The Bible talks about rewards for doing good works.
For we must all appear before the tribunal of Christ, so that each may be repaid for what he has done in the body, whether good or worthless. (2 Corinthians 5:10 HCSB)
In our society today, there is a trend to give equal rewards to everyone, no matter if one excelled or if they did little or nothing. This way of thinking gives no incentive to be excellent and do one‘s best. Why bother? Those who do nothing still receive a reward.
That is not how it is in the Kingdom of God. There is no reward for doing nothing, or for having good intentions. God’s gift of salvation, and the spiritual gifts and abilities He is willing to give us are free because of the sacrifice of Jesus, but what we do after we are “saved” determines our reward when we stand before Christ.
Rev 20:11-13 speaks of a judgement before the throne of God. It says that “books are opened” and the dead are judged according to their “works.” Did you know that everything we do is being recorded? And one day we will have to give an account before God. It may be a day of reward and honour, or it may be a day of dread and shame.
If anyone builds on that foundation with gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay, or straw, each one’s work will become obvious, for the day will disclose it, because it will be revealed by fire; the fire will test the quality of each one’s work. If anyone’s work that he has built survives, he will receive a reward. If anyone’s work is burned up, it will be lost, but he will be saved; yet it will be like an escape through fire. (1 Corinthians 3:12-15 HCSB)
So how can we know that we are building with the right materials? Are we putting in time, effort, money, etc., to build our own lives, or is God and His Kingdom our number one priority? Do we strive to do good unto others? Are we living in a manner that is worthy of His great sacrifice? We must grab hold of God’s Word and actually live it out regardless of whether we want to or not. In every situation we must choose to do what’s right even when we don’t feel like it. If we do this, we are building with gold, silver, and costly stones and can rest assured that God is pleased with us.
Salvation, through faith in Christ, ensures that we will not be thrown into the burning Lake of Fire, but our “works” – what we do after we are saved – will also be tested by fire. It should be our goal that we pass the test, for then there is a reward. And that is something worthy to look forward to!