Bible Answer

When will we receive our eternal rewards?

Do we receive our eternal rewards when we die, or do we need to wait until after Tribulation? 

(This article is part of our series on eternal rewards.)

All believers will receive their eternal rewards at the judgment seat of Christ, which occurs in conjunction with the resurrection of the church (sometimes called the Rapture). Paul describes this moment in 1 Thessalonians:

1 Thess. 4:13 But we do not want you to be uninformed, brethren, about those who are asleep, so that you will not grieve as do the rest who have no hope. 
1 Thess. 4:14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who have fallen asleep in Jesus. 
1 Thess. 4:15 For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep.
1 Thess. 4:16 For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. 
1 Thess. 4:17 Then we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we shall always be with the Lord. 
1 Thess. 4:18 Therefore comfort one another with these words.

Jesus confirms that believers will be "repaid" (i.e., assigned eternal rewards) at the resurrection of the saints:

Luke 14:14 and you will be blessed, since they do not have the means to repay you; for you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.”

And finally, we hear Christ promising to bring a reward when He comes for the Church in Revelation 22:

Rev. 22:12 Behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to render to every man according to what he has done”

Therefore, when the Lord comes to meet us in the air at the resurrection, He will bring His reward with Him, so to speak.

To get up to speed on this important area of Biblical truth, please read the following series of articles:

1. Are eternal rewards biblical?

2. What does God base our eternal rewards on?

3. How are eternal rewards conditional?

4. How will God judge our works?

5. When will we receive our eternal rewards?

6. What are the "crowns" given to believers as reward?

7. What will our rewards in the Kingdom be?