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Thread: Reward in Heaven

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    Senior Member Lynx's Avatar
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    Default Reward in Heaven

    Matthew 6:20 But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal:

    Luke 6:35
    But love ye your enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing again; and your reward shall be great, and ye shall be the children of the Highest: for he is kind unto the unthankful and to the evil.


    What treasures? What reward? What are they?

    There's a story about a man who was a very godly man, but also a very rich man. He was also a very thrifty man and did not like the idea of everything he had accumulated on earth being lost when he died, so he prayed long and hard to be allowed to take something to Heaven with him when he died. Finally God told him he would be allowed to take one suitcase with him to Heaven. (Yes I know this goes directly against what the Bible says, but I'm going somewhere with this. Just bear with me a moment.)

    So this rich man got a suitcase, filled it with pure gold bars and left it beside his bed. In time the rich man died and he found himself at St. Peter's check-in desk lugging his heavy suitcase. Peter had some natural questions about the suitcase, as it went directly against the rules, but the rich man insisted God Himself said he could bring it. Peter checked and reported back that orders from above were the man could indeed bring the suitcase in, "but as a security matter I must inspect the suitcase first." Peter opened the suitcase, picked up a gold bar, looked it over, put it down and picked up another, scratched his head and said, "Well orders are orders, so I guess it's alright. But why in Heaven would you want to bring a suitcase full of pavement with you?"

    I've been thinking lately about Heaven and all the things that will be there, and especially about what is valued there. The Bible says the streets will be made out of gold, and I think God might have done that intentionally to illustrate something. The stuff that is so highly prized on Earth that national economies are set by "The Gold Standard" is the stuff we walk on in Heaven. There is nothing we will need to buy or sell in Heaven, because there is no need. There will be no economy at all in Heaven, we won't even NEED a medium of exchange like money because we will not have to work to make money to buy what we need to keep living.

    In a world like that, what kind of reward could possibly matter? What could we have that we will prize there? There won't even be a concept of owning stuff, because we will no longer need to own stuff to survive. What kind of treasure, what kind of reward would be prized so much that it would be given as a reward in Heaven?

    Any thoughts, anybody?
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    Default Re: Reward in Heaven

    I see our treasures to be all the love we have for our God and our fellow human beings... Every loving act.. Every uplifting word.. They are true treasures that will have eternal value..
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    Senior Member mailmandan's Avatar
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    Default Re: Reward in Heaven

    It appears that in one aspect in regards to what kind of reward believers will be receiving in heaven, we different roles of responsibility. In the Parable of the Minas, we read:

    Luke 19:11 - Now as they heard these things, He spoke another parable, because He was near Jerusalem and because they thought the kingdom of God would appear immediately. 12 Therefore He said: “A certain nobleman went into a far country to receive for himself a kingdom and to return. 13 So he called ten of his servants, delivered to them ten minas, and said to them, ‘Do business till I come.’ 14 But his citizens hated him, and sent a delegation after him, saying, ‘We will not have this man to reign over us.’

    15 “And so it was that when he returned, having received the kingdom, he then commanded these servants, to whom he had given the money, to be called to him, that he might know how much every man had gained by trading. 16 Then came the first, saying, ‘Master, your mina has earned ten minas.’ 17 And he said to him, ‘Well done, good servant; because you were faithful in a very little, have authority over ten cities.’ 18 And the second came, saying, ‘Master, your mina has earned five minas.’ 19 Likewise he said to him, ‘You also be over five cities.’

    We may see responsibility here on earth as a burden, but in heaven, when we are with the Lord who gave us every talent we possess, His reward will be responsibilities maximizing our talents in such a way as to produce great joy and give us a complete sense of our own significance and role in heaven!
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    Default Re: Reward in Heaven

    From my understanding the Bible tells us that when we die, we will be with the Lord until He returns to establish His thrown on Earth. Then we receive our incorruptible bodies and rule with Him. He will be King of the World and we will receive an inheritance. I believe we will get a chunk of property. We get a “crown”. Royalty wears crowns. We will rule as princes or princesses, on the section of New Earth that has been granted. Our “treasures in Heaven” determine our boundaries or geographical location.

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    Senior Member toinena's Avatar
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    Default Re: Reward in Heaven

    I'm not sure what to expect. And this might become like a not by works thread. In Matt 20, 1-6 you see also that the reward is not measured only by effort or labor, as all got the same pay, also the laborer that came in later.

    The reward is to have life. Eternal life in Heaven. What else could possibly matter?

    If I personally can dream of a reward, is to see the results of the seeds sowed and the prayers prayed here on earth. If I can meet some of the people in Heaven I have prayed for, witnessed for or done some kind of good deed for it would be a true blessing. To see that my life on Earth had some kind of purpose would be a reward beyond measure. For now I can't really see any fruit or if I really have some purpose, so to just get to Heaven would be undeserved and by grace alone.
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    Senior Member seoulsearch's Avatar
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    Default Re: Reward in Heaven

    I apologize to advance in anyone attempting to read this, as I'm just formulating an answer in my head and know it's going to be pretty long.

    A long time ago, I wrote a thread in the Bible Discussion Forum asking, "What Are the Riches We Are to Store Up in Heaven?" and it generated about 3 replies, all of which just repeated the passage that tells us to store up riches in heaven and not on earth (and I do understand that, seeing the Bible doesn't seem to say much else about it.)

    Whenever I see a headline that a famous, "successful" person has died, I always wonder what they will say to God when asked to give an account for their life. Will they tell God, "Well, I was tremendously beautiful/handsome, worked very hard, became rich and famous and was considered a really big deal on earth"? For example, when Mr. Hugh Hefner died and was left to tell the Lord what he did with his life, did he say, "I slept with hundreds of thousands of gorgeous women!" I can't help but wonder, what did God say to him in response?

    Now on the other hand, I know that for myself, God constantly reminds me that I can't judge who gets into heaven or not. I have to admit this this is also a reason why I become so grieved over people who judge others as "not being true Christians" or "not really being saved", because none of us will truly know until--or if--we actually get there.

    I've written before that at one time during my single life (because everyone tells us that as singles, we have all that extra time to serve the Lord!), I wrote to and visited inmates in prison. Most of the guys I wrote had committed heinous crimes as teenagers (murder; rape; sexual assault against children) and were now still only in their late 20's and 30's, but looking at spending decades to the rest of their lives in prison.

    A good number of these inmates seemed to fully believe that they were forgiven and would someday go to heaven. I know one of the things I personally had to wrestle with, and still do, is that God convicted me over judging whether or not someone is going to heaven when they confessed to believing in Christ. Now, I'm definitely not saying that a person should somehow use that to allow sin and not confront it, or that fruits should be overlooked. All I mean is that I believe that God has put it strongly on me personally that if a person says they believe in Jesus is their Savior and that they repent of their sins, I am not to say with any final authority whether or not that person is going to "make it" to heaven.

    Now, all of us seem to cling to the promise of heaven as a beautiful place of peace, rest, and, it seems, utopian values in which everyone will all be equal and everyone will have access to everything. No one will be better than anyone else, and no one will have rights or privileges that another won't have.

    Or will they?

    I once heard a sermon in which the pastor believes (but doesn't preach it as an absolute truth or anything--this is just his own perspective) that there are going to be different levels of responsibilities and yes, rewards, in heaven. For example, the Bible speaks about those who can be trusted with little that can be trusted with much (Luke 16:10); those who have something and do well with it will be given more (Matthew 25:28); and even asks, "If you are untrustworthy with worldly wealth, how then can you be trusted with the true riches of heaven?" (Luke 16:11.)

    This pastor believed that our actions on earth build up a "bank account" in heaven, and once we got there, this would determine what we were given. For example, the Bible speaks about being put in charge of cities (Luke 19:17) and that different people are built to be able to lead varying numbers of other people (Exodus 18:25.) This pastor believed that God is always doing something, and that our "level" of reward could determine how much of God's plans we were allowed to be involved in.

    This pastor also had an assumption (again, not preached as truth, but only his own insights) that the "currency of heaven" was earned by our obedience to God. This pastor believed that when God asked us to do something (obey His commands, give to that person we don't like, forgive those who sin against us, etc.), it deposits a bit of this "heavenly currency" into our "spiritual bank accounts."

    And so, this pastor reasoned that when we got to heaven, we would have a "heavenly bank account" waiting for us, and that would determine our level of access and reward in heaven.

    While I realize this is all just speculation, it's an interesting thing to think about. After all, even while Jesus was here on earth, He would often choose only 3 of His disciples to witness some of the most incredible events, such as The Transfiguration (Matt. 17:1) and raising Jairus' daughter from the dead (Mark 5:37.)

    What price could possibly be paid in order to see such things for ourselves? Now I'm guessing there won't be a need to see anyone raised from the dead in heaven , but if these are the kinds of things that Jesus did on earth, can we even dare to imagine what kinds of things God might do when we get to heaven? And, what if, in order to be considered trustworthy enough to attend such events, we are earning the spiritual "chops" to be able to handle such things right here on earth?

    For instance, God is a Creator, and boy, does He ever create. I have often wondered... Does God still create? After all, I don't know a single creative person here on earth who isn't longing to continue creating something after each project is done. Is God waiting to start creating things again once we get to heaven? Or is He still creating now? And what if one of the "heavenly rewards" would be to not only witness, but also participate in, whatever it is He plans to create??? How unbelievably awesome would THAT be!!!

    But what if God would only choose a certain few, for whatever reasons, like Peter, James, and John, to attend such an event?

    I can't help but think of two of the most amazing stories I came across while writing to inmates. The first was of an inmate I wrote who was HIV positive (and this was back when HIV was seen as the Black Plague of its time), and he felt a calling to care for the other inmates around him who were also HIV positive, because they were often quarantined and mistreated by both the other inmates and the guards.

    He wrote that his biggest fear was to die alone in prison, and that if he could prevent that from happening to anyone else, he would try his best. And this guy was less than 30 years old at the time.

    Another time, I went to visit someone at one of the prisons and noticed another inmate who was in a wheelchair--and the person I was visiting told me that the other inmates would bathe, dress, feed, and care for this other inmate.

    I couldn't help but think of what kinds of rewards God might have in store for these inmates, despite how much of their current situation were the consequences of their own choices. However, no matter what they'd done, God still had a plan for them, and was still asking them each day if they would pick up their crosses and be willing to follow where He led.

    I know that God will convict me personally in this if I make personal judgments, but when Hugh Hefner passed away, did he have any "credits" at all in his spiritual bank account? Did he believe he was a sinner, and that he needed Christ, and was he then willing to do and obey the things God had asked of him while here on earth? We can all judge his fruits, but ultimately, only God knows, and only His final answer will count.

    In contrast, I wonder what God will say to some of these inmates when they die. Despite the wrong choices, violations they made against others, and crimes they chose to commit, perhaps they fully repented and then chose to do the task that God Himself set before them, even in a place that, to the rest of us, seems God-forsaken. And in the end, God Himself might be waiting for these inmates with open arms, saying, "Well done, my good and faithful servant!" (Matthew 25:21.)

    And so I think to myself, where does that leave me?

    Jesus said that His Father's house has many mansions, and that He has left to go and prepare a place for us (John 14:2.)

    As most here know, I am adopted, and so the story goes, I was found as an infant in a cardboard box in a public place (then found and taken to the police, then to an orphanage--though if this story is actually true, I'll never know until I get to heaven.)

    With all the times I've disobeyed God, ignored someone in need, and harbored unforgiveness...

    I can't help but think that if I'm fortunate enough to get to heaven, God is going to have that same little cardboard box waiting for me if/when I make it to heaven, and that will be my "mansion", and perhaps, my reward.

    To tell you the truth, I think it would be very fitting.
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    Senior Member toinena's Avatar
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    Default Re: Reward in Heaven

    This is a great thread! It made me think!

    I have a hangup on Matt. 20 where all were given one dinar for their work and Luke 12:48. But he that knew not, and did commit things worthy of stripes, shall be beaten with few stripes. For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required: and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more.

    We can't clearly not have any expectations of our reward, and the reward is the same for every one that gets it. Eternal life. I regret I even thought the thought of being someone special or deserving some kind of reward. Because the truth is being with the Lord and escaping the trials of this life would be such an undeserved reward that it is truly humbling. I long for it. But I can't really think of it as a reward. Only mercy.
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    Senior Member seoulsearch's Avatar
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    Default Re: Reward in Heaven

    This thread also has me thinking about what might be required of a person to order to earn some of those "high-level" riches or rewards. For example, many crowds followed Jesus, but only 12 were chosen to be his disciples. What would have qualified someone to be seen as worthy of being given the richness of the presence of Jesus for 3 years?

    Perhaps a willingness to die for your faith in a horrible way was one of the unspoken qualifications. I just skimmed over an article that talks about the deaths of 12 disciples, and it seems that all but John were killed by incredibly violent means. Granted, these are non-Biblical accounts, but the Bible does clearly say that James was killed by the sword (Acts 12:12.)

    To me personally, this is the pinnacle faith--would any of us truly die for what we believe in, especially if it meant being crucified, stabbed, beheaded, or beaten to death, just as the apostles were? We really don't know our true answer until someone is actually pushing us towards that cross.

    Whenever I think of these kinds of things, I think of one inmate in particular. At one time, he was living a life about as far away from God as possible, but God has completely changed his life around. However, there is still one remnant of his original character left that I greatly admire.

    As part of his old life, you had to vow that you would, if necessary, die to protect what you believed in, and it couldn't just be idle words, because there were tests that had to be passed to see if that were true.

    I have no doubt that this person still holds on to that belief (of holding on to what you believe, no matter what the cost), except that how he holds on to the Truth of Christ rather than the old street creeds he was raised with.

    If you become part of this person's inner circle and he tells you that he would die for you, he means every word, because there were many times when he almost died while living his old life, and he has several scars from bullets and knives to prove it.

    I have no doubt that if God asked him to give up his life for his faith, he would do so in a heartbeat, because he already knows what that life is like.

    And I can only imagine what kinds of rewards are waiting for this person in heaven. There might be things he'll get to see or participate in that are worlds away from my "faith account". (I wonder if heaven has such a thing as a "guest pass"... maybe I can convince him to try to get me a seat on the sidelines...)

    As for me, there's no way I'm at that point, and I personally doubt I'll ever be (because I would much rather underestimate myself rather than overestimate.) Shoot, I'm having a hard time just giving up posting on this site to go read my regular Bible study, let alone give up my life by means of a violent death! But I hope that God will keep pushing me forward to be a little better, day by day.

    I truly wish I could say that I know I am someone who, if faced with a knife or gun or painful death, would hold fast to my faith (if it were to protect a loved one, I would at least like to think I'd be brave enough to do that), but I can only imagine what kinds of heavenly rewards or riches God must have in store for those who actually can, and do, give up their lives for their faith.
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    Senior Member Lynx's Avatar
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    Default Re: Reward in Heaven

    Weeeeeeell... personally I don't hold with the "different levels of access" theory. In the parable of the field workers Jesus was very specific about everybody getting the same salvation.

    On the other hand, the diligent people in the parable of the talents did get rewarded. There might be something to the theory of ruling specific areas. Then again, is having to rule something a reward? That would be more like an obligation. Any good ruler sees his job not as a prize but as a duty.

    What it comes down to for me is, what are the treasures? And how do we lay them up? And what are they going to be when we get to Heaven? I'm still wondering about it.

    Thank you all by the way. Great replies from everyone. We have some pretty good, intelligent people here.
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    Default Re: Reward in Heaven

    The rewards in heaven are crowns that we will be laying at Christ feet.
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    Matthew 22:37
    "Love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind" and " Love your neighbor as you love yourself."


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    Default Re: Reward in Heaven

    I am sticking to the one Dinar parable. The reward is the same. But....

    I think we, as in the body of Christ, have different roles in Heaven. Heaven for me would be to give glory to God by playing the Bassoon. I doubt the majority thinks that the ultimate reward would be to play the bassoon. Heaven for me would also fulfill the deepest longings I have for running and dancing. I doubt a person that is weary of life's physical hardship would enjoy running in stairs as a reward as I would. In the sermon of the Mount, Jesus speaks about a some kind of opposite world. "Bakvendtland", where the things you lack in this world you will get in abundance in Heaven.

    To think I have earned any reward in Heaven for my deeds I have done in my own strength is for me pure folly. Everything is mercy. And if I should be judge according to the law, I am not worthy entering Heaven at all.

    I guess God's logic in how he select His flock and what Heaven will be like for every individual is beyond our comprehension, and I can only say I am blessed having the hope of entering Heaven one day.

    BTW. I am happy this is in the singles forum... I wouldn't dare to think out loud like this in the BDF.
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    Default Re: Reward in Heaven

    Well i also believe that the Saints will rule the world with Jesus for 1000 years.. And some of us will be given control over 10 cities while another will be given rule over one... So some will receive greater reward on earth during those times.. But this reward is distinct and totally separate from salvation which is a gift from God to all those who are saved.. So there is a gift and then there are rewards.. Two different things..

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    Senior Member Lynx's Avatar
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    Default Re: Reward in Heaven

    So I've still been thinking about this topic, and my random-access-memory brain finally tied in the verses about Jesus telling Peter if he loved Him, feed His sheep, and the part where Jesus said if you have done something for another person you have done it for Him.

    In Heaven "stuff" won't matter. So what will matter? What will be a reward in Heaven? I think it will have something to do with what we have done here on earth. I think my reward will be a life spent well. I will see that guy that I gave a ride to work for a while, and that lady that I encouraged when she was down and those people that needed the message in the song I sang at church that night... all the people I have helped along the way in life.

    Mind you, it won't be a matter of pride, of "look what I did!" But it will be a reward, the treasure I am laying up, to know that I have helped people. In the end that is the only thing that will matter. When I have died it won't matter how much money I have or who I know or what kind of influence I have. The only thing that will matter is whether I have used my abilities and my time profitably, and God made it very clear multiple times in the Bible what He thinks of as profitable.

    I hope four weeks is not long enough for this to be a zombie thread...
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    Default Re: Reward in Heaven

    Nja. Nja. Nja I have been thinking too,

    For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required: and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more. (Luke 12:48)

    What the reward is, will never be up to us, but up to God. And what He gives is just and good and in abundance.

    And.... as a child waiting to open the presents on Christmas Eve, I am excited to that day. And I don't really want to speculate too much. But I would like a perfect bassoon reed.
    Brrrr! Humbug!

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    Default Re: Reward in Heaven

    I think I am too limited to understand what a heavenly reward would look like as I have a human and finite understanding. The things we value as humans, if of no use later, leave me with little with which to understand the future. I have no real context. One of the things we now value highly is human love. Getting married and being loved is one of the things most of us say we long for. If that isn't a facet of our future life then all I can do is trust that God has it in hand. I don't know what is ahead. A new heaven and earth? What is wrong with the old heaven? Why do we need a new earth if we are in heaven?
    Marriage supper of the lamb. Do we need food? Heavenly mansions. Is there bad weather that we need shelter?
    You see where I am going with this. I do not have a clue what is to come. All I know is the character of God and faith
    in what that means.
    Now I know there are several members here who would love to jump in and give answers but my point is that I have no honest understanding of what it means to live eternally with God. I just don't. If love within a marital union, a hugely powerful force on earth, is not part of the future then I will have to wait and see what God has planned.
    In truth I think when we see him all the questions will fade away because we will finally understand what really matters.
    just my thoughts, Deb

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    Default Re: Reward in Heaven

    Quote Originally Posted by laughingheart View Post
    I think I am too limited to understand what a heavenly reward would look like as I have a human and finite understanding. The things we value as humans, if of no use later, leave me with little with which to understand the future. I have no real context. One of the things we now value highly is human love. Getting married and being loved is one of the things most of us say we long for. If that isn't a facet of our future life then all I can do is trust that God has it in hand. I don't know what is ahead. A new heaven and earth? What is wrong with the old heaven? Why do we need a new earth if we are in heaven?
    Marriage supper of the lamb. Do we need food? Heavenly mansions. Is there bad weather that we need shelter?
    You see where I am going with this. I do not have a clue what is to come. All I know is the character of God and faith
    in what that means.
    Now I know there are several members here who would love to jump in and give answers but my point is that I have no honest understanding of what it means to live eternally with God. I just don't. If love within a marital union, a hugely powerful force on earth, is not part of the future then I will have to wait and see what God has planned.
    In truth I think when we see him all the questions will fade away because we will finally understand what really matters.
    just my thoughts, Deb
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    Default Re: Reward in Heaven

    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx View Post
    Matthew 6:20 But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal:

    Luke 6:35
    But love ye your enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing again; and your reward shall be great, and ye shall be the children of the Highest: for he is kind unto the unthankful and to the evil.


    What treasures? What reward? What are they?

    There's a story about a man who was a very godly man, but also a very rich man. He was also a very thrifty man and did not like the idea of everything he had accumulated on earth being lost when he died, so he prayed long and hard to be allowed to take something to Heaven with him when he died. Finally God told him he would be allowed to take one suitcase with him to Heaven. (Yes I know this goes directly against what the Bible says, but I'm going somewhere with this. Just bear with me a moment.)

    So this rich man got a suitcase, filled it with pure gold bars and left it beside his bed. In time the rich man died and he found himself at St. Peter's check-in desk lugging his heavy suitcase. Peter had some natural questions about the suitcase, as it went directly against the rules, but the rich man insisted God Himself said he could bring it. Peter checked and reported back that orders from above were the man could indeed bring the suitcase in, "but as a security matter I must inspect the suitcase first." Peter opened the suitcase, picked up a gold bar, looked it over, put it down and picked up another, scratched his head and said, "Well orders are orders, so I guess it's alright. But why in Heaven would you want to bring a suitcase full of pavement with you?"

    I've been thinking lately about Heaven and all the things that will be there, and especially about what is valued there. The Bible says the streets will be made out of gold, and I think God might have done that intentionally to illustrate something. The stuff that is so highly prized on Earth that national economies are set by "The Gold Standard" is the stuff we walk on in Heaven. There is nothing we will need to buy or sell in Heaven, because there is no need. There will be no economy at all in Heaven, we won't even NEED a medium of exchange like money because we will not have to work to make money to buy what we need to keep living.

    In a world like that, what kind of reward could possibly matter? What could we have that we will prize there? There won't even be a concept of owning stuff, because we will no longer need to own stuff to survive. What kind of treasure, what kind of reward would be prized so much that it would be given as a reward in Heaven?

    Any thoughts, anybody?
    I don't know but one thing I said to my wife was, it took God six days to create everything we came to know on earth and since then He is busy preparing our place in heaven. Just imagine the details and the place He is busy preparing.
    seoulsearch likes this.

  18. #18
    Senior Member GandalfTheWhite's Avatar
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    Default Re: Reward in Heaven

    Quote Originally Posted by seoulsearch View Post
    I truly wish I could say that I know I am someone who, if faced with a knife or gun or painful death, would hold fast to my faith (if it were to protect a loved one, I would at least like to think I'd be brave enough to do that), but I can only imagine what kinds of heavenly rewards or riches God must have in store for those who actually can, and do, give up their lives for their faith.
    Peter and the other disciples also failed the first time they were tested but God gave them strength the second time. What makes it particularly bad is that they knew Jesus intimately for a three year period.

    I am sure that God will give you strength if you ever have to make that decision friend
    seoulsearch likes this.

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    Senior Member Lynx's Avatar
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    Default Re: Reward in Heaven

    Quote Originally Posted by GandalfTheWhite View Post
    I don't know but one thing I said to my wife was, it took God six days to create everything we came to know on earth and since then He is busy preparing our place in heaven. Just imagine the details and the place He is busy preparing.
    Keith Green had a song on that thought.

    "Do you sing at church?"
    "Yes I sing at church. And I sing at work. And I sing at home... and in the car... at the supermarket... at Wal-Mart..."

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    Senior Member Pipp's Avatar
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    Default Re: Reward in Heaven

    Anything good we receive in heaven will be to lay at Jesus feet. We personally won't need anything ..I believe it's all just to glorify Jesus.
    toinena likes this.
    If a person has ugly thoughts, it begins to show on the face. And when that person has ugly thoughts every day, every week, every year, the face gets uglier and uglier until you can hardly bear to look at it.

    A person who has good thoughts cannot ever be ugly. You can have a wonky nose and a crooked mouth and a double chin and stick-out teeth, but if you have good thoughts it will shine out of your face like sunbeams and you will always look lovely.
    Roald Dahl, The Twits

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