eternity.

However,

I. Your NOW determines your FOREVER

a. Your Salvation depends on your reaction to Jesus Christ.

You have heard this hundreds of times.

Ephesians 2:8-10 “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9not by works, so that no one can boast. 10For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

b. Your Rewards in Heaven depend on your works on Earth.

Milburn Cockrell, “Salvation depends upon Christ’s work for us, while rewards depend upon our works for Christ.”

c. God will separate all of humanity into two (and only two) distinct groups: Those who have accepted Jesus Christ and those who haven’t.

d. Everyone in those two groups will stand before God to be judged.

1 Corinthians 5:10 “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive what is due him for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad.”

i. Those who rejected Christ will be judged to determine the severity of their punishment (We’ll cover this subject in detail next week)

ii. Those who accepted Christ will be judged as to their eternal rewards.

This is the reason as you read Jesus’ parables; sometimes they seem to contradict each other:

• Like in Matthew 20 / The Parable of the Workers in the Vineyard / He paid each of them the same regardless of how long they worked.

• However, in Matthew 25 / The Parable of the Talents / They are given various rewards.

The Vineyard workers all accepted the job but performed various amounts of work, yet receiving the same pay. (This teaches about Salvation / The amount of work isn’t a factor / Only that they accepted the job)

The Parable of the Talents shows how three men are given various amounts of money, they each produce various results and they receive various outcomes. (One man disregards the Master and receives eternal punishment / the two others receive eternal life – but various rewards)

John Bevere writes, “There are numerous individuals in church unaware that they will give an account of what they’ve done in their short stay on earth. Many have the erroneous idea that all future judgment is eradicated by their salvation. Indeed, Jesus’ blood cleanses us from the sins that would have kept us from the Kingdom; however, it does not exempt us from the judgment of how we conducted ourselves as believers, whether good of bad.

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