Rewards Won't Make You Happy!
by David J.
Stewart | November 2003 |
background music in new window (MIDI file)
“And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and
they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever.” —Daniel 12:3
Though the Bible speaks much about rewards in Heaven, I've yet to find anything that teaches that the possessors of those rewards are going to shine like the brightness of the stars for ever and ever. Daniel 12:3 tells us that it is the SOULWINNER who will shine in Heaven, i.e., those who turn many to righteousness.
I believe that there are going to be many ministers and Christians who will be loaded up with rewards in Heaven; but they won't be happy. Do you know why they won't be happy? In fact, they're going to be absolutely miserable, feeling like utter failures. Do you know why? I'd like to tell you a little story...
There was a man. This particular man was a minister which I had known for many years. He was one of the hardest working people I had ever met. He was the type of guy who just wasn't happy unless he was doing something (building, hammering, sawing, digging, et cetera). I mean, if his family had a barbeque, he'd end up trimming the bushes or doing something else while his food became cold. He loved to build things. This minister spend decades renovating and rebuilding his church building. He single-handedly replaced most of the church roof (not a small project by any means). He loved building so much that he would think constantly of his next big project.
He would tear down this and rebuild that, a workaholic to say the least. He spent thousands-upon-thousands of hours brick replacing, tuck-pointing, installed extra sinks, installing new lighting, paneling, painting, you name it. This guy worked hard. Every time I saw him he was doing something to his church building. This minister is 70-years old now, he has spent his entire ministry building up that church building. It is a strong building, a safe building, an attractive building. He has sincerely given his life's blood, sweat and tears to that building. His days are drawing near to meet His Maker.
Let's imagine for a moment. This man dies and is escorted by angels into Heaven's pearly gates. He is welcomed with a warm welcome from Heaven's hosts. He meets Jesus and it is an emotional moment of joy and awe. He sees some Christian friends who died years before and they greet him. He looks around and can't believe he is actually here, in Heaven. It is nothing like what he could ever have imagined, it is wondrous and mysterious. He has many questions, the answers don't seem to come fast enough.
He is still in awe that he has actually died, he finally knows what is on the other side. Wow! It is actually true, there is a Heaven! He rejoices in his heart that he trusted in Jesus Christ for salvation. He is escorted to his knew home, it is just what he never knew he wanted. It is beyond his hopes, hand prepared by the Lord Himself (John 14:1-2). The minister delights in his new home. He knows he has many rewards coming for all his hard work at the church. Truly, Heaven is a splendid place to live.
Time passes, he has been in Heaven for a while now and is thankful to be there. One day he decides to take a walk around Heaven. He finds himself walking down a street made of gold, it is incredible to say the least. Wow!, he thinks aloud, streets of pure gold! He again thinks of his many rewards he must have coming at the judgment seat and rejoices in his heart.
In fact, he couldn't be happier. As he walks a little further, he sees a man with many people standing around him. He pauses to look and curiosity gets the best of him, "why are all these people gathered?," he asks himself. He walks over toward the crowd and asks one of the people standing why they are all gathered around this one man. "These are all the converts which this brother won to the Lord during his earthly life," the man replies. Suddenly, the minister is greatly saddened as he realizes an overwhelming truth... HE NEVER WON ANYBODY TO THE LORD WHILE ON EARTH.
The foolish minister had spent his entire life working to maintain a church building, he administrated budgets, he fed the poor, he raised money; but he had lost sight of the main responsibility of every believer... SOULWINNING! The minister's heart sunk as he was haunted by the realization that he had spent his life earning rewards, but he hadn't been concerned about the souls of lost sinners. He had sincerely thought he was doing the right thing.
Oh the misery that filled the ministers heart, the tears uncontrollably streaming down his face. He sinks to the ground in sorrow, realizing that IT IS TOO LATE, he can't go back and change things now. He wonders how many souls are going to burn in Hell who otherwise would have been with him in Heaven had he only been a soulwinner. Startled, he hears a warm and compassionate voice from behind, he turns to look up and sees the Lord Jesus.
Jesus said, "I didn't want to tell you, you needed to learn this by yourself. Many ministers such as yourself have gone down this same foolish road. By the way, I might as well tell you now, those 'King James ONLY' Bible Christians that you constantly called 'fanatics' and 'heretics' were NOT heretics, they were correct. You even accused your own son of preaching 'that King James heresy.' NO, it wasn't heresy, it is THE TRUTH! You were greatly mistaken about your son and the others who faithfully defended My Word. You were part of the problem; not the solution. You defended the New International Version (NIV) that removes the word 'begotten' from John 3:16. I AM the only begotten Son of God you do know (Exodus 3:14). You never cared enough to listen to your son (or anyone else for that matter).
Did you know that the Satanic NIV removes My name (Jesus, the name which is above every other name) from 38 scriptures?
"No I didn't," replied the minister.
Jesus asks again, "Did you know that the NIV removes 65,000 words from My Word?"
Stunned, the minister listens to the Words of his Maker.
Jesus asks again, "Did you know that the NIV removes the word 'sodomite' completely because there were two sodomites on the review committee for the NIV?"
In disbelief the minister's tears continue to fall. "What have I done," the minister asks himself.
Jesus goes on to say, "That wretched and blasphemous NIV which diminishes My deity and blinds men's eyes to the truth makes me angry." Jesus continues, "Did you know that Philippians 2:6 in the NIV says that I am NOT equal to God? I am God Almighty you know."
The minister now realized that he had never cared enough about THE TRUTH to really look into the matter. He knew that all of his dead-beat ministerial buddies and supporters were all against the idea that the King James was the ONLY reliable Bible in English. He had been a coward, afraid to go against the grain (the herd-mentality). If he had spoken evil against the NIV, surely he would have lost much support and friends. The truth is never popular! He had sincerely thought he was doing the right thing. Oh how he had messed up.
Then Jesus said, "That man you saw earlier with all the hundreds of people around him was a faithful soulwinner. He witnessed to many thousands of people in his lifetime. By the way, he defended the King James Bible, he loved it with a passion. He knew that only the King James Bible hadn't been tampered with or corrupted. He lived his life from day-to-day, warning others of the hell-fire judgment to come if they didn't get their sins forgiven. You could have done the same but you were too busy working on side-projects and hobbies in the name of the church.
Foolish, foolish minister. God always blesses hard-work, I believe that. I believe that this minister is going to have many rewards in Heaven for his hard-working efforts; however, no amount of rewards can replace the missing converts in Heaven. I would be totally miserable in Heaven if I had mountains of rewards and no converts. I couldn't bare to watch other believers being thanked by all the lost souls they had won to the Lord Jesus Christ, and I would have no one to thank me. What a sad thought! There will be sorrowful tears shed in Heaven over our failures here upon the earth (Revelation 21:4). What are you doing to try to win the lost souls of men over to Jesus Christ?
Listen carefully friend because I want you to learn a truth that will go with you the rest of your life —Life is all about soulwinning! What does it profit a man if you feed him, give him a few dollars, maybe even give him a place to stay for the night... if he dies in his sins and goes to burn in Hell for all eternity. Jerry Lewis did a wonderful thing in trying to raise money for research to benefit sickly children with muscular dystrophy, but what about their souls? There are tens-of-thousands of charitable organizations all across America and the world that are helping people in many wonderful ways, but what about their souls?
The Salvation Army (which had once preached the gospel to lost sinners) has dipped their sails and turned into a mere charitable organization. "Salvation"? I think not. When General William Booth founded the Salvation Army, the whole purpose was to go out preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ to a lost and dying world. Their rivals were known as the "Skeleton Army" who persecuted them fiercely. Nevertheless, the Salvation Army has left their first love (Revelation 2:4). I hear of all the wonderful things they are doing today to help other people, but what about the souls of men? I'm not trying to be critical of anyone, I'm simply asking the life-and-death question, "What about the souls of lost sinners?" The Salvation Army is all army and no salvation today.
What about the souls of lost sinners?
What about the souls of lost sinners?
What about the souls of lost sinners?
WHAT ABOUT THE SOULS OF LOST SINNERS?