Misconceptions About Heavenly Rewards (Part 3 of 6)
By Nathan Jones
Why don’t Christians really want to talk about their heavenly rewards?
Each mid-July our ministry sponsors a Bible conference that is held in the Dallas, Texas area. In 2017, our conference’s theme was “Living with Hope in the End Times.” One of the powerful presentations made at that conference concerned what the Bible has to say about the rewards Jesus will hand out when we stand before His judgment seat. The presentation was made by Glenn Meredith, the pastor of the Brookhaven Church in McKinney, Texas. An excerpt of Pastor Meredith’s eye-opening teaching on heavenly rewards is presented below, or watch it on our television program, Christ in Prophecy.
Glenn Meredith: I find that believers in Christ don’t really want to talk about heavenly rewards. I’m really amazed, quite frankly, when I talk to believers about heavenly rewards, with some of the reactions that I get. I cannot tell you how many times I will see someone do something that is sweet, or thoughtful, or kind for someone, and I will say something like “The Lord is going to reward you for that.” And, the person responds with a, “Oh, no, no, no! I’m not doing this for a reward. I don’t want any reward.” It is like they perform a double backflip to get away, denying there will be any heavenly rewards waiting for them.
Why is that? I think it is a misunderstanding of something that they believe the Bible teaches, but that it doesn’t teach. The Lord promises us over and over again in His Word that we are going to be rewarded for those good works which we have done, but so many believers think that if they are motivated by rewards, they will lose the reward. They think God promised rewards so we would be motivated to serve Him, but if by chance we are motivated by those rewards, we will then lose them.
Now, where do they get that misconception? Likely from Matthew 6:1-4 where Jesus taught:
“Be careful not to practice your righteousness in front of others to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in Heaven.
So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be done in secret. So then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.
And when you pray, don’t be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. But when you pray, go into your room, close the door, pray to your Father who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.”
So many Christians read that and think that if they work for the purpose of earning a heavenly reward, that somehow they will lose that reward. But, what Jesus was teaching is that we don’t work for the praise of men. In fact, you are supposed to work for the praise of Jesus.
We are supposed to be motivated for the day when we stand before the Lord and hear our wonderful Savior say, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant.” That would have to be the most beautiful words that you could ever hear in your entire life. For Jesus Christ to look at and sum up your life, having examined it thoroughly, and then say, “Good job! Well done, good and faithful servant. Enter into the joy of the Lord prepared for you before the foundations of the world.” What a great day that will be!
In the fourth segment of this series on heavenly rewards, Pastor Meredith will explain the second misconception people have about eternal awards.