WHY THE REWARDS?
Well, because that is what we are created for. We are made to know God intimately and be transformed to become like Christ so that we will reign with Him. Angels don’t even get that privilege. So the rewards Jesus will give us express the way He feels about our love for Him in this life and of course also about working closely with Him in what He calls precious and great. (Matt 5:19; 11:11)
I guess it is understandable to say Jesus desires a person who are like Him, to be where He is and doing what He is doing. All believers are sons or daughters of God and together are the Bride of Christ, but not every son or daughter will be found worthy of reigning with Christ. Entering the Kingdom is not the same as inheriting the Kingdom. Every child of God is called to inherit the greatest (i.e full reward) in the Kingdom, but not every child will be chosen to inherit them (i.e what Jesus calls great. Matt 20:21-23; 22:1-14; 19:30). We will all inherit some aspect of the Kingdom simply for being children of God, but not all will receive the great things they were created for. This is the purpose of the Judgement seat of Christ. As much as this might not correlate with our democratic mind-set, we should understand that the Kingdom of God is a KINGDOM government not a democracy. Privileges are inherited or given by the King based on His judgement. They are not earned.
WHAT ARE THE REWARDS
I guess now it’s clear that Jesus and His Kingdom are the rewards, but there are gifts He gives that He shows to everyone about out stature or status and the privileged positions we will have with Him. This is similar to a military parade or ceremony where the uniforms, medals, badges and even seating arrangements of the military personnel clearly differentiate between Colonels, Captains and Generals.
Keep in mind that all the rewards have to do with proximity to Jesus and authority to reign and serve with Him. There are many types of heavenly rewards that we will receive at the judgment seat, for example Revelation 1-3 gives 22 rewards that Jesus promised. I’ll only list seven types of rewards without going into too much detail. These were categorised by Mike Bickle of IHOPKC and I’ll put the link for the notes if anyone wants further details.
Reward #1: Resurrected Bodies
We will receive a resurrected body that is conformed to Jesus’ body (Phil 3:21), however God’s glory will be manifest, or reflected, in our resurrected bodies in different measures. (Dan.12:2-3, 1 Cor 15:40-42).
Reward #2: Our Garments
Heavenly garments are rewards that express our dedication. They differ with each believer. We are rewarded for our acts of righteousness done in this age. (Rev 19:8).
Reward #3: Authority To Reign
The eternal functions most emphasised in the Word are priests and kings (Rev 1:6; 5:10; 20:6). As priests, we will worship and intercede and communicate the knowledge of God to others. As kings, ruling will include evaluating the past, determining future action plans, and appointing people who serve in the infrastructure under their authority. (Rev 5:10; 20:4; 1 Cor 6:2).
Our work assignment in reigning with authority over nations and cities will bring us into close proximity to Jesus (Rev 2:26-27; 3:21). Some will receive greater authority than others. Not all will have governmental positions. Luke 19:17-19
Reward #4: Crowns
Some will be rewarded with various crowns and some will not. Receiving a crown is to one’s honor and sphere of function. Receiving a crown is like winning a gold medal. God will only give this crown to believers who are worthy of it. (Rev 3:11) For example those who endure or persevere against lust so as to overcome it shall receive a crown. Crowns of authority are only given to those who endure in resisting temptation until the end. (James 1:12)
Reward #5: Our Communion With Jesus
Our communion with Jesus will vary according to the degree that we have the spiritual capacity to receive from Him. We will each receive a varying measure of revelation to encounter God in intimacy. Jesus will reward some by writing the name of the Father and His own new name on them (Rev. 3:12; 19:12). This speaks of receiving increased revelation of God.
Reward #6: Praise From God
Jesus will confess the names of those who overcome before His Father and His angels. This is not a reference to being saved, but of Jesus speaking about our love, exploits, and obedience to the Father. The story of our loving devotion to Jesus will be retold by Jesus and other saints (like when we enthusiastically tell the story of others after we read their biography. Rev 3:5)
Reward #7: Heavenly Gold, Riches, And Treasure
Jesus calls us to seek to gain treasure in heaven and to be rich (Mt. 5:12; 6:4, 6, 18, 20; 10:41-42; 16:27; 19:21; Mk. 9:41; 10:21; Lk. 12:21, 33; 16:11; 18:22; Rev. 2:9; 3:18; 22:12).
I pray these articles have given you some things to think about, questions to ponder and hopefully a desire to seek and understand the life you are created for in the age to come when Jesus returns to restore all things and joins His realm with ours. THIS IS WHAT YOU WERE SAVED FOR SO LIVE FOR ETERNITY.
PS: If you live in London, I’ll be holding talks and discussions on Biblical eschatology (End-times) and the Kingdom of God in a couple of months time. If you’ll be interested in attending, please click here to register and I will give you further details.
Mike Bickle Notes & Teaching on Types of Eternal Rewards.