By Nathan Jones
Besides crowns, what other types of heavenly rewards are there?
To answer that question, Dr. David Reagan and I on our television program Christ in Prophecy invited Glenn Meredith, senior pastor for 30 years of Brookhaven Church in McKinney, Texas. Pastor Meredith is a very gifted communicator who is able to present the depths of God's Word in simple to understand language. Last fall he presented a sermon about heavenly rewards that deeply impressed Dr. Reagan, and so he was invited to share some of what he's learned about this topic.
Various Heavenly Rewards
Nathan Jones: Besides crowns, what will those in Heaven be wearing? Are there rewards based on say clothing? Will there be different styles of clothing? We read in Revelation about white robes.
Glenn Meredith: I don't know for sure about different styles, but we might have variances.
Dr. Reagan: It says in Revelation, "To her, the Bride of Christ, is given fine linen bright and clean that will reflect the righteous acts of the Saints." There may be some sort of emblems on one's robe or whatever that would indicate different tasks that we did in service to the Lord. I think clothes are some of many kinds of rewards that are going to be given out.
Glenn Meredith: Perhaps there will be different levels of glory that will be somehow revealed in us. Paul talks about in 2 Corinthians 4 about these light afflictions that are but for a moment but are working for us towards the exceedingly eternal weight of glory. Romans 8 say, "I reckon the sufferings of this present life are not worthy to be compared with the glory that shall be revealed to us."
Then you have what the Bible teaches about how we are going to reign with Christ.
Nathan Jones: Yes, a lot of people write into this ministry and they ask, "What are we actually going to be doing during the Millennial Kingdom? What does the Bible say is the job reward for believers?"
Dr. Reagan: Some of the rewards are indeed going to be given out in the Millennial Reign of Jesus Christ before we get to the eternal state. Jesus said He'd put one person over one city, one over five, and one over ten. Therefore, I think during the Millennial reign you're going to have every person who is in a position of authority on planet earth will be a person who is in a glorified body and we'll be reigning over those in fleshly bodies. So, every mayor, every governor, every president, king, whatever will be those of us in glorified bodies.
Jesus will be Kings of kings and Lord of lords in Jerusalem. It says that David will be in his glorified body as the King of Israel. And then, those in glorified bodies are going to be scattered all of the world to reign, but we're going to have degrees of reigning authority, and that's part of the overall rewards that we will receive.
Glenn Meredith: I think that's correct. Then you also must add to that from Matthew 6 where Jesus talked about laying up our treasures in Heaven. We've got different degrees of treasure then. In 1 Timothy 6, Paul is exhorting those who are rich in this world when he exhorts, or commands, them to be generous and to be rich in good works so that they may lay up treasures in Heaven which is a firm foundation for the coming age.
So, we've got these people in Heaven one day who are going to have different crowns. They've got perhaps different ways that the glory of God is revealed through them. They've got different authority that's been given to them, delegated to them by the Lord Jesus Christ based on their faithfulness in this world in serving Him. You've got different amounts of treasure in Heaven.
And then, in addition to all of that, and this is astounding, but in Matthew 5 Jesus says that some people in the Kingdom will be called least in the kingdom and others will be called great in the kingdom. Jesus said those who do not obey God and who teach others to not obey will be called least in the Kingdom. Those who obey and teach others to obey will be called great. So, obviously some will be called least and some will be called great. Some have great treasures and some have little to no treasure. Some will have multiple crowns perhaps, and some no crowns. So, not everyone is going to be the same in Heaven. There's going to be distinction among us.
Dr. Reagan: Incidentally, with regard to those rewards I mentioned, during the Millennium the degrees of reigning authority will also carry over into the eternal state, because we are told we are going to reign with the Lord Jesus Christ forever and ever. So, there's even going to be degrees of reigning authority in the eternal state.
Glenn Meredith: That's exactly correct.
Nathan Jones: I liked what you said too about the glorified bodies that we'll be in during the Millennial Kingdom. Having new bodies is a form of reward. That we will have a brand new body is an exciting prospect.
Dr. Reagan: You better believe it!
Nathan Jones: But, to me, I think the most important aspect of heavenly rewards is that we will dwell with our Heavenly Father forever. I mean, what a reward! God had to send His own Son to die to make that type of reward happen. To have fellowship with God like during the Garden of Eden again forever to me, that's the best reward of them all. Who cares about my crown or not, for I want to be with God forever.
Dr. Reagan: The Bible teaches that when you are born again you are immediately given not only the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, but the Holy Spirit gifts you in a supernatural way. You get some sort of supernatural gift. It may be where you're talented, or it may not be where you're talented.
For example, I've seen singers who were great singers, but when they became members of the Lord's body He didn't gift them there. They still are great singers, but they could get up and sing the Lord's Prayer and people applaud. Somebody who is gifted gets up and sings it and maybe doesn't sing it perfectly, but everybody is weeping at the end because they're gifted by the Holy Spirit to touch people for Jesus.
Dr. Reagan: So, we're given spiritual giftedness, and we may be given additional gifts as we go along, but we have to ask ourselves, "How do we use those gifts to advance the Kingdom?" I think we are going to be judged on that. God will ask, "I gave you the gift of mercy, and how did you use it?" "I gave you the gift of administration, so how did you use it to advance my Kingdom?" Those will be the questions God asks of us along that line.
The Bible indicates that we going to be judged based on the quantity of our works as well as the quality of our works and even the motivation of our works.
I can imagine some world famous person right now, maybe a great television evangelist or somebody who is known all over the world, and he stands before the Lord Jesus Christ. The Lord says, "On the day that you were born again I gave you the gift of evangelism and you used it mightily to bring many people in the kingdom, but I knew your motivation. Your motivation was to get your picture on the front of Time magazine. You achieved that, so here's your reward — your picture on Time magazine."
Glenn Meredith: Yes, exactly! Brother Dave, I believe knowing that is so important, because I think that's where many Christians make the mistake. When you talk to Christians about rewards they often go, "Oh, no, no, no, I'm not doing it for the reward" because they think that if their motive is for the reward that disqualifies them. They misunderstand that Jesus in Matthew 6 I believe says not to do it for the praise of men. The wrong motive is when I'm doing these works so that people will look at me and say, "Isn't he wonderful." Jesus said that's what's wrong. But, He says, "No, instead of praying in public where everybody thinks what a great prayer you are, go into your closet, pray in secret, and your Father who sees in secret will reward you." Jesus says He's going to reward you, so go in that closet and in doing so He'll reward you. Just don't do it for the reward of men.
Nathan Jones: I think when we'll be Heaven how we'll be surprised how some of the greatest names in teaching, because of an improper motive or whatnot, created for themselves a small crown. Whereas the little old lady no one knew about who diligently filled the communion cups every weekend will probably be staggering around Heaven with a massive crown. We'll be surprised.
Glenn Meredith: Jesus even said that on that day the last will be first and the first shall be last. I think that's exactly right.
Dr. Reagan: That's one of the reasons why I teach very strongly that people need to find out what their spiritual gifts are. There are many ways to do that. You can study the Word. You can talk to people who know you. You can talk to your pastor. You can take a spiritual gifts inventory tests to help you find out what your gifts are to use them to advance the Kingdom.
In the fourth and last part of this series on heavenly rewards, Pastor Glenn Meredith will explain if the rewards are temporal or permanent.