The heritage of the faithful

129 the heritage of the faithful

The heritage of believers is salvation and eternal life in Christ as God's children in communion with the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Already, the father puts believers in the kingdom of his son; their inheritance will be kept ready in heaven and will be handed over in full at the second coming of Christ. The Risen Saints reign with Christ in the Kingdom of God. (1, John 3,1-2, 2,25, Roman 8, 16-21, Colossus 1,13, Daniel 7,27, 1, Peter 1,3-5, Revelation 5,10)

The rewards of following Christ

Peter once asked Jesus, "Then Peter began, and said to him, Behold, we have forsaken all things, and have followed you; what is given to us? "(Mt 19,27). We could put it this way: "We've given up a lot to be here. Is it really worth it? " Some of us may ask the same question. We gave up a lot on our journey - career, families, jobs, status, pride. Is it really worth it? Is there any reward for us?

We have often talked about rewards in the Kingdom of God. Many members found this speculation very encouraging and motivating. This expressed eternal life in terms we could understand. We could introduce ourselves with physical rewards that make our sacrifices worthwhile.

The good news is that our work and sacrifices are not in vain. Our efforts will be rewarded - even the sacrifices we made on the basis of doctrinaire misunderstandings. Jesus says that whenever our motive is right - when our work and sacrifice are done for the sake of His name - we will be rewarded.

I think it will be helpful to discuss the kind of rewards that God promises us. Holy Scripture has a lot to say about it. God knows that we ask this question. We need an answer. He inspired the writers of the Scriptures to talk about rewards, and I am confident that if God bids a reward, we will find them extremely rewarding - far beyond what we even dare to ask (Eph 3,20).

Rewards for now and forever

Let's begin by looking at the way Jesus answered Peter's question: "Jesus said to them," Truly, I say to you, you who have followed me will be born again, when the Son of Man will sit on the throne of his glory, also sit on twelve thrones and judge the twelve tribes of Israel. And whoever leaves houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or fields for my name's sake will receive it a hundred times and inherit eternal life "(Mt 19,28-29).

The Gospel of Mark makes it clear that Jesus speaks about two different temporal periods. "Jesus said, Verily, I say unto you, there is no one to leave home, or brothers, or sisters, or mother, or father, or children, or fields, for my sake and for the sake of the Gospel, who does not receive a hundredfold; Sisters and mothers and children and fields in the midst of persecutions - and in the future world eternal life "(Mk 10,29-30).

Jesus states emphatically that God will reward us generously - but he also warns us that this life is not a life of physical luxury. We will go through persecutions, trials and suffering in this life. But the blessings outweigh the difficulties in the relationship 100: 1. No matter what sacrifices we bring, we will be well rewarded. The Christian life is certainly worth it.

Of course, Jesus does not promise to give any 100 field that gives up a farm to follow him. He does not promise to make everyone prosperous. He does not promise to give 100 moms. He does not speak strictly literally here. What he means is that the things we receive from him in this life will be worth a hundred times as much as the things we give up - measured by true value, eternal value, not transitory physical fashions.

Even our trials have a spiritual value to our benefit (Rom 5,3-4, Jak 1,2-4), and this is worth more than gold (1Pt 1,7). God sometimes gives us gold and other temporary rewards (perhaps as an indication of the better things to come), but the rewards that count the most are those that last the longest.

Frankly, I doubt that the disciples understood what Jesus said. They still thought in terms of a physical kingdom that would soon bring the Israelites earthly freedom and power (Act 1,6). The martyrdom of Stephen and James (Act 7,57-60, 12,2) may seem like a lot
Surprise come. Where was the hundredfold reward for her?

Parables about reward

In various parables, Jesus indicated that faithful disciples would receive great rewards. Sometimes the reward is described as domination, but Jesus also used other ways to describe our reward.

In the parable of the workers in the vineyard, the gift of salvation is represented by a daily wage (Mt 20,9-16). In the parable of the virgins, the wedding supper is the reward (Mt 25,10).

In the parable of the talents, the reward is described in a general way: one is "overstepped" and can "go into the joy of the Lord" (v. 20-23).

In the parable of the sheep and the goats, the blessed disciples are allowed to inherit a kingdom (v. 34). In the parable of the stewards, the faithful steward is rewarded by being placed above all the goods of the master (Lk 12,42-44).

In the parables of the pounds, the loyal servants were given dominion over cities (Lk 19,16-19). Jesus promised 12 disciples rule over the tribes of Israel (Mt 19,28, Lk 22,30). Members of the community of Thyatira are given power over the nations (Offb 2,26-27).

Jesus advised the disciples to "gather treasures in heaven!" (Mt 6,19-21). He pointed out that what we do in this life will be rewarded in the future - but what kind of reward is it? What good is a treasure if there is nothing to buy? If roads are made of gold, what will be the value of gold?

If we have a spiritual body, we will not need physical things anymore. I mean, this fact suggests that when we think about eternal rewards, we should talk first and foremost about spiritual rewards, not about physical things that will pass away. But the problem is that we do not have the vocabulary to describe the details of an existence we have never experienced. Therefore, we must use words based on the physical, even if we try to describe what the spiritual looks like.

Our eternal reward will be like a treasure. In some ways, it will be like inheriting a kingdom. In some ways it will be as when [as steward] is set over the goods of the Lord. It will be like having a vineyard managed for the Master. It will be like the responsibility over cities. It will be like a wedding supper when we share in the joy of the Lord. The reward is similar to these things - and much more.

Our spiritual blessings will be far better than the physical things we know in this life. Our eternity in God's presence will be much more glorious and joyful than physical rewards. All physical things, no matter how beautiful or precious, are but faint shadows of infinitely better heavenly rewards.

Eternal joy with God

David put it this way: "You make known to me the way to life: before you joy is the fullness and bliss of your right forever" (Ps 16,11). John described it as a time when there will be "no death, no suffering, no more screaming, no more pain" (Offb 20,4). Everyone will be happy. There will be no dissatisfaction of any kind. No one will be able to think that things could be even better in a tiny way. We will have achieved the purpose for which God created us.

Isaiah described some of these joys as he prophesied that a nation would return to their land: "The redeemed of the LORD will come again and come to Zion with rejoicings; eternal joy will be over their heads; Joy and bliss will grasp them, and sorrow and sigh will escape "(Isaiah 35,10). We will be in the presence of God and we will be happier than we ever have been. This is what Christianity traditionally wanted to convey with the concept of "going to heaven".

Is it wrong to want a reward?

Some critics of Christianity have mocked the concept of heaven as an unrealistic hope - but mockery is not a good form of reasoning. The real question is, is there a reward or not? Is there really a reward in heaven, then it is not ridiculous if we have the hope to enjoy it. If we are really rewarded then it is ridiculous not to want them.

The simple fact is that God has promised to reward us. "But without faith it is impossible to please God; because who wants to come to God, must believe that he is and that he gives their reward to those who seek him "(Hebr 11,6). Belief in rewards is part of the Christian faith. Nevertheless, some people think that it is somehow humiliating or less than honorable for Christians to want to be rewarded for their work. They think that Christians should serve with a motive of love without rewards for their work. But that's not the full message of the Bible. In addition to the free gift of salvation by grace through faith, the Bible promises rewards to its people, and it is not wrong to desire the promises of God.

Certainly we should serve God out of the motivation of love and not as hirelings who only work for wages. Nevertheless, the Scriptures speak of rewards and assure us that we will be rewarded. It is honorable for us to believe in God's promises and to be encouraged by them. Rewards are not the only motive of God's redeemed children, but they are part of the package that God has given us.

When life becomes difficult, it is helpful for us to remember that there is another life in which we are rewarded. "If we hope for Christ in this life alone, we are the most wretched among all people" (1Kor 15,19). Paul knew that future life would make his sacrifices worthwhile. He gave up temporary pleasures to seek better, long-term pleasures (Phil 3,8).

Paul was not afraid to use the language of "profit" (Phil 1,21; 1T in 3,13; 6,6; Hebr 11,35). He knew that his future life would be much better than the persecutions of this life. Jesus also thought of the blessings of his own sacrifice, and he was ready to endure the cross because he saw great joy in the hereafter (Hebr 12,2).

When Jesus advised us to collect treasures in heaven (Mt 6,19-20), he did not oppose investing - he was against bad investments. Do not invest in temporary rewards, but invest in heavenly rewards that will last forever. "It will be richly rewarded in heaven" (Mt 5,12). "The kingdom of God is like a treasure hidden in the field" (Mt. 13,44).

God has prepared something wonderfully good for us and we will find it extremely pleasing. It is right for us to rejoice in these blessings, and as we overturn the costs of following Jesus, it is also right to count the blessings and promises we have been promised.

"What every good man does, he will receive from the Lord" (Eph. 6,8). "All that you do, do it from the heart as the Lord and not the man, for you know that you will receive the inheritance from the Lord as a reward. You serve the Lord Christ! "(Kol 3,23-24). "Imagine that you do not lose what we have worked out, but receive full pay" (2Joh 8).

Very big promises

What God has in store for us is truly beyond our imagination. Even in this life, God's love goes beyond our ability to understand (Eph 3,19). The peace of God is higher than our reason (Phil 4,7), and its joy goes beyond our ability to put it into words (1Pt 1,8). How much more is it then impossible to describe how good it will be to live with God forever?

The biblical writers did not give us much detail. But one thing we know for sure - it will be the most wonderful experience we'll ever experience. It is better than the most beautiful paintings, better than the most delicious food, better than the most exciting sport, better than the best feelings and experiences we have ever had. It's better than anything on earth. It will be a tremendous reward! God is truly generous! We have received exceedingly great and precious promises - and the privilege of sharing this wonderful message with others. What joy should fill our hearts!

To put it in the words of 1. Peter 1,3-9: "Praise be to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has reborn us after His great mercy, to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an everlasting and immaculate and unfading inheritance that keeps in Heaven, for you, who are saved by God's power through faith, becomes the blessedness that is ready to be revealed to the last time. Then you will rejoice that you are now a little time, if it is to be, sad in many trials, so that your faith may be found to be genuine and much more precious than the transient gold that is purified by fire, to praise, price, and Honor, when revealed is Jesus Christ. You have not seen Him and love Him; and now you believe in him, though you do not see him; but you will rejoice with unspeakable and glorious joy when you attain the goal of your faith, which is the soul's bliss. "

We have a lot to thank, a lot of reason to be happy and to celebrate a lot!

by Joseph Tkach

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