This is the second message in a two-part series on the Bema Seat
In this series, Pastor Miles looks at how all believers will be examined as stewards of the gifts God gave on earth.
Rewards for Being a Good StewardSo then each of us shall give account of himself to God. Romans 14:12
And behold, I am coming quickly and My reward is with Me, to give every one according to his work. Revelation 22:12
Pastor Miles reminded us that rewards of faithful service are promised by God.
American Heritage Dictionary defines a reward as: Something given or received in recompense for worthy behavior or in retribution for evil acts.
Rewards can be lost or forfeited though as anyone who has competed can testify to. You don't win a reward for sitting on a couch.
Jesus said to him, "If you want to be perfect, go, sell what you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me. Matthew 19:21
Heavenly Rewards have Different Rules
We will have rewards in heaven, but Miles pointed out that the rewards in heaven are based on different rules than here on earth. Heavenly rewards possess spiritual significance. And these rewards in heaven are to glorify the giver, or as Miles said, "the bling is not for us."
Even the twenty four elders in heaven that sit next to our God fell down and worshiped Him and cast their crowns before His throne. Revelation 4:10
Crowns and Robes
And the crowns, as well as robes, play a very significant part as these things represent our prize for our work to glorify Him.
First the robes. Remember Joseph (Genesis 37:3-4) who was loved by his father and adored more than his brothers. You will recall that Joseph's gift from his father was a robe, a brightly decorated robe that was destroyed by his own jealous brothers when he was sold into slavery.
But eventually Joseph became the right hand of the ruler of Egypt (is it me or does this story seem to reflect another story in the new testament about a man who was sacrificed and came back from the dead).
Now for the crowns. The best description is in 1 Corinthians 9:24-25, which says Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may obtain it. And everyone who competes for the prize in temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a perishable crown, but we for an imperishable crown.
Miles pointed out that Jesus had a crown, but as an example, put it down to be born on earth and receive a new crown, a crown of thorns that represents man's sin.
If you look in Genesis, after Adam had sinned thorns where brought into the world. So Jesus wore the crown so we don't have to and then returned form the dead and rejoined his Father so that we can join them both.