NT speaks in many respects of heaven, but those which I have gone through, do not just exactly say that the resurrected would be there. What does it mean when the Bible says “Your reward is great in Heaven”? Are they going to ascend to heaven to collect it – or does Jesus bring it with Him when he comes to earth for the second time? Remember, Jesus promised to come with the wages when He comes back (Rev 11:18).
Mat 5:11 Blessed are you when they shall reproach you, and persecute you, and shall say every evil word against you, lying, on account of me.
5:12 Rejoice and be extremely glad, because your reward in heaven is great! For that’s how they persecuted the prophets who came before you.
1 Pet 1:3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! Because of his great mercy, he has given us a new birth to an ever-living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead 4 and to an inheritance kept in heaven for you that can’t be destroyed, corrupted, or changed. – The wage is therefore great in the heavens, but it is stored there, and Christ brings it, when it is time to pay!
In 2 Cor 5 chapter is spoken of ‘dwelling from heaven’ and about the longing for getting in the ‘building from God’. ”We” means the participants of the first resurrection. 2 Cor 5:1-2 We know that if the earthly tent we live in is torn down, we have a building in heaven that comes from God, an eternal house not built by human hands. For indeed in this house we groan, since we long to put on our heavenly dwelling.
If our earthly tent is torn down, that is, we die, we have a building from God, eternal in the heavens. In this earthly dwelling, we are longing to be clothed with our dwelling from heaven. This means having eternal life, not to living in heaven. The Bible speaks of clothing, such as “be clothed with humility” (1 Pet 5:5). 2 Cor 5:4 So while we are still in this tent, we sigh under our burdens, because we do not want to put it off but to put it on, so that our dying bodies may be swallowed up by life.
Jesus Brings the Reward with Him
The nations were angry, but your wrath has come. It is time for the dead to be judged—to reward your servants, the prophets, the saints, and all who fear your name, both unimportant and important, and to destroy those who destroy the earth. (Rev 11:18)
Rev 11:15 When the seventh angel blew his trumpet, there were loud voices in heaven, saying: “The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ, and he will rule forever and ever”.
16 And the twenty four elders sitting before God on their thrones fell on their faces and worshiped God,
17 They said, We give thanks to you, Lord God Almighty, who is and who was, because you have taken your great power and have begun to rule.
18 The nations were angry, but your wrath has come. It is time for the dead to be judged—to reward your servants, the prophets, the saints, and all who fear your name, both unimportant and important, and to destroy those who destroy the earth.
Rev 20:1 Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven, holding the key to the bottomless pit and a large chain in his hand.
2 He captured the dragon, that ancient serpent, who is the devil and Satan, and tied him up for a thousand years.
3 He threw him into the bottomless pit, locked it, and sealed it over him to keep him from deceiving the nations anymore until the thousand years were over. After that he must be set free for a little while.
4 Then I saw thrones, and those who sat on them were given authority to judge. I also saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of their testimony about Jesus and because of the word of God. They had not worshiped the beast or its image and had not received its mark on their foreheads or hands. They came back to life and ruled with Christ for a thousand years.
5 The rest of the dead did not come back to life until the thousand years were over. This is the first resurrection.
6 How blessed and holy are those who participate in the first resurrection! The second death has no power over them. They will be priests of God and Christ and will rule with him for a thousand years.
For all those who experience the first resurrection, Christ brings the reward with Him. It is confirmed in Rev. 22:12 See! I am coming soon! My reward is with me to repay everyone according to his work.
Rom 2:6-8 For he will repay everyone according to what that person has done: eternal life to those who strive for glory, honor, and immortality by patiently doing good; but wrath and fury for those who in their selfish pride refuse to believe the truth and practice wickedness instead.
Mat 5:11-12 How blessed are you whenever people insult you, persecute you, and say all sorts of evil things against you falsely because of me 12 Rejoice and leap for joy, for your reward is great in Heaven; for in this way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
1 Pet 1:3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! Because of his great mercy he has given us a new birth to an ever-living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead
Rev 22:12 See! I am coming soon! My reward is with me to repay everyone according to his work.
The Apostles’ and other Christians’ rewards are still to be kept in heaven. Christ speaks of bringing this pay to each one when he comes for the second time to establish the kingdom of God on earth. Resurrection believers will be “kings and priests” and rule with Jesus for a thousand years.
Luke has recorded Jesus’ parable of his own self. When a ‘nobleman’ (Jesus) returns, all the servants are called to him to make an account of their actions. Well-performed receive a good wage and unsuccessful workers get no wage all. The enemies of Jesus are destroyed.
When a ‘nobleman’ (Jesus) returns
Luk 19:12 So he said, “A prince [Christ] went to a distant country to be appointed king and then to return.
13 He called ten of his servants and gave them ten coins. [Gk. minas. A mina was equivalent to about eight months of wages for a laborer.] He said to them, ‘Invest this money until I come back.
14 But his citizens hated him and sent a delegation after him, saying, We do not desire this one to reign over us.
15 After he was appointed king, he came back. He ordered the servants to whom he had given the money to be called so that he could find out what they had made by investing.
16 And the first came, saying, Lord, your mina has gained ten minas.
17 The king said to him, ‘Well done, good servant! Because you have been trustworthy in a very small thing, take charge of ten cities.
18 The second servant came and said, ‘Your coin, sir, has earned five coins.
19 And he said to this one also, And you be over five cities.
20 And another came, saying, Lord, behold your mina which I had kept in a handkerchief.
21 because I was afraid of you. You are a hard man. You withdraw what you didn’t deposit and harvest what you didn’t plant.
22 The king said to him, ‘I will judge you by your own words, you evil servant! You knew, did you, that I was a hard man, and that I withdraw what I didn’t deposit and harvest what I didn’t plant?
23 Then why did you not put my money in the bank, and having come, I would have collected it with interest?’
24 Then he said to the bystanders, take the mina from him, and give it to him who has ten minas.
25 And they said to him, Lord, he has already ten minas.
26 I tell you, to everyone who has something, more will be given, but from the person who has nothing, even what he has will be taken away.
27 But as for these enemies of mine who didn’t want me to be their king—bring them here and slaughter them in my presence!
In addition to the apostles, other participants of the resurrection rule over who “five cities” who “ten cities”. This is confirmed in Jesus’ parable of the servants above. Then what happens to a servant who does nothing? There are billions of such people in the real world. The answer may be surprising. V. 26 explains:
to everyone who has something, more will be given, but from the person who has nothing, even what he has will be taken away. The hardest fate, however, is for those who are completely hostile and do not want him to rule over them at all. Jesus describes their destiny: “slay them in my presence” (v.27). What is the teaching of this parable? Who are these servants or, in fact, ‘slaves’? They are the servants of the Church. In any case, people whose job is to proclaim the Word of God and to spread the gospel of Christ to the world. In addition to government duties, you can be honored as a prize.
Dan 12:3 promises: Those who have insight [or the instructors, are wise] will shine brightly like the brightness of the expanse of heaven, and those who lead the many to righteousness, like the stars forever and ever.
Dan 7:22 until the Ancient of Days came. And judgment was given to the saints of the Most High, and the time came that the saints possessed the kingdom. 7:27 And the kingdom and rulership, and the greatness of the kingdom under all the heavens shall be given to the people of the saints of the Most High, whose kingdom is an everlasting kingdom. And all kingdoms shall serve and obey him
Rev 2:26 To the person who overcomes and continues to do my works to the end I will give authority over the nations. 27 He will rule them with an iron scepter, as when clay pots are shattered. – Governing of the heathen shows that in the thousand-year reign there are pagans, i.e. people who have not heard and have not even been able to believe the gospel. However, they have survived the great destruction of the Lord’s day.