People can be cruel. Even the Apostle Paul had people criticize and complain about his ministry. With all the persecution he faced from the enemies of the cross, he also had his fellow believers attack him.
Why would Paul, or anybody else, put up with all the mess of ministry and serving others? The future reward!
In spite of the hardships, and maybe because of the hardships, the rewards of serving Jesus are worth everything. This life is not all there is – we have a wonderful future with Jesus.
This Sunday, March 3, I conclude a 3-part sermon series called “The Message and the Messenger” from 2 Corinthians 3-5. 2 Corinthians is Paul’s most personal letter and he opens his heart to defend his ministry and the Gospel against his attackers. This week my sermon is simply called “Future Reward” from 2 Corinthians 5.
When it comes to theories about life after death, we often hear the words “we think”… “we believe” … “we hope.” But Paul begins 2 Corinthians 5 with the words “For we know.” There are certain things about our future beyond death we can know.
We know we will get a new body. This is what Paul talks about in the beginning of 2 Corinthians 5. Our present body gets sick, tired, and will eventually die. But the body God will give us won’t get sick, get tired, forget things, tempt us to do wrong, or die. We will have a perfect body. I can’t wait.
Another thing we know about the future is that we will be rewarded for our service for Jesus. This is what the Apostle Paul talks about in the last half of 2 Corinthians 5. Our sins are forgiven and paid for by the death of Jesus on the cross. But we will each stand before the Judgment Seat of Christ. This will be a judgement of our works for Jesus. Jesus will look beyond the quality of our work and judge its quality. Nothing done for Jesus with the right attitude will be without a reward… even a cup of cold water.
In Scripture we are told of at least five rewards Jesus will hand out. I’m sure there will be more. But this Sunday I will talk about those mentioned in the New Testament. I believe these are crowns that we will give back to Jesus for all He has done for us. I hope you have lots of crowns to give Him.
This Sunday we will be looking into our future. We need to live today like we will have wished we had lived today when we stand before Jesus.
Join us this Sunday @ 10:30 a.m.