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Difference Between Award and Reward

Updated on October 5, 2017

Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven. (Matthew 5:12)


Do you know the difference between an "award" and a "reward"? The Bible does not record the word "award" as a noun at all and only once as a verb in 2 Timothy 4:8. However, the Bible does record the word "reward" 78 times as a noun throughout the entire Bible.

What then, does this tell you?

Awards Are From Man to Man

An award is from man. The word "award" means a prize or token given to someone for an ACT that was performed. An award is given to recognize excellence in a certain area. The award can be a certificate, a trophy, a plaque, a medal, a badge or a ribbon. Money may also be given as an award.

An award is what man thinks of a person for performing a particular act. There are many awards given for people's talent especially in acting and singing. We are quite familiar with the Grammy Awards, the Emmy Awards, the Golden Globes, the Sag Awards and the Academy Awards.

Rewards Are From God

A reward is from God A reward is something offered for special SERVICE. By now, you should see the difference. An award is for an ACT performed; a reward is for SERVICE.

A judge is involved in both the granting of an award and a reward. Man is the judge for man to get an award which is temporal. God is the judge for man to get a reward which is permanent. Unbelievers can only get awards on earth. It is impossible for them to receive a reward from God no matter how impressive their deeds may be. However, a believer will get a reward for doing a service as small as giving a cup of cold water in the name of the Lord. (Mark 9:41).

If you think you have not gotten your pats on the back while here on earth, don't despair. Great is your REWARD in heaven for your SERVICE.

Rewards Listed in the Book of Revelation

The book of Revelation records a list of rewards available to those who go to heaven. The rewards are called crowns. See them in the chart below.

Crowns or Rewards
Crown of Rejoicing
For soul-winning
Philippians 4:2:2 Thessalonians 2:19
Crown of Righteousness
For those eagerly awaiting Chrst's arrival
2 Tiothy 4:8
Crown of Life
For those who have been martyred
James 1:2, Revelation 2:10
Crown of Glory
For pastors, ministers, and teachers of God's word
1 Peter 5:1-4
Victor's Crown
For those who go the extra mile
1 Corinthians 9:25

Award or Reward: Which is Which?

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