As Disciples of Yahushua Messiah, we all desire to enter Messiah’s Kingdom, and receive our reward. But are we aware that in order to receive a full reward, we must beware, and take heed to the many warnings in Scripture?
Notice this passage:
Look to yourselves, that we lose not those things which we have wrought [produced; performed; worked for], but that we receive a full reward. (2John 1:8)
Here we are told that we can lose part of our reward if we are not careful.
Some may ask, “But what is our reward, and how do we obtain it?” or “How can we insure that we receive the full reward?”
For the answers to these questions, let’s look in the Scriptures:
“After these things the word of the LORD [Messiah Himself] came unto Abram in a vision, saying, Fear not, Abram: I am thy shield, and thy exceeding great reward.” (Genesis 15:1)
Here we see Messiah telling Abraham, that He [Messiah Himself] is Abraham’s Exceeding Great Reward.
And since the ‘new’ Covenant Believers become partakers of the Everlasting Covenant promises made to Abraham (Galatians 3:14), we conclude that Abraham’s promised Great Reward is our promised Great Reward — which is none other than the Bride’s reward of the Bridegroom Himself!
But as mentioned in the above passage (2John 1:8), we are given many warnings throughout the ‘new’ Testament writings that we must heed, if we are to receive our full reward!
The Issues that Determine Our Reward
Without listing the many hazards we must avoid, we will look at the main issues that will determine the ‘fulness’ of our reward:
With the above list in mind, let us now look at the Scriptures that tell us plainly how we can receive the ‘full’ reward, even the ‘Great Reward’ of Messiah as our Bridegroom:
“The law [Torah] of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple. 8 The statutes of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart: the commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes. 9 The fear of the LORD is clean, enduring for ever: the judgments of the LORD [His ‘House Rules’] are true and righteous altogether. 10 More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold: sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb. 11 Moreover by them is thy servant warned: and in keeping of them there is great reward.” (Psalms 19:7-11)
“He hath remembered his covenant for ever, the word which he commanded to a thousand generations. 9 Which covenant he made with Abraham, and his oath unto Isaac; 10 And confirmed the same [oath/covenant] unto Jacob for a law, and [the same oath/covenant] to Israel for an everlasting covenant:” (Psalms 105:8-10)
In the first passage above (Psalms 19:7-11), we see an overview of the great reward, which is the same as the ‘Exceeding Great Reward’ of Messiah Himself, as Messiah promised to Abraham (Gen 15:1).
This passage also gives us the two conditions for obtaining the full reward: 1) having the fear of Yahuweh, and 2) the keeping of Messiah’s words — which include His Torah [instructions], His testimonies, and His statutes, commandments, and judgments.
The next passage above (Psalms 105:8-10), shows us that the same covenant made with Abraham, and the same oath made to Isaac, became Yahuweh’s Everlasting Covenant, commanded for a thousand generations, whose provisions, or Terms and Conditions, are seen throughout the ‘old’ Testament writings.
It is the ‘new’ testament writings that tell us that the ‘Everlasting’ Covenant seen throughout the ‘old’ testament, is the very same covenant as the ‘new’ Covenant that Messiah invites all to make with Him today, yet with the many ‘better’ things listed in the book of Hebrews (Hebrews 13:20; Mark 14:24; Luke 22:20).
The above passages and many other Scriptures tell us clearly that the Torah — the commandments, statutes, and judgments, the ‘old’ Testament writings — have become the Terms and Conditions or ‘fine print’ of the ‘new’ Covenant, whose Biblical name is the ‘Everlasting’ Covenant.
What does this tell us?
Our full reward is based on our obedience to the Everlasting Covenant — our obedience to Messiah’s words!
According to Messiah’s own words, if we attempt to keep ONLY the ‘new’ Testament commandments — and do not obey the ‘old’ Testament commandments — we are bearing witness of one of the following:
Some may ask, “If we are Born-Again, and are ‘in’ Messiah, why should we choose to obey Messiah’s commandments in Torah?”
Beloved, when we initially place our trust in Yahushua for forgiveness of our sins, we become ‘Born-Again’ or born from above, whereby He comes to live within us, by His Spirit. Like the Israelites at the moment they were set free from bondage in Egypt, we too have have begun our journey, but we too have not yet reached our goal.
Those whom He ‘brings out’ of bondage of sin, He invites to follow Him, in order to ‘bring them in’ with Him (Deut 6:23). He says, “Follow Me” (Mat 16:24; John 8:12; 10:27; 12:26).
And so if we truly love Him, we will choose to follow Him, by obeying His Commandments.
Choosing to Follow Messiah
If we would choose to follow Messiah, and to serve Him, we must fully ‘Believe’ in Him, by following in His footsteps — by walking as He walked. In order to ‘follow’ Messiah, we must not only ‘believe’ in His initial work of mercy and Redemption in our lives, but also we must abide in Him, by ‘believing’ [being a “DO-er” of] His words:
“If any man serve me, let him follow me; and where I am, there shall also my servant be: if any man serve me, him will my Father honour.” (John 12:26)
“If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide <3306> [remain; continue] in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love.” (John 15:10)
“He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked.” (1John 2:6)
“And he that keepeth his commandments dwelleth <3306> [remain; continue] in him, and he in him. And hereby we know that he abideth <3306> [remain; continue] in us, by the Spirit which he hath given us.” (1John 3:24)
“Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue <3306> [remain; continue] in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed;” (John 8:31)
“Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.” (Revelation 22:14)
According to the above Scripture passages, the only way we can abide [‘remain’] in Him is to keep [obey] His commandments — to walk as He walked, by keeping the commandments He gave to Moses. We must remember, that the ‘old’ Testament writings were all given by Messiah Himself, and are HIS commandments.
Then we see in the Revelation passage, it is those who ‘do’ His commandments that will ‘enter in’ through the gates, into the City of the King. This is how He will ‘bring us in’ — if we choose to follow Him, by walking as He walked.
Beloved, if we are to be fitted as ‘living stones’ into the true Temple, we must each have our foundation on the rock of ‘hearing and doing’ the Words of Messiah (Mat 7:24; Luke 6:47). When properly established, our personal foundation [Messiah living within us] will always! be in accordance with the words of the Apostles and Holy Prophets of Scripture (Ephesians 2:20).
Let us not forget, that it was the Holy Prophets throughout Scripture, who called, and continue to call, Yahuwah’s people to full repentance, even today — calling them to abide in Messiah, through obedience to His Commandments in Torah!
Messiah and the New Covenant Apostles [primarily Sha’ul/Paul, who himself was a prophet (Acts 13:1)] all gave us prophetic insight into the New Covenant, as spoken by the Holy Prophets of old!
Not Under Compulsion — but Voluntary
The Prophets in Scripture all refer us back to Torah — no longer under compulsion, but exhorting us to voluntarily choose — as a bond-slave set free to choose to follow our new Master, and to serve Him, by being obedient to His Words.
To ‘compel’ a freed slave to choose a new Master, would be a violation of Torah in itself; and so throughout the ‘new’ Testament writings, we see Paul and the other apostles following Torah themselves, while being careful not to command Torah obedience by those being set free from the bondage of sin, but only to exhort them to obedience.
Love, by its very nature, can not be commanded, but can only be chosen by one’s own desire. And so it is with us as followers of Yahushua. Loving Messiah by obedience to His Word, can not be commanded, but can only be chosen.
According to Messiah’s words, many will travel on the wide road. Few will choose to follow Messiah through obedience, and travel on the narrow road. Those who do, will be ‘in’ His Kingdom, and will also be called great in the kingdom (Matthew 5:19b).
Choosing Not to Follow Messiah
Among the Believers, there are many who will choose not to follow Messiah by obedience. These also will be ‘in’ His Kingdom, but will be least in the kingdom (Matthew 5:19a). These will likely hear one of the following:
Beloved, let us avoid being among them who will hear Messiah saying those words.
Let us choose to follow Messiah! Let us earnestly and prayerfully seek Messiah in the Scriptures, as we endeavour to ‘enter in’ through the gates, into the City of the King. Let us keep both the Commandments of Yahuweh, and have the Faith of Yahushua (Rev 22:14).
In this way we will both enter the Kingdom, and receive our full Reward!