Parable of Rewards

Parable of Rewards

Read Matthew 20:1-16

Verse 16 says “So the last will be first, and the first last. For many are called, but few chosen.” The parable is talking about rewards in heaven.

Jesus said: “I come quickly and my reward is with me.” There are five crowns. Immediately after the rapture of the church, saints will be decorated with crowns that match the fulfillment of their divine assignments.

Some Christians rate themselves by the volume of activity that sometimes has nothing to do with the purpose of their calling. Some rate themselves by how long they have been in ministry. God rates His servants by obedience related to divine mandate.

People who are born in Christian families sometimes assume that there is general elevation of such people compared to those born by unbelievers especially in areas that resist the gospel, which is not the case. God judges people on individual merit and not collectively.

Those who have been Christians for long assume that they will get greater regard than those who have just become Christian or even their converts. It is not always the case because in assessing the relevance of works regard is given to what one was appointed to do and not what we think is good to do or what the public applauds to be good.

John the Baptist died when he was thirty years. He was in ministry for a few years. Moses died at the age of one hundred and twenty years. He was in ministry for forty years. John the Baptist performed no miracle. Moses performed many breathtaking miracles.

This is what Jesus said: “For I say to you, among those born of women there is not a greater prophet than John the Baptist; but he who is least in the kingdom of God is greater than he.” (Lk 7:28).

Can you imagine that! The least saint in the kingdom is greater than all the Old Testament patriarchs, including Abraham, Moses and John the Baptist. It is a privilege in live in the church age.

Even among New Testament saints the basis for reward is not activity but obedience. There are many servants of God largely unknown to the world who will sit very close to Jesus in heaven by reason of being faithful to their calling.

Whatever you are called to do should be done with diligence. If you are called to be an evangelist but you decide to be a pastor and build the largest auditorium in the world, you may be shocked to see the effort burnt by fire at the Judgment Seat of Christ.

God’s expectation from His servants especially in this end-time period is to be WATCHFUL over needful things, READY for Christ’s second coming, FAITHFUL in area of call and FRUITFUL in soul-winning.

Some people think they can give things like money to God. Mankind has absolutely nothing to give to God. Otherwise, there would have been no need for God to incarnate in Jesus Christ.

Many are called into the Lord’s vineyard with differing assignments and timing but only those who are faithful to their specific assignment will be rewarded by the Lord. The key is to know what one is called to do and doing it without reference to what other people are doing. Comparing oneself to others is the sin of the flesh, which is pride. God hates it. Be yourself. At the Judgment Seat of Christ everyone will stand alone.

Those who are expecting more than they deserve by reason of activity may be disappointed on the Day of Judgment.

1 Cor 3:

11 For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ.

 12 Now if anyone builds on this foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw,

 13 each one’s work will become clear; for the Day will declare it, because it will be revealed by fire; and the fire will test each one’s work, of what sort it is.

 14 If anyone’s work which he has built on it endures, he will receive a reward.

 15 If anyone’s work is burned, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire.  (NKJV)

Come, Lord Jesus!

Three Great Tribulations

Three Great Tribulations

The last seven years of the dispensation of grace is for judgment. There are three thrones of judgment, three groups of people on earth and seven Seal, seven Trumpet and seven Bowl judgments.

There is a great tribulation for Gentiles, a great tribulation for the Jews and a great tribulation for Christians. Thus, the Bible records three and not one great tribulation judgment at the end of the age of grace.

Four End Time Raptures

There are four future raptures, not one. In the Scriptures there are five raptures altogether. The first involving the Lord Jesus Christ took place before the inauguration of the church about two thousand years ago. In the last seven years of the current dispensation of grace that is about the same as the Jewish 70th heptad of seven years, there will be four raptures.

The first is the rapture of the church, which involves the living and the dead in Christ. The second is the rapture of 144,000 sealed Jewish Evangelists. The third is the rapture of God’s Two Special Witnesses. The fourth and last is the rapture of Tribulation Martyrs.

Expectation of Rapture

The lifestyle of followers of Christ should reflect expectation of the return of the Lord. Church rapture, which is imminent, will not come to every believer as a surprise. “Be ready” is the Lord’s command. Therefore, orientation on life and living must focus on daily desire for the return of Jesus.

“For our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body that it may be conformed to His glorious body, according to the working by which He is able even to subdue all things to Himself.  (Phil 3:20-21)