- Many Christians unknowingly hold to an Biblical idea, that heaven is ethereal and will always be separate from the earth. When Jesus returns He will bring heaven to earth, and He will bring all who are in heaven with Him. He will rule from the New Jerusalem fulfilling many Old Testament prophesies as the Jewish Messiah.
- The Core of the Sermon on the Mount is God teaching the way God wants to be loved. Jesus said if we love Him we will obey His commands. He says we are to live before Him and do our works unto Him, not for the praise of man.
- I encourage much meditation on Revelation 20-22, John’s revelation of the saints ruling with Jesus for 1000 years. We will continue to rule with Him for billions of years, even into eternity, but the 1000 years are the preparation of Jesus’ empire before it is tested by Satan.
- Jesus taught on God’s invitation to greatness more than any other man in Scripture, and He will evaluate and judge each of us believers according to what He lays out as the foundational values and governing principles of His Kingdom. He spoke on this directly and indirectly as He called people to become great (cf. Matt. 5:19; 18:4; 20:25-26; 23:11; Mark 10:42-43; Luke 6:23, 35; 9:48; 22:26). The following is a list of some of the rewards that our Heavenly Father wants to bestow upon each of us:
1. To be ruler over many things (Matt. 25:21; 23)
2. To have authority over cities (Luke 19:17, 19)
3. To inherit authority over part of the earth (Matt. 5:5)
4. To be first in authority and honor (Matt. 19:30; 20:16, 27; Mark 10:44-45)
5. To have power over nations (Rev. 2:26-27)
6. To sit on Jesus’ Throne (Rev. 3:21)
7. To receive honor from the Father (John 12:26)
8. To be one of the few who are chosen for honor (Matt. 20:16; 22:14)
9. To be exalted (Matt. 23:12; Luke 14:11; 18:14)
10. To receive riches with God in heaven (Luke 12:21; 16:11; Rev. 2:9; 3:18)
11. To gain treasure in heaven (Matt. 6:20; 19:21; Mark 10:21; Luke 12:33; 18:22)
12. To receive reward (Matt 5:12; 6:4-18; 10:41-42; 16:27; Mark 9:41; Luke 6:23, 35; Rev. 22:12)
13. To gain crowns (Rev. 2:10; 3:11)
14. To gain heavenly garments (Rev. 3:4-5, 18; 16:15; 19:7-8)
15. To be given a new name (Rev. 2:17; 3:12)
- Living in light of receiving various rewards in heaven and being great in God’s sight rather than the sight of men (cf. 2 Cor. 5:7) is a major theme emphasized throughout the Sermon on the Mount (cf. Matt. 5:5, 12, 19, 46; 6:1, 4, 6, 18, 20; 7:2). 5 Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit (govern) the earth (Millennium). (Matt. 5:5) 12 Rejoice…for great is your reward in heaven, for they persecuted the prophets… 19 Whoever does and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom… (Matt. 5:12, 19) 1 Take heed that you do not do your charitable deeds before men, to be seen by them. Otherwise you have no reward from your Father in heaven… 4 That your charitable deed may be in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will Himself reward you openly… 6 Shut your door…pray to your Father…your Father…will reward you openly. 18 Do not appear to men to be fasting…and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly. 20 Lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven… (Matt. 6:1, 4, 6, 18, 20)
- Our reward is partially given in this life and mostly in the age to come. It is common for the few who do focus on receiving God’s rewards to put most of their emphasis on receiving rewards in this age and in their circumstances instead of in their inner man. 1. When God does release tokens of our reward in this life, it is primarily through a release of His Spirit in our inner man. 2. Secondarily, it is increased blessing in our circumstances (more honor, money, comfort).
- In our 70-80 year “internship” called “life” (cf. Psalm 90:10), we have two issues to determine: 1. First, do we want to be in God’s family? 2. Second, do we want to function in Jesus’ government (initially for 1,000 years in the Millennium, then for all eternity)? Once we receive the gift of salvation and join the family of God, the Lord gives us ample, in fact a lifetime of, opportunity to reveal the quality of heart and life we want in the Millennium. As repeatedly emphasized, our ministry in the Millennium has nothing to do with how much we accomplished outwardly in this age, but rather how much we developed inwardly. Our calling in the age to come is far more important than our circumstances now. Because our calling then is determined by the growth of our heart now, the difficulties we experience in this life work for us and toward our own good (cf. 2 Cor. 4:7-18, 1 Pet. 3:13-4:19, Matt. 9:16-26).
THE PRIVILEGE AND USE OF AUTHORITY IN JESUS’ MILLENNIAL REIGN
- Our view of authority shapes our view of seeking rewards in ruling the nations with Jesus after His Second Coming. The world and even some in the Church see power and authority as a way to establish their honor before people; their reward is in the pride of exerting power over people, often to serve their own personal interests.
- This is not so with Jesus’ view of authority: He cherishes His partnership in ruling with His Father. In the Millennial Kingdom, the Father entrusts to Jesus the mandate to bring all nations under God’s authority and to fill them with His goodness and glory. This mandate is very precious to the Father and Son;; Jesus’ view of authority and ruling is related to walking out this intimate partnership with His Father and His people as He establishes on earth that which is so dear to His heart. 24 Then comes the end, when He delivers the kingdom to God the Father, when He puts an end to all rule and all authority and power… 28 Now when all things are made subject to Him, then the Son Himself will also be subject to Him who put all things under Him, that God may be all in all. (1 Cor. 15:24-28)
- The bridal paradigm of authority and reward is the understanding that we desire to be with Jesus where He is and to be involved in what He is doing. Because loving Jesus is our ultimate reward, we will take delight in all that Jesus does, teaches, and values. We will cherish and enjoy working closely with the One we love in the details of discipling the nations to bring people we love to the fullness of blessing under the Father’s authority. This paradigm of authority is based on love and serving the saints to help enhance their quality of life in God. We understand this paradigm as we experience how Jesus Himself takes great joy in working in close partnership with His people and enjoys what happens in the heart of His people when He promotes them.
21… “Well done, good and faithful servant;; you were faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter in the joy of your lord.” (Matt. 25:21)
- If we view authority as the way to close partnership with Jesus in establishing on earth what is dear to His heart, then we will want the fullness of authority that God has invited us to walk in during His Millennial Reign. Consider the person you most love, enjoy and admire, and how much you would enjoy working closely with that person to glorify God and enrich others. How much more if that person was Jesus Himself?!
21 To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with Me on My Throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne. (Rev. 3:21)
THE WHOLEHEARTED PURSUIT OF HAPPY HOLINESS
- Jesus called us to be perfect or complete in our obedience by seeking to walk in all the light that the Spirit gives us. The attainment of victory begins by declaring war against all compromise. Our primary objective in this life is to become complete in our dedication and obedience. 48 Therefore you shall be perfect (mature, walk in all the light you have), just as your Father in heaven is perfect. (Matt. 5:48)
- The easy yoke of Jesus is only found in seeking to obey Jesus 100 percent. The power of the Christian life is in consistently pursuing 100-fold obedience. There are powerful dynamics that occur in our heart when we soberly aim at pursuing 100-fold obedience (cf. Matt. 13:23, Mark 4:20, Luke 8:8). 29 Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For My yoke is easy and My burden is light. (Matt. 11:29-30)