Page Two: “Rewards” 7/28/13
Is the Bible clear or is it unclear on this matter of whether we will receive rewards in the world to come? It’s clear. Period.
And one of the very last things Jesus said is this. Revelation 22:12 “And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be.”
Don’t let your thoughts or the ideas of men persuade you into thinking that it’s mercenary to want and expect rewards in the life to come. By the way, folks, the term “mercenary” means “primarily concerned with making money or material gain at the expense of ethics.” So, no, you are not mercenary because you believe in rewards in the afterlife.
Please turn with me to the Book of Colossians at chapter three for another very clear statement on this matter of rewards and the Christian.
Colossians, as you know, is an Epistle written to the Christian Church at the city of Colosse in the first century A.D. Colosse is in the nation we call Turkey today. So the Epistle, like a lot of the Epistles, was written to Turkish Christians.
And Paul was in the Roman prison at Mamertine when he wrote the letter.
And his message is that Christ is the power and life of the Christian. So, keep this in mind when you read Paul’s words on the matter of rewards.
And in this section of the Epistle, Paul teaches the Christians about their responsibilities both in their homes and in the society in which they live.
Last week we considered his words to wives, husbands, and children.
Look with me at Colossians 3:22 and see what Paul wrote to the servants who had become Believers in Christ.
Colossians 3:22 “Servants, obey in all things your masters according to the flesh; not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but in singleness of heart, fearing God:
(23) And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men;
(24) Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ. (25) But he that doeth wrong shall receive for the wrong which he hath done: and there is no respect of persons.”
Here’s what’s on my heart regarding the question of rewards.
First, God says that His rewards begin with our obedience.
Colossians 3:22 “Servants, obey in all things your masters according to the flesh;…”
Paul’s message is simple. Servants, obey in all things your masters according to the flesh. Servants were certainly first century slaves here. They are also those who were employed.
Look at the next statement in verse twenty-four. Colossians 3:24 “Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ.”
There were servants everywhere including the NT Churches. Here’s Paul’s message to the Ephesians. Ephesians 6:5 “Servants, be obedient to them that are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in singleness of your heart, as unto Christ; (6) Not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but as the servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart;
(7) With good will doing service, as to the Lord, and not to men: (8) Knowing that whatsoever good thing any man doeth, the same shall he receive of the Lord, whether he be bond or free.”
I Timothy 6:1 “Let as many servants as are under the yoke count their own masters worthy of all honour, that the name of God and his doctrine be not blasphemed. (2) And they that have believing masters, let them not despise them, because they are brethren; but rather do them service, because they are faithful and beloved, partakers of the benefit. These things teach and exhort.”