The Bible teaches that born again believers shall be eternally rewarded by Jesus Christ at the judgment seat of the Lord.
These are “rewards” for being faithful Christians, in accordance with the Word of God, rather than our own ideas about how to serve God (2 Cor 5:10, Rom 14:11-12).
The Word makes it clear that, while many will make it to eternity, many will also lose rewards due to our failures as Christians in this life (1 Cor 3:10-15).
I think this is important because the Word of God ought to shape our goals in life.
The most important goal I have is to earn every reward the Lord has made available to me. Grace is free. One cannot earn salvation, but the Lord has given us clear incentives to prepare us for eternity.
Let’s check out the eternal crowns and how one can earn them:
The Crown of Righteousness: Given to those who have faithfully witnessed about, desired and loved the appearing of the Lord (2 Tim 4:8)
The Incorruptible Crown- Awarded to those who lived disciplined lives. Many born again believers are “carnal minded” and devoid of discipline and will barely make it into heaven per the Word of God, due to their lack of self control. (1 Cor 9:25-27)
The Crown of Life- Is given to saints who endured patiently through the trials of walking the Christian life. Some people become hard, bitter, and stop trusting God due to trials. Those who endure have a sure reward (James 1:12, Rev 2:10_
The Crown of Glory- Given to Pastors and Elders who were godly examples to the Flock and rightly divided the Word of Truth to God’s people, rather than teaching false doctrines and exploiting God’s sheep (1 Pet 5:2-4)
The Crown of Rejoicing- This is known as the “Soul Winner’s Crown”. Some Christians live their entire lives and never lead a single soul to the Lord. Others have led countless to Christ through a lifestyle of evangelism. Leading the lost to Christ has both earthly and heavenly reward (1 Thess 2:19, Dan 12:3)
Our priorities in life ought to be shaped by eternal goals rather than selfish ambition, for nothing in this life will carry over into eternity.
I encourage you to run the good race and prepare for eternal life, my friends (Phil 3:12-14, 1 Cor 9:24-27)
Most of all, let’s be mindful that we should not allow our lack of eternal priorities to cause us to lose out on the rewards the Lord has stored for us upon His return.