Posted by: Bill Hornbeck | November 29, 2021

“Behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to render to every man according to what he has done.” – “all things belong to you”

Today’s devotion comes from Revelation 22:12-15.

“Behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to render to every man according to what he has done.  I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end.”

Blessed are those who wash their robes, so that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter by the gates into the city.  Outside are the dogs and the sorcerers and the immoral persons and the murderers and the idolaters, and everyone who loves and practices lying.”  Revelation 22:12-15.  

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We tend to think of rewards in terms of money and exact amounts.  According to this thinking, we may think of as many different rewards as there are different dollar amounts.

There is some Scriptures that such thinking may make us to jump to thinking of as many different rewards as there are different dollar amounts.  For example, we read of “a prophet’s reward”, “a righteous man’s reward”, and the reward for giving a little one a cup of cold water to drink.  “He who receives a prophet in the name of a prophet shall receive a prophet’s reward;  and he who receives a righteous man in the name of a righteous man shall receive a righteous man’s reward.  And whoever in the name of a disciple gives to one of these little ones even a cup of cold water to drink, truly I say to you, he shall not lose his reward.”  Matthew 10:41-42.

We may think of “a prophet’s reward” something like a Cadillac worth $50,000, “a righteous man’s reward” something like a Buick worth $30,000, and the reward for giving a little one a cup of cold water to drink something like a Schwinn bike worth $100.

But, there are other Scriptures that make us think of one reward, eternal life in heaven.  As you will see by the following Scriptures, I think that there is one reward, eternal life in heaven.  Or, maybe, two rewards if you consider eternal punishment in hell a reward;  recompense may be a better word for that type of reward.

Particularly for this devotion, I remind you as the conclusion in the “About Me” section of my web site Reformed Doctrine Daily Devotions.  “Although I do my best to present true teachings, these are my teachings as a layman.  (I am an attorney, not a minister).  And, although I have been taught by and otherwise influenced primarily by certain Reformed and Presbyterian denominations through the years from a very early age to date, my teachings are not necessarily the teachings of the Christian Reformed Church, the Protestant Reformed Churches, Presbyterian churches, nor any other denomination.  The reader is advised to follow the example set forth in Acts 17:11:  “Now these were more noble-minded than those in Thessalonica, for they received the word with great eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see whether these things were so.”  

We do first note that even in today’s Scripture, there are only presented the two rewards.  Eternal life in heaven is covered by “the tree of life, and may enter by the gates into the city”.  Verse 14.  Eternal punishment in hell is covered by being “Outside”.  Verse 15.

One of the most dramatic teachings that make us think of one reward, eternal life in heaven, is Jesus’ Parable of the Laborers in the Vineyard in which each of the laborers received one reward, namely one denarius (so to speak, a just and exact amount of money for a full day’s labor) but which some of the laborers complained:  “These last men have worked only one hour, and you have made them equal to us who have borne the burden and the scorching heat of the day.”  Jesus answered:  “Is it not lawful for me to do what I wish with what is my own?  Or is your eye envious because I am generous?’  So the last shall be first, and the first last.”  See Matthew 20:1-16.  

As a side note, it is interesting that in today’s Scripture Jesus calls Himself “the first and the last”.  Is this a reminder of this parable?  

Even one of the Parables that I thought would be an example of different rewards, the Parable of the Talents, I was surprised to discover in reading it last night that there was only one reward.  The exact same reward was given to the one who was entrusted with five talents and brought his master five more talents as to the one was given to the one who was entrusted with two talents and gained two more talents.  “His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful slave.  You were faithful with a few things, I will put you in charge of many things;  enter into the joy of your master.’”  Matthew 25:21 (five talents) and Matthew 25:23 (two talents).  

In Jesus’ discourse of the Judgment, the Son of Man separates into only two groups, the sheep and the goats, although there was mentioned various services, and there were only two rewards.  

“Then the King will say to those on His right, ‘Come, you who are blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.  For I was hungry, and you gave Me something to eat;  I was thirsty, and you gave Me something to drink;  I was a stranger, and you invited Me in;  naked, and you clothed Me; I was sick, and you visited Me;  I was in prison, and you came to Me.’”  Matthew 25:34-36.

“These will go away into eternal punishment (the goats), but the righteous into eternal life (the sheep).”  Matthew 25:46.

As a side note, it is interesting that in today’s Scripture Jesus calls Himself “the beginning and the end”.  Is this a reminder of this Scripture which in the beginning, “the kingdom (was) prepared for you from the foundation of the world” and which in the end is the Judgment? 

In summary and conclusion, “Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has chosen gladly to give you the kingdom.”  Luke 12:32.  “So then let no one boast in men. For all things belong to you, whether Paul or Apollos or Cephas or the world or life or death or things present or things to come;  all things belong to you, and you belong to Christ;  and Christ belongs to God.”  1 Corinthians 3:21-23.


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