God has bestowed gifts and talents to each of us. Leadership, wisdom, music, charisma, healing, cooking, humor, creativity, discernment, analytics, etc…
Wherever God has us strategically placed in our families, workplace, school, and community; our mission is to utilize our gifts and talents to bring glory to Him, encourage our brothers and sisters in the faith, and to draw the lost away from the clutches of the evil one.
For born again believers our salvation and entrance into Heaven will not be in jeopardy, however we will stand before Jesus to be rewarded according to our faithfulness in fulfilling our God ordained purposes. (Romans 14:10-12, I Corinthians 3:9-15, II Corinthians 5:10) Knowing this, we must always be mindful that we are not twisting the Word for our own selfish agendas, but instead are being sincere ambassadors of Christ for the up building of the kingdom.
THE PRINCIPLES OF DISTRIBUTION
Let’s take a look at three of Jesus’ parables to see what principles the distribution of our rewards might be founded on, along with a present day example for each:
PARABLE OF THE VINEYARD:
PRINCIPLE: There is Equal reward for Faithfulness, even when there is unequal opportunity.
Ex. A person who has only been saved for 2 years, but has faithfully carried out their ordained assignment, would receive the same reward as a person who has been faithful for 20 years.
PARABLE OF THE TALENTS:
PRINCIPLE: Where there are unequal abilities, but equal faithfulness, there will be equal rewards.
Ex. God blesses one woman with great wisdom, administration, and prophecy. He then gives to another woman only the gifts of administration. Despite one having 3 gifts, and the other only having one; both women would receive the same reward if they are faithful in utilizing their gifts for the good of the kingdom of God.
PARABLE OF THE POUNDS:
PRINCIPLE: Where there are equal capabilities and equal opportunities, yet unequal faithfulness, the reward will be graded.
Ex. Two pastors each are blessed with the gifts needed to launch a mega church, television ministry, and favour with many celebrities. One pastor is faithful in preaching the true Word and winning souls. The other pastor sugarcoats the Word in the presence of celebrities, in hopes of remaining popular with the rich & famous. This pastor would lose some rewards for not preaching the whole Word to the famous.
THE REWARDS OF FAITHFULNESS
For those who have children, think of how thrilled you are to bestow gifts and rewards to your kids, for their accomplishments and obedience, likewise, the Lord has many rewards in store for his faithful followers.
THE FIVE CROWNS:
Crown of Rejoicing- Soul Winner’s Crown
Given to those who win new believers to Christ, and to those who encourage their brothers and sisters in the faith
I Thessalonians 2
Incorruptible Crown Self Denial
Given to those who deny their flesh, and strive to honour god with the life they live.
I Corinthians 9:24-27
Crown of Righteousness-
Given to those who watch for The Rapture, and to Tribulation Christians who await Christ’s 2nd coming.
II Timothy 4:7-8
Crown of Life- Martyrs
Given to those who faithfully maintain their faith in Jesus, under persecution, even to the point of mortal death
James 1:12 Revelation 2:10
Crown of Glory- Pastor’s Crown
Given to those who are faithful in preaching the gospel of Christ
I peter 5:1-11 specifically I Peter 5:3-5
During His Millennial Kingdom, Jesus will physically rule over the earth from Jerusalem. Based upon how faithful we were in utilizing our gifts during this mortal life, Christ will assign each of us a position in His perfect world government. (II Timothy 2:12, I Corinthians 6:2, and Revelation 20:4&6)
Each of us will receive a physical makeover, in the form of a glorified body. (We will have no sin nature, and will be completely free from doing sinful things. I Corinthians 15:44-53, II Corinthians 5:1-4)
A mansion (John 14:2-3)
There are many other Heavenly treasures which we will have an eternity to enjoy (Matthew 6:20)
Of course the greatest reward will be interacting with Jesus face-to-face, being surrounded by all of our saved loved ones & all others who placed their trust in God throughout the centuries, and living forever in a kingdom where only peace and love exist.
Love God, love your neighbors, resist temptation stay faithful, and build your hopes on things eternal.
I Corinthians 2:9
But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.