What Are the Criteria?

Q. The past week I have been bothered by two questions that are connected by, I fear, our works: “How are our heavenly treasures determined” and “How are our roles in heaven determined”?

A. The Bible doesn’t give any specific criteria for either of your questions but there are some general hints. For example, where treasures are concerned it appears that our generosity toward others will be rewarded both in this world and in the next, especially when it’s done anonymously. Helping those who can’t help themselves is a common thread in the Bible because it demonstrates our gratitude to the Lord for what He did for us.

As for other things we do, I’m convinced that only those tasks that are prompted by the Lord and and completed in His strength will qualify. I base this opinion on John 15:5 where Jesus said,

“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.”

That means we have to listen for direction from Him. And when we receive it, we have to rely on His strength in following through. We’ll know we’ve done this when, after the task is completed, we realize we could never have done it on our own.

On the subject of our roles in the next life, the Bible is completely silent. Members of a royal family on Earth often choose their own roles based on their particular interests, and where they feel they can make a difference. Perhaps it will be the same for us. After all, we’ll be the royal family in the Lord’s Kingdom.

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