Motivated By Eternal Rewards

September 24, 2012 — 1 Comment

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I’ve recently been posting on some travel strategies drawn from my 21 years of experience. In the pursuit of travel rewards, you must always check your motives for spending a little extra. Do you need that perk, or are you walking in an addiction to accumulation? It becomes easy to justify a $50 purchase of flowers when you know you are getting miles or travel rewards.

The pursuit of rewards is something which is not limited to the travel industry.

It happens in the church.

I’ve heard countless references to obtaining a future prize as a motivation for obedience or an acceptance of suffering.

“At least my crown in heaven is getting bigger!”
“I’m building my mansion!”
“We are storing up treasures in heaven!”
“Give, and it will be given back to you ten fold!”

Are we giving to get?

Are my motivations to serve or to invest in some form of future eternal rewards or glory?

The topic of rewards is a question which comes up frequently in my Grace seminars. What does the Bible have to say about crowns, mansions, and future rewards?

Very little.

The reward the Bible speaks of is eternal life. That is the important one. If you have this one, none of the others matter.

2 Timothy 4:8 tells us, “Henceforth there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will award to me on that Day, and not only to me but also to all who have loved his appearing.”

There is a reward Paul is anticipating, that of righteousness. This prize is not limited to him, but is available to all. It comes with salvation!

If you question this, go back and read what Paul says in Galatians.

Eternal life is the only reward we should motivate us.

Why do we give?
Why do we share with the lost?
Why do we obey?

Because of what we’ve been given. Not in order to make a down-payment on some future bonus.

2 Corinthians 5:10 does speak of an evaluation, considering how we’ve stewarded the gifts which God has given us. This is a vague statement which is not elaborated on.

What we do know is this:

Whether it is a mansion, crown, or front row seats in heaven (not that there are any bad seats), we will not experience disappointment or remorse when we get there. We will not walk in comparison wishing we had done a better job.

How do I know this?

Revelation tells us these things will no longer exist in heaven.

There will be no tears.
There will be no mourning or crying
The former things (sinful things like envy, comparison, and regret) will have passed away.

We will no longer be polluted by selfish motives or critical spirits. Sin is done away with.

Not convinced? Go ahead and read it for yourself in Revelation 21-22.

As a believer you can stand before God on Judgment Day with confidence. Heaven or hell has been decided. The evaluation in Corinthians, whatever that is, which not be an opportunity for sadness.

And frankly, I don’t care about crowns or mansions.

Give me a shack in heaven and I will be a happy man. I’m in HEAVEN!

If you find yourself doing a good deed in order to somehow reap a future reward, go back and consider the true reward.

Be motivated by love not a desire to acquire or somehow secure a better future.

Do you really believe some little thing you do on Earth can improve heaven? 

This post is a part of my “Top Questions” series based on things which are asked in Grace Seminars I conduct. Other questions have included Do I Need To Repent?, Have I Committed the Unforgivable Sin? and Can I Do Whatever I Want?


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Chris

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A missionary teacher for 21 years currently living in South Africa. I am a recovering superhero, daily in need of the grace of God