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       When we think of compensation, we often consider only that which is to be “paid” for labor or repaid for damages.   This term is akin to “wages”, but as Luke 14:12-14 shows, it can also be applied to “repay”, or “recompense”.   This passage also indicates that we are not to seek recognition or reward from others for our doing good deeds, because the Lord will one day reward all appropriately at the proper time.   Then said he also to him that bade him, When thou makest a dinner or a supper, call not thy friends, nor thy brethren, neither thy kinsmen, nor thy rich neighbours; lest they also bid thee again, and a recompence be made thee. 13 But when thou makest a feast, call the poor, the maimed, the lame, the blind: 14 And thou shalt be blessed; for they cannot recompense thee: for thou shalt be recompensed at the resurrection of the just.

       Compensation, or recompense, was part of both the Old, and is part of the New Covenant, or Testament of God. We are also aware of the fact that we cannot “earn” our Salvation. But God “recompenses” those who do good or bad.   From the O.T., Hosea 12:2 shows us that each had control of their own reward. The LORD hath also a controversy with Judah, and will punish Jacob according to his ways; according to his doings will he recompense him. From the N.T. we find this in 2Corinthians 5:10 from the pen of Paul as the Spirit directed. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.

       This was also conveyed in Colossians 3:24-25 where we are told that not all “rewards” will be the same, and that God is not partial. Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ. 25 But he that doeth wrong shall receive for the wrong which he hath done: and there is no respect of persons. God will even punish those of His own N.T. people, just as He punished Jacob.

       Because of this, all should spend their time here on earth, not seeking all the world has to offer, but what God desires for us. In Matthew 6:33, Jesus, while preaching the Sermon on the Mount, told the Jews who believed in Him, about how they could be “rewarded” by God. But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. This “kingdom” had yet to arrive, but soon would, and those in it would be rewarded. We know this as Colossians 1:13-14 indicates that Paul (the penman) as well as the brethren in Colossae were, at that time, “in the kingdom”, and we also see the immediate reward. Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son: 14 In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins:  

       The opportunity for man to have this “reward” has been offered from the time of the first Pentecost following the ascension of the Christ. We see in Acts 2:38-39, as the Spirit had Peter and the other apostles respond to the question of those gathered there, how to receive that reward.   Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. (the promise of eternal life) 39 For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.   Also, we know that 2Thessalonians 2:14, shows how God calls man through the preaching of the gospel. Whereunto he called you by our gospel, to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. Those present at that Pentecost, (as well as all others since then), have to obey the gospel, or they could not have that promise.

       It is equally important we know that one can “lose” this reward.   If we are “in Christ”, which is “in the kingdom” we have the eternal reward in promise.   In John 5:24 Jesus, in preparation for the kingdom said: Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth (which also includes obedience) on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is (present tense) passed from death unto life. Then in 1John 2:25 we see how we “hath” eternal life. We only “hath” it in promise. And this is the promise that he hath promised us, even eternal life.

       Many are guided away from the truth and assisted in falling from grace as 2John 1:7-8 indicates.   For many deceivers are entered into the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist. 8 Look to yourselves, that we lose not those things which we have wrought, but that we receive a full reward. Galatians 6:7 makes it clear that we can be deceived, but should not. Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. It is also clear from 2Thessalonians 1:8-9 what “reward” the disobedient and unfaithful will receive. In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: 9 Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power;  

     With what will you be recompensed? Or, put another way, with what will the Lord reward you?   Make your choice today. Obey the gospel now and remain faithful till death.   Your reward awaits.

Dennis Strickland – Mooresville church of Christ

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