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Garments of Glory & Beauty (5 of 12)

Mike Connell

Garments of Glory & Beauty (5 of 12) Jesus frequently taught about Eternal rewards in the Coming Millennial Kingdom and for the need for His disciples to pursue them and live in preparation for His Second coming. In this series we examine what are the Eternal rewards that Jesus has reserved for those who love Him. The focus of this study are Eternal Garments of Glory and Beauty.
Introduction

Okay, welcome. We're doing Eternal Rewards, and we've been looking at a series on the rewards that Jesus has promised to those who overcome. So many believers understand that we receive the gift of salvation by a free gift, by faith in the work of Christ; but what many believers don't understand, is that our life, our service in following the Lord, counts for our life in eternity. So it's not just a simple way you follow Jesus, die and go to heaven - it's not like that. Jesus came not to talk about a message of going to heaven. He talked about a message of being born again, and then of a kingdom we come into, a kingdom we participate in; a kingdom with values, and a lifestyle, and a king that we respond to. Then He talked about the coming kingdom, and the rewards for those who participate with Him in this life. So the teaching on eternal rewards gives us incredible motivation for personal change, and for living a focused life of following Christ.

Today's study is on the Garments of Glory and Beauty. By way of introduction, the first thing we want to remind everyone of, is that one of the great themes of Jesus' teaching was eternal rewards. He constantly spoke about the life in the kingdom, and also about the values of the kingdom. He talked about laying up treasure in heaven, and even that statement there tells us that there's a possibility our actions here will result, or have a consequence, in eternity.

Matthew 16:27 - "The Son of Man will come in the glory of His Father, with His angels, and He will reward (or recompense, or pay what is owing), to every man, according to his works."

We saw (in the study so far) that there are many different kinds of rewards. Looking at Creation, you see the diversity of creation, you see the variety of God, so it's obvious that God can reward us in a whole variety of different ways, and particularly in a way that's appropriate for us. You see the diversity in flowers, diversity in all of creation. We understand then, it's possible for every one of us to receive a reward that's quite unique to us, in our life that we've lived.

When we read in Revelations 2 & 3, Jesus is talking to the seven churches. They all existed in time. They've all gone now, but they're also a prophetic picture of churches, in the different ages and seasons of church history. He points out problems in each of the churches, and He lays out a reward for those who overcome. The implication is: if the reward is for those who overcome, then those who don't overcome, don't receive the reward. Quite simple. To overcome means: to conquer something. To overcome means: to prevail over an issue that is a cause of stumbling, or a difficulty, or a pressure on your life. To overcome it means: I've been able to persevere, and subdue that problem; so it means to subdue it.

In 1 John, He tells us: this is the victory that overcomes the world, even our faith. So all who are designated 'overcomers' are people who have learnt to believe God; and not just a mental ascent, but live it out in the way they tackle the problems that come up on a daily basis. We need to be aware of the rewards, and their significance. If you don't understand the size of the reward, or what's at stake, then you won't put value on it. If you don't put value on it, it won't affect how you live your life. When you see what is at stake, when you look through and study the rewards, you understand Jesus' teaching, of the man who saw the treasure in the field, and because of the treasure was such a big prize to be won, he sold all and bought the field. Also the pearl of great price, He taught that. He's teaching about the value of what God has prepared for us is so great, that it causes people to consider everything else of less value, and to put that kingdom of God first. When we understand what's at stake, that there's a reward at stake for each of us, it motivates us then, no matter what our circumstances.

We saw in the scripture in Colossians 3:22-24, where Jesus is talking (or Paul's talking) to servants, or slaves, who are badly treated by their masters; and he says: "obey your masters in the flesh, not with eye service as men-pleasers, but in sincerity (or from your heart), because of the fear of God; knowing whatever you do, you do it heartily, to the Lord, knowing that of the Lord you will receive the reward of inheritance, because you serve the Lord Jesus Christ". So you notice there that He talks again, not about trying to address the injustice of the slavery, but learning how to manage yourself in an unjust condition in the world.