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Dear COA Family,

A very interesting question came up during one of the cell group meetings in our church this week
during their Bible study on growing in fruitfulness.

One of the members asked: Is it possible to upscale or upgrade ourselves in heaven?

This is a very pertinent question as it presents the idea that we can change our circumstances in
heaven even if we may have not been faithful or have “messed up” on earth.

To answer this question, we must understand first of all that we will all be rewarded in heaven with
, which is eternal life.

Jesus declares, “Very truly I tell you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life
and will not be judged but has crossed over from death to life
” John 5:24.

Yet, at the same time, there are also varying degrees of reward in heaven apart from the baseline gift of
salvation. Take, for example, these other words of Christ and the Apostle Paul:
1. “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you
because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven” Matthew 5:11-12.
2. “Whoever welcomes a prophet as a prophet will receive a prophet’s reward, and whoever welcomes
a righteous person as a righteous person will receive a righteous person’s reward. And if anyone
gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones who is my disciple, truly I tell you, that
person will certainly not lose their reward” Matthew 10:41-42.
3. “But each one should build with care… If what has been built survives, the builder will receive a
reward. If it is burned up, the builder will suffer loss but yet will be saved—even though only as one
escaping through the flames” 1 Corinthians 3:10-15.

So, it is clear that there are different rewards for the degree of our faithfulness to Christ here on earth. It
is important to note that these are not our works to earn our salvation, but they are our actions of
response after being saved and changed to be like Christ. It is a heresy to claim that someone who
continues to live in sin and darkness will be saved just because he or she had believed some time ago.

But will we be able to earn such rewards in heaven? Here I am delving into the realm of speculation as no
one has been to heaven yet, but I can offer some thoughts based on the teaching of Scriptures.

Firstly, we will not have to fight to be faithful to Christ in heaven. There will be nothing that pollutes and
there will be no more suffering in heaven. God will wipe away all of our tears. In that sense, there is
nothing for us to work for as all of us will be perfectly enabled to obey God, unlike on earth.

Secondly, it will cause human beings to be complacent as we can leave our serving for God to heaven.
Here on earth, we will be free to pursue all of our interests, desires and aspirations without thought for
God’s kingdom. This is patently untrue.

Both these reasons reveal to us how important it is for us to live for God’s kingdom here and now. We
have only one chance to live for God and be fruitful for His kingdom to earn our future reward. As C. T
Studd writes,
“Only one life, ’twill soon be past,
Only what’s done for Christ will last.”

Let us give of ourselves fully for the work of the Lord in whatever capacity He calls us to be in.

God bless,
Revd Ian