Introduction to Eternal Rewards (1 of 12)

Mike Connell

You think of people you know - they have all kinds of agendas for what they do. God sees all of that, and it's not all the things you do, but what motivates what you do - what is being manifested in what you do. Is selfishness, and self-centredness, and ambition being manifest? Or is there just a genuine love for people and love for Jesus? He can tell the difference. Usually people can too!

He says: people may get away with lots of stuff today, but at the coming of the Lord, it'll be tried by fire, and the fire will reveal what was concealed, or covered, or that you didn't see.

People may look like they have a great ministry. They may look important. They might look successful. They may look like they've done very well… but God looks on the heart, and sees what motivated them, what's going on - and whether this is built on the foundation of love for God and people; or whether it's built on an ambition, selfish ambition and desire to get themselves ahead. He sees the very core of our motivation and judges the works accordingly. He sees each work, what sort it is, its quality.

Then of course, he goes on to say: rewards and loss are possible. If anyone's work that is built endures, he will receive a reward. In other words, if you let God test your work, if you let Him access what you do, and He views it, then what He has in mind is: His desire is to reward you.

So basically, if you were to look at perhaps, a chain that's producing something, they do what they call quality testing. They take one out, and test the quality of it; and what they're looking for is: does it meet the maker's standard, or does it fall short? If it falls short, it's disapproved; and then you must adjust the process. If it passes, then it goes on.

He said: “if anyone's work endures, He'll reward it. Anyone's work is burnt, he suffers loss, but he will be saved, yet even by fire.”

Notice that the issue here is not being saved - both people are saved. The issue here is reward or loss. If the work is burnt, he suffers loss, but he's saved. He's saved, but he's done nothing of great value that would qualify him for the things God had in mind in eternity.

In other words, he failed his apprenticeship. He didn't put in the required labour to prepare himself, that he could be qualified. Take the example of a doctor or surgeon. What if a guy goes through medical school, but he fails all his exams, and doesn't turn up for the practicals - he's away for half of the classes? When he gets to the end of the year - he won't qualify.

Not qualifying means you didn't meet what was required, to put you into a position where you can be permitted to operate on people. Even when they come to be operating on people, there's still a process of internship around that area as well - same as with a dentist, or anyone doing an important job like that. You're not going to let someone operate on you who failed, who didn't pass - that makes sense.

Neither will God put into positions of authority and responsibility, and bring into intimacy, people who, throughout all their Christian walk, were self-centred, and ambitious, and had no heart for God and for His people. Make sense? It's about our stewardship, and how we've handled it.

What are the rewards? If I can just share with you what He has in mind, what are the rewards at stake, what is it He's offering. Each one of these is very big, and it will require me taking some time to show you what it will all be about.

I note firstly, that in the coming kingdom, not everyone is the same. We like to think everyone's the same. We like to think we're all equal. We even try to equalise one another out, try to get ahead of one another; but in the kingdom of heaven, in the kingdom of God, in the coming millennial kingdom, and all through eternity - people will occupy different realms of intimacy, or closeness and companionship, with Jesus. Now that's quite stunning!

If you've got no love for His presence now, then this is not something you'd want. But the more you are intimate with Him, the more you want of Him, the greater the hunger. In the coming kingdom, in eternity, people will have different realms of level of access to Jesus. Some will be very near to Him; some will be further away; some will be far away.