Rewards in Heaven


One of the things I feel I have picked up from the Holy Spirit is that it will really be "worth your while" to fully surrender your entire life over to God the Father and go with His call on your life rather than you deciding what you are going to do with your life. The reason for this is that there will be some incredible rewards being given out in heaven for those who are willing to do good works for the Lord while living down here on this earth.

Good works will not get us into heaven, as the Bible specifically tells us that we can only be saved by grace through our faith in Jesus Christ. But being willing to do good works for the Lord will bring us certain types of rewards as you will see in the Scripture verses I will list in this article.

As I have said numerous times in many of our other articles, each Christian must make a big personal decision as to how they will live their life on this earth. You can either choose to fully surrender your entire life over to God the Father and let Him decide what you are going to be when you grow up, or you can decide to run your own life, with you making all of your own decisions as to what you’re going to be, who you are going to marry and how you are going to live this life.

Most Christians take the latter approach. They don’t ask God what their vocations or jobs should be in this life. They don’t ask God who they should marry. They don’t ask God what their real goals and aspirations should be in this life. In fact, the only time they really approach God is when they get in some kind of trouble and they then need some type of miracle from God to get them bailed out of a bad situation.

Most people don’t really like to be told what to do, how to do it or how to get to where they are going. They want the pride and challenge of trying to do everything on their own without any of God’s help or guidance.

We have another article in our site titled "The Full Surrender" that God wants from each one of us. The Bible tells us exactly how God wants us to live this earthly life - and that is under a complete and full surrender to God the Father.

Only God knows what is best for you on all matters - you do not! Only God’s knowledge and wisdom is perfect in all matters - yours is not! Only God knows what you will be best at in this life - you do not! Only God knows who your true soul mate should be in this life - you do not!

And not only does God have full knowledge on all of the above for your life, but He is the only One who can safely guide you to reach the goals that He has set up for you to seek after in this life. And the only way to get God’s perfect protection and perfect guidance in your life is to fully surrender your entire life over to Him and let Him place you in His perfect will for your life.

However, there is one small catch to really being able to make a full surrender to God the Father. We live in the most blessed country in the entire world. There are many smart and intelligent Christians.

As I said in my article on the Unjust Steward in the Miscellaneous Section of our site, when many Christians are faced with what the Bible says about making a full and complete surrender of their entire lives over to God the Father, they really have a hard time in doing it. They are afraid if they fully surrender everything over to God, that they will lose their one and only chance to make it big in this lifetime. They are afraid that God may call them to do a job that may pay only pennies.

To those of you whose hands this article may fall into, and to everyone else who may question the most important decision that they will ever make in this lifetime other than receiving God’s gift of eternal salvation through His Son Jesus Christ, this article, I hope, will try and convince you as to why you should fully surrender your entire life over to God the Father.

Per what I feel the Holy Spirit has conveyed to me - it will really be "worth your while" to fully surrender your entire life over to God.

Why? Because the Bible says that God will be "rewarding each person" for the work that he has done for Him while living down here on this earth! And when God gives out His personal rewards, you can bet your bottom dollar that these rewards will end up being bigger and better than any rewards that you could have made on your own, doing your own thing and calling all of your own shots.

There is one major thing that all Christians really need to grab a hold of and that is this:

This life is for just a very short period of time compared to the eternal time frame that is operating in heaven. Heaven is for eternity - our earthly life is not! The time we will spend in heaven, and then eventually the new heaven and new earth, will be for the rest of our eternal lives - forever and ever. This earthly life is not even a blink of an eye compared to the eternal time frame that is operating in heaven.

So ask yourself, do you want to call all of your own shots and do what you want to do in this life - all for earthly wealth that will completely perish and pass away the second you die and cross over? Or do you want to go with God's perfect will for your life, accomplish the missions and goals that He will want you to accomplish for Him in this life, and then receive your full and final just rewards that will last forever once you enter into heaven?

What does your natural common sense and intelligence tell you which would be the best option? Jesus Himself said that what does it profit a man to gain all the wealth of this world, but then lose his own soul in the process of acquiring all of that wealth.

Jesus says that not everyone who calls Him "Lord, Lord" will be entering into the kingdom of heaven - but only those who are willing to do the "will" of God the Father!
Many Christians are not really aware of some of the verses in the Bible that are talking about God really rewarding His people for the good works they can do for Him while living down here. I’ll go ahead and give you some of these key verses in this article.

The Bible also says that crowns will be given to some of His people for different levels of service. And when the Bible says that crowns will be given, I believe this is literal interpretation - and that crowns will really be given by God for special types of service.

I also believe that God can reward you with some incredible blessings while you are still down here on this earth. However, the rewards I will be keying on are the rewards that you will be receiving when you enter into heaven. These are the rewards that will really matter. These are the rewards that will last you for the rest of your eternal life. A lot of what God can reward you with down here on this earth are still perishable rewards. You can’t take some of these blessings with you when you die and cross over.

Another key insight I feel that the Holy Spirit has given to me about God the Father is that is He is a God of maximum intensity. Everything about Him, His ways and His personality is all maximum intensity. His love for all of us is maximum intensity. His goodness, His mercy, His compassion, His understanding are all maximum intensity.

If there is one revelation you will come away with after reading about God the Father in the Old Testament - is that He is God of maximum intensity! All of the emotions within God the Father are of maximum intensity.

So if everything about God the Father is of maximum intensity, then it is only logical to conclude that any reward that you will be receiving from Him when you enter into heaven will be of "maximum intensity." These rewards will completely surpass any rewards, blessings or earthly wealth that you can get down here on this earth. There will be no comparison!

This is why it will really be "worth your while" to fully surrender your entire life over to God while you still have a chance. Let Him make the calls on what He wants to do with your life with the rest of the allotted time you still have left. It is never too late - at any age - to completely turn your life over to God the Father and let Him do what He wants with it with whatever time you still have left.

Remember the story of Moses. Moses was 80 years old when God called him out of the desert to rescue His people from the Egyptians. Look at the exciting and adventuresome life that Moses had in God over the last 40 years of his life. It is never too late to fully surrender your entire life over to God the Father to see what He can still do with it.

Now I will give you some very interesting verses from the Bible that will specifically talk about these rewards and crowns.

Rewards

1.  This first verse will tell us that every single one of us - no exceptions - will have to appear before the judgment seat of Jesus Christ to be judged for everything that we have ever done down here on this earth. Here it is:

"For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things DONE IN THE BODY, according to what He has done, whether good or bad." (2 Corinthians 5:10)

Most Christians do not fully realize the seriousness of this verse - that we are all going to have to give an account to Jesus for everything that we have ever done down here on this earth - all of the good with all of the bad.

2.  This next verse will tell us that our rewards from God will be according to our labors that we have done for Him while living down here on this earth. Here it is:

"... and each one will receive His own reward ACCORDING TO HIS OWN LABOR." (1 Corinthians 3:8)

This verse is telling us that the rewards given to us by God will be totally dependent on what we accomplish for Him while living down here on this earth.

My interpretation on this verse is that the greater and better our labor and work is for the Lord in this life, the greater our rewards will be in heaven. I believe there will be a direct correlation between the two - greater service will be leading to greater rewards.

3.  This next verse will tell us that Jesus will be bringing His rewards with Him - and that He will be rewarding every person according to the work he or she has done for Him while living down here on this earth. Here it is:

"And behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to give to everyone ACCORDING TO HIS WORK." (Revelation 22:12)

Again, not only is a heavenly reward being implied, but this heavenly reward will be based upon our earthly works.

Please note however that you cannot get to heaven based upon good works. The gift of eternal salvation is a free gift from God and is something that has to be accepted by faith. However, once you are saved, God expects you to do something with what time you still have left on this earth. He expects you to come and work for Him.

How well you work for God and what you accomplish for Him while down here on this earth is where the good works will be coming in. The gift of eternal salvation gets you into heaven, but good works will be getting you the bigger and better rewards once you enter into heaven. This is why the Bible says that "faith without WORKS is dead."

4.  Here is another verse basically stating the same thing, even though the word rewards is not actually mentioned.

"... I am He who searches the minds and hearts. And I will give to each one of you ACCORDING TO YOUR WORKS." (Revelation 2:23)

Jesus obviously has something to give to every believer once they enter into heaven. I believe this passage is implying that rewards will be given, and that these rewards will be based upon the good works you did for God while down here on this earth.

5.  This next verse tells us that God will be rewarding some of His own a hundredfold for having to leave family and friends in order to go to work for Him. This verse would definitely apply to all of the people who go off to the mission fields to other countries - leaving a lot of their families, friends and comfortable surroundings for their calls in God.

This verse tells us that these people will not only receive a hundredfold blessing in this life - but also in the age to come - which obviously refers to the next life they will have up in heaven. And when God says that these people will be receiving a hundredfold type blessing - you know we are talking about a major blessing, since He is a God of maximum intensity and a rewarder of those who will diligently seek after Him and serve Him. Here it is:

So Jesus answered them and said, "Assuredly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or brother or sisters or father or mother or wife or children or land, for My sake and the gospel’s, who shall not receive a HUNDREDFOLD now in this time ... and in the age to come, eternal life." (Mark 10:29-30)

All of the above verses are definitely telling us that God will be giving out some kind of rewards for any good works that are done for Him while living down here on this earth. However, the Bible does not tell us exactly what these rewards are going to be. I believe God is not telling us what these rewards are going to be in His Word because He wants to surprise us.

But if you take the fact that we are dealing with a God of maximum intensity and a God who will reward those who will diligently seek after Him - then my conclusion is that these rewards are probably going to be some really big intense rewards, and probably beyond anything that our imaginations can even begin to try and conjure up.

So the final conclusion would have to be:

That it really will be "worth your while" to fully surrender your entire life over to God the Father, let Him place you in His perfect will for your life - and then do the best job you can on whatever He calls you to do for Him on a daily basis with whatever time you still have left down here on this earth.

Do all of this, and I believe that when you enter into heaven, you will be appropriately rewarded beyond your wildest dreams!

Crowns

The Bible specifically talks about 5 different crowns that will be given to some of God’s people when they enter into heaven. If you look closely at what these crowns are going to be for - they will be for work that is done for God that is beyond the normal scope of what the average Christian may attempt to do. This is for work that goes far, above and beyond what the average Christian may actually strive for.

Just like trophies, rings and plaques are given to sports heroes or winning teams in sports, God apparently is going to be doing the same thing in heaven. He will be giving out certain types of crowns for the people who were willing to go that extra mile, who were willing to give that extra special effort in whatever God had called them to do. These crowns will be a special reward that will be rewarding excellence and maximum effort.

These crowns will also be incorruptible and will last for all of eternity. They will be a special mark and a special token given by our Lord to honor and reward all of those who have faithfully served Him in this life - way above and beyond what the average Christian would have considered doing for Him. Now here are the five specific crowns mentioned in the Bible.

1. The Crown of Righteousness

This crown will be given to those who have lived a good and righteous for God while living down here on this earth.

I believe there are two definitions of the word righteousness in the Bible. The first definition is that we have now all been made righteous before God the Father as a result of Jesus dying on the cross for all of our sins. The righteousness of Jesus has now been imputed to us.

However, the second definition of the word righteousness refers to us living a good and righteous life for God the Father with what time we still have left down here. There are Christians who are righteous before God the Father as a result of being saved through the blood of Jesus Christ - but they are not living righteous lives in their actions, words and behaviors.

They are out committing adultery, scamming people through their jobs, abusing their spouses and children, doing drugs and abusing alcohol. These people may be saved in God’s eyes, but God is not too happy with the way they are living their lives. We all know Christians who are like this.

No one is perfect. We all have our character flaws, weaknesses, and certain temptations that we have a hard time in dealing with. God is not looking for total God-perfection.

The Bible says that all men have sinned and have fallen way short of the glory of our God. But what God does want from each one of us is at least some kind of concerted effort to try and live our lives "right." To stay out of the heavier sins like adultery, stealing, cheating, and the abuse of alcohol or drugs. This is what is meant in Scripture in trying to live a righteous life. In other words - just do the right thing as best as you can and as often as you can.

We all know right from wrong! God just wants each one of us to choose to do the right thing when faced with certain temptations or choices to do something bad.

We also all know Christians who are "righteous" down to the very cores of their personalities. These are the people who never have anything bad to say about anyone else. They hardly ever lose their tempers, they are totally selfless and they would give you the shirt off their backs if they had to. We refer to them as being "saints, angels or angelic." The world refers to them as "goody two shoes." The world has always made fun of these types of people.

They never joined the crowds in high school or college in trying out drugs or the abuse of alcohol because it just never felt "right" to them. They were willing to be laughed at and ridiculed by others for not joining in with the rest of the crowd. They have always stayed true to themselves and to their convictions and would never go against their basic sense of right versus wrong.

These are the people you will be seeing wearing "crowns of righteousness" in heaven. These are the people that God is going to be rewarding big-time when they get into heaven because of the godly and righteous lives they have lived down here on this earth.

These types of righteous people just make the world we live in that much of a better place to live and work in because they are just so pleasant to be around and work with.

For those of you who may think being righteous is too corny and not being cool - just remember what the Bible has to say about this issue, and how highly God the Father really values this quality in His people! And when it is all finally said and done, these types of Christians will probably be receiving some of the greatest and biggest rewards that God can hand out once they enter into heaven. These people will end up having the last laugh on all of those who have made fun of them in this lifetime for always wanting to do the right thing.

The Bible says that many of the first will be last once we all enter into heaven and receive our final rewards from God based upon the earthly works we did for Him.

To live a righteous life for God will really be worth your while, as you will definitely be given this crown by God Himself once you enter into heaven and who knows what else from His bag of goodies! Here is the verse. This is the apostle Paul talking:

"I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Finally, there is laid up for me the CROWN OF RIGHTEOUSNESS, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing." (2 Timothy 4:7-8)

I believe this verse is literal interpretation - that the crown of righteousness Paul is talking about is real, and that it will be given to those who will be deserving of it.

2. The Incorruptible Crown

Bible scholars feel this next verse implies that some will be given what could be considered a "victor’s crown." And this crown is called incorruptible. The New King James Version calls it an "imperishable" crown - the Original King James Version calls it an "incorruptible" crown. Either way, it will be a crown that will last for eternity.

The subtitle of this passage in the New King James Version is called "Striving for a Crown." The apostle Paul goes on to state that those who run in any kind of a race, all run with the goal of obtaining some kind of prize. He then goes on to state that those who run a race in order to win the prize are temperate in all things. In other words, there is a lot they have to give up in order to be in proper condition to run that race.

Professional athletes are a good example. They have to go through training camp to get ready for the season. They have to watch their diets and weight in order to be able to successfully compete in the sport they are in. They have to give up a lot of their social life in order to stay in good shape. In other words, they do not live normal lives like the rest of us do. They sometimes lose time away from their families.

Paul then goes on to state that the people who run in these types of races and are forced to be temperate in the way they live their lives, all do it to obtain a perishable crown. Paul then tells us that we should all run the race of this life to receive what will be an incorruptible or imperishable crown that obviously can only be given by God the Father in heaven.

The point to get is that God calls some people to do things that will require some sacrifice and temperance in the way they will live and conduct their lives. Some people may be called to be a Bible teacher in a far off and poor country. They will literally be working for pennies. They will have to sacrifice the bigger money they could have made had they stayed home in America and taught in the states.

I believe God is telling us in this passage that if He does put this kind of special call on your life that will require you to give up many of the normal things of this life - that you will be greatly rewarded for this sacrifice once you enter into heaven. This verse also seems to be implying that these people will also receive this imperishable crown for the sacrifices they were willing to make for God in order to successfully complete the call and mission God had called them to do.

Most people would not want to go through the rigors of trying to be a professional athlete, much less be willing to give up and sacrifice what athletes have to give up in order to be able to successfully compete in a professional sport. This is why athletes are so highly admired and respected in our society. Most people realize the time, commitment and sacrifice made by our athletes and they are thus well paid for their efforts and sacrifice.

Just as we respect, honor and pay these athletes for performing for us, God the Father will also be rewarding some of His own spiritual athletes if they are willing to go that extra mile for Him to complete what may be a difficult mission or call. Here is the verse:

"Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may obtain it. And everyone who competes for the prize is temperate in all things.

Now they do it to obtain a perishable crown, but we for an IMPERISHABLE CROWN. Therefore I run thus: not with uncertainty. Thus I fight: not as one who beats the air. But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified." (1 Corinthians 9:24-27)

Bottom line - run whatever race or call that God has set out for you. Run that race with certainty, purpose and intensity. Run that race to win. Run that race to be the best you can be for God at the position that He has called you to be on His team. Be willing to make whatever sacrifices it may take to successfully complete the mission and call God has set out for you.

If you are willing to do this for the Lord, you just may receive an "incorruptible victor's crown" for going the extra mile for God and accomplishing for Him what many Christians would be to lazy to shoot for.

3. The Crown of Life

This next crown has been called by many the "martyr's crown." Jesus Himself says that He will give this crown to those who undergo severe hardship, testing, tribulation and/or physical death on His behalf.

The Bible doesn’t say anything about whether or not these 5 crowns are ranked in any way as to which is greater. However, if they are ranked in any way by God the Father in heaven, then I believe there is a very good chance that this next crown will be ranked #1 out of the 5 crowns available to all believers for special service.

I do not think there is any question that being willing to die for your faith in God and Jesus is the ultimate sacrifice! It is the greatest act of bravery and courage that you can show God the Father. And I believe that all of the Christians who have been martyred for their faith in God and Jesus throughout history will not only be given this crown of life, but will also be given some real special rewards once they enter into heaven.

I also wonder if this verse may be applying to all of the soldiers, policeman, firemen, etc. who have lost their lives in a combat situation for either our country, fighting to save someone from a burning fire or a policeman trying to save someone else’s life. I believe there is a very good chance that this verse does apply to all Christian men and women who have lost their lives trying to save someone else.

Jesus says that when you are trying to do something to help out the least of your brethren – that you are really doing it for Him! If that is the case, then I believe God the Father will be honoring each of these men and women’s death as a true martyr’s death, and thus will be rewarding them accordingly once they enter into heaven. Here is the verse:

"Do not fear any of those things which you are about to suffer. Indeed, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison, that you may be tested, and you will have tribulation ten days. Be faithful until death, and I will give you the CROWN OF LIFE." (Revelation 2:10)

4. The Crown of Rejoicing

This next crown has been called the "soul winner's crown." The apostle Paul is calling those that he has saved his "joy" and his "crown of rejoicing." The word "crown" seems to be implying that God will be giving a crown to those who have been instrumental in getting other people saved and led to Him through the blood of His Son.

If you compare this level of service with some of the other levels that will be rewarded with crowns, there is no doubt in my mind that God will be rewarding those who will try and get others saved with this special crown.

As I have said numerous times in my other articles, working for God to try and get other people saved is the greatest thing that you can do for another person while living down here on this earth. When you get someone else saved and brought to the Lord - you have just been the vessel used by God to give that person eternal salvation and eternal life.

The Bible does not say how many people you actually have to be instrumental in getting saved in order to be able to receive this crown. My guess is that it will be relative. God will simply be judging you by your willingness and desire to be used by Him to witness to others.

In our fast paced, materialistic, self-centered society, there are many Christians who are simply too busy to be willing to be used by God to try and get other people saved. This is a whole another article, so I won’t go any deeper. Just suffice to say that God can fit into your daily and weekly activities the opportunities for you to witness and work with others to get them saved. They could be some of your unsaved friends, family members or co-workers - people who are right in your own backyard.

God is a master in being able to organize and structure your everyday activities, and still have enough time left over in the course of a day, week or month in which to continue to build you up in His Word, and at the same time arrange for you to be able to help others out on a one-on-one basis for either witnessing to them get them saved, or teaching others about God and the Bible in order to help properly disciple them after they have been saved.

Here is the verse from Paul about this soul winner’s crown:

"For what is our hope, or joy, or CROWN OF REJOICING? Is it not even you in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at His coming? For you are our glory and joy." (1 Thessalonians 2:19-20)

Notice Paul calls those that are in the presence of Jesus at His second coming His "crown of rejoicing." You cannot be in the presence of Jesus at His second coming unless you have been saved. People believe that Paul is thus implying that a crown will be given to those who are instrumental in getting others saved and into the presence of Jesus. I agree with that interpretation. I believe the words being used by Paul are again literal interpretation.

5. The Crown of Glory

This next verse is telling the elders of the church to "shepherd" the flock of God. Shepherds lead the flock into the ways and knowledge of God. They are teachers. These could be the Sunday school teachers, the pastors and ministers who teach the Word of God in their ministries or people appointed by God into the office of a teacher like a Joyce Meyer.

I believe God will be giving His teachers and shepherds this crown due to the extreme importance of bringing up others into the knowledge and ways of God. Once you get saved, this is just the beginning. God wants you to grow in His knowledge and grace by reading the Bible and learning as much as you can about Him, His Son and His Holy Spirit. The problem is that the Bible is hard and dry for many people when they first try and read it on their own. They do not understand half of what they are reading. This is why teachers and shepherds are needed.

Most newborns cannot understand the Bible the first time or two they read it. They need immediate help after they are saved and are trying to learn more about God and all of His ways. The dropout rate for newborns is over 50% after the first year. I believe the main reason for such a high dropout rate is due to the lack of quality teaching and coaching from other Christians.

I believe God is always looking for teachers and shepherds to help teach and educate His flock. However, you have to spend some serious quality time in the Bible and have a good understanding of the basics before He can really use you to teach and educate others.

For those of you who have been in the Word for quite some time and have a real good understanding and grasp of all the basics - I really believe that God can use you to help teach and shepherd others. It doesn’t mean you have to sign up to teach a Sunday school or be promoted to the office of a teacher.

God can lead just a few people for you work with on a one-on-one basis at a time and pace that is convenient for the both of you to work at. The fact that God will be giving out a crown for this type of service shows you the extreme importance that He is placing on it! Getting someone saved is obviously the greatest thing you can do for another person, because with the gift of salvation comes the gift of eternal life.

However, being willing to teach and educate others into the ways and knowledge of God after they have been saved just might be the second greatest thing you can do for them this side of heaven. Here is the verse:

"The elders who are among you I exhort, I who am a fellow elder and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that will be revealed.

SHEPHERD THE FLOCK OF GOD which is among you, serving as overseers, not by constraint but willingly, not for dishonest gain but eagerly; nor as being lords over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock; and when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the CROWN OF GLORY that does not fade away." (1 Peter 5:1-4)

Again, I believe this verse is literal interpretation. A crown will be given that will not fade away. The only way a crown could be given that will not fade away is if the crown is given up in heaven where nothing perishes or fades away.

All of these crowns will be permanent, incorruptible and will never fade away. They will be eternal rewards bestowed upon those deemed to be deserving of them by God the Father for extra-ordinary service rendered on His behalf while living down here on this earth.

Conclusion

Though all of the above Scripture verses are implying crowns and rewards for those who will be deserving of them once we all enter into heaven - I personally feel that the greatest reward you can have is just simply the "good feeling" and "sense of approval" that you get knowing that you are in God’s perfect will for your life, and that you are doing the best you can with whatever He is asking you to do for Him on a daily basis.




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