How do our works affect our standing in Heaven?

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Question

How do our works affect our standing in Heaven?

Answer

I think at the heart of this question is the wrong attitude. The reason why a Christian performs the works that they do is not so that they might receive a better spot in Heaven, but out of thankfulness for our salvation alone. Furthermore, how dare we ask for more when all that we have done is what we ought to have done. That is why Jesus tells us in Luke 17:7-10 about our works and says that in the last times we should come before God and say “Lord ‘we are unprofitable servants, we have done what is our duty to do.’” Also, continuing in that line of thought, Jesus also talks about those who are first and those who are last when His disciples came up with this similar attitude (Matthew 20:20-28). In that passage Jesus tells us that we should rather be humble if we want to be great and not to do our works with the expectation of a better reward in Heaven. Also He tells us the same for us in regard to doing the works for a reward on earth (Matthew 23:1-12). We do not do the works so that we can demand or have something owed to us by God or by humans, but because of thankfulness to God.

 

The Bible does talk about “looking to the reward” (Hebrew 11:24-26), but the reward is not a better spot in Heaven that we can demand, but rather the reward of heaven alone versus the reward of earthly gain.