Eternal Judgment 4

The Aim of this devotional study of to reflect on the eternal rewards believers will receive because of service to God and his people.


1 Corinthians 3:5-15

5 Who then is Paul, and who is Apollos, but ministers through whom you believed, as the Lord gave to each one? 6  I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the increase.  7  So then neither he who plants is anything, nor he who waters, but God who gives the increase. 8  Now he who plants and he who waters are one, and each one will receive his own reward according to his own labor. 9  For we are God’s fellow workers; you are God’s field, you are God’s building.

10  According to the grace of God which was given to me, as a wise master builder I have laid the foundation, and another builds on it. But let each one take heed how he builds on it.  11  For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12  Now if anyone builds on this foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, 13  each one’s work will become clear; for the Day will declare it, because it will be revealed by fire; and the fire will test each one’s work, of what sort it is.

14  If anyone’s work which he has built on it endures, he will receive a reward.

15  If anyone’s work is burned, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire.


Note: The background to the portion of Scripture is that Paul is defending his apostleship, stating that both he and Apollos serves Christ and Christ will test and reward both their labors in Corinthian church.

  1. Write a short point-by-point description of the rewards one will receive according to this Text. (hint: focus on v8-9, 10, 13, 14-15).
  2. Will we all be measured and rewarded according to the same scale one day? Clarify. (v10)
  3. How can we be certain that this judgment is (or these rewards are) only for believers? (hint: v5-6, v12, and especially v15).
  4. What is “the Day” that Paul speaks of in verse 13?
  5. What could it mean that “[one’s] work is burned, he will suffer loss, but he will be saved – yet as through fire.”? (v15)


  1. Are you one who is motivated by positive or negative rewards? Do you work harder because you fear failure or punishment, or do you work harder when someone promises a pleasant reward for you?  Why?
  2. Consider Jesus’ encouragement to “store up treasures in heaven.” [Matthew 6:19-21] Would you agree that Jesus aimed to inspire his disciples to do righteous / benevolent deeds?  How does that make you feel?
  3. What can you do today that will ensure a reward for you in heaven?


Jesus said to “pray to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly.” [Matthew 6:6] So take time today and press for whatever pressing need there is in the world, country, city, community of your family that presses on your heart.  If you are clueless what to pray for ask God to show you what is on his heart, and perhaps even go to or pray through the newspaper.