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Truth of Rewards

Will God reward you when youíve done nothing to form a relationship with him? These words pose a question that the world has not considered instead, the world hopes that God will give them the reward they want. How can man dictate the rewards God will give when God has a mind of his own? Whether a man accepts or ignores God, God will reward each man and women according to their deeds.

As parents we reward our children with good things when they do the things we ask of them. On the other hand for unruly behavior the reward is not as favorable. Pain is the teacher serving to remind the child what will happen in the future if they act that way again. Those who spare the rod spoil the child.  

No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it. Hebrews 12:11

Should your children continue to be unruly the discipline becomes more intense and the punishment progressively increases in severity.  When the child continues to disobey under severe punishment, the stress can become more than the parent can endure. When the parents have given the child ample opportunity to obey but they still stubbornly refuse to obey the parents can let the child fend for itself and disown them. No one knows why children stubbornly refuse to obey their parents, but it does happen.

The children of God, Adam and Eve were warned not to eat the fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.  However in the course of time Adam and Eve ate the fruit God had warned them about. When God determined that Adam and Eve had disobeyed him, he quickly frustrated all of creation and drove Adam and Eve out of the garden.

For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God. Romans 8:20-21

However men increasingly grew wicked and during the days of Noah had grieved God to the point he wished he had not created man. Man had increasingly rejected God and had backslid to the point God rejected them and decided to put an end to the perverted ways of man. Therefore, God commanded Noah to build an ark to save the righteous from the flood and once they entered the ark it began to rain.

In the six hundredth year of Noah's life, on the seventeenth day of the second month ó on that day all the springs of the great deep burst forth, and the floodgates of the heavens were opened. And rain fell on the earth forty days and forty nights. Genesis 7:11-12

Ten generations later God visited Sodom and Gomorrah to see if the outcry concerning Sodom and Gomorrah was correct.

Then the LORD said, "The outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah is so great and their sin so grievous that I will go down and see if what they have done is as bad as the outcry that has reached me. If not, I will know." Genesis 18:20-21

The Lord found one righteous man (Lot) in Sodom and Gomorrah and commanded him to earnestly flee with his family to the mountains. Once Lot reached the city agreed upon it began to rain torrents of burning Sulfur.

In a similar way, Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding towns gave themselves up to sexual immorality and perversion. They serve as an example of those who suffer the punishment of eternal fire. Jude 7

The events surrounding Noah a preacher of righteousness and Lot who chose the wealth of this land occurred before Godís Law was given. Both serve as an example of Godís wrath. Without limitations the wickedness of man flourished.

Moses grew up in a system dominated by the use of slaves. God chose Moses to deliver his people out of slavery and to unify his people under a covenant.  The Ten Commandments described the expected behavior of Godís people and served as a teacher to identify the nature of sin. The words of you shall and you shall not were stipulations that placed limitations on anyone entering a covenant with God.

Godís chosen among the covenant were given the promise of blessings and curses.  The blessing was applicable to those who obeyed Godís command and the curses for those who did not. The first fifteen verses of Deuteronomy 28 explain the blessings while the remainder sixty-eight verses explain the curses. These blessings and curses explain the rewards that you could expect depending on your compliance.

The commandment that was intended to make you aware of sin actually brought death as no one could obey the law to the letter. While men were powerless God came to the rescue by sending his Son.

"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16

God demonstrated his love for mankind who was unable to satisfy the justice God required. God sent his son as a Lamb who could shed his blood as a substitute sacrifice for the sins of mankind and therefore, justified man before God.  Atonement is not a reward but a gift to anyone who is willing to accept Jesus Christ into their life as Lord.

And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him. Hebrews 11:6

Salvation is a gift that comes through faith but rewards come through a steady effort to faithfully seek, obey and serve God. Itís the gold watch after twenty-five years of loyal service to an employer. Itís the ice cream cone and the pet you received for the good behavior your parents expected from you. Rewards are something given to honor worthy behavior just as much as it is a penalty for evil acts. A worthy reward for murder is execution or a life sentence without parole.

Rewards reflect the worth that other people have for your deeds. As parents we reward our children for doing the little things we ask of them and punish them for conduct below our standards. Rewards are something given to honor worthy behavior just as much as it is a well deserved penalty for evil acts. Among the things people are rewarded for are: service to the community, years of faithful service, giving generously, charitable acts, rescuing or saving a personís life, returning lost or stolen items, serving as a good example, acts of bravery, being reliable, and outstanding achievements. God gives rewards in the present age and in the age to come just as rewards are given while you are alive and posthumously.

"I tell you the truth." Jesus replied, "no one who has left home or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or fields for me and the gospel will fail to receive a hundred times as much in this present age (homes, brothers, sisters, mothers, children and fields - and with them (persecutions.) And in the age to come, eternal life. Mark 10:29-30

John 5:29 gives us a brief example of what to expect as typical rewards.

 Those who have done good will rise to live, and those who have done evil will rise to be condemned.  John 5:29

Jesus gave another analogy of the rewards.

"Blessed are those who wash their robes, that they may have the right to the tree of life and may go through the gates into the city. Outside are the dogs, those who practice magic arts, the sexually immoral, the murderers, the idolaters and everyone who loves and practices falsehood. Revelation 22:14-15

Rewards are not the most expensive things or the things that you really want or think you deserve. Occasionally, rewards come with more responsibility and headaches.  Rewards are given by those in authority to honor and recognize an effort on your part to make a difference and for using your skills to accomplish the goals of those you are associated with. Rewards are primarily a token of accomplishment and a reminder to improve your efforts in the future. Most rewards have no monitory value but are a recognition of your talents and praise for a job well done. However, rewards show appreciation for your life and establishes a frame of mind called dignity boosting your ego.  

The rewards to be given to the angels who rebelled.

And the angels who did not keep their positions of authority but abandoned their own home ó these he has kept in darkness, bound with everlasting chains for judgment on the great Day.  Jude 6

The one thing men can count on is the reward God chooses to give will be deserving of the deeds that you alone chose to accomplish. God gave men the choice of life and death and pleaded with man to choose life. The rewards being those who have done good will rise to live, and those who have done evil will rise to be separated from Godís presence forever.

They will be punished with everlasting destruction and shut out from the presence of the Lord and from the majesty of his power 2 Thessalonians 1:9

On the other hand,

However, as it is written: "No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him"ó 1 Corinthians 2:9

One can only dream of the good things God has created when all we have is a glimpse of Heaven. The sufferings we faced in life will be no more as there will be no more tears, no more death, no more crying, no more pain. We will live in an environment that is not subjected to frustration and the deceiver will be in the lake of fire.  

He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away." Revelation 21:4

 We will receive a new name and a mark of distinction upon our forehead, the seal of our God.

They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads. Revelation 22:4

 I will write on him the name of my God and the name of the city of my God, the new Jerusalem, which is coming down out of heaven from my God; and I will also write on him my new name. Revelation 3:12

You will be called by a new name that the mouth of the LORD will bestow.  You will be a crown of splendor in the LORD 's hand, a royal diadem in the hand of your God. Isaiah 62:2-3

We will reign with Christ for a thousand years.

Blessed and holy are those who have part in the first resurrection. The second death has no power over them, but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with him for a thousand years. Revelation 20:6

What exactly will men reign with Christ over?

But the subjects of the kingdom will be thrown outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth." Matthew 8:12

In the parable of ten talents, the servants gave an accounting to their master when he returned after becoming King. Those who did well with the talent given to them were rewarded with a larger responsibility.

"'Well done, my good servant!' his master replied. 'Because you have been trustworthy in a very small matter, take charge of ten cities.' Luke 19:17

The servant who did nothing with his talent was reprimanded and thrown outside into outer darkness where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

Jesus said that there is a reward for giving a cup of cold water.

"He who receives you receives me, and he who receives me receives the one who sent me. Anyone who receives a prophet because he is a prophet will receive a prophet's reward, and anyone who receives a righteous man because he is a righteous man will receive a righteous man's reward. And if anyone gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones because he is my disciple, I tell you the truth, he will certainly not lose his reward." Matthew 10:40-42

Christians run the race set before them to receive a crown that will last forever, but would they run the race for a crown of thorns? The bible speaks of a crown of righteousness, 2 Timothy 4:8, a crown of life, James 1:12, and a crown of glory that will never fade away. 1 Peter 5:4.

Since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.  Anyone who does wrong will be repaid for his wrong, and there is no favoritism. Colossians 3:24-25

We know that there is a reward of eternal life with our name down in the book of life. We also know that these rewards depend on what we do in the flesh.  However, are we running our race to win a prize that will last?

His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires. 2 Peter 1:3-4

For those who endure the race and remain faithful to the end Jesus promised to him who over comes the world the following.

To him who overcomes, I will give the right to eat from the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God. Revelation 2:7

 I will give you the crown of life. Revelation 2:10

will not be hurt at all by the second death. Revelation 2:11

I will give some of the hidden manna. I will also give him a white stone with a new name written on it, known only to him who receives it. Revelation 2:17

I will give authority over the nations--'He will rule them with an iron scepter; he will dash them to pieces like pottery'-- just as I have received authority from my Father. I will also give him the morning star. Revelation 2:26-28

will be dressed in white. I will never blot out his name from the book of life, Revelation 3:5

I will make a pillar in the temple of my God I will write on him the name of my God and the name of the city of my God, the new Jerusalem and I will also write on him my new name. Revelation 3:12

 I will give the right to sit with me on my throne, Revelation 3:21

 I will acknowledge his name before my Father and his angels. Revelation 3:5

Are you living is such a way to please God to win the prize called life eternal? Remember that God gave every man the choice to choose life.  Those who do not choose life will be placed in the lake of fire with the fallen angels Ė forever.

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