One of the Subjects Dodged by Christians today. In his book,Your Eternal Reward, Erwin W. Lutzer addresses this question.
Title: Your Eternal Reward
Author: Dr. Erwin W. Lutzer
Publisher: Moody Publishers/2015 (originally published
by Moody Publishers in 1998)
Suggested Retail Price:$13.99
About the Author: Dr. Erwin W. Lutzer
Accrording to the site of The Moody Church, Dr. Erwin W. Lutzer is Pastor Emeritus of The Moody Church where he served as the Senior Paster for 36 years. He earned his B.Th. from Winnipeg Bible College, a Th. M. from Dallas Theological Seminary, a M.A. in Philosophy from Loyola University and an honorary LL.D.fromSimon Greenleaf School of Law.
He is a featured speaker on three radio programs heard in the U.S. and around the world. Running to Win, Moody Church Hour, and Songs in the Night. He has been on the air for many years.
He is also an award-winning author of many books, including: Rescuing the Gospel, He Will be The Preacher, One Minute after You Die, When a Nation Forgets God, and Hitler’s Cross (Gold Medallion Award Winner), to name a few.
He has spoken both domestically and internationally at Bible studies and conferences in Germany, Guatemala, the Republic of Belarus, Scotland, Russia and Japan. He leads tours to Israel as well as the cities of the Protestant Reformation in Europe.
The Publisher’s Description on the Back Cover
Quoting Dr.Lutzer in his book, ‘When we reflect on how we lived for Christ, we might weep on the other side of the celestial gates.’
Dr. Lutzer addresses the fact that many Christians have emptied the judgment seat of Christ of its meaning, living as though they will never meet His knowing gaze. For this they may have ‘tears in heaven’. He explores the often overlooked Scriptures about reward and judgment for Christians.
- How will believers be judged?
- Do rewards for faithfulness vary?
- If heaven is perfect, why do the rewards even matter?
Tears in Heaven
According to 2 Corinthians 5:10, Paul states ‘For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may be recompensed for his deeds [done] in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.’ That statement indicates that our Father in Heaven will judge us even though we are secure as His children forever. Therefore we may be crying tears in Heaven depending on what our life after salvation looks like.
Dr. Lutzer discusses misconceptions of believers in this chapter.
There are several cases in the Bible where God judged ‘justified sinners’. Such as Ananias and Sapphira and King David. Ananias and Sapphira were smitten and died instantly for their dishonesty. King David’s son was taken from him because of his blaspheme of the Lord.
In 1 Corinthians 3:8 Paul said ‘Each shall receive his wages according to his labor.’ There will be distinctions in the glory of the saints. Dependability on earth translates into greater responsibility in heaven. Our present faithfulness or lack thereof will have eternal, heavenly repercussions.There are degrees of punishment in hell and degrees of reward in heaven.
Belief that even after we have converted our works have no merit before God. It is true that we are saved by grace alone and not be works. Dr. Lutzer believes that works we do after we have accepted Christ are special to God. Ephesians 2:8-10 also indicates ‘For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them’. The works we do after our conversion have merit only because we are joined to Christ.
Some believe that our rewards will be cast at His feet and will mean nothing once we do that. Dr. Lutzer states that no matter what is done with our crowns in Heaven, our rewards will reach into eternity. They will have to do with levels of responsibility given to us in Heaven. We will still be serving Him in Heaven and for eternity. So although we should be serving Him now out of Love and desire to Serve. He wants us to win the right to rule with Him in the kingdom, and that should be our yearning. As Paul said, we must ALL appear before the judgment seat of Christ. Do you not wish to hear Him say ‘Well done,k thou good and faithful servant.’?
Many times Christ motivated the disciples with rewards. He told them that they should put their treasures in heaven, ‘But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where theives do not break in or steal’ (Matthew 6:20). He often told them that if they were sacrificially obedient their ‘reward will be great’ (Luke 6:35, Luke 6:23, Hebrews 10:35).
The judgment seat of Christ will occur when Christ returns to take all believers to be in Heaven with Him. At this judgment we ill be evaluated so we can be properly rewarded for the way we faithfully or unfaithfully served on earth. All who appear at this judgment will be in Heaven. This judgment determines the extend of our rule with Christ (if any).
This judgment is the subject of this book ‘Your Eternal Reward’.
The other judgment: ‘The Great White Throne Judgment’ convenes many years later, just before the final phase of eternity begins. All who appear at this judgment will be thrown into the lake of fire, also called hell. This judgment will assess the degree of punishment that these will experience for all of eternity.
Whether we will go to Heaven or Hell, is determined in this life. Those who knew Christ as their Savior go directly to heaven where the judgment seat of Christ will take place. Those who do not know Him go to a place called hades and will eventually be brought before God at the Great White Throne Judgment.
Either way, EVERYONE will encounter God’s judgment and will appear before Him.
The purpose of this book:
Dr. Lutzer states that’ it is with sobriety and not a little trepidatio’n that he finally had the courage to preach and write about this subject. The thesis of the book is that the person you are today will determine the rewards you will receive tomorrow. Those who are pleasing to Christ will receive generous rewards; those who are not will receive negative consequences and a lesser reward. Your life here will impact your life there FOREVER.
The Table of Contents
This review is not going to include a summary of each chapter. I do not wish to take away from the depth of the subject matter or even prevent you from reading the book, by summarizing it in full. I believe it is important that all believers spend the time reading what Dr. Lutzer shares here in this book. Not to sell books and make a tiny commission on the book, no, but for you to really consider the subject matter. It is important folks!
So, I will just give you the titles of the other chapters in hopes that it will prompt your interest enough that you go ahead and purchase the book and sit down and dig into the meat of the matter!
- 1) Tears In Heaven
- 2) You’ll be There
- 3) What we Gain
- 4) What We can Lose
- 5) What Christ will be Looking For
- 6) Taking it With You
- 7) Run to Win
- 8) Standing in Line to Receive Your Reward
- 9) Reigning with Christ Forever
- 10) The Great White Throne Judgement
Dr. Lutzer is an amazing and knowledegable theologian. We highly recommend this and all his books.
You may click below to purchase his books. If you purchase from one of our links we may earn a small commission.
Please feel free to leave comments below about this blog. We look forward to your feedback. If you leave a comment you are giving us permission to store your contact info. Your info will not be shared with any third parties.
Thank you and have a blessed day!