WE LEARNT in last week's publication that there are works of God in this world which are summed up in one great work. The Lord Jesus Christ called it “the work of God” (John 6:28-29). This work is all about believing in Jesus Christ. In other words, it is getting sinners freed from the bondage of sins by making them to believe in Jesus Christ for the salvation of their souls.
Unbelievers do not understand and appreciate this noble work because of the darkness that is in their minds, the ignorance that is in them, hardness of their hearts and their alienation from the life of God. But to the believers, who are being saved, it is a rare privilege to do this work for God.
And there are great rewards which God lavishes on those who are engaged in His work, but these are foreign to unbelievers. Believers receive some of these rewards in this world while others shall be received on the Day of Judgment and in heaven.
When a person hears the gospel of salvation and believes in Jesus he or she immediately receives a great reward which is the gift of the Holy Spirit, who teaches, comforts, guides, helps and leads them. The presence of the Spirit of God in and upon a person is his reward for believing in Jesus Christ. This is perhaps the most important reward and blessing a Christian may receive in this world.
There is nothing comparable to the Holy Spirit in the life of a person. The Holy Spirit is everything one needs to understand the human life which transcends the earthly realm. Again, an unbeliever cannot understand this. The life of a Christian is different from the life of a non-Christian. The Christian is a slave to righteousness but the non-Christian is a slave to sin. In other words, the Christian obeys the voice of God, the Author of righteousness, while the non-Christian obeys the voice of the devil, the author of sin.
Besides, we know that God by His abundant grace rewards those who faithfully work for Him with power to get wealth to provide for their needs (Deuteronomy 8:18), long life (Psalm 91:16), healing of the body and soul (1 Peter 2:24), peace of heart (Philippians 4:6-7), comfort in affliction (Psalm 119:50), superior knowledge and wisdom (1 Corinthian 2:6-8), deliverance from curses and evil men (Galatians 3:13, 2), open doors to serve God and humanity (Revelation 3:8) and several others.
Moreover, in Christ Jesus, Christians are blessed with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places. We have been declared holy and blameless, and are predestined for adoption as sons of God. Also, in Christ Jesus, all believers have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace.
Significantly, the words of the Lord Jesus Christ make us to understand that the greatest rewards God has for those who work for Him are in heaven. They are incorruptible rewards. In His sermon on the mountain in Mathew 5:11-12, Jesus said to His disciples, “Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven…”
Yes, Jesus Christ rewards us in this life and shall reward all those who are engaged in His work. And so, He told John that, “Behold, I am coming soon, bringing my recompense with me, to repay each one for what he has done” (Revelation 22:12). It is sad that unregenerate men and women interpret the word “soon” literally. They do not know that it means “quickly” or “unexpectedly”. This means the coming of Jesus shall be quickly or unexpectedly.
The Apostle Paul worked harder with his eyes fixed on eternal rewards which he hoped to receive from the Lord. That was his hope and motivation for enduring trails, beatings, arrests, imprisonments, hunger and shipwrecks in the performance of his great apostolic works.
He wrote to Timothy: “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Henceforth there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will award to me on that Day, and not only to me but also to all who have loved his appearing” (2 Timothy 4:7-8). Other crowns which workers of God may receive in heaven include crown of life, crown of rejoicing, incorruptible crown and crown of glory.
Now, you can see that houses, cars, jets and other earthly possessions are good but they are not the key things that inspire true workers of God to labour faithfully for the Lord. I often teach that anything which an unbeliever, a sinner and an evil doer can possess outside Christ Jesus should not be deemed superior and unique by Christians. But possessions and rewards including internal salvation that are obtained only through Christ are grander and extraordinary.
By James Quansah