Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. —Matthew 6:19-20
All who are saved are going to heaven, but not all who go to heaven will receive a reward. This may be new theology to you, but you need to understand that. You may have thought, Well, if I am saved, I am saved, and I am not going to worry about anything else. When you stand before the judgment seat of Christ, even though you are not going to go to hell, you will see then why Paul stressed it again and again.
When workers get their paycheck they decide whether to spend it all now or put some in the bank. So when you are tempted to take recognition, you can put it on deposit or you can just spend it. There is a chance to get your spiritual recognition pay now, for instance, by getting even with that person by snapping back, by reminding people that what they did was wrong. Although you are right, and you “win” and receive your pay, that is it. You withdrew what could have been on deposit in heaven. Only it is low pay. You really lost.
What is the high pay? I do not really know. Paul uses three words, as far as I know, to describe it: reward, praise, crown. Peter also uses the expression: “you will receive a rich welcome” into the kingdom when you die (2 Pet. 1:11). But this assumes a certain conduct (2 Pet. 1:5-8). Not all will receive this welcome.
What is a high pay? What is the reward? What is the crown? As I have said, I do not know for sure what that is, but I am sure it is worth waiting for. And I am sure I am not alone. Many of you will want to hear from the lips of Jesus Himself: “Well done.” I call that high pay!
Excerpted from When God Says “Well Done!” (Christian Focus Publications Ltd., 1993).