– Randy Alcorn
Will you be ashamed at His coming? The Bible says some will be. The Apostle John writes “And now, little children, abide in him, so that when he appears we may have confidence and not shrink from him in shame at his coming” (1st John 2:28). The shame doesn’t come from not trusting in Christ, but rather in not doing more for Christ (Matt 25:40). The Apostle Paul wrote, “If anyone’s work is burned up, he will suffer loss, though he himself will be saved, but only as through fire” (1st Cor 3:15), so we know that some will receive greater rewards, and some apparently “will suffer loss.”
Kings and Priests
The Bible frequently speaks about a people who are to become “a kingdom and priests to our God, and they shall reign on the earth” (Rev 5:10), and it is Jesus Himself who has “made us a kingdom, priests to his God and Father, to him be glory and dominion forever and ever” (Rev 1:6). Ancient Israel was called to the same thing but failed, but where they failed, the church will succeed. The Apostle Peter writes “you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light” (1st Pet 2:9).
Done in Secret
Jesus never corrects any of His disciples for asking about rewards. In fact, He tells them (and us) how to ensure their rewards will be waiting for them in heaven. Jesus said it is best that “your giving may be in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you” (Matt 6:4), but if anyone does things “that they may be seen by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward” (Matt 6:5). If you’ve done something for God, don’t tell me, otherwise you’ve got your reward.
We have already read how some will be kings and priests in the kingdom, which means they’ll have rule over the kingdom, but reigning under Christ, but does that mean there’ll be governors, mayor, and other offices? I don’t know, but in the Parable of the Ten Minas, some are rewarded by hearing, “Well done, my good servant!’ his master replied. ‘Because you have been trustworthy in a very small matter, take charge of ten cities” (Luke 19:17), and the next one took charge of five cities, so there is strong evidence that Christians will be reigning with (but under) Christ in the coming kingdom of God on earth, but will this include cities?
Every little thing you do for Christ is forwarded to heaven. Only if you tell someone will you lose that reward, so try to do things in secret so you’ll be openly rewarded someday, and do it all for the glory of God and never for yourself. That’s a natural temptation, I know, but he or she who lays up treasure in heaven looks forward even more to Christ’s appearance and the beginning of the kingdom which has no end.