SHEPHERD TO SHEEP
THE FIVE CROWNS
There's something fascinating about crowns. Whether it's the crowns displayed in the Tower of London or a Burger King crown on a child's head there's something special and dignified about them. But the Bible says that believers in Christ will be rewarded in heaven with crowns. That's exciting to me! What kind of crowns will be offered at the judgment seat of Christ?
IMPERISHABLE CROWN: (1 Cor 9:25) And everyone who competes for the prize is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a perishable crown, but we for an imperishable crown. This crown is for believers who have run the Christian race well. This verse also implies that people will also receive this crown for the sacrifices they were willing to make for God in order to successfully complete the ministry God had called them to. Earthly endeavors and experiences are only temporary. What we do for Christ will last forever!
CROWN OF REJOICING: (1 Thess 2:19) For what is our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing? Is it not even you in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at His coming? This crown has also been named the soul winner's crown. It's a crown received for leading others to Christ. Whether a real crown or just the reward of others being in heaven that you led to the Lord we're not sure. But think of it...not only is it rewarding to lead others to Christ on earth but the reward will continue in heaven for all eternity!
CROWN OF LIFE: (James 1:12) Blessed is the man who endures temptation; for when he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him. This crown is for believers who have endured trials and tribulations and suffering for our Lord. Think about this crown the next time you feel like giving up! It's also called the martyr's crown (Rev 2:10). One time I asked the Lord if He would have me die for Him as a martyr. He spoke to my heart and said, "It's enough to live for me." That's laying your life down and sometimes that's even harder!
CROWN OF RIGHTEOUSNESS: (2 Tim 4:8) Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing. We are righteous in Christ (2 Cor 5:21) and live out righteous lives for Him (Rev 19:8). Knowing Christ will come soon will maintain the incentive for righteousness for the believer. (1 John 3:3) And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure. (See also Mat 24:45-51)
CROWN OF GLORY: (1 Pet 5:4) and when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that does not fade away. This crown will be issued to leaders in the Church who have faithfully served the flock of God. Included in this group would be pastors, teachers, Sunday school teachers, missionaries, and those who faithfully feed and tend the sheep God has placed in their trust. It's not easy to be a leader and some opt out for just being led. But those called to leadership should press in for their reward even when their job seems thankless or unrewarding.
Wow! We're going to wear crowns in heaven. That gives us motivation here on earth to keep loving and serving the Lord no matter what. And we won't deserve even one of these crowns. Forever we'll be thinking of the One who wore that crown of thorns for us. Crowns off to the King! (Rev 4:10-11) the twenty-four elders fall down before Him who sits on the throne and worship Him who lives forever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne, saying: “You are worthy, O Lord, To receive glory and honor and power...