Conditions Granting Rewards
The final chapter of Revelation discusses Jesus’ return to a New Earth to receive His bride and give her gifts. We are His bride and will enjoy the various gifts He will give us.
Specifically, Revelation 22.12 AMP tells us: ”’Behold, I am coming soon, and I shall bring My wages and rewards with Me, to repay and render to each one just what his own actions and his own work merit.’” Notice that I have underlined certain words about which we must be concerned in the following study.
A. Rewards in the New Earth depend upon our works in the Old Earth.
- No, our salvation does not depend upon works but upon our faith in Jesus alone, as He states in John 3.16-18 & 6.47. Paul repeats this reality in Ephesians 2.8-9 and Titus in chapter 3 and verse 5.
- This ‘faith’ is our means of ‘escape’ from the Old Earth, as Paul writes a warning in Galatians 1.4. He repeats this warning, similarly, in Acts 17.22-31.
- But, James reminds us that works illuminate, or give life to, our faith (2.14-26).
- Old Testament writers wrote about our rewards depending upon our works: Job 34.11, Psalm 62.12, and Jeremiah 17.10 & 32.19 for example.
B. Which works?
5. Paul reminds us that we have been saved to produce “good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them” (Ephesians 2.10).
7. Paul warns that not just any works will be rewarded, but only those built upon the foundation laid by Jesus Himself; see 1 Corinthians 3.11-15.
8. Paul, also, writes in 2 Corinthians 5.17-21 that the end result of our works must be the reconciliation of mankind to God. We are to be “salt” and “light” on the Earth, as Jesus preached in Matthew 5.13-16.
9. Our works must be initiated and accomplished by the Holy Spirit in us. Jesus makes this clear in John 16.8-11 & 14.26 (also Mark 13.11; 1 Timothy 4.14; 1 Corinthians 12.1-11). So, Paul writes Romans 8.14.
C. Will our ‘calling’ or ‘purpose’ be included in our works?
10. Is our individual calling part of the “good works” of Ephesians 2.10? Why?
11.The context for our works is our daily life styles. This is inferred by John the Baptist in John 3.27 and in God’s words to Jeremiah in 1.5-10.
12.John the Baptist and Jeremiah illustrate Paul’s writings that Jesus was a Servant because He was in the form of man; see Philippians 2.5-8.
13.Since God birthed each of us with His calling or purpose, it stands to reason that He will call us to account for any results and, then, pay us our ‘wages’ (Revelation 22.12 AMP). “Wages” and “rewards” brings to mind His payment for performance of the description of our work and any bonus for superior performance. Jesus’ Parables of the Talents (Matthew 25.14-30) and Minas (Luke 19.11-27) may illustrate each, respectively.
D. So, we should do our work in the present with the future of rewards in mind, not just wages.
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