OUR REWARDS ARE BOTH TEMPORAL AND ESCHATOLOGICAL

The Christian church is so different; different in our backgrounds, different in our emphases, and so different in our spiritual gifts. Some planted, others watered, but God gave the increase (cf. 1 Cor. 3:6). Neither the planter nor the waterer counts for much, but God is everything in keeping the plants growing. The planter and the waterer are one in aim yet each of us has his reward. Here is a difficult concept for us to talk about in the church. I think the reward here is both temporal and eschatological. What does it mean that we as Christians are going to receive a reward? I don’t want to deny the new testament emphasis on rewards. It is definitely there, but i don’t think we serve the Lord for the reward. I think the rewards are a side effect of God’s loving grace because we serve Him. We don’t do things to win God’s favor, because in Christ we already have all of God’s love. I think temporally speaking, i so enjoy being a Christian, and i receive so many personal benefits – not material things. I don’t have all the things the world says that would make a person happy, but you know in serving Jesus in the best you can with your spiritual gifts faithfully, i sure sleep good at night, and what i do have, i can enjoy and use it with a clear conscience. And there is something about knowing God in this life that gives joy to even the simple things. I think that’s part of the reward for being a Christian, that peace of mind that permeates every aspect of life; that sense of God’s in control that even circumstances can’t take away that peace from you. That’s the temporal blessings for serving God, and whether you’re a preacher, or a lawyer, or a doctor, or a plumber, or a clerk, or a secretary, or a house wife is not the point. Now the other one is the eschatological reward; Jesus said that He went to prepare a place for us and He’s coming back to get us (cf. Jn. 14:3). Paul even talks about that we have a reward, the soul-winners crown, and all those crowns, but i think the verse that means the most to me when i think of eschatological or end-time rewards is the verse that says, “What no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, and what no human mind has conceived” — the things God has prepared for those who love him– (i.e. 1 Cor. 2:9). I don’t think we can ever imagine what it’s going to be like when we see Him face to face, and hear those sweet words of commendation from Him, “Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.” (i.e. Matt. 25:21).