“What’s Free? What’s Earned?”

Posted: July 12, 2018 in Christian Life, Crowns, Lordship Salvation, Salvation

Most people like the “freebies” that are offered to them.  Some socialists demand them.  They want free education, free entertainment, free circuses, free health care, free housing, free vacations, and freedom to do and say as they please.  Many young people are led to believe that having a college degree, of any kind, (including such things like “basket weaving”) will guarantee for them a six figure income when they graduate.

Socialism. But when they are done with their schooling, and don’t get hired so they can pay back their student loans, they decide that socialism/communism looks like a better route to take.  They fail to realize that atheistic communism (now called “democratic socialism”) and other tyrannical forms of government, have resulted in over 100 million deaths at the hands of tyrants during the last 100 years.  Check out the facts for yourself as you look at Germany, China, Russia and many other countries.

Free/Costly? Are there any “free lunches”? Is salvation (i. e. deliverance from hell to heaven) really free or is it costly? If so, to whom? Can we get rid of heaven and hell by just imagining that they aren’t real as John Lennon has suggested in his popular song “Imagine”?  What about those who teach “Lordship Salvation” and tell people that it will cost them something to become a Christian? Are they confusing salvation with discipleship (spiritual maturity) and rewards?  Can a person earn his/her way to heaven by doing good works?  What’s the difference between salvation and rewards?  A correct understanding of this can/will affect your eternal destiny.

Heaven. Many people think that heaven is a reward for those who do good works on earth. No, the Scriptures tell us that it’s a FREE gift to anyone and to everyone who believes on the Lord Jesus Christ, who died for our sins…and rose again bodily from the dead on the third day (Acts 16:31; 1 Corinthians 15:3, 4; See Ephesians 2:8, 9). It’s not merely knowing and agreeing with the facts of the Gospel, but a transfer of trust from yourself and your good works over to the Person and work of the Lord Jesus Christ on your behalf.

Salvation. It can’t be earned and it’s not something we deserve (Romans 6:23). It is a present possession (1 John 5:12) and it can never be lost (John 10:28, 29) by a true believer. It involves our being accepted “in the Beloved” in the same way Jesus is accepted by God the Father (Ephesians 1:6). Our salvation from God frees us from condemnation (Romans 8:1). Every true believer shares all the same “spiritual blessings” (Ephesians 1:3). If you’re a Christian, how many of them can you name?

Rewards. They can/must be earned by faithful service and good works (Colossians 3:22-24; Revelation 22:12). They are things a believer deserves (1 Corinthians 15:10; See Luke 19:16, 17). They will be given out on judgment day (1 Corinthians 3:11-15). It is possible that other believers might receive crowns that were intended for us (Revelation 3:11; See John 6:37). Salvation is received at a point in time, but rewards can be earned throughout a believer’s life on earth (2 Corinthians 5:10). God is not unrighteous to forget our work and labor of love (Hebrews 6:10).

Crowns. Each of the five crowns must be earned. The “Incorruptible Crown” (1 Corinthians 9:25-27) is given out to those believers who discipline themselves properly. The “Crown of Rejoicing” is given out to believers who have had a part in the salvation of other people (1 Thessalonians 2:19, 20). The “Crown of Righteousness” is given to Christians who love Christ’s imminent return (2 Timothy 4:8). The “Crown of Life” is given out to Christians who resist temptations even if it means physical death (James 1:12; Revelation 2:10). The “Crown of Glory” is given to faithful under-shepherds (not false shepherds) who care for the Lord’s sheep (1 Peter 5:4). Believers who receive crowns can/will show their gratitude to God for working in and through them (Philippians 2:13; 4:13) by casting their crowns before His throne while saying, “You are worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honor and power: for You created all things, and for Your pleasure they are and were created” (Revelation 4:10, 11).

God’s Omniscience. At the “Bema Seat Judgment” Jesus, the righteous Judge (John 5:22), will evaluate our motives and reveal why we did what we did (1 Corinthians 3:11-15; 4:5; 2 Corinthians 5:10). Were they done in keeping with the Holy Spirit’s leading in our lives (Romans 8:14) and with His power (Philippians 3:10; 4:13)? Were they done according to the rules that God set forth in His Word (2 Timothy 2:5; See Romans 3:8; 6:1)? Were they done according to the will of God (Acts 21:4-14)?  Did they bring glory to God or to us (1 Corinthians 10:31)?

Imminent. The Lord’s return for true Christians can take place at any moment (John 14:1-3; 1 Corinthians 15:51, 52; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18). Even if He doesn’t return for us before we die, we should continue to “be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that [our] labor is not in vain in the Lord” (1 Corinthians 15:58).

Help. We’re here to assist you and others who are teachable and willing to change (2 Timothy 2:2, 15).  If you have questions and/or comments, we can be reached through our website: www.kelseypeach.com. Please let us know if this has helped you. If it has, please share it with others too. To receive future articles as they come out, click on “Follow.” Join us on Facebook and Youtube.

Salvation vs. Rewards: http://www.middletownbiblechurch.org/salvatio/rewards.htm

Lehman Strauss https://bible.org/seriespage/6-future-judgment-believer

Hampton Keathley III https://bible.org/article/doctrine-rewards-judgment-seat-bema-christ

Jack Kelley https://www.raptureforums.com/spiritual-life/how-to-win-your-crowns-2/

Socialism https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YEa8DpheXkM

Lordship in exchange for Salvation? – http://www.middletownbiblechurch.org/salvatio/lordshrq.pdf

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