ETERNAL SECURITY & ETERNAL REWARDS
There are a number of statements in God's Word which refer to what a faithful believer will receive when he gets to heaven:
(v. 19) "Do not lay up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal;
(v. 20) but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal.."
And God's Word is the instruction manual on how to qualify for and what steps to take in order to "lay up ...treasures in heaven":
'''Jesus answered, "It is written, 'Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.' " '''
(cp. Pr 3:1-35; 2 Ti 2:15; Eph 4:11-13):
The concepts of eternal security for the believer and eternal rewards for the faithful Christian are clearly taught in the following passages:
[I Cor 3:11-15]:
(v. 11) "For no man can lay a foundation other than the one which is laid, which is Jesus Christ."
["foundation" = "themelion" = a foundation for a building which one would "lay" and then "build upon".
Salvation is the key to entrance into heaven and the foundation of one's life in heaven which God solely and exclusively builds as a result of one trusting alone in Christ alone, (Eph 1:13-14; 2:8-9)]
(v. 12) Now if any man builds upon the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw,
[Now once one is saved one then begins to build upon this foundation. One may build with eternally valuable gold, silver and precious stones, i.e., divine good works; or with valueless and destructible wood, hay and straw, i.e., human good works, (or perhaps no works at all - just a sinful lifestyle). The building that a believer's lifestyle is forming upon the foundation of salvation in Christ is representative of the reward that a believer receives when he gets to heaven]
(v. 13) each man's [each believer's, (v. 11)] work will become evident; for the day will show it, because it is to be revealed with fire; and the fire itself will test the quality of each man's work,
[each man's work will become evident; for the day......................
"the day" = a term which signifies the day when our Lord will return in judgment and rule the earth from Jerusalem, (Isaiah - details of the "Day" described throughout the entire book. 2 Thes 2:1-2 and I Thes 4:13-18 point to the rapture which is the beginning of the "Day" of the Lord]
(v. 13 cont.) each man's work will become evident; for the day will show it, because it is to be revealed with fire; and the fire itself will test the quality of each man's work,
[Notice that the quality of each believer's work will be tested by fire. What a believer does with his life on earth will then be judged as to whether or not it deserves a reward in heaven. So fire is not just a judgment of the unsaved it is also used by God to judge the value of the deeds of believers' lives]
[I Cor 3:11-15 cont.]:
(v. 14) If any man's work which he has built upon it remains, he shall receive a reward,
["it" = the "foundation" of eternal life which is faith alone in Jesus Christ alone, (v.11).
If a believer's work which he has built by what he did with his life on earth survives the test of our Lord as to its eternal value then he will receive a commensurate reward in heaven. The question as to whether the believer's works were of divine origin
or not, (Eph 2:10), will be decided by Jesus Christ Himself. Ref. 2 Cor 5:10]
(v. 15) If any man's work is burned up, he shall suffer loss; but he himself shall be saved, yet so as through fire."
["any man's" = 'any believer's', since the context is limited to the population of those who are building on the foundation of salvation by faith alone in Christ alone, (v. 11). Notice that if the believer's works were burned up - i.e., if the works did not survive the test of fire, then that believer will actually suffer loss - suffer in heaven for the loss of what he could have received but did not because he wasted his time on earth. But that believer, the Scripture says, will still remain saved unto eternal life, barely entering onto heaven's shores as one escaping to safety from a burning house - without bringing anything out of the burning house but himself. 2 Cor 5:10 supports I Cor 3:11-15 in teaching about the judgment of a Christian's life on earth:
[2 Cor 5:10]:
"For we [believers, v. 5] must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may be recompensed for his deeds in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or worthless."
"recompensed" = given what is due him, i.e., rewarded/disciplined for his deeds whether good deeds or worthless/evil]
"worthless" = "kakon" = "evil". Notice that here again it is the believer's works which are judged and not his salvation. He is either rewarded or disciplined for what he has done with his earthly life. Verses 1-9 in 2 Corinthians chapter 5 indicate the believer's absolute confidence in his eternal destiny in heaven no matter what, especially verse 8:
[2 Cor 5:8]:
"we [believers] are of good courage, I say, and prefer rather to be absent from the body and to be at home with the Lord."
This verse is saying that we believers prefer to be absent from the body which is to be present with the Lord Jesus Christ in heaven - a statement of the sure hope of the believer of his eternal destiny in heaven no matter what, (cp. 1 Jn 5:13). So the primary responsibility of the Christian is to work as unto the Lord which is toward his inheritance in heaven:
[Col 3:23-25 NAS]:
(v. 23) "Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men;
(v. 24) knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance. It is the Lord Christ Whom you serve.
(v. 25) For he who does wrong will receive the consequences of the wrong which he has done, and that without partiality." And our Lord will bring those rewards with Him when He comes again:
[Rev 22:12 NAS]:
" 'Behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to render to every man according to what he has done."
EXHAUSTIVE ON ETERNAL SECURITY
FURTHER STUDIES ON REWARDS