Scripture Reading: Isaiah 65:17-25
Memory Verse: “Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.” (Matthew 25:34)
Introduction: It is indeed satisfying to meditate on the rewards that God has in store for those who come to Him through Christ Jesus. There is first the reward of eternal life. What else does mankind desire as much as even fleeting and temporary life? Of all our possessions, we try most desperately to retain this life. This present life may be beautiful, but eternal life is a prize to be desired above all temporal and transitory assets. God will “render to every man according to his deeds: to them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honor and immortality, eternal life” (Romans 2:6-7). The righteous children of God will surely taste of indescribable joy, in the day that immortality (“eternal life”) is granted to them. This is doubtless the sweetest joy that awaits the righteous, overcoming saints.
The reward will include the restoration of righteous dominion over the earth and element for the eternal joy of the righteous. While on earth, Jesus previewed the restoration of authority to the righteous over the rest of creation. Jesus stilled the waves; walked on the water; caused the cock to crow at just the right time; and exercise knowledge and control over even the fishes of the sea. Scriptural promises of a “tamed asp” and a “domesticated lion,” do not have to be considered figuratively and symbolically in the light of what Christ did as the “second Adam” while He was on earth. No doubt the blessings provided under auspices of the restored dominion will prove to be much greater blessings than most of the saints will have anticipated. Wondrous blessings will ensue when the curse is lifted from this tired and trouble-weary world (earth). “For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now” (Romans 8:22).
A further aspect of our rewards includes an increase of knowledge and understanding. God’s inspired word records this promise: “For we know in part, and we prophesy in part. But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away. When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: But when I became a man, I put away childish things. For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known” (1 Corinthians 13:9-12). Our age witnesses a vast accumulation of technical information, but it is painfully evident that understanding and wisdom are lacking in utilizing it. It will certainly be rewarding in God’s real and peaceful kingdom when we become part of a society having wisdom, understanding, and knowledge of the Lord.
- When will Christ [literally and from His throne] begin His work of judgment and granting of rewards? 2 Timothy 4:1-8; Matthew 25:31-34, 45; 24:44-51; 2 Corinthians 5:10; Revelation 2:25-27; 22:12.
- What is meant by “the judgment seat of Christ,” as found in 2 Corinthians 5:10?
- What is the greatest reward of all? Mark 10:29-30; John 3:16; 10:27-28; Romans 6:23; 1 John 2:25.
- Will the righteous receive their rewards at death, or will they await the return of Christ and the resurrection? 1 Thessalonians 4:13-17; Revelation 22:12; 1 Corinthians 15:23, 42-45; Matthew 25:31-34; John 14:3.
- Will there be surprise and disappointment at Christ’s true judgment? Matthew 7:21-23; 25:41-45; 1 Samuel 16:7; Matthew 20:26-28.
- What kind of a church will Christ return to claim for His own? Ephesians 5:25-27; Revelation 12:17; 14:12.
- Discuss the Kingdom as being the reward for saints of “all ages.” Matthew 8:11; Luke 13:28-29; Daniel 7:18, 27; Hebrews 11:39-40.
- Will the saints have responsibilities along with rewards during the “Millennial Age” of the Kingdom? 1 Corinthians 6:2-3; Revelation 2:25-27; Matthew 19:28; Isaiah 66:19.
- Have any saints already received their reward, and are they in “heaven” as is commonly supposed? John 3:13; Acts 2:34; 1 Timothy 6:12-16; 1 Peter 3:21-22; 2 Timothy 4:1, 8.
- Are the deceased wicked presently suffering the “torment of flames in hell,” as their reward? Ecclesiastes 9:5; 2 Peter 2:9; 3:7-8; Jude 1:6; Hebrews 9:27; John 5:28-29; Malachi 4:1.