2 John 1:8, “Look to yourselves, that we lose not those things which we have wrought, but that we receive a full reward.”
Have you ever considered the grace upon the pastor God gave to feed you with knowledge and understanding? Do you appreciate their work of faith and labor of love to preach, teach, and warn you in all wisdom so they may present you perfect in Christ Jesus? Did you know they will be rewarded (by God) according to their ministry work?
God rewards His leaders for their own labor:
- (1 Corinthians 3:8) Now he that planteth and he that watereth are one: and every man shall receive his own reward according to his own labour.
- (1 Corinthians 9:17-18) For if I do this thing willingly, I have a reward: but if against my will, a dispensation of the gospel is committed unto me. What is my reward then? Verily that, when I preach the gospel, I may make the gospel of Christ without charge, that I abuse not my power in the gospel.
- (1 Peter 5:2-4) Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind; Neither as being lords over God’s heritage, but being ensamples to the flock. And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away.
- (2 Timothy 4:6-8) For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.
Look to Yourselves—
We have learned that the congregation plays an important role for the pastor to receive a full reward. Even though it might not seem like it, in order to accomplish this we need a pure, honest and good heart to hear, receive, and bring forth fruit to perfection, with patience (Luke 8:11-15).
If our heart is not right (pure) we will not be able to optimize the opportunity to assure the pastor receive a full reward, because we did not bring forth fruit to perfection due to a poor heart condition caused by distractions, the cares of this life and world, or the lusts of other things which choked the word we received …or… if the word we received did not take root to endure trials and temptations. Because of these things (and more), the pastor will not receive a portion of their reward after they have finished their course.
- Do you strive to be a perfect disciple of the Lord Jesus Christ?
“The disciple is not above his master: but every one that is perfect shall be as his master.” (Luke 6:40).
- Do you strive to be perfect as Jesus commanded?
“Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.” (Matthew 5:48).
- Do you strive to be perfect to press toward the mark…?
“I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. Let us therefore, as many as be perfect, be thus minded: and if in any thing ye be otherwise minded, God shall reveal even this unto you.” (Philippians 3:14-15).
Our obedience to those who have the rule over us helps them to receive a full reward from God … if we strive to remain faithful unto death!
Lose Not Their Work—
It is our responsibility to look to ourselves and be obedient so the pastor will not lose any reward from their own work; but a loss will incur by the disobedience of one or more under their care.
Seriously folks, we must be obedient to prevent any loss of reward for our pastor after all their diligent work to present us perfect in Christ Jesus!
We are all duty bound to:
- obey the pastor and leadership — they have the rule over us;
- follow the pastor’s faith in Jesus Christ;
- consider the end of the pastor’s conversation;
- pray, the pastor and pulpit leaders receive a full reward, for:
- the work and toil given to them by God to finish with joy;
- their commitment to perfection, the mastery, being temperate in all things;
- their commitment to rightly divide (or rightly dissect) the word of truth;
- their commitment to bring us into remembrance of what God said;
- teaching God’s word — that we may be wise unto salvation;
- helping us acquire perfect salvation by Jesus Christ, Himself;
- helping to build us up to receive an inheritance among the sanctified;
- fighting the good fight of faith and laying hold on eternal life;
- their faithfulness and obedience unto the end of their course;
- them to receive a crown of righteousness, or a crown of glory….
They will not lose that part of their reward for their work which perfected the saints of God; but they will not receive specific portions of a reward because of those who refuse to obey them — who chose to walk their own way.
The pastor will not receive a reward for any lost souls … but they will receive a full reward for the obedient and faithful unto death souls they received of the Lord Jesus to oversee and perfect in Him. For this reason, they will finish their course with joy! (Acts 20:24).
Jesus said, “While I was with them in the world, I kept them in thy name: those that thou gavest me I have kept, and none of them is lost, but the son of perdition; that the scripture might be fulfilled.” — John 17:12
You see, the losses should be of the son(s) of perdition. The word “perdition” refers to the spirit of antichrist in those who walk in the spirit of error; they are determined to remain spiritually lost; they will experience “eternal misery in hell.”
Let us consider those who:
- will not stand in the judgment … no penitence (Psalm 1:5);
- perish foolishly … no penitence (1 Corinthians 1:18);
- oppose themselves … might repent (2 Timothy 2:25);
- are the enemies of the cross of Christ … might repent (Philippians 3:18-19);
- pervert the gospel of Christ … might repent (Galatians 1:7);
- frustrate the grace of God … might repent (Galatians 2:21).
The “no penitence” group are two-fold separated from the saints of God.
- They will not partake of the first resurrection (Revelation 20:6);
- Their name will not be found written in the book of life (Revelation 20:11-15).
The “might repent” group have mercy available to recover themselves, but only for a short period of time from God’s judgment and perspective.
Can you imagine that? Being in the church where the word of God has free course and is glorified; the pastor and pulpit leaders are given by God; and the church is called perfect by God, Himself! (See: Revelation 2:8-11; 3:7-13).
According to the scriptures, there were two perfect churches of the seven in the book of Revelation, chapters 2 and 3 — Smyrna and Philadelphia. The pastors of these two churches were addressed directly by the Lord Jesus Christ. He did not correct either one, but said to Smyrna—continue to be faithful unto death; and to Philadelphia—keep the word of His patience!
Wow! What awesome testimonies by the Lord. This affirms that it is possible to have, and be in, a perfect church from God’s perspective!
But again, the ungodly and sinner in the congregation of the righteous will not stand in the judgment. They are sons of perdition … eternally lost and eternally miserable.
Don’t let this be you — walk obediently before the Lord and receive your crown of life that will not fade away….
Consider the fruit of the labor of both leaders and laypersons:
- (Daniel 12:3) 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.
- (John 4:36) And he that reapeth receiveth wages, and gathereth fruit unto life eternal: that both he that soweth and he that reapeth may rejoice together.
- (Proverbs 11:30) The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life; and he that winneth souls is wise.
- (Romans 6:22) But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life.
- (Philippians 2:14-16) Do all things without murmurings and disputings: That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world; Holding forth the word of life; that I may rejoice in the day of Christ, that I have not run in vain, neither laboured in vain.
- (1 Thessalonians 2:19) For what is our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing? Are not even ye in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at his coming?
- (1 Timothy 4:16) Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee.
- (1 Corinthians 3:14-15) If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.
- (James 5:19-20) Brethren, if any of you do err from the truth, and one convert him; Let him know, that he which converteth the sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death, and shall hide a multitude of sins.
What are you doing about this? Do you walk obediently …or… do you oppose and walk as one captured by the devil at his will? In case you do not know, the devil is given the right (and power) to take any one captive (at his will) who stands against God’s leadership and His instructions:
“And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient, In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth; And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will.” — 2 Timothy 2:24-26
This is especially for those who believe they can serve God their own way. Surprise! The devil (who is transformed into an angel of light, 2 Corinthians 11:14) might cause the person to believe they can talk with the Lord (in their opposed state and think He will hear, or respond to, them—but He resists the proud “opposer” and giveth grace to the humble penitent person). This being the case, it will actually be the devil (who has taken them captive at his will) talking to them with all of the trimmings of seductions and deceivableness….
Let’s take a look at what God said, “For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. For it is written, He taketh the wise in their own craftiness.” —1 Corinthians 3:19
The word “craftiness” refers to “false wisdom” … it’s a precept of the following passage:
“For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things.” — Romans 1:20-23
When God sends His word across the pulpit, the disobedient “opposer” will have the opportunity to be humble and repent so that God may give them repentance to the full discernment of the truth of their error …and… they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil. Nevertheless, if they refuse to repent (after God has extended mercy and still no good response), He Himself will send them strong delusion….
2 Thessalonians 2:11-12 says, “And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.”
Do you believe the word of God, or no?! What are you doing to reap and rejoice together with the pastor God gave you — obey or disobey? And, do you appreciate their labor of love to do the work of the ministry …and… to present you perfect in Christ Jesus?
Please, examine yourself to see if you be in the faith. Be honest AND come clean with yourself and with God. It is a matter of life and death! It is also a matter for God’s pastors and pulpit leaders to receive a full reward.
Let us perfect our discipleship through obedience with tender love and care, so the pastor will not lose those things they worked for, but will receive of the fruit which naturally results from their toils and endeavors to perfect us in Christ Jesus—a crown of glory, and/or a crown of righteousness … along with a crown of life for their endurance of temptations unto the end. Let them receive a full reward! Amen?!
He/She who hath an ear to hear, let them hear AND believe what God said in His word … and live!
In Christ We Do Remain