It’s not about salvation – Ephesians 2:8-: - For by grace you have been saved through faith; and this is not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.
John 9:4-5 - We must carry out the works of Him who sent Me as long as it is day; night is coming, when no one can work. While I am in the world, I am the Light of the world.”
In Matthew 20, Jesus speaks of the landowner hiring workers for the vineyard. This comes after Jesus talking to the rich young ruler. Peter is wondering, “If it’s that hard for the rich young ruler to get into heaven, how can we make it? Peter goes on to say, “Behold, we have left everything, what then will there be for us?” Jesus says that they will sit upon 12 thrones and judge the 12 tribes of Israel. The parable speaks to those that come in toward the end will also inherit the Kingdom of Heaven just as those who came in earlier; not speaking about rewards.
Luke 15:7 - I tell you that in the same way, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous people who have no need of repentance.
Matthew 5:11-12 - “Blessed are you when people insult you and persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great; for in this same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
Matthew 6:19-21 - “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal; for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
Matthew 16:27 - For the Son of Man is going to come in the glory of His Father with His angels, and WILL THEN REPAY EVERY PERSON ACCORDING TO HIS DEEDS.
In Matthew 25, Jesus gives the parable of the talents. The master gives a differing number of talents to his servants to invest according to their own ability. Two of them invested well, the last one buried it.
- If we invest wisely we will get a greater reward.
- If we squander or bury what is given, our reward will be much less.
Romans 2:5-6 - But because of your stubbornness and unrepentant heart you are storing up wrath for yourself on the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God, who WILL REPAY EACH PERSON ACCORDING TO HIS DEEDS:
1 Corinthians 3:14,15 - If anyone’s work which he has built on it remains, he will receive a reward. If anyone’s work is burned up, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet only so as through fire.
Proverbs 24:12 - Does He who weighs the hearts not consider it? And does He who watches over your soul not know it? And will He not repay a person according to his work?
How do we earn rewards?
Daniel 12:3 - And those who have insight will shine like the glow of the expanse of heaven, and those who lead the many to righteousness, like the stars forever and ever.
1 Thessalonians 2:19,20 - For who is our hope, or joy or crown of pride, in the presence of our Lord Jesus at His coming? Or is it not indeed you? For you are our glory and joy.
What are the rewards? It seems from the parables and scripture it will have to do with valuable roles of responsibility in the Kingdom.
2 John – Stay in the truth; get the full reward and especially don’t fall away.
- We are to walk according to His commandments
- In verse 8, he says to be careful not to lose what has been accomplished so as to receive a full reward.
- If we remain in the teaching of Christ then we have the Father and the Son
- If we go too far (judicial sense), and do not remain in the teaching of Christ then we do not have God