The PURPOSE of our time on earth is not simply to “enjoy the good life”, but to prepare for ETERNITY.
Churches in the West typically draw people to their services by teaching them how to succeed and to enjoy their lives on earth. It is certainly a good marketing tool in Western countries where life offers opportunities for anyone who works hard to get ahead in order to enjoy “the good life”. Such a powerful marketing tool enables churches to grow—a very important goal of some pastors and churches.
But according to Scripture, that is not the primary purpose of life on earth.
Colossians 3:1 If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. 2 Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. 3 For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. 4 When Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory.
Whatever we have been called to do—whether as a “layperson” or as a full-time servant of God, whatever we do here should be seen as a preparation for heaven. As followers of the Messiah, our life should not be viewed simply as an opportunity to enjoy life as the world does and to be the best person (“The Best You”) we can be. Rather we should see whatever the Lord calls us to do in this life as preparation for heaven.
The extent of our eternal reward in heaven depends on the extent of our fruitful obedience to what the Lord has called us to do in this life.
Revelation 22:12 “Look, I am coming soon! My reward is with me, and I will give to each person according to what they have done.”
Revelation 22:5 There will be no more night. They will not need the light of a lamp or the light of the sun, for the Lord God will give them light. And they will reign for ever and ever.
The extent of our authority to reign with our Lord in His Kingdom (see Luke 19 below) will be according to what we have done in obedience to His holy commands here on earth.
And that reward in the next age in the Lord’s Eternal Kingdom will be forever and ever.
Luke 19:11 While they were listening to this, he went on to tell them a parable, because he was near Jerusalem and the people thought that the kingdom of God was going to appear at once. 12 He said: “A man of noble birth went to a distant country to have himself appointed king and then to return. 13 So he called ten of his servants and gave them ten minas. ‘Put this money to work,’ he said, ‘until I come back.’
14 “But his subjects hated him and sent a delegation after him to say, ‘We don’t want this man to be our king.’ 15 “He was made king, however, and returned home.
Then he sent for the servants to whom he had given the money, in order to find out what they had gained with it. 16 “The first one came and said, ‘Sir, your mina has earned ten more.’ 17 “‘Well done, my good servant!’ his master replied. ‘Because you have been trustworthy in a very small matter, take charge of TEN cities.’ 18 “The second came and said, ‘Sir, your mina has earned five more.’ 19 “His master answered, ‘You take charge of FIVE cities.’
The above parable applies to disciples who have each been given equal ability and equal opportunities. A different parable (Matthew 25) applies to disciples to whom have been entrusted different abilities and opportunities.