The Rewards After the Rapture (Part 2)

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Revelation 22:10-12

10 And he saith unto me, Seal not the sayings of the prophecy of this book: for the time is at hand.

11 He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still.

12 And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be.

Romans 8:30-34

30 Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.

31 What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?

32 He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?

33 Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God’s elect? It is God that justifieth.

34 Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.

— PRAYER —

The Rewards After the Rapture (Part 2)

Daniel Webster was a great American orator and the fourteenth person to serve as secretary of the United States. He was also a senator and in 1957, he was voted by Congress as one of the five greatest American senators of all time. One day he was asked, what was the greatest thought that had ever occurred to him in his life. His response was: “The greatest thought I ever had was my personal accountability to God.”

Last week, we took a look at the high stakes of that personal accountability. The Rapture is coming, and after the Rapture, the Rewards for Christians are coming. And during that time of personal rewards, how we lived in light of our own personal accountability to God will be all that matters. Last week, we considered the time and place of the Rewards ceremony — it will take place immediately after the Rapture at the bema seat. Next, we considered the person of the Rewards — who will be handing out the rewards? And that person will be none other than Jesus Christ. And, finally, we looked at the People of the Rewards — who will receive the rewards? And the recipients of the rewards will be all those who have accepted Jesus Christ as their Savior.

That leads us to address three more important questions about the rewards after the rapture, particularly regarding the nature of the rewards ceremony. Today, we are going to look at two misconceptions about the rewards ceremony and our responsibility in light of the rewards ceremony.

1. The first misconception about the Rewards ceremony is the idea that this ceremony will determine whether or not we get into Heaven. Romans 8:30 says, “Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.” I’m sure you’ve heard those jokes about Peter standing at the pearly white gates and asking people why they should be let into Heaven. Now, that’s not how it works. Peter is going to be at the rewards ceremony to receive his rewards from the Lord just like the rest of us. Now, he might be a little closer to the front of the line than you and I and he might have more rewards than the rest of us, but he will be there just like we will be there.

It is not our works that justify us or make us right with God. God justifies us through Jesus Christ. We are not perfect, but we appear as perfect before God because we are covered in the blood of His perfect Son, Jesus Christ. We are in Christ, and His perfection becomes ours. God would never kick His perfect Son out of Heaven. So neither God, Jesus, Peter, nor anybody else will be asking us about our works as a determining factor in whether or not we get into Heaven. By the time you get to the judgment seat of Christ — or the bema seat of rewards — you will have already been justified, raptured, translated, and glorified. If it were not for the rewards ceremony, you could walk right into Heaven.

As we saw in our final point in last week’s sermon, the only people who are going to be at the bema seat are those who have been redeemed by the blood of the Lamb. If you have been redeemed by Christ’s blood, if Christ has justified you — made you right before God, and if Jesus has identified you as one of His own by calling you out of this world to be with Him, you do not have to worry about getting into Heaven. The bottom line is: if you get up to the bema seat, and you’re still not sure where you are going to spend eternity, you are in the wrong place.

2. The second misconception about the Rewards ceremony is the idea that the ceremony will be a time of punishment for those who have done wrong after they got saved — and I am sure that is all of us. However, that is not what the rewards ceremony is about either. Romans 8:33-34 says, “Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God’s elect? It is God that justifieth. Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.”

If we are going to be punished for some sins at the judgment seat of Christ, then we must ask the question: Did Jesus die for all of our sins or just some of our sins? Did Jesus only die for the sins we committed before we got saved? If that is the case, then no one who has sinned after getting saved can get into Heaven because no imperfection will be allowed into Heaven at all.

Another problem with this view is that it causes our salvation to depend, not on Christ, but on us and our works. Billy Graham said, if our salvation depended on our works, “you and I would lose our salvation every day — because we sin every day. Even if our actions are pure, our thoughts often are not. And even if our actions and thoughts are pure, we still sin because of the good things we should be doing but fail to do.”

Our salvation does not depend on our works. Paul asks, “Who is he that condemneth?” The meaning of the Greek word for “condemn” means: to give a judgment against someone or to judge someone worthy of punishment. Romans 8:1 says, “There is therefore now no condemnation [no cause for punishment] to them which are in Christ Jesus.” God doesn’t judge us worthy of punishment anymore because our sins are paid due to the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ who is interceding on our behalf before the Father.

When we sin even after we are saved, Jesus goes to the Father and says, ‘Father, you don’t have to worry about this one. I paid for His sins on the cross, and He has accepted the free gift of salvation. I’ve got Him covered.’ Now, if we sin, Jesus will still chastise us just like any good father would as Hebrews tells us, but we do not have to worry about eternal condemnation or punishment after death because all of that was taken care of at the cross. Jesus handled that for us.

So, we do not have to worry about getting into Heaven at the rewards ceremony and we do not have to worry about being kept out of Heaven at the rewards ceremony because of our sins.

3. Now, let’s look at our responsibility in light of the rewards ceremony. Jesus Christ said, “Behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be.” We started out by talking about our personal accountability toward God. How should we live in light of the knowledge that we all will stand before Jesus Christ? Well, we should live as people under authority.

All of us know something about authority. Have you ever driven down the road, and you saw a police car sitting up ahead, and you immediately slowed down? That is a response to the natural fear and respect for authority that we all have. Why do Americans get so worried when we see corruption and incompetence in our government? When we see wars and turmoil in nations abroad and our government seems unwilling or incapable of doing anything about it? We cringe because it seems as though no one is in authority — no one has control over the situation.

Well, we do not have to worry about who is in control of history. Jesus Christ is the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last. He is in authority over earth and heaven and He is in authority over our lives. It is that sense of authority that should cause us to live for Christ and to do what is right as we await the rapture and the awards ceremony.

The story is told of a little boy who was in a classroom. Since the teacher was gone, the little boy started jumping from desk to desk. He was having so much fun, especially with the other students cheering him on, that he didn’t hear the teacher’s footsteps in the hall as she returned to the classroom. When the teacher stepped into the doorway, the other students fell quiet and the boy suddenly felt the presence of authority. He instinctively turned his head toward the door. Unfortunately, he happened to be in between desks at the time and he took a nasty fall to the floor.

We don’t want to be like that little boy when Jesus comes to take us home in the Rapture — jumping from desk to desk. We want to be in our seats watching for His coming. Jesus told His disciples, “Watch ye therefore: for ye know not when the master of the house cometh, at even, or at midnight, or at the cockcrowing, or in the morning: Lest coming suddenly he find you sleeping. And what I say unto you I say unto all, Watch.” When Jesus comes, we want to be doing what is right, doing what He expects of us, doing what He has commanded us to do and waiting and looking forward to His appearance. That is our responsibility in light of the coming Rewards ceremony.

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Now, if you are with us today, and you are not ready for the Second Coming of Jesus Christ, if you are not certain that if Jesus returned today you would be among those whom He took with Him to Heaven, allow me to share with you how you can trust Jesus Christ for salvation today so that you can be ready for His return.

First, please understand that you are a sinner, just as I am, and that you have broken God’s laws. The Bible says in Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.” Please understand that because of your sins, you deserve eternal punishment in hell. Romans 6:23 says “the wages of sin is death…This is both physical death and spiritual death in hell. That is the bad news.

But here is the good news. John 3:16 says “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

If you believe that Jesus Christ died on the cross for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead, and you want to trust Him for your salvation today, please pray with me this simple prayer: Holy Father God, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life. I am sorry for my sins, and I want to turn from my sins. For Jesus Christ sake, please forgive me of my sins. I now believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ died for me, was buried, and rose again. I want to trust Jesus as my Savior and follow Him as Lord from this day forward. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and save my soul and change my life today. Amen.

If you just trusted Jesus Christ as your Saviour, and you prayed that prayer and meant it from your heart, I declare to you that based upon the Word of God, you are now saved from Hell and you are on your way to Heaven. Welcome to the family of God! I want to congratulate you on doing the most important thing in life and that is receiving Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour. For more information to help you grow in your newfound faith in Christ, go to Gospel Light Society.com and read “What To Do After You Enter Through the Door”. Jesus Christ said in John 10:9, “I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”

God loves you. We love you. And may God bless you.



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