Knowing What Comes Next
There is a common belief among people — even those with a basic knowledge of the Bible — that God will reward us in the afterlife for the good things that we do. And while the Bible is clear that our salvation has nothing to do with our own good works, it does tell us in several places that there are rewards for those who do good things for the right reasons.
Speaking through the apostle John, Jesus tells those who follow him, “Look, I am coming soon, bringing my reward with me to repay all people according to their deeds” (Revelation 22:12). This means that part of God';s final judgment of individuals is assessing what their eternal rewards will be.
It';s not popular in some Christian circles to talk about rewards as the results for faithfully serving God. And while the Bible indicates that our first priority in serving God is to do so out of love and obedience, Jesus himself talked about rewards for those who do so. In Matthew 5–7, in Jesus';s famous Sermon on the Mount, he makes reference at least nine times to rewards for obedient living.
Speaking of rewards, the apostle Paul wrote, “Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it” (Ephesians 2:9). That is in keeping with the Biblical theme that our salvation is based on the work of God and nothing we can do ourselves.
Even in the Old Testament there are many references to rewards for obedient living. For example, in the book of Genesis we read how God promised Abraham a “great reward” if he would simply trust and obey (Genesis 15:1). Later, King David wrote, “The Lord rewarded me for doing right” (Psalm 18:20).
As you read and study the Bible, you will see that there are great rewards for personalizing what you see, for making the messages of God contained in the Good Book your very own. And, as the Bible itself tells us, the rewards will be both in this life and in the one to come!