Introduction to Eternal Rewards (1 of 12)

Mike Connell

When He says: “I never knew you”, the word ‘knew’ is the word used to describe the intimacy of a husband and a wife - it's a very deep intimacy. The first priority we have is an intimate relationship with Jesus - to know Him. It's like a life-long journey, deepening my connection to Him, bringing the little things in my life to Him, having it invade the little parts of my life. And it results in heart transformation.

God is looking for people who want to know Him, and want to find what He wants; so you can either live your life pleasing everyone, doing what everyone else wants - oh you're a great person, doing this, doing that - but the key question is: did you do what God designed you to do; or did you fit someone else's plan? It really will always come down to that and so the first reason they were rejected was because of a deep lack of ongoing intimacy that led to transformation of their heart.

Jesus in contrast, in John 17:4 said - “I have brought honour to You, I finished the work You gave me to do and I manifested Your name or revealed Your heart.” We see it all in there.

The second thing he says is: “you're workers of iniquity”. That word means: to be distorted from God's original intention or plan. Probably, it means: to promote yourself. What He's saying is: you never made Me your first priority, and grew in the knowledge of Me, and had a transformation of heart, so you become like Me. What you did instead was: you promoted yourself, and used the gifts for your benefit, and for your advancement.

You can see then, that the labours had no eternal value, because of what motivated them. Their heart remained; and He said: great will be the fall. The key challenge then is, as we just go through it very simply, just an overview…

1) Eternal rewards are real. God is a rewarder; and people throughout the Bible have been motivated by that hope.

2) God's eternal rewards are rewards that go into the millennium. They start at the millennium, go into the millennium, and right through to eternity. They're given at Jesus' coming, and Jesus taught it directly - that He would reward people at His coming. He also taught it in His parables indirectly. John saw it in His teaching, in His revelation, in the Book of Revelation.

3) God is going to evaluate each one of us. Every person will give an account of themselves; and what we'll give account of ourselves for, is how. What sort of work we've done, and what was the motivation in it? He will check all our work - what sort, or what value, there was in the work.

If it's motivated by love, and the desire to honour God, and love people, then it's work that lasts the fire. If it's motivated by self-promotion, and self-interest, then it won't last.

4) We saw then that rewards are at stake, and the rewards involve increasing intimacy with Jesus. It involves authority and responsibility in His kingdom. It involved realms of glory in our resurrection body.

5) Finally, we can choose to be a wise, or a foolish, builder. The wise builder understands that the teachings of Jesus, in Matthew 5:6-7 (the Sermon on the Mount), are designed to show us the heart characteristics of the kingdom that will cause a stable life, that will be rewarded.

We saw also when Jesus spoke, that at the Day of the Lord there will be a massive shaking that will uncover everything that people have built. God will see to it that everything we've done will be brought to the light.

The wise one will have built his life on a revelation of Jesus Christ and obedience to Him. The foolish man will have heard all this stuff, but there's been no transformation, no change. He basically still does his own thing. The key thing is: he that does the will of My Father.

Doing the will of My Father - first thing, is His desire for intimacy; and second, His desire for us to change; and thirdly, His desire to discover and fulfil our assignment.

So, there it is: kingdom rewards - the introduction to it. I've just started you off, and once you start, you see it's a huge thing in the Bible. There's many topics that we could just branch out from, in all these areas.