Sequence Of Prophecy

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Reward Every Man According to his Works

In Matthew 16: 27 we are told that Jesus returns to earth and will reward every man according to his works. Some individuals may get the idea that the Lord is going to have us stand before the Judgment Seat of Christ at this point (See also Matthew 25: 31 - 33.). However, that is not the case. That event (the Judgment Seat of Christ) will have already taken place in Revelation chapter 4, shortly after the Rapture. The four and twenty elders (the New Testament Church, the Bride of Christ) are wearing their crowns of rewards (Rev. 4: 4) received at the Judgment Seat of Christ. It is my belief that Matthew 16: 27 is referring to the time when Jesus will sit on the throne of His glory judging the people who are alive and having earthly bodies. This judgment of the living will happen in Matthew chapter 25 verses 31 - 46. The reward of the saved people will be to enter the kingdom, but the reward of the unsaved people will to be thrown in to Hades (Hell). Matthew 16: 27 and Matthew 25: 31 - 46 have nothing to do with the judgment of the ungodly, the lost of all Ages, in Revelation 20: 11 - 15 for that judgment does not happen until after the 1000 year reign of Christ is completed. Then the heaven(s) and the earth will be destroyed (II Pet. 3: 7) at the Great White Throne Judgment (Rev. 20: 11). The lost of all Ages who are standing before God (Jesus) (John 5: 22 and 27) will be thrown into the Lake of Fire.

(Here are some Scriptures telling about the reward, rewardeth, vengeance, recompense/repay the unsaved. II Sam. 3: 39, Ps. 31: 23, 91: 8, Isa. 35: 4, Pr. 20: 22, II Tim. 4: 14. So God will reward the saved, and He will reward the unsaved as well.).

Now, what about II Timothy 4: 1?

"I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick (living saints) and the dead (the unsaved people) at His appearing and His kingdom;"

I believe that Paul was speaking of the saved people who are alive at the coming of the Lord to earth, and the unsaved people who are alive at that same time when he talked about "...the quick and the dead...". These human beings will still be alive (have human bodies) when Jesus returns to earth. The saved are spiritually alive, but the unsaved are spiritually dead (they are lost). The saved and the unsaved will both be rewarded at this judgment. (See Rev. 20: 11 - 15 for the final judgment of the unsaved, the lost of all Ages.). The saved will enter the kingdom in Matthew 25: 34 (that will be their reward), but the lost/unsaved will enter Hades/Hell in Matthew 25: 41 (that will be their reward) for the deeds they have done. "And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous (the saved people who entered the kingdom) into life eternal (Matt. 25: 46)." Those saved people who enter the kingdom in Matthew 25: 34 (at the beginning of the 1000 year reign of Christ) will never perish for they will have eternal life, everlasting life. However, some of their children, grand children, etc... may perish, but they themselves will not. Do remember, the saved millennial saints will not get their glorified bodies when Jesus returns to earth. They will be in their earthly bodies and will repopulate the earth. These millennial saints were the tribulation saints who are alive at the time of the Second Coming of Christ. They will be called millennial saints during the 1000 year reign of Christ, and so will their children and grandchildren, etc....

Do realize that the saved people who are judged in Matthew 25: 31 - 33 will not get crowns of rewards (gold) at this judgment for earthlings (humans) do not get crowns of gold. These people are alive having earthly bodies when Christ returns to earth (Rev. 19: 11) and sets up His kingdom. They will enter the kingdom and enjoy all those wonderful things that the Bible tells us about this time on planet Earth. It will be a beautiful period (the 1000 year reign of Christ)! There will be a lot of blessings as well which will be a part of their rewards.

The New Testament saints, however, will have previously received their crowns at the Judgment Seat of Christ in heaven after having received their glorified bodies at the time of the resurrection. (See John 14: 3, I Thes. 4: 16 - 17, I Cor. 15: 40, 44, 51 - 52.).

Note: There is not a resurrection in Matthew 25: 31 - 46. Angels will gather all the people who are alive, Jews and Gentiles alike (Matt. 24: 30 - 31, 25: 31 - 32). John 5: 29 is referring to at least two resurrections, but will not all happen at the same time. One of those resurrections is when the Rapture takes place the New Testament saints will be resurrected (I Cor. 15, I Thes. 4, Rev. 4: 1). In Revelation 11: 18 we have another resurrection. However, this resurrection is not mentioned. It is the second phase of the first resurrection (Rev. 20: 6). It is the Old Testament saints and prophets being resurrected. They will also be given rewards at that point. And finally, the second resurrection that is mentioned in John 5: 29 is the lost of all ages. They are resurrected and will stand before God, Jesus (John 5: 22, 27), at the Great White Throne Judgment.

By the way, II Timothy 4: 1 is referring to the Second Coming of Christ, the Second Advent. However, II Timothy 4: 7 and 8 are referring to the Rapture. Just because those Scriptures are in the same chapter does not necessarily mean they have to be speaking about the same coming. There are two comings and those Scriptures have to be separated to be correct in one's teachings.

Read "What About Matthew 24: 27?" and "What About II Timothy Chapter 4, Verse 1?".

  All Rights Reserved Glen A. Duitman

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