Q. 1. I know that we cannot earn our salvation. It is a gift from God. Having said that, what is the role of works on earth? Is it true that our heavenly reward is based on our works?
A. 1. There are a number of biblical passage that indicate each soul that is saved will be rewarded in Heaven according to their works on earth. Some of them are:
"For the Son of Man is to come with his angels in the glory of his Father, and then he will repay everyone for what has been done." [Mt. 16:27] "Blessed are you when people revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you." [Mt. 5:11-12]
"Those who are wise shall shine like the brightness of the sky, and those who lead many to righteousness, like the stars forever and ever."[Dan. 12:3] "The one who plants and the one who waters have a common purpose, and each will receive wages according to the labor of each." [1 Cor. 3:8] For this reason, each is rewarded according to their works. Jesus said, "In my Father's house there are many dwelling places. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you?" [Jn. 14:2]
Faith without works is dead. [Jas 2:17] If you have faith, then show your works. And your rewards shall be given to you according to those works.