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Author Topic: Continuing the Discussion of Inheritance and Rewards  (Read 6837 times)
soul dreamer
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« on: November 23, 2005, 05:24:51 am »

With great interest I have followed the discussion of inheritance and rewards on various threads of this bulletin board.  The discussions have prompted me to dig out my copy of Joseph Dillow’s THE REIGN OF THE SERVANT KINGS - A Study of Eternal Security and the Final Significance of Man.  I heartily recommend reading this book, and, for those of us who have been given the responsibility of teaching in the body of Christ, even re-reading some chapters from time to time.  I think we all agree that when the Lord judges his people that there are going to be different rewards for grateful and faithful service.  In Dillow’s 650-page book I believe he does a thorough job teaching from the scriptures two main truths: 1) That if one has truly been born into God’s family through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, then he shall always be in God’s family, but 2), a child of God can still suffer negative judgments both in this age and at the beginning of the age to come at the Judgment Seat of Christ.

Before I try to summarize these two main thoughts, I want to say that I am in need of the Lord's mercy and forgiveness for my unfaithfulness as much as others.  I might even need more mercy from the Lord in that Day because He has given me so much, and “to whom much is given, much shall be required” (Lk. 12:48).  But I think it is clear from scripture that in order to motivate us to faithfulness the Lord uses both a wholesome dread of displeasing Him along with the potential loss of reward, as well as the hope of hearing Him say, “Well done, good and faithful servant.”

The following are some of the scriptures that Dillow brings to our attention that I found most compelling.  “And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men, knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ.  But he that doeth wrong shall receive for the wrong which he hath done: and there is no respect of persons” (Col 3:23-25).  Did you notice that in this scripture that the inheritance is “rewarded” or “recompensed to us for faithful service to the Lord Christ?”

Another scripture: “And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, yet joint-heirs with Christ, if so be that we are suffering with Him” (Rom. 8:17).  There seems to be two aspects to our inheritance in Christ:  one aspect that we receive as a gift through faith in Christ, and another aspect that is conditioned upon our faithfulness in Christ – “if so be that we are suffering with him.”  All of the Father’s children inherit heaven, but there are different rewards in heaven.  Can any of these rewards be lost through unfaithfulness?

There are different crowns that seem to be offered as rewards.  For example, “Blessed is the man that endures temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him” (Jam. 1:12).  The following scriptures indicate that the rewards can be lost. “Every man's work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try [test] every man's work of what sort [quality] it is.  If any man's work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward.  If any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire. (1Cor 3:13-15).  “Look to yourselves, that we lose not those things which we have wrought, but that we receive a full reward” (2 John verse eight).  “Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown” (Rev. 3:11).

I believe the scriptures teach that believers in Christ are eternally saved from God’s wrath through the Savior’s blood.  I believe that when we receive the Lord Jesus Christ, we are blessed with being born into God’s family, “not of will of the flesh, nor of the will of man” (John 1:12-13) - in other words, not of works.  However, 1Cor 3:15 also contains the key thought that there are NEGATIVE JUDGMENTS: one can be saved, but have his works burned up, and he shall suffer loss by fire.  We are saved from wrath, but can still experience the grief of “suffering loss.”  “We must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad” (2 Cor 5:10). 

(Please continue to second page.)

« Last Edit: November 30, 2005, 04:32:49 am by Rick Samuel » Logged
soul dreamer
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« Reply #1 on: November 23, 2005, 05:25:49 am »

(continued from page one below)

Now a difficult theological question or two arises:

How can any child of God ever suffer any loss at all, or receive something “bad” for some “bad” thing that he did in his body?  Is it not often said that Christ bore the full legal punishment for our sins on the cross?  Did not the Lamb of God by His sufferings take away all my “bad” things and cast them into the sea of forgetfulness to remember them no more?  Then, how is it possible that Christ might bring up some “bad” thing I did in my body, and I might still receive some “bad” experience at His Judgment seat?

The Lord Jesus knows my works, and will with the Father chasten me in this life, but apparently it is possible to still suffer some kind of loss when I begin my life in the age to come at the Judgment Seat of Christ.  Again, the apostle Peter speaks of giving diligence to “making my calling and election sure…” and then an “abundant entrance” shall be ministered to me into the everlasting kingdom” (2 Pet 1:10-11).  It seems possible that because of some of my works (or lack thereof), that I might have a less-than-abundant entrance ministered to me.  Is it possible that I might have painful tears on my face as I enter the kingdom, although at some point the Father shall wipe every tear from my eyes? (see Rev. 7:17).

Is it possible that when we read the language “Suffering the loss of reward,” that the Lord is pleased we also remember the language that is found in Number 14:34, where the Israelites were “disinherited” from having an abundant entrance into the land – and they experienced the Lord’s “breach of promise?”  Remember, the Israelites were “baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea… and they drank of the Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ, but with many of them the Lord was not well pleased, and He overthrew them in the wilderness” (1 Cor 10:2-5).

How much might I as one of God’s children “lose” through my unfaithfulness?”

Submitted for your thoughtful consideration,

Rick Samuel
« Last Edit: November 23, 2005, 09:26:11 pm by Rick Samuel » Logged
Joe Sperling
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« Reply #2 on: November 23, 2005, 06:19:26 am »

Rick---

Thanks for your post. I appreciate your thoughts, but I still think that there is confusion
over what the "inheritance" is and what "rewards" are.

**You said: "And whatsoever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord. and not onto
men, KNOWING(my emphasis) that of the Lord you SHALL(my emphasis) receive
the reward of the inheritance. But he that does wrong shall receive for the wrong
which he has done, and there is no respecter of persons". Did you notice that in the
scripture the inheritance is "rewarded" or "recompensed" to us for faithful service to
the Lord Christ"?.**

Rick---I'm not so sure the verse is saying we are rewarded with the inheritance for doing
well. As we all know Ephesians teaches that we are "saved UNTO good works" and our
works will not save us. Because we know we are saved, we joyfully and heartily serve the
Lord in thankfulness.  I believe the same motivation is being addressed here. It is not saying
to serve the Lord heartily because you "might" be rewarded with the inheritance(this implies
our "works" will earn us something), but that you are serving heartily because you KNOW that
you SHALL receive the inheritance---this fills us with great joy and motivates us through grace
and deep thankfulness to serve heartily. It's like two sides to a coin.

On one side you serve in order to inherit--on the other side you serve with great joy because
you know what is already yours. It's the difference between law and grace--and the motivation
is what is being addressed in that verse.  If you choose to do wrong despite the great grace that
has been shown you, you will receive the same for that--this is indeed a warning--but it doesn't
say that you will not receive the inheritance.  Cambridge Dictionary: Inheritance: "to receive money,
etc. from a person after they die", "money or objects someone gives you when they die".

From the above definition: Does anyone "earn" the things that are given when someone dies? Most of the time the person has been in a will for a long time, because they are a son or daughter or relative. Granted, people can disinherit a son or daughter on the earth from their will--and some do so for very evil reasons--to get even, etc.----but for the most part, an inheritance is something that
is set-up from the day a new child is born.

Now, what if you knew that your father was going to leave you $10,000, and he died. You EXPECT the $10,000 because he promised it to you. This is your inheritance. I believe all christians will receive
the same inheritance. BUT, what if at the commutation of the will you heard "and to ____I leave $10,000, and also because of his deep love for me I leave him my 1000 acres of land in Montana." That 1000 acres would be a reward or crown, completely unexpected--and I deeply believe that the "rewards" given will be given far more by what "motivated" us than all of the work that was done.

I know this is just an opinion, and not THEOLOGY. I may very honestly be wrong, but it seems in
scripture that this is pointed to very often. What is the motivation? What do you really want? Who do you really love?

--Joe
« Last Edit: November 23, 2005, 06:22:57 am by Joe Sperling » Logged
M2
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« Reply #3 on: November 23, 2005, 11:17:53 am »

This past week some of us formers could not twist our minds around to 'see' a passage the way the leader was explaining it.  Our indoctrination had given us a set mind.

Recognizing and admitting that one suffers from a mind set is a necessary step to recovery and healing.

This discussion has been useful to those of us who are inclined to view the Scriptures re. inheritance and overcomers through the lens of the law rather than grace.

Marcia
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al Hartman
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« Reply #4 on: November 23, 2005, 11:37:40 am »


This past week some of us formers could not twist our minds around to 'see' a passage the way the leader was explaining it.  Our indoctrination had given us a set mind.

Recognizing and admitting that one suffers from a mind set is a necessary step to recovery and healing.

This discussion has been useful to those of us who are inclined to view the Scriptures re. inheritance and overcomers through the lens of the law rather than grace.

Marcia

For me, the past three years has been an ongoing journey of constant discovery in this area.
Thanks to Marcia and to all who have helped me to see...

al
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