Philip Yancey summarized the motivational power of the eternal in a Christianity Today column:
For years, all the New Testament talk about eternal rewards embarrassed me. Now, however, I see eternal rewards as the ultimate form of delayed gratification.
Why do missionary relief workers volunteer for hellish places like Somalia, Rwanda, the Sudan? I have inter¬viewed these workers, and among other motives they mention the prospect of reward. They hope to hear someday, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant.”
A vision of heaven gives us motivation for great and sacrificial courage. The great pioneer against racism in the United States, Martin Luther King Jr., said, “No one really knows why they’re alive until they know what they’d die for.” We need a vision for our life that supersedes our desires for self-preservation. (Philip Yancey, "Why Not Now?” Christianity Today, February 5, 1996)
Six Dangerous Questions to Transform Your View of the World (Page 62) by Paul Borthwick