In this life, people are motivated to work hard and invest smart so that their efforts are rewarded with a return on investment. When it comes to eternity in God’s Kingdom of Heaven, however, there is a common misperception that all of one’s doing of the “good works” (Ephesians 2:10) that God has given us in this life are for naught once we die.
The truth is, the Bible says that our good works are known and rewarded by God forever. In this way, faithfulness in this life is like making deposits in an eternal account that we will enjoy forever as the following Scriptures teach:
- 1 Corinthians 3:14 – If the work that anyone has built on the foundation survives, he will receive a reward.
- 2 Corinthians 5:10 – We must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive what is due for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil.
- Revelation 14:12-13 – Here is a call for the endurance of the saints, those who keep the commandments of God and their faith in Jesus. And I heard a voice from heaven saying, “Write this: Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on.” “Blessed indeed,” says the Spirit, “that they may rest from their labors, for their deeds follow them!”
Examples of eternal rewards include the following cases that refer to rewards in terms of leadership positions in Jesus’ Kingdom to those who have proven faithful in this life:
- Matthew 19:27-28 – Then Peter said in reply, “See, we have left everything and followed you. What then will we have?” Jesus said to them, “Truly, I say to you, in the new world, when the Son of Man will sit on his glorious throne, you who have followed me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.”
- Revelation 3:21 – The one who conquers, I will grant him to sit with me on my throne, as I also conquered and sat down with my Father on his throne.
- Revelation 5:10 – You have made them a kingdom and priests to our God, and they shall reign on the earth.
Lastly, in Luke 19:11-27, Jesus tells the parable of the ten minas. The minas are a financial measurement, and the parable teaches that God entrusts to each person resources to be invested. Those who prove faithful receive greater rewards than those who do not. This is what Jesus was also speaking of when He told us to store up our treasures in Heaven.
What “good works” has God given you to do in this life? How encouraging is it to know that you will be eternally rewarded for your faithfulness?