Unequal Christian Rewards

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Unequal Christian rewards for unequal Christian service

Unequal Christian rewards

Eternal life is equal for all, but in the kingdom, there will be different levels of reward and position among believers. In other words there will be unequal Christians rewards for unequal Christian service.  Each person will receive a reward according to his works.  Whoever has no works, will receive no reward.  Whoever has practiced evil works will suffer correction and discipline. In the kingdom, there are different levels of responsibility, authority and reward.  Some will receive ten cities, others five.

“And he said to him, ‘Well done, good servant; because you were faithful in a very little, have authority over ten cities.’  And the second came, saying, ‘Master, your mina has earned five minas.’  Likewise he said to him, ‘You also be over five cities.’’ (Luke 19:17-19)

Some servants will receive a reward; others however will not.  Some will receive a rich entrance into the kingdom and some will enter without such an honor.

“. . . for so an entrance will be supplied to you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.”  (2 Peter 1:11)

Unequal Christian rewards speak of the Kingdom but not of Heaven

While there will be varying levels and unequal Christian rewards during the kingdom age, in the eternal state of heaven there will be no different levels, everyone will receive equal treatment.  No one will receive ten more or less of anything in heaven, but this will be the case during the millennial reign of Christ.

The kingdom age and eternal life are two distinct dispensations. The condition for salvation and entrance into heaven is faith in the Lord.  Beyond faith, there is no other condition, because Jesus Christ fulfilled all the requirements for our salvation and our entrance into heaven. The death of His Son satisfied all the demands of God’s righteousness. However, entering into the kingdom of heaven is another matter; works are required.  Today man is saved by the justice of God, however we can’t enter into the kingdom of Heaven unless our righteousness is far superior to that of the scrupulous Pharisees and scribes (Matthew 5:20)  Salvation is a matter of knowing the Lord, but the kingdom is a matter of us being known of Him.

The matter of eternal life has as its only basis the work of the Lord Jesus Christ.  However, the matter of the kingdom also depends on the works of God’s children.  Of course, God’s children do the works in dependence on the power of God, but the point is that God’s people must do them.

Even the kingdom, is in the end, a matter of grace.  After all, what works could we do for God in our own strength?  So if we do them in His strength, how can we not marvel that even so, He rewards us?  The bible teaches that God is not served by human hands, but even so we are called to be His servants and “workers together with Him” (Acts 7:25; 1 Cor. 3:9).  It is a privilege for God to call us His helpers.  Just think about it, what work could we possibly do at a level of sufficient excellency to be able to please the divine pattern of Him who created the heavens and the earth?  Only by grace, can this happen.

Unequal Christian rewards and the parable of the workers in the Vineyard

What about those who convert at an old age with little time to produce good works before God and store up treasures in heaven, how will God treat them?  Even if someone converts later, at an older age, he may have a reward equal to that of those who have converted at a young age and had more time to accumulate heavenly treasures, because God looks principally at the intent of the heart.  We can see this principle in the parable of the workers in the vineyard in Matthew 20:

“So when evening had come, the owner of the vineyard said to his steward, ‘Call the laborers and give them their wages, beginning with the last to the first.’ And when those came who were hired about the eleventh hour, they each received a denarius.  But when the first came, they supposed that they would receive more; and they likewise received each a denarius. And when they had received it, they complained against the landowner, saying, ‘These last men have worked only one hour, and you made them equal to us who have borne the burden and the heat of the day.’  But he answered one of them and said, ‘Friend, I am doing you no wrong. Did you not agree with me for a denarius?  Take what is yours and go your way. I wish to give to this last man the same as to you.  Is it not lawful for me to do what I wish with my own things? Or is your eye evil because I am good?’  So the last will be first, and the first last. For many are called, but few chosen”   (Matt. 20:8-16).

Here we can see that God does distribute unequal Christian rewards and differentiates the level of service from Christian to Christian however he gives each Christian equal opportunities to be faithful with what they have received from His hand.

Yes, friend, there will be unequal Christians rewards for unequal Christian service.

 




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