Behold, I am coming soon, bringing my recompense with me, to repay each one for what he has done. (Revelation 22:12)
I hope this series has inspired you to chase hard after the remarkable reward of your work physically lasting into eternity. But you may be thinking, Jordan, it doesn’t feel quite right to be motivated by these eternal rewards.
I know I felt that way for years. Before I address this feeling of guilt, I want to make it crystal clear that Jesus is the ultimate treasure of heaven—not our work being considered “the glory of the nations.” That said, there are at least three reasons why we should be comfortable unashamedly chasing after the rewards God promises us.
First, God encourages us to. If God didn’t want us to be motivated by eternal rewards, then why did Jesus spend so much time talking about them? In Matthew 6:1-6 Jesus mentioned three rewards in just six...
For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ. If anyone builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw, their work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each person’s work. If what has been built survives, the builder will receive a reward. If it is burned up, the builder will suffer loss but yet will be saved—even though only as one escaping through the flames. (1 Corinthians 3:11-15)
We’re in a 5-week series exploring this wild idea that some of the work has the chance of literally, physically lasting into eternity. The question, of course, is which work? Scripture doesn’t tell us explicitly. But it does give us some clues.
As we saw last week, it appears that some acts of evil will carry on, so long as in their redeemed state...
You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they existed and were created. (Revelation 4:11)
Last week, we saw evidence from Revelation 21 and Isaiah 60 that some of our work has a shot at physically lasting into eternity. But since that idea seems too good to be true, today I want to look at three other pieces of evidence for this idea.
First, it’s simply not in God’s nature to ask his children to create things only to destroy them. In Genesis 1:28, God issued the First Commission to humankind: to fill the earth. Pastor Timothy Keller points out that this is a call to “not just procreation, but also cultural creation.” And it’s simply not in God’s character to watch his children obey that command by making bicycles, software, and Nutella only to throw those creations away. Good earthly fathers don’t do that. Do we really think our...
The glory and honor of the nations will be brought into [the New Jerusalem]. (Revelation 21:26)
To quote a fictionalized Alexander Hamilton, I think we all “wanna build something that’s gonna outlive [us].” Today, we’ll begin to see the biblical evidence that that longing is shockingly, miraculously true.
In Revelation 21, John is sharing his glimpse of heaven on the New Earth when he says this about the New Jerusalem: “On no day will its gates ever be shut…The glory and honor of the nations will be brought into it” (Revelation 21:25-26).
What is John talking about? Thankfully, we don’t have to wonder, because Isaiah answers that question for us in Isaiah 60. And even though Isaiah wrote some 600 years before John, theologians such as Dr. Richard Mouw agree that “both men were working with the same material.” And so, as Dr. Randy Alcorn points out, “Isaiah 60 serves as the best biblical commentary on...
For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each of us may receive what is due us for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad. (2 Corinthians 5:10)
Before we can appreciate how some of our work might physically last into eternity, we need to first grasp what God’s Word says about our pending judgment.
Because today’s passage and others make it clear that it’s not just our souls that God will judge. He will also weigh every person’s actions, thoughts, and words—including those of believers! And since we spend such a huge portion of our lives working, we can assume that much of our accounting to the Lord will focus on our vocations.
To be clear, the judgment today’s passage is referring to has zero bearing on our admission into the Kingdom of Heaven (see Romans 8:38-39). But it does influence our eternal rewards—a fact Jesus made clear to his disciples when he said...