Good works bring rewards in Heaven?

As I continue with a look into some of the more popular and contrived ideas among believers, I come to a hard one.  Is it true that we will receive rewards in Heaven corresponding to our works?  Should we be trying to build up our rewards so that Heaven will be even better when we get there?

This is too big a topic to cover well in a blog post, but I want to just highlight some of my thoughts over the years.

It is certainly true that the Scripture says there will rewards in Heaven that will somehow correspond to our works.

For the Son of Man will come in the glory of His Father with His angels, and then He will reward each according to his works.  Matthew 16:27

 Rejoice in that day and leap for joy! For indeed your reward is great in heaven, For in like manner their fathers did to the prophets.  Luke 6:23

 And behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to give to every one according to his work.   Revelation 22:12

 

These passages are pretty clear.  The work of the believer does not go unnoticed by his Lord.  That’s important, isn’t it?  There are times when we wonder whether all our effort is worthwhile.  Even those under grace realize that reaching out to others and maintaining a right focus can be challenging.  We don’t have to lessen our understanding of grace or compromise our dependence on Jesus to admit that we get tired and feel discouraged sometimes.  It is an encouragement to know that Jesus knows our hearts and our desire to be faithful to Him.

Then I said, ‘I have labored in vain, I have spent my strength for nothing and in vain; Yet surely my just reward is with the LORD, And my work with my God.’ Isaiah 49:4

However, to go out and find ways to serve the Lord for the sake of earning rewards is something quite different.  There are those who do their good works in order to get rewards.  In fact, I have met people who count on the rewards as wages for what they have done for the Lord.  Several things are wrong with that kind of thinking.

1.  By treating your service as work to be rewarded, you enter into a legal relationship with the Lord not unlike that the Pharisees expected.

Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt.  Romans 4:4   (NKJV changes the word “reward” here to “wages.”)

In other words, your relationship with the Lord (at least in this area) is taken back to the old works formula.  Is that what you really want?  Once the Lord is finished reminding you how He provided the energy, the time, the protection, the resources, the community, and more with which you worked, you will certainly end up owing Him.

2.   The day will come when your work is tested.  If it is work He led you to do and you did with pure motives, it will pass the test.  If it is work you initiated, whether or not it was “for” Him, and work you did for what you could get, it will not pass.

each one’s work will become clear; for the Day will declare it, because it will be revealed by fire; and the fire will test each one’s work, of what sort it is. 1 Corinthians 3:13

3.  In many passages that mention rewards for believers, the rewards are given in this life.  You may well find that you have already enjoyed your rewards.  This is especially true if you worked to get noticed by others.

Take heed that you do not do your charitable deeds before men, to be seen by them. Otherwise you have no reward from your Father in heaven.  Matthew 6:1

that your charitable deed may be in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will Himself reward you openly.  Matthew 6:4

 

So, given these things, it seems to me that it would be much better to simply follow Jesus and do what He says.  When He leads you to do something, do it without thinking of it as a good work or something that might lay up a reward in Heaven.  He will take care of the rewards.  Instead, you just walk with Him.  I think this is the attitude of those Jesus honors

34 Then the King will say to those on His right hand, ‘Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: 35 for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; 36 I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.’ 37 Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink? 38 When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or naked and clothe You? 39 Or when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’ 40 And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.’  Matthew 25:34-40

As far as these people were concerned, they couldn’t even think of a time when they did something like this for Jesus.  They were just walking in His Spirit.

When the day comes for me to enter Heaven, I will be so amazed, so grateful, so excited, so blessed to be there that I will have one very simple goal: to see Jesus.  I’ll take anything the Lord wants to give me, but seeing Him will be enough reward for me.

Always interested in your thoughts!

15 Comments

Filed under grace, Legalism, Relationship

15 responses to “Good works bring rewards in Heaven?

  1. might the reward be singular and not plural?

    • The obvious reward is our restored relationship with Jesus. Just to be with Him will be an amazing reward. But it takes some maturity here and the release of flesh that we will experience there to understand that all our works are fully rewarded just by that relationship. Many here will want some kind of recognition for special sacrifices they made. I suspect that we will not be concerned about that there.

  2. I am more inclined to believing the “work” of God for us is
    “to believe”

    couldn’t it be that the rewards are measured in “how much we believed?”

    some say, and I still hear it in churches, that the judgement day is that God is going to judge everyone. believer and unbeliever alike.

    but then, I am more incline to believing that
    “to believers, It is called – Awarding Ceremony”

    – grace and peace

    • Can you imagine the reward just in the words, “Well done, good and faithful servant, enter into my rest”? An “awarding ceremony” indeed!

    • AlanG

      Then said they unto him, What shall we do, that we might work the works of God? Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, thay ye believe on him whom he hath sent.
      John 6: 28,29 (KJV)

      • awesome…..

        the two groups in revelation who were thrown into the fire were the “fearful” and the “Unbelieving”

      • AlanG

        And those who “could not enter in” (to his rest) in Hebrews 3 could not do so because of “unbelief”. Heb. 3: 19

  3. Anon

    I hate the whole idea of heavenly rewards. I feel it is a subtle form of eternal shame for everyone else who didn’t receive one in heaven, or for everyone else in heaven who didn’t receive the very best position (sitting at the right hand of God). The whole idea makes me wish annihilation over heaven, if I could choose that over hell. Being subtly reminded of what you failed to do on earth by the simple fact you are not #1 in God’s eyes makes heaven seem not so heavenly. It seems like the merciless, competitive, “get rid of the weakest link” type thinking characteristic of the fallen world. If I am labeled a “weak link” over someone else, how is that not shame, even in heaven?

    So, if I (or anyone else for that matter) doesn’t get that one top spot in heaven, then we all will have something to regret for all eternity, since we are all LOSERS compared to that one special person. Only that person will logically have zero to regret in heaven, while everyone else will be subtly reminded how they could have done better, but didn’t, as a consequence of God giving any rewards at all in the first place.

    Taking orders from someone else over you in heaven who got a position you didn’t is a subtle reminder of your own failures here on earth, since you would have been above them had you not FAILED. You are being subtly branded a loser, even if it is never termed that way in heaven. Otherwise, why give rewards at all if not to tear down and degrade some while elevating others at everyone else’s expense?

    It is stated that all our sins are covered, but how can that be when you are being eternally judged as less than someone else due to sin (concerning what you failed/didn’t do here on earth) by failing to get the best reward? Sin means “to miss the mark,” and not receiving a reward is exactly this (even though for this kind of sin you cannot lose your salvation). So, shame really does continue on in heaven, even if it is not termed that way. In a way, it could be argued that all our sins are NOT covered by Jesus, since we are subject to judgment, even if only in heaven via the reward system.

    The Bible acts like rewards are eternal, so the shame of not receiving one is likely eternal, too. The odds of me receiving a great reward may be slim, so what’s so great about a heaven where you are subtly living eternally in shame (even while this shame is not spoken aloud nor said directly, but indirectly in simply being a lesser person in heaven?) Being a failure for ever makes me want to not exist at all. I have had two “Peter” events, in failing to witness to those I should have witnessed to at the last minute (though I did witness to them at other times), and I cannot change it.

    I feel like this shame now will NEVER go away, not even in heaven in the form of rewards (or rather, lack thereof). I may not feel ashamed and the shame may not be spoken of, but it will still be eternally there due to the simple fact I lost rewards. Also, concerning Peter, people always bring up his denial of Jesus, and later on how he wanted the gentiles to live like the Jews, in denial of the gospel, to show how lame he really was. I feel like even his sins and shortcomings are still being remembered, even though this isn’t heaven. I am not Peter, but I feel like him. Peter likely lost rewards because of this, though, and in this way, his sins will always be remembered. Has anyone else felt this way?

  4. Anon

    Also, what do you think of Randy Alcorn? He wrote answers to questions about eternal rewards in heaven here:

    http://www.epm.org/resources/2010/Mar/2/questions-randy-alcorn-about-eternal-rewards/

    I read the question in that article, which asks, “Is there regret and guilt in Heaven? Is Heaven only a step up from hell for some people? Isn’t it wrong to imply that Heaven is not going to be very joyous for many who enter it?” and I was NOT satisfied with Mr. Alcorn’s answer.

    ——————-

    He said,

    “Heaven will ultimately be a place of eternal joy, and I think I said nothing to imply otherwise. But when we are held accountable at the judgment seat for every deed we’ve done, and every word we’ve spoken, and even the bad we have done (I can’t explain it, but you have to admit the Bible directly says it in 2 Cor. 5:10), don’t you think this will involve regret?

    Surely it won’t be joyful at the moment we have to give an account for our failures. (I don’t believe this discomfort will go on and on, of course, but I do believe it will happen because Scripture clearly says so. Consider these passages):

    1. Some Christians will and others will not hear Christ say, “Well done my good and faithful servant.” (Matthew 25:21)

    2. Some Christians will be ashamed when they meet Christ—”Dear children, continue in him, so that when he appears we may be confident and unashamed before him at his coming.” (1 John 2:28).

    3. Some Christians in Heaven will “suffer loss” when their lives on earth are evaluated at the judgment seat of Christ.

    “If any man builds on this foundation [the foundation of Christ] using gold, silver, costly stones, wood hay or straw, his work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each man’s work. If what he has built survives, he will receive his reward. If it is burned up, he will suffer loss; he himself will be saved, but only as one escaping through the flames.” (1 Corinthians 3:12-15)

    4. Christians at the judgment seat will experience certain consequences of good they have failed to do and bad they have done:

    “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive what is due him for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad” (2 Corinthians 5:10).

    “Anyone who does wrong will be repaid for his wrong, and there is no favoritism” (Colossians 3:25).

    The believer’s judgment is of works, not sins. But apparently the commission of sins results in the omission of righteous works.

    Hence, the loss of reward that we would have had if we hadn’t lived in sin. There is no indication that rewards missed by virtue of lack of service on earth (1 Cor. 3: 13-15) will be later achieved in some other way. In Heaven, how we have lived on earth will have eternal effects.”

    ——————

    I know Mr. Alcorn thinks that only our fallen nature causes us to be “jealous,” and that the regret of not being the best will cease shortly after the judgment seat of Christ for believers. However, heaven still will be less “heavenly” for some than for others, even by his own reasoning (which makes sense because of the whole concept of rewards in heaven to begin with).

    I am still bothered by this. I feel like being annihilated then due to my failures (if it could be an actual option) because of God’s subtle and eternal judgment of my failures since I didn’t receive the best reward. God is telling me what a LOSER I am for ALL eternity! Otherwise, if I weren’t a **LOSER** in His eyesight, **I** would have received the reward, NOT someone else!

    I feel like even God believes, “second place is a waste of space!” as only ***ONE,**** even according to St. Paul, receives the best price! It makes me feel bitter and resentful toward Him. Some Christians will ALWAYS be pitted here on Earth against others to earn the reward over and above them! Competitiveness, to me, belongs in the mindsets of those who are fallen…NOT holy!

    To win, someone MUST be kicked underneath you by default, even if you are not purposefully setting out to do it that way — even if they fall underneath you by their own failures! Why would God do this? It does pit people against each other by default on Earth, and some must be forever shamed so that others get to be more special in heaven!

    God IS saying they are better and more valuable than you are by default — otherwise, why give rewards? So, if God had to choose between them and you based off the same reasoning He uses for rewards, you don’t mean jack squat compared to that special person!

    Heaven doesn’t seem quite so heavenly under this scenario! I know I wrote too much, but this issue is bothering me immensely!

  5. Anon

    Thank you for posting my comments. I know they are at least a little abrasive, but I am in a bad place right now. Sometimes, when I put bad thoughts out there and others challenge them, I am actually benefited (even though I believe I sometimes shouldn’t have said such things to begin with).

    Part of me hopes I am NOT being too harmful to others who are reading my comments right now, but I feel these dark thoughts must be resolved somehow. I wonder if others are having similar ones. Will anyone challenge my comments on this? Some very rational, hard hitting and Biblically-based insights would be very helpful to me! Thank you!

  6. Anon

    I would like to share more of my thoughts on this subject, since it has been bothering me very much. It will be long. I discussed this topic with someone else, too, and she thought a heaven where there was any eternal, unchanging rewards and positions at all would be a less than perfect state as well. She thought such a scenario would be no different than the ways things are here on Earth, with some people being deemed more special and better, while others are relegated. She thought Heaven should be a great equalizer, not a place that is status-conscious.

    I do consider myself a capitalist (and so does she), but in a perfect, sinless Heaven, she expected things to be different (more of an ideal form of communism, perhaps). Communism is a dismal failure here on Earth, and capitalism brings the best quality of life, but in Heaven, where there is no sin, I expected it to be different and more equal between men, and not so position-conscious between the “haves” and the “have-nots.”

    I have read the entire Bible (but not the person I discussed this with), and I know the passages concerning heavenly rewards, which at face value do appear to teach degrees of rewards in Heaven. However, I also know that some do not agree with this interpretation, like one website, which stated, “Though it is popular to see these [passages] as different types of reward (crown of righteousness, crown of gold, crown of life, etc.) a majority of commentators believe these are different ways of referring to the one reward of eternal life.” Creig Blomberg’s article “DEGREES OF REWARD IN THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN?” is one example.

    Others are bothered by the whole concept of rewards in heaven too (though not for the same reasons I am). Some think the focus should be solely on doing right by Christ, and not on getting rewards. Others, like Creig above, believe that “[we are] left with justification by faith and sanctification by works” when believing in degrees of rewards in Heaven.

    ————————-

    As an aside: I am not a Calvinist (and to state my bias, I hope it is not true), but the whole idea of rewards in Heaven also appears to fly in the face of reformed theology. I can definitely see why most Calvinists do not like this, especially those who heavily promote God’s mongeristic grace, including sanctification. It completely contradicts the theology of those who promote mongerism for everything.

    This is because God would be giving Himself diminished glory in giving people lesser rewards, as opposed to giving Himself the most glory, as nearly all Calvinistic apologists I have read online promote Him as doing. God ensures the efforts necessary to obtain the rewards in a mongeristic scenario, so that no man can take any credit at all for having done the right thing, but only God. Can you see why degrees of rewards make zero sense under such a theology?

    Nevertheless, this wouldn’t apply so much against Calvinists who allow for libertarian free will or synergism for sanctification only after the new birth, but it definitely weakens their apologetic about God’s grace and sovereignty bring paramount against man’s free will or choice in salvation, since God does allow it be true under this modified scenario for sanctification.

    So, Creig might be a little biased here due to his reformed theology. However, I was of course comforted by the idea of there NOT being a degree of rewards in Heaven, since I feel it is making people into permanent winners and losers due to their own efforts, rather than focusing on what Christ did for us (who, unlike us, can never go astray nor make a mistake in His owns efforts for good).

    Focusing on rewards may also lead to legalism and a lack of assurance (though I know this may not necessarily be true but I have heard it stated by others). I too am biased, but likely not for the same reasons Creig may be. However, he maybe correct after all (in spite of what his personal motivations may or may not be).

    I have feared Calvinism being true for a long time now, but the argument for a literal interpretation of various rewards lead me to be more assured that is not as strongly taught in the Bible as some would have us believe. Yet again, this same thing that lead to some assurance against Calvinism has also deeply bothered me at the same time as it had provided me comfort (for the reasons I described in detail above). Now, I am not so sure I want there to be any rewards in Heaven, even if it disproves higher Calvinism!

    ———————

    Someone stated to me on another blog, “You wish for annihilation over heaven, which means you’d rather go out of existence than spent eternity with Jesus?? Be careful now. Think of what you’re saying,” and “Yes. Heaven will be heavenly. You’re focusing on yourself and forgetting the most important word. Justice. God is just, He repays to each according to what they have done. If some arrive in heaven by the skin of their teeth and others are granted a kingdom to shepherd or rule, that is because we store up treasures according to our works and our obedience. If you arrive in heaven and see that your works and obedience was a lot less than you thought, that is your own fault, because whatever Jesus gives you is PERFECT in its fairness and justice.”

    I know this should be true, but what a harsh judgment to have to live with for eternity, even when you’re supposed to be covered by God’s grace in a perfect Heaven! I feel terrible about the shame I might have to live with, and feel like such a failure already! Yes, it’s making me feel like I shouldn’t exist! I feel pretty badly about it. I don’t feel like I am such a great asset to God that He needs me there in Heaven, being such a failure, when there are others much better than myself to supply the “lack!” I know Christians aren’t supposed to be thinking this way, but I am and it must be dealt with! My pride is a factor here too, and yes, I am a loser!

    I am focusing a lot on myself here, but this is indeed a natural consequence of focusing on obtaining “heavenly gold” for yourself and seeing if you “measure” up against others when God judges you for it. The focus cannot be solely on God in such a case, but rather on what you did or didn’t do (even if your role is only enabled by saying “yes” to God’s grace and leading). I guess I am starting to think like a Calvinist here and I am sympathetic toward Calvinism for this topic, when I have literally hated it concerning so many other subjects!

    The positive side about Calvinism here is that the burden is taken off of man and placed solely into the hands of God, and man is NOT expected to focus so much on **his** own super efforts/willingness for sanctification (nor receiving rewards for good works) as on having faith solely in God’s will and leading! Yes, I did find something potentially comforting about Calvinism here! However, of course, none of this makes for truth! It is mainly emotional and not very objective.

    • UnForsaken

      Anon, I don’t have answers for your questions. However, it has always been my impression that heavenly rewards have nothing to do with being compared to our fellow believers. I believe they are a way God gives us a special kind of individual Approval, but not one that would set us higher or lower than others. It might be a pointing out of a way we are close to Him. But it will be about just me and Him….no one else. Kind of like a big family of kids. The parent loves all equally, but praises each individually. It’s a thought, anyway !

      You are right on target about people’s foolish comparisons. Heaven will be totally free of our petty inhumanity, and full of great Joy.

      Thanks for this interesting topic! ❤

      • UnForsaken

        Another thought. We will have new bodies in heaven, and will not be human as we know it now. Why should we then Own our sin? It will be all gone, no longer ours. If God shows us more evil in our past then, I believe it might be the hidden sins we couldn’t see before. Why? NOT to guilt us, as the sin is no longer ours, but to show us how much more He has done, how much greater He is than we knew before. I do believe it will be an Amazed and Delighted experience, not a shaming one. It will be about HIM.

        But that is what I believe. I don’t know what kind of theology it would be called, but I do know that there is NO condemnation in Christ. ❤

  7. Anon

    Thank you very much unForsaken for your kind words! While discussing this again with the person I referred to earlier who actually isn’t even a Christian that didn’t like the idea of an unequal heaven either, she actually ended up helping me form another idea. I may have also gotten help from the Lord, but I am not sure.

    The rewards system may not be so much over judging who is a better/more righteous person, as much as judging who is able to handle a higher position or role in heaven (as indicated/symbolized by the crowns received from God). It may not be so much penal as it is practical.

    The Lord Jesus gave his servants different amounts of money in His parables to invest as well (this is before any of them ever even entered heaven to be so much as judged by Him yet). I think this is because He knows people have been given different abilities by Him and not all can handle the same level of responsibly anyway, even without potentially squandering their chances for the full reward while here on earth (before sin could even be a factor at all).

    In other words, some people, while doing everything right and better compared to their equals, may only be able to obtain “2 talents & 2 cities” at the maximum to rule over, due to their abilities and opportunities (or lack thereof), while others with greater abilities may be given “5 talents & 5 cities.”

    Also, the woman I was talking with gave me an example of (1) doctors and emergency medical technicians (EMTs) to consider, in addition to (2) a bodily example. For the first example, doctors are considered smarter and more prestigious/higher-up than EMTs, and they are far more respected and compensated for their work.

    HOWEVER, a doctor cannot be a “one man/woman” show in the real world; he/she must have help in order to do their job to save lives! If everyone fulfilled only the role of a doctor, then there would be no one to pick up the emergency patients in order to see the doctor to begin with!

    Many times, even in business, the management needs “lower” workers to help them with “lower” tasks so that they can get their own “higher” projects done in a timely manner. A lot of times, the “secret” and often times unacknowledged work of the lower echelon is actually what makes a manager look good as opposed to mediocre. In other words, not everyone can be at the top because even the top needs the “lower” people to support themselves!

    For the second example, to paraphrase, she had talked about the brain and heart feeling superior to all other organs, and downgrading all other organs in the body because of it. Then, the intestines felt so bad they released waste all over the body and killed the whole person.

    So, neither the heart nor brain could survive without the “lowly and waste-eating” intestines, when they were feeling so high and mighty and superior! She had given me this example before a long time ago concerning another subject, and it has been very useful to me here!

    In line with this thinking, I also recalled that St. Paul gave the following analogy concerning roles within the church in 1 Corinthians 12:

    —————-

    “For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ. For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit. For the body is not one member, but many.

    If the foot shall say, Because I am not the hand, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body? And if the ear shall say, Because I am not the eye, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body? If the whole body were an eye, where were the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where were the smelling? But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased him.

    And if they were all one member, where were the body? But now are they many members, yet but one body. And the eye cannot say unto the hand, I have no need of thee: nor again the head to the feet, I have no need of you. Nay, much more those members of the body, which seem to be more feeble, are necessary: And those members of the body, which we think to be less honourable, upon these we bestow more abundant honour; and our uncomely parts have more abundant comeliness.

    For our comely parts have no need: but God hath tempered the body together, having given more abundant honour to that part which lacked: That there should be no schism in the body; but that the members should have the same care one for another. And whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with it; or one member be honoured, all the members rejoice with it.”

    ————————–

    Perhaps somehow even in heaven, like here on earth, other hierarchical roles are indeed necessary and not optional (even though heaven is supposed to be a perfect place and God is omnipotent and could give everyone the same abilities). God may not give everyone the same abilities because He needs people for different roles, not because He wants to relegate people and devalue them.

    This may be similar to the differing roles of men and women given by the Bible while here on earth, which feminists believe devalue women, while others believe that both sexes are equal in value just different according to Biblical standards (even while women are weaker in some ways than men). St. Paul has said that in heaven, there is neither Jew nor Greek, male or female, slave nor free, but all are one in Jesus Christ (Galatians 3). I know this passage had mainly to do with who the children of faith are, but it may also somewhat apply to status in heaven, with everyone being valued equally while having different roles/rewards.

    Maybe having a lesser reward/role in heaven is due to the fact a person has proven they cannot handle greater responsibility, not that they are actually being punished by being relegated/demoted, in comparison to the person who actually won the crown and was elevated. In this way, a lesser role may not be living in a subtle form of eternal shame for failing to do the best job here on earth, but instead given according to what they can actually do 100% successfully, even if only their will is actually why they failed here on earth compared to somebody else. I believe a consistently strong-willed person is still demonstrating greater ability/fortitude to rule than a person who wavered and was weaker in their will (and hence failed).

    Both St. Paul and Jesus Christ say to take heed that no one else takes your crown (1 Corinthians 9:27 & Revelation 3:11), so the ability for perhaps anyone may be there to win some kind of crown above another person, but will and compliance still matter and might be an indicator of built-up fortitude and ability (which the “loser” failed to exercise and strengthen, and therefore disqualified themselves, making the other person the better fit for that particular role/crown). However, this still may not be a subtle punishment or loss in VALUE and HONOR of an individual, as it is a judgment on who is most FIT and QUALIFIED for a certain role/reward.

    I know this may be my own reasoning and likely isn’t 100% accurate though. I am a female witness, too, so be careful. But I believe it is the best I have come up with for now, while maintaining that the text concerning degrees of rewards in heaven is literal and right. I really wanted to share this insight with all who maybe reading this, and I hope again that I help someone else. Thank you.

  8. Dear Brother,

    I loved your blog on this subject of rewards. Allow me to pose something the LORD gave me in a dream. Yes, you “heard “me right—in a dream.

    Back in 1999 I served as worship pastor (unpaid) in a church that had an extremely legalistic and old covenant kind of head Pastor. He was very unkind to many and was eventually dismissed. He hurt me personally which took a couple of years to work through. Folks who serve in worship are generally gentle, sensitive souls anyway : )

    I began to judge this man (wrong though it was) and would actually speak out loud to those who were also hurt by him, and I questioned whether or not he was a Christian. Then came the dream with a not-so-subtle rebuke in it…

    I dreamed of the many mansions in the heavenly city of Jerusalem, and it was so incredibly beautiful that I cannot even attempt to describe them here, and the colors!!! Some of the colors are not even in our rainbow. The mansions all had open faces to them, like a doll house; no fronts or doors; I could see who was inside and how big (or small) their mansions were. Here’s the rub: I saw this pastor there in a little cubicle sized “mansion” and it was at the end of a large collection of other rooms that were spacious and large. His was the most humble and was more like a closet than a room. But HE WAS JOYFUL! And the biggest surprise of all was that no one, and I mean no one even looked at each other’s mansion, or was aware of the differences in who got what.

    First revelation: don’t judge your brother, especially when considering salvation. It’s NEVER our call no matter what!
    Second revelation: Jesus is our reward (I understand that there are other rewards being handed out in heaven and here as you stated), and the heavenly rewards did not register in the minds of believers in regards to size in the dream, comparisons, justice, etc. No, that’s all human understanding and is based solely on pride and covetousness. Of course we will not know any of that junk anymore on the other side. Hallelujah!!!

    That’s it for now, keep writing! I love your heart.

    Christopher

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