Be Obedient to Christ: Amass Treasures in Heaven / Earn Rewards!
"Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also."
The Gospel of Matthew
Chapter 6, Verses 19-21
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.
The First Letter of Paul to the Corinthians
Chapter 9, Verse 24
And now, little children, abide in Him, that when He appears, we may have confidence and not be ashamed before Him at His coming.
The First Letter of John
Chapter 2, Verse 28
No, it isn’t selfish to strive for rewards. How could it be if we are commanded in Scripture to do so? The Lord Jesus commands us to "lay up treasures in heaven." The apostle Paul tells us to "run in such a way that you may obtain it." The apostle John exhorts us to abide in Christ so that when He comes we might "have confidence and not be ashamed before Him."
The word selfish means "greedy at the expense of others." It isn’t selfish to strive for eternal rewards, since greed is the very opposite of what it takes to obtain rewards. We must be generous and loving toward others to lay up rewards. Besides, we aren’t competing with other Christians for rewards. God, who is infinite, will never exhaust His ability to reward His people. No one will ever be rewarded "at the expense of others."
It is important to realize that there is a difference between legitimate self interest and selfishness. God has created us with a natural desire for fulfillment and joy in life. This is not selfish, since the true path to fulfillment and joy is in loving and helping others.
The equation of self's interest with selfishness is from Kant not from Christ.
Christ endured the cross for the joy set before Him. So should we.