How will things change for the Christian after the Millennium?

 

What we are mainly considering here is those of the church who have been rewarded at the bema judgment. As I have previously written about, our main reward in the Millennial kingdom will be the obtaining of responsibilities of service and rulership in God’s kingdom, in which we will reign and rule with Christ. Some will have great responsibilities, by which they will rule over many; and some will have few responsibilities, by which they will rule over a few.

Now the question before us is, how will our responsibilities of rulership change after the millennium, when we will enter the eternal state of the new heaven and the new earth?

First of all, it must be clear that the second we all are raptured, we will go into the eternal state—because, to have a raptured or resurrection body is being in the eternal state. And where is that? Well, that is a good question, but I would say that the main place, or our primary eternal home is that place in which Christ has been preparing for us: the heavenly city or the New Jerusalem, described for us in detail in Revelation 21:9-27.

This is our eternal home and it will remain our home for eternity—even after the millennium. Likewise, it is the place from which we will reign and rule with Christ. So, our location and position and responsibility, as far as ruling goes, will remain the same from the millennium till after the millennium—because, for us, we will always be in the eternal state. The only difference will be in who we are ruling over. In the millennium we will rule over those who are not resurrected, and also over some who are not redeemed. But after the millennium, everyone will have a resurrection body. That is the big difference.

And this presents other questions, like, how exactly will we rule? Will we always be in the New Jerusalem, or will we be allowed to travel out of it? Since we will have glorified bodies, if we have any dealings with people on the earth during the millennium, will we be invisible, or visible? And if visible, how will we look? Then, after the millennium is over and everyone has glorified bodies, what will that be like?  How will it be for a us to rule over those that are just like us? I offer these questions without answers, simply because I don’t have answers, just ideas; vague ideas. And whenever I think about eternal things, I dare not say too much. And it seems like the more I think about it the more questions I have.

 

Posted in After the rapture, Bema Seat, Millennium, Prophecy Topics | Tagged , , , , , , | 1 Comment

What Is the Purpose of the Rewards We Will Receive in Heaven?

The overall purpose of our rewards, as in all things, will be to the praise of His glory (Eph. 1:12). Hence, whatever reward we receive: whatever praise, whatever service, or whatever responsibility, it will not only be filled with His glory, but it will reflect that glory back to Him. So, we will find ourselves in a never-ending cycle of glory. He gives us glory in our rewards. And then, as we use our rewards of service to service Him, His glory will be reflected back to Him.

Now, though all will receive His glory, and all will gladly give it back to Him (Rev. 4:10); not all will have the same capacity to radiate His glory. That may seem unfair, but we now in our works have the opportunity to determine our own destiny. Yes, He gives us now, through our obedience, the chance to make things right for all eternity—to fulfill our God-given purpose. Let us be diligent to obey Him in all things.

Posted in After the rapture, Bema Seat, Prophecy Topics, Rapture | Tagged , , , , , , | 1 Comment

How Will We Be Rewarded At the Bema Judgment?

  I think the best reward we will get is to hear Jesus say to us in front of all, “Well done My good and faithful servant.” That alone will be enough. But He has more in store for us that will be a joy to us for eternity. Our reward for eternity will be ownership of land, rulership, and areas of responsibility.

By land ownership. According to Randy Alcorn, from his book, Heaven, we will be “pioneers and settlers on the New Earth.”3 The term “inherit the earth” is God’s promise to those who fear Him and wait on Him, and is a term that suggests land ownership on the New Earth (and, I think, also on the new millennial earth). But if you are not particularly excited about owning land, you could also think of it as being prosperous. And I doubt that you will be opposed to that. Here are two scripture passages that give us that idea.

 

Psalm 25:12-13

Who is the man who fears the Lord?

He will instruct him in the way he should choose.

13 His soul will abide in prosperity,

And his descendants will inherit the land.

 

Psalm 37:9-11

For evildoers will be cut off,

But those who wait for the Lord, they will inherit the land.

10 Yet a little while and the wicked man will be no more;

And you will look carefully for his place, and he will not be there.

11 But the humble will inherit the land,

And will delight themselves in abundant prosperity.

 

By rulership. Our crowns suggest that Jesus will reward us with rulership—as kings and priests to God (Rev. 1:6; 5:10). And it appears from Scripture that we will rule over cities, over angels, and over creatures.

In Luke 19:11-27, Jesus teaches His disciples (which includes us), in a parable, that we will be rewarded in His kingdom according to how faithful we are with certain responsibilities. Some will be rewarded greatly, and then some not so greatly, depending on our degree of faithfulness. And the reward spoken of here is clearly the rulership (or authority) over cities.

In 1 Corinthians 6:2-3, Paul in his teaching, tells us that in the kingdom (the millennial kingdom and the eternal kingdom) we will rule over the holy angels. And I suppose, as with the cities, some will have more rulership than others, depending on how faithful we are now on this earth.

Thirdly, as God gave Adam and Eve the command to rule over all the creatures of the earth—the fish, the birds, and all land creatures (Gen. 1:28), this command will be relevant to all of us for eternity; and I believe we all, in this case, will have the same degree of authority.

By appointed responsibility. Whatever service we do in the kingdom of God, that service will be appointed to us at the Bema, and will therefore be our responsibility. If we are given an allotment of land, we will also be given the responsibility to manage that land, and probably also to rule over that land. Therefore, every area of rulership He gives us, we should consider it to be a service to God and a responsibility.

And the more responsibility He imparts to us, we can be assured that He will also give us the wisdom and the empowerment to carry it out.

Now if you think that the service He gives you will be a huge burden on you and even a punishment, that thinking is entirely wrong. Remember that in the new kingdom all things will be different. He will empower us to do everything He asks us to do. And He will also give us a great pleasure in doing it. Thus, I think the more He makes us responsible for any service to Him, the more of a reward one will consider it, and the pleasure we will get from it.

 

3 Randy Alcorn, Heaven (Wheaton, Illinois: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., 2004), p. 202.

Posted in After the rapture, Bema Seat, Bible Passages on Prophecy, Indicators of His Coming, Kingdom of God, Millennium, Prophecy Topics, Rapture | Tagged , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Hurt Not the Oil and the Wine — Ernie’s Musings

Stephen Nielsen

And I heard a voice in the midst of the four beasts say, A measure of wheat for a penny, and three measures of barley for a penny; and see thou hurt not the oil and the wine. (Revelation 6:6) The Wuhan bug[1] continues to impact the world economy. Without a doubt, the virus presents […]

Hurt Not the Oil and the Wine — Ernie’s Musings

View original post

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The Meaning of The Crowns Rewarded Us at The Judgment Seat

 

Paul, in 2 Corinthians 5:10 says, “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may be recompensed for his deeds in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.”  The key word we are looking for here is “recompensed.”  It means to be rewarded for. It is God’s praise to us for our good works. It is the way He will bless us for eternity.

A word used to describe our blessed reward is “crown.” In one respect, we may see this word as a reference to rulership. For because we will receive crowns, He will make us rulers alongside of Him in His kingdom.

In another respect we may see our crowns, generally, as our eternal life; and yet each crown given may represent certain characteristics of our eternal life. The following are five different examples of these crowns:

The Incorruptible Crown (1 Cor. 9:25). This crown may represent eternal life that is incorruptible, and is rewarded to those who best obtained mastery, or self-control over the old man.

The Crown of Rejoicing (1 Thess. 2:19). This crown may represent eternal life that is joyful, and is rewarded to soul winners. Interestingly, those we win to Christ will be this crown to us in the presence of the Lord for eternity.

The Crown of Life (Ja. 1:12). This crown represents eternal life that is perfect and complete, a result of our endurance in trials (Ja. 1:4); it is a reward that is granted in this life, but also something we will cherish for eternity.

The Crown of Righteousness (2 Tim. 4:8). This crown represents our own eternal righteousness in Christ, which will shine for eternity, especially in those who have loved His appearing and have looked forward to seeing Him in all His glorious righteousness.

The Crown of Glory (1 Pt. 5:1-4). This crown represents eternal life that is exalted in glory, and is given especially to those shepherds who were humble and good and did not lord it over their flock.

 

We Will Receive Rewards According to God’s Criteria

 The way Christ will determine the measurement of our rewards will be solely up to Him. He will decide what our rewards will be by careful evaluation of our deeds—those activities of ministry (or those good works) that we have done while we were living on this earth (2 Cor. 5:10).

Paul, in 1 Corinthians 3:9-15, uses the word “work” instead of deeds, suggesting, I suppose, that what we do takes effort. And the text also tells us that there may be a question as to whether our deeds (or works) are true or valuable or not. And that in turn suggests that our motives will be in question (read also 1 Cor. 4:5). These are things that Christ our Lord will determine by His infinite knowledge and wise judgment. And whatever judgment He makes, we can be assured that He will judge us fairly, according to whatever gifts He has given us and according to many other things (such as opportunities and influences, etc.).

Posted in 1 Corinthians 3:12-15, 1 Corinthians 4:5, 2 Corinthians 5:10, After the rapture, Bema Seat, Bible Passages on Prophecy, Heaven, Prophecy Topics, Rapture | Tagged , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

How Our Works Will Be Judged at the Bema – 3 Points

 There are ample biblical references on how our works are judged. We can break it down into three different categories.

 

1. Our works will be judged according to our character and motives.

While we as humans most often judge others by their outward appearance and behavior, God always looks on the heart (1 Sam. 16:7). Thus, in the final judgment He will bring to light the hidden things, and disclose man’s deep motives (1 Cor. 4:5; 2 Cor. 5:11). He will see whether our hearts are humble or proud (1 Pt. 5:5-6). And He will see not so much the quantity of our works but the quality, and whether they were done for Him and His kingdom, or for our own selfish gain (Matt. 6:33).

 

2. Our works will be judged according to our attitude toward God.

On the whole, we will be judged by the way we tried to please Him in our entire life. Paul, at the end of his life used three athletic phrases to describe how he really tried to please the Lord. He said, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith” (2 Tim. 4:7). Hence, we will be judged by how we fought in the Christian life all the way through to the end. And how we were loyal to the end—never backsliding.

Similarly, in 1 Corinthians 9:24, Paul tells us that we should regard our lives as a running race, and that we should do whatever it takes to win the race. Hence, we will be judged by how we kept ourselves disciplined and pure for the glory of God, and in order to win the glorious prize that He will give to those who ran to please Him.

We will also be judged according to how we obeyed Him on a day by day basis—yet not by a blind, mechanical obedience, but by an inner heart obedience. Psalm 37:4-7 and verse 34, depicts this humble attitude toward God well:

 

Delight yourself in the Lord;

And He will give you the desires of your heart.

5 Commit your way to the Lord,

Trust also in Him, and He will do it.

6 And He will bring forth your righteousness as the light,

And your judgment as the noonday.

7 Rest in the Lord and wait patiently for Him;

Do not fret because of him who prospers in his way,

Because of the man who carries out wicked schemes.

34 Wait for the Lord, and keep His way,

And He will exalt you to inherit the land;

When the wicked are cut off, you will see it.

 

Notice the key words that depict this Godly attitude: “delight in the Lord,” and “commit your way to the Lord,” and “trust in Him,” and “rest in Him,” and “wait for Him.” And then also, notice the results: “He will give you the desires of your heat,” and “He will exalt you to inherit the land.” These results are definitely for this present life, but are also meant for the life to come after the bema, when all things in this present life will be rewarded.

Similarly, in Matthew 5:3-5 and 10-12, in Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount, He gives us the Godly attitude that we should have, and the results that will follow. The “poor in spirit” (or those who recognize their spiritual bankruptcy apart from God) will receive the “kingdom of heaven.” The “meek” (or those who are self-controlled and self-empowered by the Spirit) will “inherit the earth.” And those who are “persecuted for the sake of righteousness,” their “reward in heaven is great.”

 

3. Our works will be judged according to our attitude toward others.

I think our attitude toward others is just as important as our attitude toward God. In fact, I think it may be even more important, because it reveals our heart; it will reveal whether we really have a heart for God or not. Let me explain this from Scripture. 1 John 4:7 says, “Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God.”

Therefore, if we really love another person, this reveals that we love God and that we know Him. Verses 20 and 21 of the same chapter puts it negatively. It says,

 

If someone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for the one who does not love his brother whom he has seen, cannot love God whom he has not seen. 21 And this commandment we have from Him, that the one who loves God should love his brother also.

 

Therefore, in the judgment, we will definitely be judged on our attitude toward others. And it will be discovered whether we were kind and hospitable to strangers, and how we treated and talked to people, even to those who were unkind to us.

 

Posted in 1 Corinthians 3:12-15, 2 Corinthians 5:10, After the rapture, Bema Seat, Bible Passages on Prophecy, Prophecy Topics, Rapture | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

On What Basis Will We Be Judged at the Bema?

 

Most Christians, it seems, have very little concern about whether they will have to give an account for their life or not. They live as if what they do now will have little effect on eternity. But the bible tells us that we will stand before Christ some day at what is called the Bema Seat, and will be judged by Him. In this post we will consider, in the following three points, on what basis we will be judged.

 

We will not be judged on the basis of sins.

It is true that through Adam, sin entered into the world; and because of that sin, spiritual death was passed on to all men at birth (Romans 5:12). But because of the mercy and grace of God, those who have believed in Him have received redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses (Rom. 1:17). Thus, those who believe in Him have eternal life, and do not come into judgment, but are passed out of spiritual death into life (Jn. 5:24).

Therefore, when we face Jesus at the judgment seat, He will not even ask us about sins; for He remembers them no more (Heb. 10:17). However, sins will have an effect on how we live and what kind of deeds we do. Thus, it is always important now to live a pure and blameless life, so that sins do not corrupt the life and keep us from pleasing Him.

 

We will be judged fairly, thoroughly, and individually.

We have already mentioned that we will all be judged individually. It appears from Scripture that each of us will meet Him face to face, and each one will give an account of his or her life (2 Cor. 5:10). His judgment of us will be thorough because in our new bodies we will have perfect recollection of everything we did; and so, both we and He will know everything we did, and whether it was good or bad. And you know He will be fair; for it is His everlasting character.

 

We will be judged according to our deeds, whether they are good or bad (2 Cor. 5:10).

Our good deeds (or works) will be judged as valuable for the kingdom and we will be rewarded for a them. And our bad deeds will be judged as having no value for the kingdom and we will receive no reward at all for them.

A good illustration of this is in 1 Corinthians 3:10-15. Here we (the church) are seen as God’s building. Paul has laid the foundation (of the church), which is Christ; and we, with our works, are the building blocks. In verse 12 are listed six such building blocks: gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, and straw. Notice in these examples that the first three are very good quality building blocks that will last for a long time and make for a strong building. But the next three are very poor building blocks that are of useless materials.

Notice that the building materials are not judged until the judgment. At that time the building of God (the church) will be inspected, piece by piece (each of us with our works), to see what kind of building it is. And His fire of judgment will reveal its quality.

I also want to say something else. Though it is the individual works (or deeds) that are judged and not the whole person, by the language in verses 13 through 15, by the use of the singular “work” instead of “works,” we may conclude that one  person will tend to have all works that are good, and another will tend to have all works that are bad, or useless. Thus, the singular “work” may represent all of his deeds together. And I think I understand why this may be the case. If a Christian person is committed to Christ, his motives will be good and so all of his works will reflect that. But if a person, though he is a Christian, is not so committed, his motives may not be so good and so all of his works will tend to be bad. Yet, because he is a Christian, as verse 15 says, “…he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire.”

In saying all that, I don’t know if we can be dogmatic about it. A person may have times in his life when he was more committed, and other times when he was not. Nonetheless, we know that Jesus will be fair in His judgment.

Now there is ample biblical references on how our works are judged. We can break it down into three different categories. We will consider this next time.

 

Posted in 1 Corinthians 3:12-15, 2 Corinthians 5:10, After the rapture, Bema Seat, Bible Passages on Prophecy, Prophecy Topics | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment