Sharon Harris is wife, mother, English teacher, amateur photographer, and gardener.

Will we receive rewards in heaven?

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Question:  Will we receive rewards in heaven?

Answer:  Christians often ask whether the Bible gives any details about rewards in heaven, while they are in the eternal state of life.  The main reason for the question is that people wish to know how to make sure those rewards will be waiting on them, too! 

When we hear of a reward, we assume that it must be earned.  What would you say that you do for God that might qualify you for some heavenly recognition?  You may try to worship weekly, give offering money, help with Vacation Bible School, teach Sunday school, sing in a choir, or serve in the kitchen during church suppers.  You may be surprised to learn that God is interested in the quality, not the quantity of your service.  Future rewards have to do with your motive, your real reason for doing what you do.  He is concerned with where your heart is.  At times, our reason for helping others or for serving in church is to make others think well of us.  It’s a human trait to like recognition from others for the nice things that we do.  Here’s what Jesus said about it:

“Be sure that you do not do your charitable deeds before men to be seen by them. Otherwise, you have no reward from your Father in heaven.  So, when you do a good deed, do not sound a trumpet to attract attention to yourself like the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory from men. Surely, I say to you, they just received their only reward. But when you do kindly to others, do not let your right hand know what the other hand is doing so that your good work may be done in secret. Your Father who sees in secret will Himself reward you openly. “ Matthew 6:1-6

There are awards for other acts, like for enduring hardships, having great faith in God, standing up for the truth of Jesus, and trusting in Him. Only He knows exactly for what and how those benefits will be given.  From the Bible, we know that they certainly will be given to us!

“Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love Him.” James 1:12

The Biblical record has much to say about rewards. Here are several references:

“Blessed are you when people hate you, and criticize you, and call you evil, for my sake. Rejoice on those days and celebrate with joy, for your reward is great in heaven; for in the same ways, their ancestors also persecuted the prophets God sent to them.”  Luke 6:23-24

“I, the Lord, search the heart and test the mind, to give every man according to his ways, according to the results of his deeds.”  Jeremiah 17:10

The scriptures tell us that our basic motive for serving God and other people should always be love!  When we don’t have love as our reason for helping out, the special gifts God has given each of us to use in service are misused and wasted. 

“Now, we see but a dim reflection as in a mirror; then, we shall see face to face. Now, I know in part; then, I shall know fully, even as I am fully known. And now, these three remain: faith, hope, and love, but the greatest of these is love.”  I Corinthians 13:12-13

“Each one’s work will become clear…fire will test each one’s work, of what sort it is. If anyone’s work endures, he will receive a reward. Those whose work did not stand the test will not have those rewards but will still be saved, but only as through fire…”  I Corinthians 3:13-15

“For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Jesus Christ, so that each one may receive what is due for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil.” 2 Corinthians 5:10

“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rest destroy and where thieves break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Matthew 6:19-21

Paul wrote that our salvation, or our place in heaven, never depends on receiving any extra rewards.  We can’t earn our way into heaven by performing acts but just by doing one thing – trusting Jesus!  It’s a free gift from God!  We are always eternally secure when we have asked Jesus to come into our lives and be our ultimate leader and master. Ask Him to show you the best attitude to have in lovingly serving that will make Him proud of you!

“The Lord said to him, well done, good and faithful servant; you have been faithful over a few things, and I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your Lord.” Matthew 25:21

Do you want to be sure that you will be have this joy in heaven with Jesus after you die?

Simply say this to God:

Dear God, I know that I have done so much wrong by my evil thoughts and acts. I am tired of living this way, and I want you to help me go in a new direction in life, towards you. I am very sorry for my wrongdoing; I want to leave all that behind and have you to forgive me. I believe that Jesus is your Son; I believe He died on the cross for my sins, and you raised Him to life again. I want Him to come into my heart right now and take control of my life. I will trust Jesus as my Savior and follow Him as my Lord from this day forward. I realize I can’t overcome my past without you in my life. I will follow you and stay on the right path because you’ll be helping me. Thank you!

In the Name of Jesus I pray, Amen!

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