Lately, I have been thinking a lot about overcomers, specifically those that Jesus talked about in chapter 2 and 3 in the book of Revelation. The rewards given to those who overcome are beyond staggering and almost too good to be true. Each time I read these chapters I am instantly sobered knowing that a day is coming soon when rewards will be distributed by King Jesus to those who overcome in this life.
It’s clear to me from Scripture that all who said “yes,” to Jesus in this life will live forever with King Jesus. However, what is also equally clear is that not all will inherit the kingdom at the same level. This is hard for many believers to hear these days with the message of grace, complete acceptance, and love being preached so strongly from most pulpits each Sunday. For the record though I’m super thankful for these messages; however, just because we emphasize one truth doesn’t mean we should deemphasize another truth. These days, when you begin to talk about rewards, the judgment seat, and how we live now affecting how we live later, people aren’t as ready to receive it. In reality, we will all stand before King Jesus and need to be prepared for that day.
“For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may be recompensed for his deeds in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.” – 2 Corinthians 5:10.
I in no way believe this will be a day filled with guilt, shame, or any condemnation, but rather a day of great joy. Yet, for some it will be a day of even greater joy and honor for the lives they’ve lived on earth and what they’re inheriting because of it.
Someone wise once said, “We are training for reigning.” Literally, this life is a training ground to learn to reign in the next one with King Jesus. This is why we all may be shocked to see who will be given responsibility to reign with Christ in the age to come. We may be looking for a well-known leader to be governing over a city or a nation, only to discover it’s instead the stay at home mom, not known by many, but walked in the shoes of the Proverbs 31 woman. Or it’s a man who worked unto the Lord day in and day out, provided for his family, and poured the love of Jesus into everyone around him.
I often say to the church family in Isla Vista that God is not looking for the gifted, just for those that are willing. My “yes” to Jesus is not trying to get something from God, but to purely love and honor Him. King David is one of the best examples of an overcomer. Did he have it all together? Definitely not. Yet, today (and maybe forever) King Jesus sits on the throne of David and in all of Scripture only David was called “a man after God’s own heart.”
I don’t believe Heaven is impressed so much with what we do as they’re with the motive behind why we do what we do. That is why our heart posture toward God and our motives are key to our overall health in Him. We can do a lot to impress man, but what impresses God is our faith, trust, and genuine love for Him authentically lived out with those around us. A day is coming soon when God will give out rewards (responsibilities) and crowns to those who’s lives have passed through the refiner’s fire. It’s a day believers should look forward to, knowing that our God is generous and a rewarder of those that seek Him.
For those who want a little application, here is something I have been doing this week: read and re-read these verses. Ask yourself some hard questions about what you’re doing in life, what are your motives, and are you more concerned with God’s kingdom or building your own?
“For no man can lay a foundation other than the one which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if any man builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, each man’s work will become evident; for the day will show it because it is to be revealed with fire, and the fire itself will test the quality of each man’s work. If any man’s work which he has built on it remains, he will receive a reward. If any man’s work is burned up, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire.” (1 Corinthians 3:12-15)