[Papercut Press] 2000-11-28 - Rewards

Part 9 - What Actually Happened? The Moment I Trusted Christ

Colossians 3:23,24 Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men; knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance. It is the Lord Christ whom you serve.

We come to the ninth thing which occurs the moment we trust in Christ for salvation.

  1. I became an heir of God (Romans 8:17)

    Several years ago I was involved with a group called Campus Crusade for Christ. One activity I did with them was to join a team showing the Jesus film in Mexico. It was a great experience and my years of involvement in Campus Crusade were foundational to my growth in faith and my passion to see lives changed by the Gospel of salvation.

    While in Mexico we had several sessions with a speaker whose name has long left my memory. The lectures he gave were on the subject of rewards. I have always been bothered by the manner in which he viewed service to Christ and his subsequent hopes of rewards. His basic premise was that his only motivation for service to Christ, was that by serving Christ, his crown would be bigger in heaven. His robe would be whiter. His mansion would be bigger. He was quite plain about it. He was all about rewards.

    Now, it is not a sin to desire rewards. It is at least implied in Hebrews 12:2, that Christ thought about His reward and it was a motivation to Him when we read, " … who for the joy set before Him endured the cross..." It seems that the joy set before Him is most logically heaven. So Christ thought about what would be future and there is no reason why we may not also.

    But it is not proper to have a carnal desire for heavenly rewards. We are not to look upon rewards as mere pleasure or fleshly delights. Such thoughts cheapen the reward and forget that the object to be considered in the reward is not ourselves, but rather Christ. Our happiness is not our final goal. As Christians we live reflective lives and because of the mercy given us in Christ, we seek God's glory above our own.

    However, whatever we may say about rewards, they are promised in Scripture and they are not like the rewards Dionysius promised to musicians who played before him. He promised them great rewards and when they came to collect their reward, he told them they had already had their reward just by having had hopes of a reward. The reward was the pleasant expectation that there would be a reward. However, the promise of Christ is different as He says in Revelation 22:12, "Behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with me, to render to every man according to what he has done." With this in mind, and reflecting on the great mercy we have received through Christ, let us serve the Lord with joy.

Soli Deo Gloria,

[email tim] brutefact@hotmail.com