The Believer’s Payday: Why standing before Christ should be our greatest moment
©2002 Paul N. Benware
209 pages, PB
Paul N. Benware has done newcomers to the study of judgment and rewards a service with the publication of this book. He conclusively shows that our thoughts, words, and actions will all make a difference in the judgment to come. Even our intentions will be scrutinized in that day.
Several important word studies help the reader to grasp the underlying basis for judgment. For instance, Benware takes us on a tour through the Bible on the use of inheritance to emphasize that it is not guaranteed to all believers. Through disobedience and lack of endurance on our part, we may be denied an eternal inheritance, though a believer will not lose his or her salvation.
We also learn that God’s rest is another term that refers to a reward to come – a reward, again, that is conditional. The ancient Hebrews were guaranteed an inheritance in Canaan’s land and entering into God’s rest, but on the condition of obedience. The epistle of Hebrews in chapters three and four expands on the subject – it warns us against committing the same unbelief and disoberience as the Jews, and meeting the same rejectance for a reward.
Weren’t our sins already covered by the cross of Christ? Benware exlpains the relationship of sin, grace and judgment. He reminds us that rewards are part of God’s grace. God does not owe sinners anything. In Luke 17:7-10, “Jesus taught that the purchased slave never places the master in his debt, no matter how much work he might do” (p. 95). God chooses to reward those who have made the extra effort to live well-pleasing to Him.
Most Christians believe in some form of “When I die I’ll die and go to heaven,” so the author spends time discussing the original purpose of God for the believer (it has always been God’s intention that qualified believers would be trained to rule), the Millennium Kingdom, and the eternal kingdom, as well as the duration of rewards.
His book is very easy to read and understand. At the end of each chapter is a mini-quiz so you can test your grasp of that chapter’s core concepts. In a brief chapter near the end, the author explains why salvation cannot be lost.
Benware uses many illustrations from real life to help us grasp key concepts. Simple charts make the point clear.
If you’ve ever wondered how you are supposed to prepare for a joyous meeting with the Lord at the judgment, this book is full of practical guidance to see you on the right path to an inheritance, a throne, and a “Well done” from the Master.