3-Week Series: Double Blessing

Sermons

Summary: A sermon examining the importance of living with an eternal perspective.

ABANDONED CROWNS

I Corinthians 3:12-15

While studying in Germany Frances Ridley Havergal saw a painting called "The Crucifixion". Above the painting was the phrase, "All this I did for thee; what has thou done for Me?" Inspired by that question, she wrote her famous poem, I Gave My Life for Thee. After its completion she was not happy with it and she threw it into the fire, at that point a draft blew it out of the fire and onto the hearth. Miss Havergal gave the poem to her father. He then composed a tune to match the words and had it published.You may recognize this poem as a beautiful hymn that we often sing. The first verse says:

I gave My life for Thee,

My precious blood I shed,

That thou might'st ransomed be,

And quickened from the dead;

I gave, I gave My life for thee-

What hast thou giv'n for Me?

I gave, I gave My life for thee-

What hast thou giv'n for Me?

God gave Francis Havergal a beautiful treasure and she almost threw it away. Unfortunately many people have been given treasures by God that were to be used for His glory but they have thrown them away. One of the greatest treasures that God gives us is time, but it is the treasure most often wasted.

I have three questions that I want to ask you today:

1. How do you spend the majority of your time?

2. Are the things that consume your time going to matter in eternity?

3. Do you spend more time living for yourself or for the Lord?

The answer to these questions says a lot about the rewards that you are storing up in Heaven. Jesus instructed us not to spend our time gathering treasures that will not matter in eternity. He said in - Matthew 6:19 Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: 20 But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal:

God expects us to be good stewards of our time, talents and treasures. 1 Corinthians 4:2 Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful.

The gifts that God has given us are to be used to glorify Him. Day after day we have the opportunity to "lay up treasures in Heaven" ...day after day we have the opportunity to invest in eternal crowns. But every day that we focus on the temporal rather than the eternal... every day that we live for ourselves rather than living for the Lord we abandon those crowns.

- I want to consider that for a little while and preach on the thought "Abandoned Crowns".

It is amazing to think that as unworthy as we are, we have the opportunity to be rewarded in Heaven. Even though Jesus paid it all, we can look forward to a day when we are rewarded by Him!!! I believe that there is biblical evidence that we will take those crowns and humbly cast them at the feet of Jesus. We have a picture of this in Revelation 4:10 The four and twenty elders fall down before him that sat on the throne, and worship him that liveth for ever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne, saying, 11 Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.

If we believe that we will indeed cast our crowns at the feet of the Savior, shouldn't we be focused on attaining as many crowns as possible? We should, but often we are too focused on the things of this world. Fortunately Paul gives us a reminder of what is to come for the believer. In our selected text we are told about the Judgment Seat of Christ. The first truth that we will consider is that:

YOU HAVE AN APPOINTMENT AT THE JUDGMENT SEAT

There are two appointments that you will not escape. You have an appointment with death and you have an appointment to be judged. - Hebrews 9:27 It is appointed unto man once to die and then the judgment.

This is the case for everyone here... saved and lost alike! Lost people will appear before Christ at the Great White Throne and saved people will appear before Jesus at the Judgment Seat. Paul says in 2 Corinthians 5:10 "we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad."

In Paul's day, in each city there was a place called the Bema, or judgment seat. This was a raised platform, usually in the center of town. At the Bema announcements were made, judgments were rendered and awards were given. All public proclamations came from the Bema. For some this was a place of fear and trembling, for others it was a place of joy and rewards. At the judgment seat some were rebuked and others were rewarded. When we appear at the Judgment Seat of Christ there will be joy because of the rewards we will receive. But there will be sorrow when we see all of the potential rewards that will be burned up when it is tried by fire. Regardless of the outcome, each and every born again believer has an appointment at this Judgment Seat.

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