By Edd Sterchi
“Look to yourselves, that we do not lose those things we worked for, but that we may receive a full reward.” (2 John 8)
In 2 John 8, the “full reward” of salvation forevermore is referenced. It is a beautiful concept in that when we receive our heavenly reward, nothing will be held back! It will be full and perfect. But in this great text, it is very important for us to note four important points concerning this salvation:
“Look to yourselves...” – This is a great reminder that salvation is an individual matter. None of us will be saved based upon what another does or does not do (excepting Jesus Christ, of course). We must make sure that we have followed God’s will for our lives. “Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Do you not know yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you? – unless indeed you are disqualified.” (2 Cor. 13:5, see also Rom. 14:12).
“...that we do not lose those things...” – It is important to also remember that salvation can be forfeited. If we turn our backs on Christ after being converted to Him, then we will be just as lost as if we had never met Him. “You have become estranged from Christ, you who attempt to be justified by law; you have fallen from grace.” (Gal. 5:4, see also Heb. 2:1).
“...we worked for...” –Another thing about attaining salvation is that salvation takes activity on our part. Of course, we could never earn our salvation, but we still must meet the gospel conditions set forth. And that does take obedience on our part. “Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not a sin my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling;” (Phil. 2:12, see also Matt. 25:21).
“...but that we may receive a full reward.” – Finally, let’s note this: salvation must be accepted. God has offered salvation to all through the sacrifice of His Son. But we must still receive it and take it into our hearts and lives. “Receiving the end of your faith – the salvation of your souls.” (1 Pet. 1:9, see also Jas. 1:21).
Do you have assurance of the “full reward” offered by God? I can guarantee you, you will not want to miss out on any of it.
- Edd Sterchi preaches for the Broadway Church of Christ in Campbellsville, KY. He may be contacted through the congregation's website: http://www.broadwaychurchofchrist.net/