Rewards In Heaven
Chapter Five — Saving One's Life and Losing One's Soul
By David J. Stewart
Matthew 16:26, For what is a
man profited, if he shall gain the whole
world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?”
My heart's desire in writing this book is that God will place a burning desire in your soul to get busy serving God, so that you may lay up treasures in Heaven. When Jesus spoke of a man “losing His life,” He was speaking to His disciples (Christians)...
Matthew 16:24-27, “Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it. For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul? For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works.”
The preceding passage of Scripture plainly speaks to believers, because the unsaved (Christ-rejecting lost) will be judged according to their works at The Great White Throne of Judgment (Revelation 20:12-15). Matthew 16:27 speaks of the Rapture of the saints, which we also read about in Revelation 22:12, “And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be.”
What did the Lord mean by a believer losing his soul? Here's what I think it means. We read in Proverb 6:32, “But whoso committeth adultery with a woman lacketh understanding: he that doeth it destroyeth his own soul.” How does committing adultery destroy a man's soul? It destroys a man's integrity, confidence and good name. You've done permanent soul damage. Notice the next verse, Proverb 6:33, “A wound and dishonour shall he get; and his reproach shall not be wiped away.”
In the same way, those believers whose lives are fruitless of winning souls to Christ (for various reasons identified in Luke 8:13-15), they will receive a wound and dishonor in eternity when they face God. Certainly, selfishly living one's life void of serving God is just as wicked as committing adultery. Most believers commit spiritual adultery, idolizing the things of this temporal life as being more important than the things of God. Luke 8:14, “And that which fell among thorns are they, which, when they have heard, go forth, and are choked with cares and riches and pleasures of this life, and bring no fruit to perfection.”
All of this physical world, that seems so important to most people today, will all pass away in time. 1st John 2:17a, “And the world passeth away...” Everything that you see around you came from the dust of the earth, and it will all return back to the dust of the earth, including our body. 1st Timothy 6:7, “For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out.” When a worldly believer dies, they'll have nothing in Heaven... “saved, yet so as by fire” (1st Corinthians 3:11). Such a believer will feel like a complete stranger in Heaven, and will be very discouraged when they realize the opportunities that they forfeited, and the rewards they never earned, and the souls they never led to Christ. I think that is what losing one's soul means, as pertaining to the carnal believer. I think it refers to the regret, sorrow, tears and pain caused in Heaven by our failures here on earth.
The Lord told us to lay up treasures in Heaven (Matthew 6:19-20). The Bible says that we will be rewarded according to our personal labors (1st Corinthians 3:7). Christ is bringing our rewards with Him (Revelation 22:12). Daniel 12:3 says that believers who are wise and spend their life reaching others for Jesus Christ will shine in Heaven. I think when you consider all these Scriptures, and other passages as well (such as the receiving of the five crowns), it becomes quite obvious to me that many believers will be miserable in eternity, having earned nothing but reproach and chastisement from God. I mean, what would be the use of working hard to lay up treasures in Heaven if other believers who don't ever lift a finger for God are going to enjoy Heaven just as much?
Personally, based upon Matthew 11:11, I don't think anybody will be totally miserable in Heaven. Matthew 11:11, “Verily I say unto you, Among them that are born of women there hath not risen a greater than John the Baptist: notwithstanding he that is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.” Yet, I think it is clear from the Bible that some Christians will be better off than others, having more rewards, a bigger home, shining brighter as they are loved by those whom they led to the Lord on earth. When we all get to eternity, and reality all sets in, I think most believers will weep bitter tears of regret, realizing that they could have had so much more. Prayed lately? Prayer is labour!
Ah, but those faithful Christians who preached the Gospel to others, lived for the things of Jesus Christ, labored in prayer, helped the poor and needy, lived for others, abided in Christ, took a stand for God against sin, watched for the glorious appearing of the Savior, and contended earnestly for the Christian faith... they will enjoy Heaven much more. 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.” If soul-winners will shine brightly, then those carnal believers who didn't won't shine. There are five different crowns (REWARDS—THE FIVE CROWNS! | MP3) available as rewards in Heaven. Obviously, there will be believers in Heaven who receive no crowns. 1st Corinthians 3:8, “Now he that planteth and he that watereth are one: and every man shall receive his own reward according to his own labour.” If you don't labor for Christ, then you won't be rewarded. It's that simple!
My friend, it is my hope and prayerful goal in the chapters ahead to inspire you to get busy for God. God didn't save us to BE GOOD, but to DO GOOD. Our Mixed Up Fundamental Christianity (a great life-changing MP3 sermon by Pastor Jack Hyles).
Ye Must Be Born Again!
You must be a born-again Christian or you'll never see Heaven. You can do all the good deeds in the world, but you'll go straight to Hell if you die in your sins. John 8:24, “I said therefore unto you, that ye shall die in your sins: for if ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins.” That's the honest truth from God's Word.
Salvation happens when a person acknowledges their guilty condition as a sinner in God's sight (Romans 3:19), and comes to God on the basis of being a hell-deserving sinner, believing the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. If you receive Christ's sacrifice on the cross as payment for your sins, believing that He was buried and bodily raised up bodily from the dead three days later, you are immediately and forever saved!!! Jesus doesn't forgive sins. That is correct! Jesus has already paid for everyone's sins with His own precious blood. 1st Peter 1:18-19, “Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot.” Note: All Scriptures are quoted ONLY from the beloved, blood-sprinkled, King James Bible.
Thus, forgiveness of sins and eternal life are free gifts, that you simply need to receive by faith in Jesus to obtain. God can read your mind. The very second that you decide to trust in Jesus, believing that He died on the cross for your sins, and that He was buried, and that He physically (bodily) resurrected from the dead three days later, God knows your thoughts and saves you immediately.
Furthermore, you only need to be saved once. Once saved, always saved! The very moment that you trust Christ as your Savior, you are born anew (born again) by the Holy Spirit of God. John 1:12-13, “But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.” Oh, it is wonderful to be a Christian!!!
† † † MP3 SERMONS † † †
Lending To God (by Dr. Curtis Hutson)
Some On Broken Pieces (by Dr. Jack Hyles)
Christ And His Coworkers (by Dr. Curtis Hutson)
The Believer's 3-Fold Judgment (by Dr. Curtis Hutson)
The Giving Of The Crown Of Life (by Dr. Jack Hyles)
“God never leads anyone anywhere for money.” —Pastor Jack Hyles