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Summary: The rubric that our Lord Jesus will use at His judgment seat to determine our rewards can be divided into three categories: positive, negative, and special.

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The Rubric for Rewards: What Is Jesus Looking For?

(Matthew 25:14-30)

1. What is a rubric? The word has quite a few different definitions, actually. You might look it up. Webster lists the definition I am using as the fourth: “a guide listing specific criteria for grading or scoring academic papers, projects…”

We can even develop a rubric for what we think will make us happy in heaven.

2. An elderly pastor who loved to golf found himself wondering whether there were any golf courses in Heaven. He even began to ask the question in his prayers. One day, in answer to his prayers, he received a direct answer from on high. ? ?

"Yes," said an angel, "There are many excellent golf courses in Heaven. The greens are always in first class condition, the weather is always perfect and you always get to play with the very nicest people." ? ?

"Oh, thank you," said the cleric, "That really is marvelous news." ? ?

"Yes, isn't it?" replied the messenger, "And, by the way, we've schedule you to be part of a golfing foursome next Saturday."

3. Another rubric people use to make themselves feel grown up is living on their own. One blogger writes, “Today, after living with my mom for years to save money I finally moved into my first condo. The day after I made my first mortgage payment the sewage system back up and leaked into my bedroom from outside, ruining the carpets and the walls. I have to move back in with my mom until it’s fixed.”

4. I Timothy 3 describes the rubric used for evaluating candidates for elder/deacon.

Main Idea: The rubric that our Lord Jesus will use at His judgment seat to determine our rewards can be divided into three categories: positive, negative, and special.

I. The Lord Will Consider the POSITIVES When He Determines Our Rewards (Matthew 6:3-6).

A. Accepting ostracism and INSULT because we follow Jesus (Proverbs 25:21-22, Luke 6:22-23).

B. How we use MONEY (Luke 16:10-11).

C. Our HOSPITALITY ethic (Matthew 10:40-41).

D. Basic spiritual PRACTICES

1. GIVING (Matthew 6:3-4)

2. PRAYING (Matthew 6:6)

3. FASTING (Matthew 6:17-18)

4. Reading and doing the WORD (Psalm 19:11)

“Moreover, by them is your servant warned; in keeping them there is great reward.”

E. What we VOLUNTARILY do for the Lord (I Corinthians 9:17)

“For if I do this of my own will, I have a reward, but if not of my own will, I am still entrusted with a stewardship.”

F. Our work/service ETHIC (Colossians 3:22-24)

G. How MERCIFUL and gracious we are to others (Luke 6:35-36)

Luke 6:35-36, “5 But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return, and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, for he is kind to the ungrateful and the evil. 36 Be merciful, even as your Father is merciful.”

H. EVANGELIZING, discipling, and mentoring others (I Thessalonians 2:19)

I. Maintaining WATCHFULNESS for Jesus’ Return (2 Timothy 4:7-8)

J. Keeping our integrity in the midst of trials and SUFFERING (I Peter 1:7)

K. These is just PART of God’s rubric.

[note: Erwin Lutzer’s book, Your Eternal Reward, was especially for this point, esp. pp. 87-99]

Some of you get job reviews. Although some things are measurable and stand a good evaluation, more often than not, they are not helpful and a token exercise.

God will be able to evaluate with more than impressions or a random sampling.

II. The Lord Will Consider the NEGATIVES When Determining Our Losses (Revelation 3:11).

Rewards = Positives - Negatives

• A little bad can do great damage, while a little good not much good; negatives have 10X impact as positives; not sure that this is true at judgment seat

A. Aiding and Abetting FALSE doctrine

2 John 7-8, “ For many deceivers have gone out into the world, those who do not confess the coming of Jesus Christ in the flesh. Such a one is the deceiver and the antichrist. Watch yourselves, so that you may not lose what we have worked for, but may win a full reward.”

• On a bus in Chicago with fellow Moody students — PCW…. Cult member

B. Misuse of our physical BODIES (I Corinthians 9:19-20, 27)

“Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body…But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified.”

C. Spiritual LAZINESS: we can lose rewards because of unfaithfulness and apathy (Matthew 25:28-29, Revelation 2:5).

D. It is great to start the Christian life well, but important to FINISH well, too (Revelation 3:11).

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