Great is Your Reward in Heaven
by Peter Meney
Some people insist there will be different rewards and degrees of happiness in heaven. They base their thinking upon the notion that God plans to reward us for our works, those who have been good securing greater rewards than those who have been not so good. Those who have tried hardest being preferred to those who have succumbed to temptation or stumbled in their Christian walk. These people talk of bigger mansions, brighter crowns, places nearer the throne where the brightest and best will get a better view of their Saviour. Going back to 1 John 3:2, they suppose that when we get to heaven and see Christ in all His glory some will be more Christ-like than others. This cannot be.
Our eternal state as Christians in heaven is to be with the Lord and like Him. So much so, that even in this life we are predestined to be conformed to the image of Christ (Romans 9:29). Accordingly, scripture provides some fine descriptions of what that state will be like and what we as believers will all alike enjoy.
The eternal state
It is heaven; paradise; a place of light. It is a house built by God and a city of Godís preparing, its foundations are strong. It is a country of which Godís people are the citizens. Heaven is our kingdom inheritance where we shall reign as kings with incorruptible crowns of righteousness and life. It is called glory; a place of peace and rest and joy. It is Abrahamís bosom where tables are fitly spread that the redeemed may fellowship together and feast. It is beyond compare, the wealth of this world is nothing to it. It is enduring, never-fading and passes not away.
More, heaven is free from all evil; from temptations within and without; from the dominion of sin; from guilt because of sin, from fears, disease, sickness and suffering. There are no tears in heaven, nor sadness, no, not even for loved ones lost. Our pleasure is in God Himself, in communion with Him, Father, Son and Holy Ghost in the highest perfection and without interruption. We will see Christ and behold His glory with the eyes of our understanding enlarged to comprehend His beauty. We shall see Him in His flesh, crowned with glory and honour who was crowned with thorns, spit upon, buffeted, crucified, pierced and wounded for us.
We will stand with angels, walk with friends, sit down in the company of Abraham, Isaiah and David. We will talk with Paul and Adam. Rejoice with all the blood bought people of God and dwell eternally in perfect holiness beyond our present imagination.
All this is the inheritance of all the people of God. There will be no hierarchies or classes or degrees. We will see Him as He is. We shall know as we are known and we will be like Him every one.
Evidence to the contrary?
Arguments for rewards in heaven are based mainly upon the interpretation of a few verses in Daniel 12:2, Matthew 25:14ff and 1 Corinthians 3:14,15, 15:40ff. Examination will reveal these verses have rather more to do with the Church age upon earth than our ultimate glory in heaven. Their continuing strength as arguments for rewards in heaven, however, derives not from their context in scripture, but from the proud heart of man who wants to earn reward for good works and have his efforts paraded and applauded for all to see. Degrees of rewards in heaven is essentially an apology for works salvation and popery. Thus, Paul admonished certain foolish believers, ĎHaving begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh?í (Galatians 3:3).
Trophies of a great salvation
Consider the following grounds for our presence in heaven and union with Christ. Then ask yourself on what additional grounds might my supposed reward be greater or lesser than anotherís.
1. All the people of God are loved by Him with the same love. They are not loved one sooner than another for they are all loved with an everlasting love. They are not loved more than another for there are no degrees of love with God. The love He bears to His own dear people is unaltered by time and continues for all eternity.
2. All the people of God are chosen together in Christ. They are not chosen one earlier than another for all are chosen in Christ from before the foundation of the world.
3. All the people of God are equally interested in the covenant of grace. All are in it as they are chosen in Christ before the world began and all are entitled to the same exceeding great and precious promises and blessings of it.
4. All the people of God are equally redeemed with the same price which is the precious blood of Christ (1 Corinthians 6:20, 1 Peter 1:18, 19). Though redeemed out of every tribe and nation yet it is by the same blood (Revelation 5:9). The ransom price for the elect is the same for all, Christ Himself
(1 Timothy 2:6)
5. All the people of God are justified by the same righteousness. Justification is unto all and upon all that believe. There is no difference between greater or lesser believers; great faith or little faith. No believer has more righteousness than another. Nor does the nature and object of the same precious faith differ from believer to believer.
6. All the people of God are equally the children of God. They are predestined to the same adoption, into the same family, by the same redemption by which they receive the same rights and authority to become the children of God. They are fellow citizens with the saints, equal members of the household of God, heirs of God and joint-heirs with Christ.
7. All the people of God are kings and priests unto God. They are made so by Christ. They are His workmanship. Their office and dignity are alike. They were all dead once in the depravity of sin and all raised by grace from a low estate to sit among princes and to inherit the same throne of glory.
Because there are no degrees of reward in heaven, our future glory and the blessings of our inheritance are invariably expressed in the singular. The inheritance of the saints is the same inheritance though the saints be many. The inheritance reserved in heaven is the same for all though reserved for many. The kingdom our Father gives, the crown of righteousness laid up and the penny given to the labourers, though some worked all day and some for only a short time, speaks of equality for all.
Hence we may say to every blessed believer, as did the Lord in His day without fear of contradiction, ĎRejoice and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heavení (Matthew 5:12).
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