Understanding “Rewards”

NOTE: You will find a list of over 50 Bible passage below, pertaining to how God rewards man.

One of the great difficulties one encounters when considering eschatology is all the misunderstanding that is promoted by popular doctrine.  While I neither belong to nor favor any religious camp, I do note that the “Original Sin” crowd seems to be the most frequent violator in this regard.  Among their many stubborn and errant notions is the idea that man cannot “earn” his “salvation”, and that it is repulsive and an affront to all decency to believe that he can. Never mind all the passages that suggest that he’ll be judged and rewarded according to his works!

Of course, I have expended considerable effort (unlike them) in the attempt to define that “salvation” of which they speak.  (See here, here, and here.)  As if deliberately, they blur the lines between forgiveness of sins (which no one can earn) and eternal life, which God puts forth quite clearly as a “reward”.  If God were in the “Original Sin” crowd, should we expect him to “reward” anybody for anything?

Think about it.  Suppose that Man A is utterly corrupt in nearly every conceivable way, that he steals and murders at will, and that he curses God every day.  If this man is born this way and is by his very nature incapable of doing any better (this is what the Original Sinners say, and not what I say), then why should he receive any manner of “reward”—whether good or bad—for doing what he cannot help but do?

And suppose further that Man B is the most diligent and responsible man on the Earth, striving unlike any other to live righteously and to serve God.  If this man, too, is born under the stain of “Original Sin”, and cannot help himself to be rid of it, why would God reward his good works?  Yet the Bible states repeatedly that each will be rewarded for what he has done—whether good or bad.

This means that God has to be the Judge; he has to make the judgment as to how to weigh out the good and the bad so as to reward each individual for his accomplishments.  (Nothing in the Temporary Ekklesia Theory removes God from the Judgment Seat.)  How interesting, therefore, that the Original Sinners want to be the judges themselves—that they want to declare all converted people as being as good as in Heaven already, even though God has never said any such thing.  And further, they want to declare all unconverted people as incapable even of wanting God, though God has never said any such thing.  And, though God never said it, they insist that only the bad of the “sinner” will be counted at his judgment, while only the good done by the Christian will be judged.

But alas!, in the TET, I let God be the judge, just as scripture says he is.  I let him decide what will become of each of us, just as he said.

What the Scriptures Say

In another article I listed scriptures that show that man will be judged according to his works.  This present article is a continuation of that same idea, now bringing the word “reward” front and center for an examination.  More than 50 passages appear below.  As you read (which I hope you will do), ask yourself why God would keep using a word (“reward”) that has a definite quid pro quo (“this for that“) connotation.  If God were not really a rewarder of the faithful after all, couldn’t he have found some better word by which to describe himself?

  1. Genesis 15:1  After these things the word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision, saying, “Do not be afraid, Abram. I am your shield, your exceedingly great reward.”
  2. Numbers 18:31  You may eat it in any place, you and your households, for it is your reward for your work in the tabernacle of meeting.
  3. Ruth 2:12  The Lord repay your work, and a full reward be given you by the Lord God of Israel, under whose wings you have come for refuge.”
  4. 1 Samuel 24:19  For if a man finds his enemy, will he let him get away safely? Therefore may the Lord reward you with good for what you have done to me this day.
  5. 2 Samuel 22:21  “The Lord rewarded me according to my righteousness; According to the cleanness of my hands He has recompensed me.
  6. 1 Kings 13:7  Then the king said to the man of God, “Come home with me and refresh yourself, and I will give you a reward.”
  7. 2 Chronicles 15:7  But you, be strong and do not let your hands be weak, for your work shall be rewarded!”
  8. Job 15:31  Let him not trust in futile things, deceiving himself, For futility will be his reward.
  9. Job 34:11  For He repays man according to his work, And makes man to find a reward according to his way.
  10. Psalm 18:20  The Lord rewarded me according to my righteousness; According to the cleanness of my hands He has recompensed me.
  11. Psalm 19:11  Moreover by them Your servant is warned, And in keeping them there is great reward.
  12. Psalm 58:11  So that men will say, “Surely there is a reward for the righteous; Surely He is God who judges in the earth.”
  13. Psalm 91:8  Only with your eyes shall you look, And see the reward of the wicked.
  14. Psalm 109:20  Let this be the Lord’s reward to my accusers, And to those who speak evil against my person.
  15. Psalm 127:3  Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, The fruit of the womb is a reward.
  16. Proverbs 11:18  The wicked man does deceptive work, But he who sows righteousness will have a sure reward.
  17. Proverbs 13:13  He who despises the word will be destroyed, But he who fears the commandment will be rewarded.
  18. Proverbs 25:22  For so you will heap coals of fire on his head, And the Lord will reward you.
  19. Ecclesiastes 9:5  For the living know that they will die; But the dead know nothing, And they have no more reward, For the memory of them is forgotten.
  20. Isaiah 3:11  Woe to the wicked! It shall be ill with him, For the reward of his hands shall be given him.
  21. Isaiah 40:10  Behold, the Lord God shall come with a strong hand, And His arm shall rule for Him; Behold, His reward is with Him, And His work before Him.
  22. Isaiah 45:13  I have raised him up in righteousness, And I will direct all his ways; He shall build My city And let My exiles go free, Not for price nor reward,” Says the Lord of hosts.
  23. Isaiah 49:4  Then I said, ‘I have labored in vain, I have spent my strength for nothing and in vain; Yet surely my just reward is with the Lord, And my work with my God.’”
  24. Isaiah 62:11  Indeed the Lord has proclaimed To the end of the world: “Say to the daughter of Zion, ‘Surely your salvation is coming; Behold, His reward is with Him, And His work before Him.’”
  25. Jeremiah 31:16  Thus says the Lord: “Refrain your voice from weeping, And your eyes from tears; For your work shall be rewarded, says the Lord, And they shall come back from the land of the enemy.
  26. Hosea 4:9  And it shall be: like people, like priest. So I will punish them for their ways, And reward them for their deeds.
  27. Matthew 5:12  Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
  28. Matthew 5:46  For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax collectors do the same?
  29. Matthew 6:1   “Take heed that you do not do your charitable deeds before men, to be seen by them. Otherwise you have no reward from your Father in heaven.
  30. Matthew 6:2  Therefore, when you do a charitable deed, do not sound a trumpet before you as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory from men. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward.
  31. Matthew 6:4  that your charitable deed may be in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will Himself reward you openly.
  32. Matthew 6:5  “And when you pray, you shall not be like the hypocrites. For they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the corners of the streets, that they may be seen by men. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward.
  33. Matthew 6:6  But you, when you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly.
  34. Matthew 6:16  “Moreover, when you fast, do not be like the hypocrites, with a sad countenance. For they disfigure their faces that they may appear to men to be fasting. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward.
  35. Matthew 6:18  so that you do not appear to men to be fasting, but to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly.
  36. Matthew 10:41  He who receives a prophet in the name of a prophet shall receive a prophet’s reward. And he who receives a righteous man in the name of a righteous man shall receive a righteous man’s reward.
  37. Matthew 10:42  And whoever gives one of these little ones only a cup of cold water in the name of a disciple, assuredly, I say to you, he shall by no means lose his reward.”
  38. Matthew 16:27  For the Son of Man will come in the glory of His Father with His angels, and then He will reward each according to his works.
  39. Mark 9:41  For whoever gives you a cup of water to drink in My name, because you belong to Christ, assuredly, I say to you, he will by no means lose his reward.
  40. Luke 6:23  Rejoice in that day and leap for joy! For indeed your reward is great in heaven, For in like manner their fathers did to the prophets.
  41. Luke 6:35  But love your enemies, do good, and lend, hoping for nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High. For He is kind to the unthankful and evil.
  42. 1 Corinthians 3:8  Now he who plants and he who waters are one, and each one will receive his own reward according to his own labor.
  43. 1 Corinthians 3:14  If anyone’s work which he has built on it endures, he will receive a reward.
  44. 1 Corinthians 9:17  For if I do this willingly, I have a reward; but if against my will, I have been entrusted with a stewardship.
  45. 1 Corinthians 9:18  What is my reward then? That when I preach the gospel, I may present the gospel of Christ without charge, that I may not abuse my authority in the gospel.
  46. Colossians 2:18  Let no one cheat you of your reward, taking delight in false humility and worship of angels, intruding into those things which he has not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind,
  47. Colossians 3:24  knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance; for you serve the Lord Christ.
  48. Hebrews 2:2  For if the word spoken through angels proved steadfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just reward,
  49. Hebrews 10:35  Therefore do not cast away your confidence, which has great reward.
  50. Hebrews 11:6  But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.
  51. Hebrews 11:26  esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt; for he looked to the reward.
  52. 2 John 1:8  Look to yourselves, that we do not lose those things we worked for, but that we may receive a full reward.
  53. Revelation 11:18  The nations were angry, and Your wrath has come, And the time of the dead, that they should be judged, And that You should reward Your servants the prophets and the saints, And those who fear Your name, small and great, And should destroy those who destroy the earth.”
  54. Revelation 22:12   “And behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to give to every one according to his work.
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