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HEAVENLY REWARDS FOR WINNING SOULS

by Dr. R. L. Hymers, Jr.

A sermon preached at the Baptist Tabernacle of Los Angeles
Lord’s Day Evening, August 28, 2011

“And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt. And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever” (Daniel 12:2-3).


Dr. Edward J. Young was a friend of my long-time Chinese pastor and teacher, Dr. Timothy Lin. Dr. Lin taught Old Testament languages and studies in the graduate department of Bob Jones University before he became my pastor. Dr. Young was an Old Testament scholar. He was Professor of Old Testament at Westminster Theological Seminary in Philadelphia from 1936 until his death in 1968. Commenting on Daniel 12:3,

“And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever” (Daniel 12:3),

Dr. Young said, “Those who...have dealt prudently and wisely in that they...have pointed many to the way of righteousness shall receive the glorious reward for their labors in that they shall shine eternally as the brightness of the firmament and as the stars...the heavenly and eternal reward” (Edward J. Young, Ph.D., A Commentary on Daniel, The Banner of Truth Trust, 1977 reprint, pp. 256-257).

This sermon is condensed and edited from a chapter in Dr. John R. Rice’s book, The Golden Path to Successful Personal Soul Winning (John R. Rice, D.D., Sword of the Lord Publishers, 1961, pp. 297-307).

It is great to be a soul winner in this life. But there is more! The soul winner has many blessings after death such as others cannot have.

“And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever” (Daniel 12:3).

I. First, the soul winner will have happy acceptance and praise from Christ.

The Apostle Paul had a goal and ambition that controlled his whole life. That is why he worked day and night, “in labours more abundant” than any other Apostle. Paul looked forward to the time when he would come face to face with Jesus Christ. He said, “Wherefore we labour, that, whether present or absent, we may be accepted of him. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ…” (II Corinthians 5:9-10). Oh, to be acceptable to Jesus – to have the Lord Jesus smile and be pleased and greet Paul gladly!

It was looking forward to that future approval of Christ that caused Paul to work day and night winning souls. Soul winning was the main thing Paul worked for throughout his ministry. He continuously worked to win souls! He taught others to win souls. He said, “I am made all things to all men, that I might by all means save some” (I Corinthians 9:22).

What a triumphant entry Paul had when he entered Heaven and heard Jesus say, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant...Enter thou into the joy of thy Lord” (Matthew 25:21). That joy will be every faithful soul winner’s joy when they enter Heaven. Paul said to those he had won at Thessalonica, “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? For ye are our glory and joy” (I Thessalonians 2:19-20).

In the Parable of the Great Supper, in Luke 14:16-24, it is significant that the only servant Christ pictured was a soul winner – the one who compelled lost sinners to come in to the great feast in Heaven. What joy Christ and His soul winners will have when they see those they have won on earth at the heavenly wedding feast! “Today We Reap.” Sing the chorus!

Today we reap or miss our golden harvest!
   Today is given us lost souls to win.
Oh then to save some dear ones from the burning.
   Today we’ll go to bring some sinner in.
(“So Little Time” by Dr. John R. Rice, 1895-1980).

“And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever” (Daniel 12:3).

II. Second, the soul winner will receive the greatest rewards at the Bema Judgment.

I Corinthians 3:10-15 speaks of the judgment of Christians in Heaven, after the rapture, at the Bema Judgment, at the judgment seat of Christ. This is not the Last Judgment of the Unsaved Dead. No, this is the judgment of real Christians.

“Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; Every man's work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man's work of what sort it is. If any man's work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. If any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire” (I Corinthians 3:12-15).

Each Christian’s work will be tried. That which is permanent – gold, silver, and precious stones – will receive a reward. That which is temporary – wood, hay, and stubble – will be burned and destroyed. This does not refer to salvation. It refers to the rewards that some saved people will get, and that other people will not get.

Some people built a beautiful and expensive church building. But it will have no eternal value if it is not used to win more souls. Unless it increases the number of souls won, the money, the time, and the energy spent on it will have no value at the judgment seat of Christ. Burn it up! Burn it up! Burn it up!

Others built a school. They were for education, culture, the arts, and science. But unless the school trains people to win souls, it will have no value at the judgment seat of Christ. Burn it up! Burn it up! Burn it up!

All the organization, all the administration work of a pastor, and Sunday School workers and secretaries, has no value unless it gets lost souls saved. Otherwise it is wood, hay, and stubble. Burn it up! Burn it up! Burn it up!

A Sunday School, a church, the singing of a song, the work of a denomination, even teaching the Bible to Christians – all of it is temporary, fruitless and unrewarded at the judgment seat of Christ unless it results in lost souls being saved. Burn it up! Burn it up! Burn it up!

I Corinthians 3:15 says, “If any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.” If you let loved ones go to Hell without strongly urging them to come to the Saviour, they will still be in Hell. All your weeping will not change that. Christ may have forgiven you, but that does not change the fact that the loved ones are in Hell and not in Heaven. So a Christian’s happiness and rewards at the judgment seat of Christ will depend mainly on soul winning. The one and only reason Jesus died on the Cross was to save souls. Those Christians who help Jesus do that one main thing will be rewarded more than those who do not win souls. Listen to “The Price of Revival” by Dr. Rice.

The treasures of earth, oh, how vain and how fleeting,
   They vanish like mist and they wither like leaves;
But souls who are won by our tears and our pleading
   Will remain for our reaping up there.
Reaping, heavenly reaping!
   For souls won down here.

To come to that reaping with wood, hay, and stubble,
   How sad to appear at the Lord’s judgment seat,
With no one we’ve won to trust Jesus our Saviour
   To present at the reaping up there.
Reaping, heavenly reaping!
   For souls won down here.
(“The Price of Revival” by Dr. John R. Rice, 1895-1980).

III. Third, the soul winner will shine as the stars forever.

“And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt. And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever” (Daniel 12:2-3).

In Heaven there will be a great shifting of human values. Many of the first shall be last, and the last first in that day. The person who is willing to do the main thing, soul winning, now for Jesus will find that he is famous in Heaven. Many an unknown man or woman will in that day “shine as the brightness of the firmament.” Soul winners who turn many to righteousness shall shine “as the stars for ever and ever,” according to God’s holy Word!

We had better change our thinking about what really matters in eternity. We had better set our hearts on things that do not pass away, and are so vitally important in eternity.

I would rather be a simple soul winner and shine as the stars forever and ever in eternity, than to be the richest man, or the most honored person in this world today! The great men in eternity will not be the Kennedys, the Bushes, the Clintons or the Obamas. The great men in eternity will be the Whitefields, the Wesleys, the Spurgeons, the Lloyd-Joneses, the John R. Rices, and the wholly surrendered soul winners!

How foolish it is to waste our time and energy on things that are soon gone, with no permanent reward. The person who seeks to empty Hell of its potential inhabitants is the one who will be great in the world to come!

The soul winner, who spends his time and energy and money and prayers to keep sinners out of Hell, is wise! And how blessed his reward! He will shine as the brightness of the firmament. “They that turn many to righteousness [shall shine] as the stars for ever and ever” (Daniel 12:3). There can be no doubt that in this verse God makes a promise to soul winners which is not made to other Christians who do not win souls. “They that turn many to righteousness [shall shine] as the stars for ever and ever.”

Oh, how blessed are the soul winners, and how eternal are their rewards! How foolish that any of us should miss those blessings which God specially gives His soul winners. “Today We Reap.” Sing it!

Today we reap or miss our golden harvest!
   Today is given us lost souls to win.
Oh then to save some dear ones from the burning.
   Today we’ll go to bring some sinner in.

If you are not yet converted, you came here tonight because a soul winner brought you to hear the Gospel. They worked, prayed, and compelled you to come. So I must not close this sermon without telling you that Jesus was nailed to the Cross to pay the full penalty for your sin. And I must tell you that Jesus rose from the dead and ascended back to Heaven, where He is now seated at the right hand of God the Father. And I must tell you that Jesus loves you. No matter how many sins you have committed, Jesus will pardon you because He loves you. Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, according to the Bible. Jesus will save you when you come to Him. And I must tell you to turn away from your sins and come directly to Jesus. When you come to Jesus, and submit to Him, in that moment, you will be saved by Him for all time, and for all eternity. Amen. Please stand and sing the last song on your song sheet, by Dr. John R. Rice.

The price of revival, the cost of soul winning,
   The long hours of praying, the burden, the tears;
The pleading with sinners though lonely, a stranger,
   Is repaid at the reaping up there.
Reaping, heavenly reaping!
   For souls won down here.

The treasures of earth, oh, how vain and how fleeting,
   They vanish like mist and they wither like leaves;
But souls who are won by our tears and our pleading
   Will remain for our reaping up there.
Reaping, heavenly reaping!
   For souls won down here.

To come to that reaping with wood, hay, and stubble,
   How sad to appear at the Lord’s judgment seat,
With no one we’ve won to trust Jesus our Saviour
   To present at the reaping up there.
Reaping, heavenly reaping!
   For souls won down here.

The wise, they shall shine like the firmament glory
   When payday shall come for the winner of souls!
Then they who’ve saved many by salvation’s story
   Like the stars, blest for ever, shall shine.
Reaping, heavenly reaping!
   For souls won down here.
(“The Price of Revival” by Dr. John R. Rice, 1895-1980).

(END OF SERMON)
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at www.realconversion.com. Click on “Sermon Manuscripts.”

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or you may write to him at P.O. Box 15308, Los Angeles, CA 90015.
Or phone him at (818)352-0452.

Scripture Read Before the Sermon by Dr. Kreighton L. Chan: Daniel 12:1-3.
Solo Sung Before the Sermon by Mr. Benjamin Kincaid Griffith:
“Remembering in Heaven” (by Dr. John R. Rice, 1895-1980).


THE OUTLINE OF

HEAVENLY REWARDS FOR WINNING SOULS

by Dr. R. L. Hymers, Jr.

“And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt. And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever” (Daniel 12:2-3).

I.   First, the soul winner will have happy acceptance and praise from
Christ, II Corinthians 5:9-10; I Corinthians 9:22; Matthew 25:21;
I Thessalonians 2:19-20.

II.  Second, the soul winner will receive the greatest rewards at the
Bema Judgment, I Corinthians 3:12-15.

III. Third, the soul winner will shine as the stars forever, Daniel 12:2-3.