A deacon in a church I pastored in California said he didn't like an emphasis on heavenly rewards. I told him it wasn't my idea but the Lords, and He spoke about it in several passages. Then I told him I thought the Christian who serves the Lord without really thinking about rewards will receive more rewards than a Christian who would serve with the idea the Lord was keeping a record of ever little act he/she did. This lessons shares some of the truth available as we ask What About Heavenly Rewards.
1. Authority And . . Heavenly Rewards. 19:12-13
A. The . .Ratifying of Authority. 19:12
12 Therefore He said: "A nobleman traveled to a far country to receive for himself authority to be king and then return.
B. The . .Receiving of Authority. 19:13
13 He called 10 of his slaves, gave them 10 minas, and told them, 'Engage in business until I come back.
When Christ told this parable Kings received their kingdoms by traveling to Rome and appealing to the Roman Senate. Herod received his kingdom in this manner. Christ will someday return to this earth with the full authority of heaven. Christ likens His disciples to the slaves in this parable. They all receive an equal amount (this is different than the parable of the talents in Matthew). Some believe the 10 minas simple represent the gift of life, and we all receive that. Each of us are responsible for our life and how we relate to the gift God has given us.
2. Accountability And . . Heavenly Rewards. 19:14-25
. . Rejection of Accountability. 19:14
14 "But his subjects hated him and sent a delegation after him, saying, 'We don't want this man to rule over us!'
. . Relating of Accountability. 19:15
15 "At his return, having received the authority to be king, he summoned those slaves he had given the money to so he could find out how much they had made in business.
. . Rationalization of Accountability. 19:16-25
16 The first came forward and said, 'Master, your mina has earned 10 more minas.' 17 " 'Well done, good slave!' he told him. 'Because you have been faithful in a very small matter, have authority over 10 towns.' 18 "The second came and said, 'Master, your mina has made five minas.' 19 "So he said to him, 'You will be over five towns.' 20 "And another came and said, 'Master, here is your mina. I have kept it hidden away in a cloth 21 because I was afraid of you, for you're a tough man: you collect what you didn't deposit and reap what you didn't sow.' 22 "He told him, 'I will judge you by what you have said, you evil slave! [If] you knew I was a tough man, collecting what I didn't deposit and reaping what I didn't sow, 23 why didn't you put my money in the bank? And when I returned, I would have collected it with interest!' 24 So he said to those standing there, 'Take the mina away from him and give it to the one who has 10 minas.' 25 "But they said to him, 'Master, he has 10 minas.'
The rejection of accountability to the king represents those who want to reject Jesus and the idea they will some day account to Him. Just because a person rejects accountability does not erase the fact everyone will relate to the Lord and give an account of their faithfulness. It amazes me that several times the Lord tells about someone trying to rationalize with him about how they should be judged. In the parable the instructions were given to "Engage in business until I come back." HCSB If a person did not engage in business he/she did not obey; so what defense can logically be given that can answer to disobedience. Obviously the answer is "none" but that does not stop many from offering their flimsy excuses.
3. Alterations And . . Heavenly Rewards. 19:26-27
A. The . . Performance of the Alterations. 19:26
26 " 'I tell you, that to everyone who has, more will be given; and from the one who does
not have, even what he does have will be taken away.
B. The . . Permanence of the Alterations. 19:27
27 But bring here these enemies of mine, who did not want me to rule over them, and slaughter them in my presence.' "
Recently I heard a comedian asked if there is a God
what would you like Him to say to you when you stand before Him. This man
(George Carlin) said I would like Him to say "well now we are going to
have some laughter up here. I immediately thought of the verse in the book
of Proverbs which says "I in turn will laugh at your calamity" Pro. 1:26
HCSB. It is such a shame that many people will base heaven and heavenly
rewards on their thought rather than the scriptures. There will be alterations
between what God will do in the giving of rewards, and what people think
He will do. It is His decision and He will perform it. His performance
will be permanent without any Biblical suggestion of a purgatory, or second
chance. It is good for us to ask What About Heavenly Rewards. Amen?