I said the PRODIGAL (IN THE STORY) did not received to same reward IN THE END (OF THE STORY). At the end he received forgiveness and love, not another portion of the remainder of his father's estate. He had already received his part of the inheritance and wasted it. With God, a reward is repayment for doing good. Salvation is not based on merit. Consider the parable where the master gave different servants different amounts of money to keep [Mat 25]. They all invested and increased the money with which they were intrusted, except the one. He produced no increase. The master ordered that what he had be taken away and given to the one who had the most. Mat 25.29 says, "For to everyone who has will more be given, and he will have an abundance. But from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away." I do not believe the rewards are not the same for all. The salvation is. Jer 32.19 says, "Lord of hosts, great in counsel and mighty in deed, whose eyes are open to all the ways of the children of man, rewarding each one according to his ways and according to the fruit of his deeds." 1 Cor 3:15 says, "If anyone's work is burned up, he will suffer loss, though he himself will be saved, but only as through fire." 1 Tim 4:10 says, "For to this end we toil and strive, because we have our hope set on the living God, who is the Savior of ALL people, especially of those who believe." Those who believe will be especially rewarded!
" Luke 15:23 "And bring the fatted calf here and kill it, and let us eat and be merry."
The "fatted calf" represented the crème de la crème as far as rewards.
Luke 15:32 "For this SON OF MINE was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found."
The older brother became angry and refused to go in. So his father went out and pleaded with him. But he answered his father, 'Hey! All these years I've been slaving for you and never disobeyed your orders.
Yet you never gave me even a young goat, so I could celebrate with my friends. However, when this son of yours who has squandered your property with prostitutes comes home, you kill the fatted calf - the best of the best that you have - for him!'
'My son,' the father said, 'you are always with me, and everything I have is yours. But we had to celebrate and be glad, because this brother of yours was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.' "
This was a celebration, not a rewards banquet. The father was not rewarding his son for doing wrong, he was celebrating his son's return.
The scriptures I quoted above seem to me to be suggesting degrees of reward. I believe we all agree around here that salvation is for ALL - I would never debate that.
What you are referring to is our sanctification
. Salvation is ours because of what Christ DID
, not what we do. However, what our status and quality of THIS LIFE
will be like is dependent on us. We will reap what we sow (if we have not repented of any of it)
. That is what the "hay, wood, straw, stubble"
versus "gold and silver"
references are about. We are NOT
a single "substance."
We are an accumulation of all our thoughts, feelings and actions (deeds)
throughout our lives. Some is hay, wood, stubble (dross)
...... some is gold and silver (love)
. All that we have held in ourselves that is "love"
with us when we die and are resurrected in the spirit. Any of the "dross" - hay, wood, and stubble" that we repent of
will also remain because of our changed, transformed loving understanding about it.
Everything else will be "refined out."
This is the variable reaping
Christ referred to....... a "hundredfold, sixty fold and thirty fold."
The more "gold and silver" (love)
we have within us ...... the more we "save"
for the next life .... and the "less"
has to be refined out of us
. But when the refining is complete and the silver is so pure that the Silversmith can "see His Own reflection in the pure silver,"
God's fullness will be in ALL
- and all of mankind will be in the perfect "image of God"
- which was God's plan and purpose from the beginning
. No one is going to have a greater reward than someone else in THE END
. We reap what we sow here and now
, but in the end, we will be in the perfect image and likeness of God once everything is refined out of us
. Some will have more "dross"
to refine out of them than others, but we are saved "as by fire"
(1 Corinthians 3:15
) all the same.
In 1 Timothy 4:10, the "especially"
means that for the believers He is "especially"
their Savior because He affects their daily lives here and now
..... not just after death
. That is why they benefit most of all (especially - Greek = malista)
from His salvation.
What kind of rewards are you referring to in the Spirit
This is all spiritual
representation. The only reward
that exists in spiritual reality
is Christ IN YOU
. There are no other rewards
. And when God is ALL IN ALL
- how could someone have 'more'
The only difference in reward as far as the next life
is the TIMING