Matthew 6:19-21 says:
19 “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rustdestroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
What is Matthew trying to say here? Treasures in heaven? What are those? Some kind of savings in a heaven’s bank of some sort? Some kind of a currency to buy stuffs when we are in heaven? Is this supposed to be our purpose for living at the moment? To do good and work for God so that we have more of these treasures?
No, no, and no. First of all, these treasures in heaven are not supposed to be our main motivation. For a start, we are saved by God’s Grace alone and you do not (and cannot) do anything else to be saved. The Bible does say, however, that there will be rewards for us in heaven, based on what we do here on earth, while we are living our lives as His disciples.
We serve God, we follow the Bible’s principles, we do charities, and all that; truly because we are grateful for God’s love for us (apart from our “obligation” as His true disciples as He commanded us to do so as well). However, I believe God sees and never forgets what you do.
As Christians, we will face The Judgment Seat of Christ when Jesus comes again (the non-believers will face The Great White Throne – you can read about this in the book of Revelation).
10 According to the grace of God given to me, like a skilled master builder I laid a foundation, and someone else is building upon it. Let each one take care how he builds upon it. 11 For no one can lay a foundation other than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12 Now if anyone builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw— 13 each one’s work will become manifest, for the Day will disclose it, because it will be revealed by fire, and the fire will test what sort of work each one has done. 14 If the work that anyone has built on the foundation survives, he will receive a reward. 15 If anyone’s work is burned up, he will suffer loss, though he himself will be saved, but only as through fire.
So it’s clear that there will be Christians who will just “pass” as a Christian (the ones who take God’s Grace for granted or wrong motivation in serving?) and there’s the other group.
The rewards in heaven
 Praises from God
If you can feel happy when someone praises you, how about if God Himself does it? – from Parabel of the talents. I’ll probably be crying with joy.
There are mentions of crowns in the Bible as rewards in heaven. It’s unclear what the crowns are; whether they really are crowns on our heads or what they are for. This also makes me wonder, since there will be no more sins in heaven, I guess it doesn’t matter if we have more of these crowns than the other Christians? (since we can’t look down on people anymore and think “Hey, I’m better than you” :))
There seems to be different crowns rewarded based on what you do on earth:
a. “The Imperishable Crowns” (1 Corinthians 9:24-25)
Do you not know that all the runners in a stadium compete, but only one receives the prize? So run to win. Each competitor must exercise self-control in everything. They do it to receive a perishable crown, but we an imperishable one. (NET)
b. “The Crown of Life” (James 1:12-14)
Happy is the one who endures testing, because when he has proven to be genuine, he will receive the crown of life that Godpromised to those who love him. (NET)
c.”The Crown of Glory that never fades away”
So as your fellow elder and a witness of Christ’s sufferings and as one who shares in the glory that will be revealed, I urge the elders among you: 5:2 Give a shepherd’s care to 1 God’s flock among you, exercising oversight 2 not merely as a duty 3 but willingly under God’s direction, 4 not for shameful profit but eagerly. 5:3 And do not lord it over 5 those entrusted to you, 6 but be examples to the flock. 5:4 Then 7 when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that never fades away. (NET)
I think there are a few other crowns being mentioned in the bible, so feel free to share it with us (or if you have a different opinion on this one). No matter what the rewards are, we shouldn’t focus on them. Let us just focus on knowing God more and more, to be Christ-like in character, repentance from sins, share the Gospel, and serve God wholeheartedly.
Don’t focus on piling up our own savings or what we should buy with our money. Store up treasures in heaven! This includes giving alms to the poor (sponsoring a child, helping brothers/sisters in need, etc), tithing, offering, serving God, and basically in whatever you do – do it for God.
He always sees and never forgets. He’ll reward those who are loyal to Him with pure motivation (either in this life or the next).
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