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Introduction to Eternal Rewards (1 of 12)

Mike Connell

We see very clearly that Moses was motivated by hope of reward, and we see several things...

The first thing is about him, is that he refused to identify with Egypt. Now Egypt is a prophetic picture of the world, with its values, its rewards, its incentives... all the things in it which are very temporary in nature. Whenever the Bible refers to Egypt, it always refers to the world dominated by Satan - its values, its culture, all that's in the world - the pride of life, the lust of the eyes, and the lust of the flesh. All those things are enemies in the relationship with God.

Firstly, it says that he refused to identify with Egypt - even though he had access to privilege and position.

Secondly, he refused the convenient, comfortable life - just cruising along in sin, with the temporary pleasure; and he chose instead that he would identify with Jesus Christ, identify with His purpose, and identify with the people of God.

It was a big choice for him. It was the decision to let go a life of privilege, of position, of power; and instead to identify with God, to identify with the people of God, and with the purpose of God... and he totally embraced it! He chose to accept reproach, ridicule, and misunderstanding of his peers. He chose to suffer affliction with the people of God.

When you choose to follow Jesus, the people who knew you - they think you've gone crazy, that you've gone weird! You don't do the things you used to do, because you've chosen a different path; and that path has with it, some hardship. It usually has the hardship of misunderstandings and ridicule by people; esteeming the reproach of Christ, for a greater rich, than the treasures of Egypt - he looked for the reward.

That word ‘looked’ means ‘to have respect for’ - so he valued, or had great respect for, what God offered. He must have had a revelation of it. God must have shown it to him.

It means: to turn the eyes away from everything else and fix them on one thing.

So Moses, even though he's surrounded by everything you could buy... he had money, he had position, power, the opportunity to sin, opportunity to have anything - he turned his eyes away from it all, and fixed his eyes on something that God had shown him - an eternal reward! Something that was not temporary, something that would go on into eternity - forever, and ever, and ever, and ever! he chose the eternal over the temporal.

We find also that the Bible tells of other men and women of faith, who were also motivated by the hope of reward. In Hebrews 11:35, it says: women received their dead raised to life again. Others were tortured, not accepting deliverance, that they might obtain a better resurrection.

It's saying here that people, by faith, got miracles to happen! By faith, they endured suffering and even death; and what they saw was that there was a better resurrection available for them.

This opens a whole lot of questions about resurrection. The word ‘better’ resurrection implies that there's the better one, and there's a lesser one; one is better than the other! If you're going to have that opportunity to have something; or something better - you want something better! I always want a bit better for me, I want better for my children, and so on.

In this case, ‘better’, means stronger, more noble, more excellent, greater in strength or power… so clearly there are two resurrections, and one of them is a better one! One of them is stronger. One of them is more powerful. One of them has better outcomes for us.

There is the first resurrection; and we may touch on scriptures around the first resurrection, found in Revelations 20. We read on, but back in 8:52 (and we're just looking at people being motivated by reward), here is another one who was motivated by reward: Paul was motivated by the hope of reward.

Reward offers us something to look forward to, that causes us to go through hardship. If you think about saving up for a house, you first have the vision of the house. You pay a price - you sacrifice. Your eyes are focussed to something you're looking forward to, and that causes you to discipline your life, and bring it into alignment, to get the goal - and that's what Paul has in mind here.