Reward in heaven?

April 26, 2022


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By Benedicte Mella 

When we do something for others which isn’t really rewarding to us personally, we might joke that ‘You’ll get a reward in heaven for this.’

Rewards in heaven has everything to do with how we are living our lives, and is by no means a joke! But it might be a little sensitive subject to speak about. Still, we should talk more about it, because Jesus did quite a bit.

Let’s just look at a few examples:

Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you. Matt.5.11-12

…your Father who sees in secret will Himself reward you openly. (repeated three times in Matt.6) 

He who receives a prophet in the name of a prophet shall receive a prophet’s reward. And he who receives a righteous man in the name of a righteous man shall receive a righteous man’s reward. And whoever gives one of these little ones only a cup of cold water in the name of a disciple, assuredly, I say to you, he shall by no means lose his reward. Matt.10.41-42

But love your enemies, do good, and lend, hoping for nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High. For He is kind to the unthankful and evil. Luke 6.35

Now he who plants and he who waters are one, and each one will receive his own reward according to his own labor. 1.Cor.3.8

For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if anyone builds on this foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, each one’s work will become clear; for the Day will declare it, because it will be revealed by fire; and the fire will test each one’s work, of what sort it is. If anyone’s work which he has built on it endures, he will receive a reward. If anyone’s work is burned, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire. 1.Cor.3.11-15

“And behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to give to every one according to his work. Rev.22.12

There is little doubt that the Bible is clear that there are rewards in heaven, and that Jesus asks us clearly to focus on and make sure that what awaits us there is going to be solid and everlasting riches (Matt.16.19). It is also clear that the deal is not at ‘set package,’ equal for everyone. We can gather treasure, we are rewarded, meaning payed, according to how we live. There is something called ‘a prophet’s reward’ and ‘a righteous man’s reward.’ There are those who will not have a gathered treasure, but who will be saved as through fire. Everyone in heaven will be happy in a place with no tears or sorrow! But we are encouraged to focus on wanting to have a full reward! We want to hear “well done” and have the wreath and the reward God intended for us.

How then, do we make sure to get a good reward?

It’s important for us to understand the salary system of God so we don’t go on a blunder. If we live by the mindset of this world, we might be in danger of fooling ourselves. God’s thoughts are not like our thoughts, and His ways are not like our ways (Is.55). What is great to God, isn’t necessarily what is considered to be great to us, measured by the standards of the world. So let’s make sure to get a hold of God’s mindset, His values, which appear clearly in His Word.

What we know, is that God does not look to the outward parts, but to the heart (1 Sam.16.7). Even this might have become a cliché to us – but it is of eternal importance to understand that God actually looks to the heart! It means that what is decisive is for you to have a sincere heart - no matter if people understand or acknowledge it – because God sees it. And He is the one who is going to measure up your eternal reward.

Further, this means that you can serve God with a sincere heart in secret, and be wealthy in heaven, with no one on earth believing or knowing anything of it. You can give a glass of water to the thirsty, you can see to the lonely, you can be friendly when you would be tempted to take revenge. And in all of it, you can be certain that God sees it and He will not let one single action from your sincere heart go unrewarded.

Some times we forget that God is like this, and we start measuring our lives in a human and worldly measure. How impressive does it look? Who is reckognizing us? Are we in the right club? None of this has ever had any importance to the One who sees us and who locks his confirming gaze on us, right here and now, where we are and where we live most of our lives in the secret mundane.

Be of good courage and turn your heart in sincerity to Him!

If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory.