Reward and Punishment

When Jesus Christ the Lord returns, He will firstly judge His people at the judgment seat of Christ. God, our heavenly Father, desires His children to mature to be qualified to receive their birthright: to reign together with Christ during the Millennial Kingdom (Rev. 1:5-6; 5:9-10; 20:6). At the judgment seat of Christ, we will all give an account of what we did while living on the earth (2 Cor. 5:10; Rom. 14:10,12) and the Lord will either reward or punish each one accordingly.

The Reward
“Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing,” (2 Tim. 4:8)

Paul said, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith” (2 Tim. 4:7). He expects the Lord, the righteous Judge, to reward him with the crown of righteousness. If we also are faithful to follow Christ wherever He goes (Rev. 14:4) and obey all of His commandments, then we will also gain the crown. God’s righteous reward for His faithful followers will also include being raptured prior to the start of the Great Day of God’s Wrath (Rev. 3:10; 12:5; 14:4), partaking of the wedding feast of the Lamb, Christ (Rev. 19:7-9; Matt. 25:10), accompanying Christ as the army from heaven to defeat the beast [Antichrist] and his army at Armageddon (Rev. 19:14), and reigning with Christ for 1,000 years during the Millennial Kingdom age (Rev. 20:6; Luke 19:16-19).

“And cast the unprofitable servant into the outer darkness. There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth,’” (Matt. 25:30).

The Lord is righteous in His judgment concerning His unfaithful people. If we do not follow Christ and cooperate with Him, we will be disciplined by God, our heavenly Father. His punishment will include being left behind during the Great Day of God’s Wrath to suffer the persecution from Satan (Rev. 12:17) and be defeated by the beast, the Antichrist (Rev. 13:7); there will be no way to buy water, food and clothing, nor find shelter without the mark of the beast (Matt. 25:35-36). Those who are punished will miss the wedding supper of the Lamb (Matt. 25:11). Then, during the time of the Millennial Kingdom, they will not only be cast into the outer darkness where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth, they will be beaten with stripes (Luke 12:47), cut into two (Matt. 24:51), and even be burned with fire (1 Cor. 3:15) for 1,000 years.

Not Everyone Will Enter the Kingdom of Heaven
“Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’” (Matt. 7:21-23).

The Lord warned His disciples to take heed that not all the Christians will enter the kingdom of heaven: doing many things in the name of the Lord Jesus is not a guarantee into the kingdom of heaven. The question is who is doing those things: you or Christ in you? The things of God cannot be handled with our natural self or strength. If we do not learn to live Christ (Phil. 1:21) and remain conformed to the world (Rom. 12:2) and are not transformed into His image (2 Cor. 3:18), we will not gain the reward.

May we work out our “own salvation with fear and trembling.” (Phil. 2:12).