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    TIME OF REWARD

    The words of Christ recorded in Luke are very significant in their bearing on the time of reward. He had been bidden to a feast: “Then said he also to him that bade him, When thou makest a dinner or a supper, call not thy friends, nor thy brethren, neither thy kinsmen, nor thy rich neighbors; lest they also bid thee again, and a recompense be made thee. But when thou makest a feast, call the poor, the maimed, the lame, the blind; and thou shalt be blessed; for they cannot recompense thee; for thou shalt be recompensed at the resurrection of the just.” Luke 14:12-14. The above is decidedly plain in its statement, without comment. It shows clearly that the resurrection is the time of reward.HPGO 29.1

    Another testimony of Christ on the time of reward is found in his reply to Peter’s inquiry as to what the disciples were to have. “Then answered Peter and said unto him, Behold, we have forsaken all, and followed thee; what shall we have therefore? And Jesus said unto them, Verily, I say unto you, That ye which have followed me, in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit upon the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.” Matthew 19:27, 28. There can be no dispute but here was a plain question as to what should be their reward. If it was the design of God that they should receive a recompense at death, here was certainly a favorable opportunity to tell them so, for their minds were stirred up to the question. Does the Saviour’s answer intimate anything contrary to what we have already presented? Nay, verily; but when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory, they shall receive their reward.HPGO 29.2

    But we learn more of this in Matthew’s record of Christ’s words. “When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory; and before him shall be gathered all nations; and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats. And he shall set the sheep on the right hand, but the goats on the left. Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.” Matthew 25:31-34. We suppose this will be at his literal second coming, for that is the time when he comes with all the holy angels with him. See Matthew 24:31.HPGO 30.1

    But we will note Paul’s testimony to the Romans: “For the earnest expectation [hope] of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God. For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope; because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption, into the glorious liberty of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now; and not only they [or that], but ourselves also, which have the first-fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting [to go to Heaven at death? no; but] for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body.” Romans 8:19-23. The creature spoken of in these verses we understand to be the saints of God. It cannot be the wicked, they have no earnest expectation of what is here presented. Neither can the creature be the beasts, as John Wesley thought, for then it would prove that every beast of the whole animal creation that ever existed would be delivered into the kingdom of God. The saints of God are “waiting for the manifestation [revelation] of the sons of God,” that is, for it to be made known who are the sons of God. As stated in verse 23, they are waiting for “the redemption of our body.” That is, for the change of the body from mortal to immortal, at the coming of Christ, which, with the people of God, will end creation’s groan.HPGO 30.2

    He continues, “For we are saved by hope. But hope that is seen is not hope; for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for? But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it.” Verses 24, 25. By the above testimony, Paul plainly represents that the saint of God is waiting and hoping for his salvation, and redemption of the body, by or through the resurrection.HPGO 31.1

    Compare the above with Paul’s testimony to the Philippians: “For our conversation is in Heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ; who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body.” Perhaps you are ready to exclaim that Christ comes at death. Where, in all the Bible, is there any authority for claiming that Christ comes at death? Sometimes, on funeral occasions, Matthew 24:44, is quoted, and applied to death: “Be ye also ready; for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh.” Thus the Son of man is made to mean death, while the book of God represents death as “the king of terrors.” See Job 18:14.HPGO 31.2

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