(Paradise Regained, William Blake)
Devotional using scripture, quote from John Calvin and thoughts for the day each day- on the 500th anniversary of Calvin's birth. Calvin's eschatology.
12/15- The Rewards we Receive in Heaven
28 Jesus said to them, "Truly I tell you, at the renewal of all things, when the Son of Man sits on his glorious throne, you who have followed me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.
Calvin Abridged (From III.25.10) God contains the fullness of all good things in himself like an inexhaustible fountain. Nothing beyond Him is to be sought by those who strive after the highest good or any part of happiness. Thus God tells Abraham, “I am your very great reward (Gen. 15:1). David says similarly, “The Lord is my portion, a godly lot has fallen to me” (Ps. 16:5,6). Peter declares we are to be partakers of the divine nature (2 Pt. 1:4). This happens because “He will be glorified in all his saints” (2 Th. 1:10). The Lord shares his glory, power, and righteousness with the elect. He gives Himself to be enjoyed by them, and makes them one with Himself.
God gives different gifts to his saints, unequally, as God does in this life. Christ told the apostles they would sit judging the twelve tribes (Mt. 19:28). Paul knew that he too had a crown (2 Tim. 4:8). Jesus promised them a hundredfold and eternal life (Mt. 19:29). Christ gives different gifts here, but perfects this variety in heaven.
Few out of a large multitude care how they are to go to heaven, but all long to know beforehand what takes place there. Almost all are lazy and don’t want to struggle against evil, while already picturing themselves with imaginary victories.
Thought: It is not wrong to think of God’s rewards for us. God gives all the right to heaven who are elect. It is like the ticket in is the same price, but there are different levels of seats inside. There are consequences for our actions, as well as rewards for our actions. The Christian idea is unlike the Muslim idea of reward. It is not like all the things you refrained from (sexual immorality especially) you will receive in heaven. Rather it is a recognition of the completion and perfection of what we have done on earth. It is an acknowledgement that God's way and rules were righteous and true and best for us. Calvin doesn't go into particulars about heaven, but speaks only where scripture speaks.
Prayer: You are our very great reward, Lord. Help us to focus on pleasing you, the giver of everlasting rewards.