Rewards In Heaven

Chapter Four — Rewards Because of Persecution

By David J. Stewart

Luke 6:22-23, “Blessed are ye, when men shall hate you, and when they shall separate you from their company, and shall reproach you, and cast out your name as evil, for the Son of man's sake. Rejoice ye in that day, and leap for joy: for, behold, your reward is great in heaven: for in the like manner did their fathers unto the prophets.”

       Jesus said “great” shall be the reward in Heaven of those believers who are persecuted for His names' sake. If you are a God-fearing Christian who loves the Lord, then you know that the unrighteous hold you to an unfair standard. A wicked man can do evil an hundred times and no one cares; but just let a child of God sin once and every hypocrite will condemn him as a fraud and a phony. In the eyes of the wicked, a righteous man has to be perfect or else suffer severe slander.

The chief priests, scribes and Pharisees were continually trying to accuse Jesus (Mark 12:13; John 8:5-7; Matthew 12:10; Luke 11:53-54; Luke 23:2,10) and find fault in Him. They hated Jesus because He spoke the truth, was perfect in all His ways, and many of the people followed Him. Yet, Jesus overcame this hateful, malicious and sin-cursed world (John 16:33). Amen!

Thus, Jesus tells us to rejoice because we are on the winning side. Jesus said in John 16:33 to “Be of good cheer.” Of course, the more we shew forth the love of God, and any form of joy, the more the miserable world will hate us. The Bible foretold in 2nd Timothy 3:1-5 “that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy. Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.” This accurately describes America today. What a hellhole of iniquity!

Jesus said that the world would hate us (John 15:19), just as it hated Him; but our reward will be great in Heaven. The more grief that evil people cause us because we are a sin-hating Christian, the greater will be our reward. It will be worth it all when we see Jesus. God is going to make it all up to us. The poorest saint in Heaven will live much better than the wealthiest celebrity in Beverly Hills, California. Jesus promised to prepare A PLACE for us in Heaven, so “that where I am, there ye may be also” (John 14:1-3). Praise God! I want to live with Jesus in Heaven! You can have this world and all the splendors it has to offer, because it's all a temporary illusion.

Jesus mentions FIVE different types of persecution:

  1. People who hate you (Luke 6:22-23; John 15:19).
  2. Separate themselves from you (Luke 6:22-23).
  3. Reproach you (Luke 6:22-23).
  4. Cast out your good name as evil (Luke 6:22-23).
  5. Say all manner of evil against you falsely, for Christ's sake (Matthew 5:11).

If you carry a Bible, the world will hate and avoid you. Just start giving out Gospel tracts and watch how fast you lose acquaintances. 2nd Timothy 3:12 says that they who live godly in Christ Jesus, SHALL SUFFER PERSECUTION!!!

Please understand that the Bible is not talking about mere charity. If you help the poor and give handouts to the needy, even the vilest sinners will accept you; but if you take a Biblical stand against sin, avoiding it, you will be hated and persecuted. Even the notorious Chicago gangster, Al Capone, opened soup kitchens and food pantries for the poor. The public loved him. Just because you help the poor doesn't mean that you're serving God. What about their souls? A lot of apostate Christians do nothing but feed the poor; but never preach the Gospel, never contend for the Biblical faith, never preach against sin and never make a difference for Jesus Christ.

God does reward our good works as believers, whether unto men or unto God, but the Bible never says that “they who feed the poor shall shine as the brightness of the stars forever.” No, rather, the Bible says in Daniel 12:3, “And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever.” This speaks of the imputed righteousness of God... SOUL-WINNING!!!

Please don't misunderstand, helping the poor is a wonderful thing; but God is not going to reward any believer who is not a Soul Winner. 2nd Corinthians 5:11 says, “Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men; but we are made manifest unto God; and I trust also are made manifest in your consciences.” This Scripture speaks of the judgment of believers, which is clearly evidenced by 1st Corinthians 5:10. Soulwinning is good; not soulwinning is bad.

You will be persecuted if you speak out against evolution, abortion, homosexuality, nightclubs, Harry Potter, SIN CITY Las Vegas, adultery and violence on television, false religion, immodest dress on women, drunkenness, sinful partying, Communism, pornography, and all other forms of wickedness. Ephesians 5:11 commands us not to fellowship with darkness; but rather, expose it.

The lifestyle and conversation of the born-again Christian who loves Jesus is drastically different from that of the sin-loving world. They will condemn us, and hate us, and place us under their magnifying glass for scrutiny. Any fault we have will be used to destroy our credibility and slander us. The Apostle Paul said in Romans 3:8, “we be slanderously reported.” If evil men slandered Jesus and the Apostle Paul, then you can rest assure they will slander us too. And so it is. Jesus said our reward is great in Heaven.

The child of God, who has a pure and tender heart, will never mix with cold-hearted people. Unfortunately, we have to work to eat and oftentimes have little choice in the matter. Let me encourage you, whoever you may be in the Lord, to rejoice in knowing that God has great rewards laid up for you in Heaven; where neither moth, rust, nor thieves can take them from you (Matthew 6:20). Jesus is precious and He has promised to reward us, even for giving a cup of water in a disciple's name (Matthew 10:42). Likewise, men will be judged for every word spoken on Judgment Day (Matthew 12:36).

What a day that will be
when my Jesus I shall see
When I look upon His face
the One Who saved me by His grace
When He takes me by the hand
and leads me through the Promised Land
What a day, glorious day, that will be!

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