Encouragement

Rewards for Christian Service in This Present Time

August 8, 2014

Some people will tell you that the Christian has eternal life to look forward to and any rewards that Christ has promised them can only be enjoyed after this life. But did you know that God has not only promised Christians eternal life and rewards in heaven, but that he will also give blessings and rewards in this life as well?

In the following passage, Jesus is very clear in this concept.

And when he was gone forth into the way, there came one running, and kneeled to him, and asked him, Good Master, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life?
And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God.
Thou knowest the commandments, Do not commit adultery, Do not kill, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Defraud not, Honour thy father and mother.
And he answered and said unto him, Master, all these have I observed from my youth.
Then Jesus beholding him loved him, and said unto him, One thing thou lackest: go thy way, sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, take up the cross, and follow me.
And he was sad at that saying, and went away grieved: for he had great possessions.
And Jesus looked round about, and saith unto his disciples, How hardly shall they that have riches enter into the kingdom of God!
And the disciples were astonished at his words. But Jesus answereth again, and saith unto them, Children, how hard is it for them that trust in riches to enter into the kingdom of God!
It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.
And they were astonished out of measure, saying among themselves, Who then can be saved?
And Jesus looking upon them saith, With men it is impossible, but not with God: for with God all things are possible.
Then Peter began to say unto him, Lo, we have left all, and have followed thee.
And Jesus answered and said, Verily I say unto you, There is no man that hath left house, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my sake, and the gospel’s,
But he shall receive an hundredfold now in this time, houses, and brethren, and sisters, and mothers, and children, and lands, with persecutions; and in the world to come eternal life.
Mark 10:17-30

And he said unto them, Verily I say unto you, There is no man that hath left house, or parents, or brethren, or wife, or children, for the kingdom of God’s sake,
Who shall not receive manifold more in this present time, and in the world to come life everlasting.
Luke 18:29-30

Now, in this present time, the Christian will receive blessings, and also in eternity. I once heard a man teach that “all of our blessings come after this life”. Apparently, he hadn’t read this passage. So I confronted him privately after his lesson, and showed him this verse. His reply was that “those are benefits, not blessings”. An interesting choice of semantics, but the bottom line was that he was proud, stubborn, and wouldn’t admit that he was wrong.

The truth is, Christians have an opportunity to receive many blessings, right now, in this life, before they go on to heaven. In Mark 10:30, God promises “an hundredfold”. In Luke 18:30, it’s described as “manifold more”.

But this is a conditional blessing. In other words, it requires something from Christians before they obtain it. The condition is they must commit themselves to do the work of God, and to place it above all else. These passages mention spouses, family members, lands, etc. Believers have to place God’s work above these, and if they do, he says they’ll receive more, in this present time, before they die.

Isn’t that true of Job? He was committed to the Lord. He lost all of his children, his cattle were taken away, and even his wife turned on him. But he still maintained and placed God above it all. And in the end, he received twice as much from the Lord. Not in heaven, but here, on earth.

And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work:
II Corinthians 9:8

For the administration of this service not only supplieth the want of the saints, but is abundant also by many thanksgivings unto God;
II Corinthians 9:12

The word “want” in that verse doesn’t mean what we understand it to mean today. It is talking about a lack, or a deficiency. So basically, if believers have a need, God promises not only to fill the lack, but to go above and beyond. This is what is meant by “abundant”.

Unfortunately, both present day and future blessings are only promised to children of God, to Christians. If you are not a Christian, or aren’t sure if you are or not, but would like to know more, please click here to learn about the message of hope Christ offers.

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