Two Kinds of Rewards: Earthly Vs Heavenly

The Bible talks of two kinds of rewards: reward on earth and reward in heaven.

Regarding reward in heaven, Jesus said that GREAT will be the reward of those who:
1. Are PERSECUTED for righteousness' sake because of Jesus (Matt.5:12; Lk.6:23)
2. LOVE their enemies, do good and give expecting nothing in return (Lk.6:35)

The Bible deplores the state of those who seek after and are "men of this world whose reward is in this life" (Psa 17:14 NIV). Though referring chiefly to the religiously plump but fruitless state of the Jewish leaders against the outcasts like Lazarus in the Parable, Jesus did make sure to warn that the pursuit of reward on this earth could make one end as a destitute in the hereafter life.

"But Abraham replied, 'Son, remember that in your lifetime you received your good things, while Lazarus received bad things, but now he is comforted here and you are in agony. (Luk 16:25 NIV)

He also stated in His teachings:
"But woe to you who are rich, for you have already received your comfort.
Woe to you who are well fed now, for you will go hungry. Woe to you who laugh now, for you will mourn and weep. Woe to you when all men speak well of you, for that is how their fathers treated the false prophets. (Luk 6:24-26 NIV)

Do not work for food that spoils, but for food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you. On him God the Father has placed his seal of approval." (Joh 6:27 NIV)

But God said to him, 'You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?' This is how it will be with anyone who stores up things for himself but is not rich toward God." (Luk 12:20-21 NIV)

Paul instructed Timothy:
Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life. (1Ti 6:17-19 NIV)

Now, there are at least three kinds of rewards that people go after:

POWER: People pursue wealth as a source of power, or they pursue influence or brute force or any religious philosophy or occult of power to become powerful. Such pursuit may have some reward on earth but is ineffective to obtain anything for the life beyond. However, the Bible says that power belongs to God (Psa.62:11). True power is not the power of wealth or influence or might; true power comes from above.

PRAISE: People like to be admired, liked, followed, praised, adulated. They like to be respected and honored and be highly praised. But, this can be a trap and a snare that prevents us from being "fools for Christ's sake" (1Cor.4:10). The problem of the Jews was that they sought the honor and praise of men and so could never please God. But, Jesus said that true honor only comes from the Father (John 5:44). Jesus declared that HE DID NOT RECEIVE HONOR FROM MEN (John 5:41). His passion was to glorify the Father on earth and to finish His work (John 17:4). The most joyful words that will be spoken about the faithful on the Last Day will be: ,`Well done, good and faithful servant; you were faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.' (Mat 25:21 NKJ)

PLEASURE: People also pursue pleasure, comfort, luxury and delight. The Book of Ecclesiastes gives ample examples of the vanity of pleasure. Solomon describes it as mere chasing after wind. Desire to please people and be pleased led Solomon into many compromises and his downfall. Contrary to this wild pursuit of Solomon, his father David confessed: You will show me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore. (Psa 16:11 NKJ).

The sons of Korah sang: For a day in Your courts is better than a thousand. I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God Than dwell in the tents of wickedness. (Psa 84:10 NKJ)

We are saved by faith but we are rewarded according to our works, not works of the law but works of the Father (Matthew 16:27)

Some important rewards promised in the Scriptures:

"But when you do a charitable deed, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, that your charitable deed may be in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will Himself reward you openly. (Mat 6:3-4 NKJ)

Oil and Wine"But you, when you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly. (Mat 6:6 NKJ)

"But you, when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face, so that you do not appear to men to be fasting, but to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly. (Mat 6:17-18 NKJ)

And whoever gives one of these little ones only a cup of cold water in the name of a disciple, assuredly, I say to you, he shall by no means lose his reward." (Mat 10:42 NKJ)

Now he who plants and he who waters are one, and each one will receive his own reward according to his own labor.(1Co 3:8 NKJ)

And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance; for you serve the Lord Christ. (Col 3:23-24 NKJ)

Therefore do not cast away your confidence, which has great reward. (Heb 10:35 NKJ)

Look to yourselves, that we do not lose those things we worked for, but that we may receive a full reward. (2Jo 1:8 NKJ)

"And behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to give to every one according to his work. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End, the First and the Last." (Rev 22:12-13 NKJ)

It would be very unwise to try to guess what rewards He has in store for us. For the Scripture says, "Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, Nor have entered into the heart of man The things which God has prepared for those who love Him." (1Co 2:9 NKJ). Eternity has eternal surprises in store for us.