Equal salvation but unequal rewards in heaven
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What must we do to get the ticket to heaven?
John 3:16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
Ephesians 2:8-9 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God — not by works, so that no one can boast.
The ticket to heaven is a free-gift from God to whoever believe in Jesus and his finished work on the cross. It cannot be earn but can only be receive in humility. Since we cannot earn salvation, we cannot lose it.
What are rewards in heaven?
Matthew 10:42 And if anyone gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones who is my disciple, truly I tell you, that person will certainly not lose their reward.
Matthew 5:11-12 Blessed are you when men cast insults at you, and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely, on account of Me. Rejoice, and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”
Matthew 6:1 Beware of practicing your righteousness before men to be noticed by them; otherwise you have no reward with your Father who is in heaven.
1 Corinthians 3:11-15 For no man can lay a foundation other than the one which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if any man builds upon the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, each man’s work will become evident; for the day will show it, because it is to be revealed with fire; and the fire itself will test the quality of each man’s work. If any man’s work which he has built upon it remains, he shall receive a reward. If any man’s work is burned up, he shall suffer loss; but he himself shall be saved, yet so as through fire.
Rewards can only be earn. Every Christian will be judge and reward by Jesus based on their works. Every Christian will receive different level of rewards.
Ephesians 2:10 For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
Rewards can be lost. God has predestined all Christians for good works. The amount of rewards that we earned is based on how much we submit ourselves to God to do the good works that he has prepared in advance for our entire lifetime.
In heaven, there are good and bad Christians who are unequally rewarded.
In hell, no matter how good or great you are. You do not receive any reward. Only different severity of punishment.
I do not really like the teaching that says "we are saved by faith alone but the faith that saves is never alone". Faith alone means faith alone... no need to be so wishy-washy about it.