|Will there be regrets in Heaven for believers?|
Will there be regrets in Heaven for believers?
The key passages on the rewards of the believer at the Judgement Seat of Christ is found in 1 Corinthians 3:11-15 and in the parables of reward mentioned in Luke 19 and Matthew 25.
(11) For no one can lay a foundation other than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. (12) Now if anyone builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw-- (13) each one's work will become manifest, for the Day will disclose it, because it will be revealed by fire, and the fire will test what sort of work each one has done. (14) If the work that anyone has built on the foundation survives, he will receive a reward. (15) If anyone's work is burned up, he will suffer loss, though he himself will be saved, but only as through fire.
Observations about the Judgment Seat of Christ:
"He will suffer loss" is the key phrase that answers the question about regrets in heaven. Believers will lose out on something great. But what is the loss? Matthew 25 and Luke 19 tell us what is at stake.
Luke 19:11-27 As they heard these things, he proceeded to tell a parable, because he was near to Jerusalem, and because they supposed that the kingdom of God was to appear immediately. (12) He said therefore, "A nobleman went into a far country to receive for himself a kingdom and then return. (13) Calling ten of his servants, he gave them ten minas, and said to them, 'Engage in business until I come.' (14) But his citizens hated him and sent a delegation after him, saying, 'We do not want this man to reign over us.' (15) When he returned, having received the kingdom, he ordered these servants to whom he had given the money to be called to him, that he might know what they had gained by doing business. (16) The first came before him, saying, 'Lord, your mina has made ten minas more.' (17) And he said to him, 'Well done, good servant! Because you have been faithful in a very little, you shall have authority over ten cities.' (18) And the second came, saying, 'Lord, your mina has made five minas.' (19) And he said to him, 'And you are to be over five cities.' (20) Then another came, saying, 'Lord, here is your mina, which I kept laid away in a handkerchief; (21) for I was afraid of you, because you are a severe man. You take what you did not deposit, and reap what you did not sow.' (22) He said to him, 'I will condemn you with your own words, you wicked servant! You knew that I was a severe man, taking what I did not deposit and reaping what I did not sow? (23) Why then did you not put my money in the bank, and at my coming I might have collected it with interest?' (24) And he said to those who stood by, 'Take the mina from him, and give it to the one who has the ten minas.' (25) And they said to him, 'Lord, he has ten minas!' (26) 'I tell you that to everyone who has, more will be given, but from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away. (27) But as for these enemies of mine, who did not want me to reign over them, bring them here and slaughter them before me.'"
Observations about the parable:
In other scripture references regarding rewards, the symbol of authority, the crown, is the reward of a believer. The believer who is faithful here will be given more and greater work to do for Christ in the future. James 1:12 says that those who endure trials will receive "the crown of life". 2 Timothy 4:8 says that Paul is expecting a "crown of righteousness" 1 Peter 5:4 says that shepherds who faithfully guided the flock will receive an "unfading crown of glory". Revelation 2:10 says that faithful martyrs will receive a "crown of life". Rewards are not mere medals that decorate uniforms; the reward is a position of responsibility, to be trusted by God to carry out his will.
5) The loss of promotion for the final servant left him completely empty in the coming kingdom. We lose what we don't use. "From the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away." (v.26) Comparing the phrase in 1 Corinthians 3:15 "He shall suffer loss" with this parable shows that the loss is further work to be done for the Lord. The cup of cold water will not be forgotten. Neither will the lazy Christian who wasted his life.
Matthew 25 contains a similar parable to Luke 19, but with a few notable differences.
Matthew 25:14-30 "For it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted to them his property. (15) To one he gave five talents, to another two, to another one, to each according to his ability. Then he went away. (16) He who had received the five talents went at once and traded with them, and he made five talents more. (17) So also he who had the two talents made two talents more. (18) But he who had received the one talent went and dug in the ground and hid his master's money. (19) Now after a long time the master of those servants came and settled accounts with them. (20) And he who had received the five talents came forward, bringing five talents more, saying, 'Master, you delivered to me five talents; here I have made five talents more.' (21) His master said to him, 'Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.' (22) And he also who had the two talents came forward, saying, 'Master, you delivered to me two talents; here I have made two talents more.' (23) His master said to him, 'Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.' (24) He also who had received the one talent came forward, saying, 'Master, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you did not sow, and gathering where you scattered no seed, (25) so I was afraid, and I went and hid your talent in the ground. Here you have what is yours.' (26) But his master answered him, 'You wicked and slothful servant! You knew that I reap where I have not sown and gather where I scattered no seed? (27) Then you ought to have invested my money with the bankers, and at my coming I should have received what was my own with interest. (28) So take the talent from him and give it to him who has the ten talents. (29) For to everyone who has will more be given, and he will have an abundance. But from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away. (30) And cast the worthless servant into the outer darkness. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.'
Differences in the two parables:
One might ask, "Can a person be called a believer who doesn't do anything for God?" The true believer will always show fruit in his life, even if it is a small amount. "He indeed bears fruit and yields, in one case a hundredfold, in another sixty, and in another thirty." (Matthew 13:23).
Other places in scripture give us more understanding on the loss of rewards for the believer:
1) Believers can receive both bad and good for their rewards.
2 Corinthians 5:10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive what is due for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil.2) Wages are given to the believer for his labor. Heaven is not the reward for the faiththul, but the faithful will be rewarded in Heaven.
1 Corinthians 3:8 He who plants and he who waters are one, and each will receive his wages according to his labor.3) God is a fair judge. He will not miss any single work done for him.
Hebrews 6:10 For God is not unjust so as to overlook your work and the love that you have shown for his name in serving the saints, as you still do.4) Rewards, even though given for service, are not really deserved in the sense that a paycheck or wages are deserved. Good works of a Christian are the expected results of someone redeemed by God.
Luke 17:9 Does he thank the servant because he did what was commanded? (10) So you also, when you have done all that you were commanded, say, 'We are unworthy servants; we have only done what was our duty.'"5) Rewards are given for things done with a good motive, without thinking of the reward itself.
Luke 6:35 But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return, and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, for he is kind to the ungrateful and the evil.6) Some have suggested that tears mentioned in Revelation 21 refer to the end of a time of sadness after the Judgment Seat of Christ. However, the verse refers not to sad events in heaven that cause tears, but the results of sin on earth that caused sadness. Death, mourning, crying and pain are all earthly emotions that will cease when God creates a New Heaven and a New Earth (Revelation 21:1-5).
Believers are saved by grace, through faith, not of works. But from the moment of salvation to the end of life, God is watching for spiritual growth and service done with a good motive until the day he calls us home. He will then test the works of every believer by fire. That which remains will result in greater service in the Kingdom. Those who waste their lives here will suffer the loss of being what God designed us for. The person that God is molding me into will become the person I will be for all eternity.
Shad David Sluiter
Other pages in this section
|< Prev||Next >|