My son is nearing the end of his first season of Little League. Unfortunately for him, his team doesn’t think you should keep score. This is highly irritating. After each game, both teams go to the Snack Shack to get treats. While standing in line the entire time the teams argue about what the score was and who won.
Everyone goes home upset and angry at the other team because the other team said they won. This is highly unjust.
Keeping score is a good thing. The reason I know it’s good is because increasingly, over-feminized wusses don’t want to keep score. Not keeping score is supposed to make things fair, but in the end ticks everyone off and leaves everyone feeling robbed.
God keeps score. God rewards people for their efforts. He pays people for their work.
No doubt, those three short sentences above have inflamed many a heart. “But, God is a God of grace! Everyone wins! There’s no difference! We’re all one in Christ! Grace means I can fail and still get an A!”
This is true in one sense–justification. In justification there is no reward or payment made. Salvation is not earned and God owes it to no one.
In everything else, God keeps score.
Reward is one of those biblical words many like to ignore in light of God’s grace. But the Bible, and Jesus in particular, talk about reward frequently. Reward is the Greek word misthos, which is defined as “dues paid for work, wages or reward.” It is always based on what a person does.
Matthew 5:12 those persecuted for righteousness sake will receive a wage for it
Luke 6:35 lend to others, particularly enemies, and you’ll get a wage from God
1 Corinthians 3:14 says that every deed done in service to the Church will receive a reward a misthos, a wage.
1 Corinthians 9:17-18 Paul talks about the reward, wages he’ll get from Christ for carrying out his apostleship
2 John 8 encourages us to keep going in the faith so we get our wages
Revelation 11:18 while God is bestowing punishment on the unrighteous He is paying the righteous
Revelation 22:12 says Christ is coming to reward/pay every man for his deeds.
Judgment Day is the ultimate score keeping. Judgment Day will declare definitively who won and who lost. There will be no arguing on the way to the Great Wedding Feast. Oh no! The Losers will know they lost and the winners will know they won.
Want to hear “well done good and faithful servant?” Better get busy now.