11 For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12 If anyone builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw, 13 their work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each person’s work. 14 If what has been built survives, the builder will receive a reward. 15 If it is burned up, the builder will suffer loss but yet will be saved—even though only as one escaping through the flames. 1 Corinthians 3:11-15
This is the famous “rewards” passage in Scripture. Our “works,” such that they are, will put to the test. Will they burn in the flames or will they endure? Remember, these are not works that get us into the kingdom, they are the result of things we’ve done while there. To get us into the kingdom, we rest in the finished work of Christ on the cross. Period. No exceptions.
And what if we’ve done nothing? That will be our reward. Yes, we will get there but there will be no rewards.
It goes back to the previous verses in this chapter: investing in others’ lives, serving others, and teaching others.
In other words, when you build into others’ lives for His sake, you’re not worrying about the rewards you will or won’t get.