Summary: God has his appointed time for judgment but He also has an appointed time for rewarding. Let me mention a few things about God’s rewarding. I’m not sure we comprehend just how much God speaks of rewards in the Bible.
Heaven and Rewards
God’s Way of Rewarding
Note: many of the thoughts were taken from Randy Alcorn’s book, "In Light of Eternity"
Two men owned farms side by side. One was a bitter atheist, the other a devout Christian. Constantly annoyed at the Christian for his trust in God, the atheist said to him 1 winter, “Let’s plant our crops as usual this spring, each the same number of acres. You pray to your God & I’ll curse him. Then come October, let’s just see who has the bigger crop.”
When October came, the atheist was delighted because his crop was larger. “See, you fool,” he taunted. “What do you have to say for your God now?”
The Christian replied, “My God doesn’t settle all His accounts in October.”
The Lord demonstrates great patience & mercy even towards the ungodly, but a day is coming upon all people, when the announcement from heaven will ring out, “The time has come for judging…and for rewarding” (Rev.11:18). There will be an appointed time for this as 1 Corinthians 4:5 states.
God has his appointed time for judgment but He also has an appointed time for rewarding. Let me mention a few things about God’s rewarding. I’m not sure we comprehend just how much God speaks of rewards in the Bible.
§ God will judge/reward us fairly
Acts 17:31 states, “He has set a day when he will judge the world with justice.”
Jeremiah 17:10 states, “I the Lord search the heart & examine the mind, to reward a man according to his conduct, according to what his deeds deserve.”
The answer to Abraham’s rhetorical question in Genesis 18:25 – “Will not the Judge of all the earth do right?” is clearly “yes.”
There is built into every person, in every society & religion, a basic belief that good deserves reward, evil deserves punishment, & eventually both will get what they deserve. Scripture confirms that God gives all people an inner awareness of His moral law: “The requirements of the law are written on their hearts” (Romans 2:15).
In our day when we see such abuse of justice, in fact injustice by the judges of our land, the Bible declares “He will judge the world w/ justice.”
§ God will judge/reward us with total knowledge
Hebrews 4:13 – And there is no creature hidden from His sight but all things are open and laid bare to the eyes of Him with whom we have to do.
1 Corinthians 4:5 - …the Lord comes who will both bring to light the things hidden in the darkness and disclose the motives of men’s hearts…
Ecclesiastes 12:14 - For God will bring every act to judgment, everything which is hidden, whether it is good or evil.
As someone has said, “There’s no such thing as a private moment.”
We champion in our society the right to privacy. There is no right to privacy w/ God.
Since God’s knowledge is total, therefore his judgment will be comprehensive & detailed. In fact, Matthew 12:36 states, “But I tell you that every careless word that people speak, they shall give an accounting for it in the day of judgment.”
§ God will judge/reward us with complete understanding
God knows our innermost intentions & will judge us in light of them.
1 Corinthians 4:5 - …the Lord…will…disclose the motives of men’s hearts…
With this as in introduction let’s look at the topic of rewards. God promises to grant you, His faithful child, rewards in light of many different things:
§ God will reward generously
Jesus promised a return of “hundred times.” "And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or fields for my sake will receive a hundred times as much and will inherit eternal life" (Matthew 19:29; Mk.10:30).
This is essentially a promise of infinite return, a return far out of proportion to the amount originally invested.
In our society today people are always looking for a deal like this – where their return is out of proportion to their investment. Scams abound promising this sort of thing. Our junk e-mail folder receives numerous solicitations for this sort of thing. 99.9% of them are scams but when Jesus promises a 100 fold return it cannot be a scam because He is holy & truthful. He cannot lie. And so Christians ought to be scampering after an investment like this. We certainly due concerning earthly gain; should we not even more for heavenly gain!
§ God rewards what we do, not what we believe.
For the Son of Man will come in the glory of His Father with His angels, and then He will reward each according to his works. (Matthew 16:27 NKJV)
"God will give to each person according to what he has done." (Romans 2:6)