The Gift vs The Prize

We at 4HisGloryTX believe this to be one of the single most important lessons of Mike Balloun’s history in Bible teaching. Ruling with Christ in His Kingdom is a tremendous privilege. The rewards are not for merely believing, but are for what we do after believing. The gift of eternal life is freely given to those who believe in Jesus as Savior, while the prize of eternal glory is earned for those who make Him Lord.

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 “Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may obtain it.”   1 Corinthians 9:24

Eternal Life vs Eternal Glory

Mike explores some of the types and shadows of the Torah and illustrates how they point to the fact that we are to go on beyond redemption and on to sanctification, thus qualifying us to be a part of the FIRST RESURRECTION.

Christ’s purpose, in God’s atonement plan, was not only to grant eternal life to believers but He gave us the Holy Spirit which would empower us to attain unto son-ship and receive future eternal glory. When we are born again by faith in Yeshua, (receiving the GIFT of eternal life), we are justified. But we must strive to go further than just being merely born again. We must run the race and live holy sanctified lives in order to receive the high PRIZE of ruling and reigning with Him in His Kingdom. For 2 Tim 2:12 says, “If we endure, we shall also reign with Him…”

As disciples of Christ, Acts 14:22 says that we “must through many tribulations enter the kingdom of God”. To inherit the kingdom, it takes more than just being “In Love” with Christ, but we should show forth the ability in cooperation with the Holy Spirit “To Love” Christ by taking up our cross and dying to our flesh daily.

Ruling with Christ in His Kingdom is a tremendous privilege. The rewards are not for merely believing but are for what we do after believing. The parable of the servants in Luke 19 who used their Master’s talents wisely is a good example of being counted worthy of the rewards of the kingdom. It says that upon the Master’s return, he gave the reward of ruling over 5 or 10 cities based on the faithfulness of the good servants. Also see 2 Thess 1:5.

Mike explains how we should not be complacent with just being redeemed and he talks about this “Minor Grace”, and elaborates on the “Major Grace” (the major divine influence upon our hearts) which has to do with reconciliation unto God by the sanctifying of our souls. This is done by fighting against our sin nature. Yeshua bore our sin, but we must fight against our sin nature. As Paul says, we are now supposed to reach for that high prize which He will give to all those who overcome. It is only those who are counted worthy who will be a part of the First Resurrection. Most Christians believe that by simply believing, that when they die, they automatically receive crowns and qualify to rule and reign with Him. Mike dispels this belief with much scripture.

In this lesson, he also clarifies where all souls go upon death. He expounds on the Place of Torment and on Paradise (Abraham’s Bosom) which is in Hades [the Place of the Dead]. And he reveals much insight regarding the First Resurrection and the millennial Kingdom and who will take part in it. He further explains how those souls who are not counted worthy of the First Resurrection will remain in their location to await the Great White Throne Judgement, which is the Second Resurrection. This is when some will be raised unto life and receive their glorified bodies and others will be raised unto death. Dan 12:2 says, “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.” Matt 25 also speaks of this future judgement when the Books are opened…. “And these will go away into everlasting punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.” And John 5:28-29 says, “Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation.”

1 Cor 9:24-27 24 Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may obtain it. 25 And everyone who competes for the prize is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a perishable crown, but we for an imperishable crown. 26 Therefore I run thus: not with uncertainty. Thus I fight: not as one who beats the air. 27 But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified.

Rev 20:4-7
4 And I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment was committed to them. Then I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for their witness to Jesus and for the word of God, who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received his mark on their foreheads or on their hands. And they lived and reigned with Christ for a thousand years. 5 But the rest of the dead did not live again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection. 6 Blessed and holy is he who has part in the first resurrection. Over such the second death has no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with Him a thousand years.
See also John 5:45-47.

Living Faith