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You must be in fellowship prior to your Bible study, so that the spiritual information you receive can become a source, of blessing to your soul and produce spiritual growth.

Revelation 22:12


12 And, [kai] behold, [idou] I come [erchomai] quickly; [tachu] and [kai] my [mou] reward [misthos] is with [meta] me, [emou] to give [apodidomi] every man [hekastos] according as [hos] his [autos] work [ergon] shall be. [esomai] KJV-Interlinear


12 "Behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to render to every man according to what he has done. NASB


Earlier the angel mentioned that the Lord was coming soon.

Here the Lord Himself, reemphasizes the quickness of His coming.

This important principle of doctrine cannot be emphasized enough. Even though about 1,981 years, 2011A. D. minus, 30 A. D., have passed since the Cross, the principle of His imminent return, still applies.

None of us have lived for all of that time, so our own personal life applies as well. Life is short, and you only have this life in order to establish your spiritual foundation. You may live a short life, or you might live to a ripe old age. You have no guarantee as to the number of years you have. So don't waste them. They could end tomorrow or a couple of decades from now.

In any case, your life will not be extended into forever, for the sake of the perpetuation of human continuation in this universe. Every person who lived several centuries ago, are all dead. They did not live to see the medical advances. They did not live to benefit from vitamins or antibiotics. They did not live to see the railroad, or cars, or airplanes, or mp3 players.

Technology cannot go to the cemeteries and resuscitate everyone who has died and cure them with our new medical discoveries. They are dead and gone. Gone is gone. And humanity cannot bring back humanity.

You have this life, and this life only, to establish your spiritual identity. And once you die, your spiritual status is set forever. So be concerned about what God has given you now, for your life, and do not worry about when He will return, or think that you have lots of time to procrastinate or be indifferent. Because you don't.

Mark 13:33
33 'Take heed, keep on the alert; for you do not know when the appointed time is. NASB

Christ is bringing 'rewards.' What is that?

Well, Jesus gave us lots of parables to describe the rewards awaiting us in heaven, when we stand before Him at the Judgment Seat o Christ. That is your official spiritual evaluation. Believers only, will stand before Him at the Judgment Seat of Christ. That is a good place to be, by the way.

2 Cor 5:10
10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may be recompensed for his deeds in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad. NASB

There, your life will be examined.
Sin will not be looked at. Sin was judged at the Cross.
Your good deeds will not be looked at. Human good was rejected at the Cross.

What will be looked at is your spiritual growth. Your spiritual growth comes from your daily study, your believing what you study, your understanding it, and probably most important, your application of those Biblical principles to your daily life.

Everyday of your life, you do things. Everything you think and do becomes a part of your life's production.

When you are in fellowship, your production is symbolized as gold, silver, and precious stones. When you are out of fellowship, then your production is symbolized as wood, hay, and stubble. Which of those sets of three items, do you suppose are more valuable?

The gold set, obviously.

So everything you do while in fellowship, becomes your spiritual production. Produce more gold, and you'll have more valuable production in your life. That should be obvious.

This production is inside your soul. It is not in your bank account, not in your world asset portfolio. A very poor man, in this world, can have greater spiritual production than a billionaire.

Both Matthew 13 and Matthew 25 give good examples of parables symbolizing the rewards, which God will give to believers in eternity.

Everyone who is saved will go to heaven. But not everyone who goes to heaven will receive the same rewards. Generally those rewards indicate capacities, honors, privileges and so forth.

And though we do not know the exact nature of the rewards, we can presume that if God says they are beyond our imagination, then they must be wonderful to the maximum.

You can also look at your current life for examples of reward. You have certainly seen people either in real life or perhaps even in movies, people who have been real honest to goodness heroes, and you have seen people who are the opposite. People who are just plain jerks. Which of these deserves more in terms of reward. Of course the nice hero does.

So it is in heaven. Only God evaluates not your good deeds, but your spiritual life. Good deeds when performed in the energy of the flesh, that is when you are out of fellowship, are worthless. Deeds, when done under the energy of the Spirit, that is when you are in fellowship, are valuable.

Do not think that all you have to do in life, is confess your sins and be in fellowship. Spiritual growth sustains your fellowship response. Lack of a daily study will cause you to drift away. Deeds alone do not make production, The resources of growth give you the spiritual resources to sustain your spiritual life.

Knowledge combined with correct understanding and application is a very powerful thing. Knowledge alone, is useless, and perhaps even dangerous.

The unbeliever lacks all of these, and the Lake of Fire is his reward. The believer, though saved and heaven bound, can still live the life of a jerk. His rewards will be small if anything at all.

There are two types of people. Those who are saved and those who are not.

Of the saved, there are three categories of people. Of these, there are those who basically ignore their spiritual lives all of their life. They have little if any spiritual production.

Then there are those who either study the Bible every now and then, go to church once a week or once a year, or ponder spiritual things usually on holidays or on special occasions. They have varying degrees of spiritual growth and production.

Then there are those who have an active and genuine interest in their spiritual lives. These are the people who reach spiritual maturity. They study most everyday, read their Bibles nearly everyday, if not everyday, contemplate the activities of the world from the viewpoint of the Bible, are open minded about the subjects of life. They confess their sins daily because they are still human you know. They listen and learn and grow, and continue to grow. They understand what is at stake in their lives. And, they can see the prize, which God has waiting for them, a prize that will be with them for all of eternity.

The mature believer does not have to be a successful person, nor a wealthy person, nor a talented person. They just need to learn Bible doctrine, and they do. They do what needs to be done in life. They go to school, work at a job, they try to make ends meet in their lives.

The mature believer has successes and failures in life. They face problems, fail and get right back up. They can shed tears of joy or of sorrow. They do and experience everything in life that everyone else experiences.

But the one thing that sets them apart from everyone else, is that they also set aside time everyday, for their Bible study. They embrace the Word of God, they support its teaching, they promote it when the opportunity arises.

They thank God for their blessings, and they know that God is their support when trouble raises its ugly head in their life.

Most people plan for the weekend, plan for graduation, plan for their marriage, plan for their successes in life, plan for their retirement, and mature believers do as well. But the mature believer has one more plan, which supersedes everything else. They plan for their eternity. That is the greatest plan of them all and the most important.

Gen. 17:1-2
1 Now when Abram was ninety-nine years old, the LORD appeared to Abram and said to him, 'I am God Almighty; Walk before Me, and be blameless.
2 'And I will establish My covenant between Me and you, And I will multiply you exceedingly.' NASB

Gods command to Abraham pretty much sums up what He expects of you. Being blameless means to be in fellowship. Walking before God means to study, and learn, and grow up and apply His principles to your daily life.

With that, a contract, an understanding between you and God is established, and from that you will prosper 'exceedingly.' What is exceedingly? Having more right now, than you could possibly use in an infinite number of lifetimes.

The mature believer receives the greater of all of the rewards. Spiritual maturity should be your ultimate goal.
Ponder the words and get your life together. If you succeed, then God gets the credit. If you fail, then only you are to blame.

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End Of Lesson

Study to show thyself approved (mature) unto God, a workman that needs not to be ashamed, rightly dividing (studying/discerning), the Word of truth.

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