How Are Heavenly Rewards Earned?

REWARD: (Webster’s Dictionary) “To give in return, whether good or evil; commonly in a good sense; to requite; to recompense; to repay; to compensate.”

The Bible speaks of many rewards that shall be given to those who are deserving–on earth, and in heaven. 1 Corinthians 9:24 Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompence of reward. ¹


Rewards are given to the righteous–as well as the wicked.

Acts 1: 18 Now this man purchased a field with the reward of iniquity; and falling headlong, he burst asunder in the midst, and all his bowels gushed out. (a reference to Judas)

Romans 6: 23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Numbers 35: 31 Moreover ye shall take no satisfaction for the life of a murderer, which is guilty of death: but he shall be surely put to death.

Deuteronomy 27:25 Cursed be he that taketh reward to slay an innocent person. And all the people shall say, Amen.

Deuteronomy 32:41 If I whet my glittering sword, and mine hand take hold on judgment; I will render vengeance to mine enemies, and will reward them that hate me.

Psalm 54:5  He shall reward evil unto mine enemies: cut them off in thy truth.

Isaiah 3:11 Woe unto the wicked! it shall be ill with him: for the reward of his hands shall be given him


Psalm 91: 16  With long life will I satisfy him, and shew him my salvation;

Proverbs 11: 31 Behold, the righteous shall be recompensed in the earth: much more the wicked and the sinner

Ecclesiastes 5:19 Every man also to whom God hath given riches and wealth, and hath given him power to eat thereof, and to take his portion, and to rejoice in his labour; this is the gift of God.

Matthew 10:41-42  He that receiveth a prophet in the name of a prophet shall receive a prophet’s reward; and he that receiveth a righteous man in the name of a righteous man shall receive a righteous man’s reward. 42And whosoever shall give to drink unto one of these little ones a cup of cold water only in the name of a disciple, verily I say unto you, he shall in no wise lose his reward.


“Death holds the keys of the treasure-house in which the richest rewards are stored.”–Alexander McClaren

  • 2 Chronicles 15:7  Be ye strong therefore, and let not your hands be weak: for your work shall be rewarded;
  • Matthew 16: 27  For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works.
  • Luke 6: 23  Rejoice ye in that day, and leap for joy: for, behold, your reward is great in heaven: for in the like manner did their fathers unto the prophets.


1) THE CROWN OF RIGHTEOUSNESS  (This crown is for all believers)

2 Timothy 4: 8  Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.

“The crown of believers is a crown of righteousness, purchased by the righteousness of Christ. Believers have it not at present, yet it is sure, for it is laid up for them.”–Matthew Henry

  • 2) THE CROWN OF LIFE  (This crown is for martyr’s and those believers who overcame life’s many trials, and to them that love the Lord)

James 1: 12  Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him.

“The tried Christian shall be a crowned one. The crown of life is promised to all who have the love of God reigning in their hearts. Every soul that truly loves God, shall have its trials in this world fully recompensed in that world above, where love is made perfect.”–Matthew Henry

  • 3) THE CROWN OF GLORY (For Pastors, Elders, Teachers and Leaders of the Church)

1 Peter 5: 4  And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away.

  • 4) THE CROWN OF REJOICING  (This crown is for soul-winners of the Church)

1 Thessalonians 2: 19 For what is our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing? Are not even ye in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at his coming?

  • 5) THE INCORRUPTIBLE CROWN  (This is the victor’s crown) For focused, self-disciplined believers. (Those that practice self-denial)  ¹  ²

What are ‘corruptible’ crowns?

1 Corinthians 9: 25 And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible;

How Many Crowns Are We Working For? Is it possible to diminish a Reward, or lose a Crown?

2 John 1:8  Look to yourselves, that we lose not those things which we have wrought, but that we receive a full reward.

Revelation 3:11  Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown.

Our goal should be to have the following scripture apply to our lives; ‘I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith’: 2 Timothy 4: 7

AN IMPORTANT REMINDER: The ‘works’ of Christians are indeed important, and as believers, we can achieve rewards for those efforts– but we cannot obtain righteousness as a result of our works.

Titus 3:5  5a Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us,

2 Timothy 1:9  Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began,

Romans 10: 3  For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God.

Matthew 5:6  Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled


Ephesians 2:8-10   8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9 Not of works, lest any man should boast. 10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

Lamb & Lion Ministries; “Christ in Prophecy” presents Pastor Robert Jeffress‘ commentary on the subject of Heavenly Rewards. More information regarding Heavenly Rewards.