All “service to the Lord” that is done for His honor and glory and for the blessing of mankind and will be rewarded in the coming Day when we (believers) stand before the Judgment Seat of Christ. He will review and assess everything we did (including “preaching the word”), even the “motives” that men can’t see, and all that meets His Divine approval will receive its just reward. Here is one passage that especially speaks of the judgment of our works of service:

“Who then is Paul, and who is Apollos, but ministers (servants) through whom you believed, as the Lord gave to each one? I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the increase. So then neither he who plants is anything, nor he who waters, but God who gives the increase. Now he who plants and he who waters are one, and EACH ONE WILL RECEIVE HIS OWN REWARD ACCORDING TO HIS OWN LABOR. For we are God’s fellow workers; you are God’s field, you are God’s building. According to the grace of God which was given to me, as a wise master builder I have laid the foundation, and ANOTHER BUILDS ON IT. BUT LET EACH ONE TAKE HEED HOW HE BUILDS ON IT. For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if anyone builds on this foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, EACH ONE’S WORK WILL BECOME CLEAR; for the Day will declare it, because it will be revealed by fire; and the fire will TEST EACH ONE’S WORK, OF WHAT SORT IT IS. If anyone’s work which has built on it endures, HE WILL RECEIVE A REWARD. If anyone’s work is burned, HE WILL SUFFER LOSS; BUT HE HIMSELF WILL BE SAVED, yet so as through fire” (1st Corinthians 3:5-15).”

It is clear from the apostle’s words that SERVICE FOR THE LORD IS EXTREMELY IMPORTANT. The apostle laid the foundation by teaching all the truth about Jesus Christ (verses 10-11 with Ephesians 2:19-20). Now each believer has the immense privilege of “building on this foundation by preaching the truth that Paul and the other apostles have given us.” This would include preaching the gospel to the unsaved sinners “so they can be saved” (Romans 10:9-14) and teaching those who are saved the truths that will “build them up on their most holy faith” (Acts 20:32 & Jude 20). If we are faithful in our service to the Lord our works will stand the test and endure, resulting in a REWARD. If we are unfaithful in our service to the Lord our works will be burned up, resulting in a LOSS OF REWARD.

In closing, let’s consider why receiving rewards are so important. First, and foremost, it will bring glory to God. Rewards are likened unto CROWNS in Scripture (see 1st Corinthians 9:24-25; 1st Thessalonians 2:19; 2nd Timothy 4:7-8; James 1:12 & Revelation 2:10; and 1st Peter 5:1-4). In Revelation 4:10-11 we read, “the twenty-four elders fall down before Him who sits on the throne and worship Him who lives forever and ever, and CAST THEIR CROWNS BEFORE THE THRONE, saying: ‘You are worthy, O Lord, TO RECEIVE GLORY and honor and power; for You created all things, and by Your will they exist and were created.” The 24 elders represent all believers, and we learn there that after receiving our rewards we will gladly “cast our crowns before the throne.” Why? Because we will know that every act of service done for the Lord was done because His GRACE worked in our hearts to give us the desire to serve Him, and His POWER enabled us to do it. “For it is God who works in you both TO WILL AND TO DO for His good pleasure” (Philippians 2:13). Paul put it this way in 1st Corinthians 15:10, “But by the grace of God I am what I am, and HIS GRACE TOWARD ME was not in vain: but I labored more abundantly than they all, yet not I, but THE GRACE OF GOD WHICH WAS WITH ME.”

It would seem that God will take the crowns that we cast before His throne and give them back to us for “our rewards determine the place we will have in Christ’s kingdom which He will establish at His second coming in power and glory.” The apostle Peter writes of this kingdom and the wonderful entrance we can have into His kingdom if we are faithful servants: “Therefore, brethren, be even more diligent to make your call and election sure, for if you do these things you will never stumble; for so AN ENTRANCE WILL BE SUPPLIED TO YOU ABUNDANTLY INTO THE EVERLASTING KINGDOM of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” (2nd Peter 1:10-11).  And won’t it be wonderful to hear the Lord Jesus Himself say, “Well done, good and faithful servant; you were faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord” (Matthew 25:23). So, even though salvation and eternal life are a GIFT (John 3:16-17 and Romans 6:23), bought and paid for by OUR SAVIOR’S WORK ON THE CROSS, our place in Christ’s Millennial Kingdom will be based on OUR WORK FOR THE LORD.  (481.3)  (DO)