2 John 1:8


Since 1968, more than 150 Olympic medals have been stripped away from athletes or teams who broke the rules and were considered undeserving of their rewards. In a similar way, unfaithful believers will lose rewards at the Judgment Seat of Christ. First, believers who choose to adopt sinful lifestyles will disqualify themselves from eternal rewards they could have earned. Second, believers can also be spiritually lazy, where they are so involved in this world and its priorities that they have little time for God and the things that matter to Him. This laziness and preoccupation with the world will lead to losses of rewards. Third, believers may lose rewards because they do not care about God’s kingdom agenda or refuse to use their time, talents and treasures to glorify God.

These losses of rewards for believers will involve a stinging rebuke from Christ, disinheritance, and exclusion from greater participation in the kingdom. Being disinherited means having things that were intended for us in God’s will taken away and given to others, just like a parent might do with a rebellious or irresponsible child. Exclusion from greater participation in the kingdom does not mean a loss of salvation, which cannot happen, but a loss of access to higher-level rewards that other Christians may have access to.

The good news is that these losses can be corrected. We can choose to repent of our sins and turn back to God. We can decide to pursue God wholeheartedly and to please Him in our attitudes, actions, character and conduct. By investing our time, talents and treasures in kingdom-minded things, we can begin to serve God faithfully. We can become faithful stewards of the gifts God has given us. These choices will make up for what we have not done for the kingdom and build up rewards for us in eternity.

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Getting Started

  1. What are other kinds of rewards or titles that people can lose or have taken away?
  2. How does it feel to be excluded from participating in something? What are the effects?

Let’s Get Personal

  1. What sinful lifestyle have you adopted, if any? In what ways do you need to repent?
  2. How have you been spiritually lazy and preoccupied with worldly priorities rather than kingdom-minded priorities?
  3. In what ways have you not been using your time, talents or treasures to serve God faithfully?

Take the Next Step

  1. How can you begin to strengthen your character and change your conduct to please God on a daily basis?
  2. Where should you start to invest your resources and spiritual gifts so that you are benefiting the kingdom of God?
  3. Want to go deeper? Take time to look at the following passages: 2 Corinthians 5:9-11; 1 Corinthians 3:10-15; Romans 14:10-12; 1 Peter 1:17; Matthew 12:36-37; Matthew 10:42;  Ecclesiastes 12:13-14; Mark 10:28-31; Romans 2:12; 1 Corinthians 4:2; Colossians 3:23-24; 2 Timothy 2:12; Matthew 16:27; Ephesians 2:8-10; Revelation 21:4; Ephesians 6:8; 1 Corinthians 10:31; Luke 19:17; 1 John 2:28; 1 Corinthians 15:58; Matthew 19:29; John 12:26; 2 Timothy 4:8; Revelation 22:16; Hebrews 1:14; Hebrews 10:35-36; Hebrews 9:15; Romans 8:17; Matthew 25:14-30; Hebrews 10:29-31; 1 Corinthians 6:9-10; Galatians 5:19-21; Ephesians 5:5; Matthew 8:12; Matthew 13:38; Matthew 22:11-14.

Renew Your Mind

Watch yourselves, that you do not lose what we have accomplished, but that you may receive a full reward.”

2 John 1:8