Introduction to Eternal Rewards (1 of 12)

Mike Connell

A simple way of looking at that would be: you have a prime minister, who runs the country. As a normal citizen, you don't get close access to them. You get access to their representatives - it's just practical. In the coming kingdom, it will be the same.

Secondly, there will be in that kingdom, different realms of service and authority and responsibility. God has in mind that, in the coming millennial kingdom, His people will occupy positions of authority and power and influence and will guide the courses of the nations. Cities, nations, communities - someone must guide it all.

Once you start to think about that, you realise - now I see why I'm just on an apprenticeship. Right now, if I can't handle what I've got, I'm in no way going to be qualified to do anything great in the coming kingdom. If you see yourself as being in an apprenticeship, then it doesn't matter what your assignment is.

Your assignment could be just your one child at school, and that's it - and you've got very little time for anything else, so that's where your assignment is. God watches that, and that's your qualifier. He watches what you do. He watches how you do it, and why you're doing it. He watches what you do in adversity. He watches the way you manage, and handle, and bring His life into it - as simple as that!

I don't need to compete with anyone for their position, or their assignment. Everyone has their own unique assignment and, even on this earth, as you are faithful and productive in your assignment, you get your assignment enlarged.

I had a season where I gave up a career, gave up security, gave up finances, gave up reputation, in order to start a school, which had a few, just a handful of kids in it - and that was my preparation process, qualifying for a larger, global ministry. People look at the global ministry, and they think: oh, I want that! How do I get that? What can I do to get there? They don't see that there were lots of little decisions, over the little things. You know, the managing of the tea, the cleaning the building - all the little stuff, cleaning the toilets, all the stuff I did. You understand, that's all part of it.

Then the third area is that there will be different realms of resurrection glory. People tend to think of just being raised from the dead; but when we're raised, each of us will be displayed in different levels of glory, in a way that everyone can see what kind of life we've lived.

No one knows what you're doing in secret; your secret pain, your secret struggles, your secret temptations, your secret fears, the pressures you've gone through, the loneliness you've walked through… but God sees it all; and in eternity, we will be surprised that He will ascribe to people that we would never have thought of, immense glory, because of the kind of life they lived before Him.

As you understand this teaching then, suddenly you've set your eyes on eternity. Eternity is real, the rewards are real; and everything I'm doing now is either: preparing me for it; or disqualifying me from it. It's got nothing to do with what anyone else is doing; it's got totally to do with my decision to live a life with Jesus at the centre, and to honour Him.

These rewards that He promises - they begin in the millennial reign of Christ

(the 1000 years when He rules on the earth, literally), and they go on for eternity. When you come to the point where that kingdom starts, whatever He decides, regarding you, is irreversible, and unchangeable. You are what you are, and you have qualified or disqualified; or qualified to a certain level, or whatever. That gives an incentive for all of us to be faithful, and productive, and do the very best with what we have.

Colossians 3:23 - “Whatever you do, do it from the heart unto the Lord, not with eye services pleasing men, knowing this: that God is preparing you for a reward.”

The last section that I want to look at, is the Wise and the Foolish Builders. Jesus' conclusion in the Sermon of the Mount - His famous Sermon on the Mount, Matthew 5:6-7, in the context of this. Jesus concluded at the end of it…