Don’t my good works count for anything?
Yes and no! How’s that for a definite answer?
- NO…in terms of getting you into heaven. Even one sin or imperfection will keep you out of heaven (James 2:10). We would have to live a perfect life to get into a perfect place (heaven). If God let anyone in, heaven would eventually deteriorate into hell.
- No…if we’re doing them so we’ll get greater rewards in heaven (Isaiah 64:6).
- YES…if we’re doing them as an outworking of our faith in Jesus (James 2:14,17). God is a rewarder of good works done because of our faith (Colossians 3:23, 24 & Galatians 6:9). He doesn’t forget these good works (Hebrews 6: 10-12).
Will we really get rewards because of our good works done because of our faith? Yes, we sure will (Hebrews 11:26). We are building up our eternal bank account by depositing good works done in faith. God will redeem them for us in eternity (Revelation 22:12 & Matthew 6:27).
How will God redeem them in heaven? The bible doesn’t say how. Maybe we’ll have more responsibility in ruling over part of God’s creation (Genesis 1:26 & 1st Corinthians 6:3). Maybe we’ll have more responsibility in the way we exercise our spiritual gifts in heaven (Romans 11:29). If you’re a gifted songwriter, maybe you’ll write some new songs in heaven.
Will we be jealous of people who have more rewards than we do? No, jealousy won’t exist in heaven. As we transition from our physical death on Earth to our heavenly home, our sin nature will be removed. It will be removed because we had asked Jesus to remove it. When we invited Him into our life, we gave Him permission to remove it on our death (Ephesians 1:13, 14 & 2nd Corinthians 1:22 & 5:5). We will genuinely be glad to see any believers get rewarded in heaven.
Can’t wait for that day to happen? You’re not alone (Romans 8: 19-25 & Revelation 6:10, 11). Meanwhile, our inward faith will express itself outwardly by testifying to the gospel (in word) and by doing good works because of our faith (and deed).
For His Kingdom,