Summary: 5 CROWNS WE SHOULD BE SEEKING
1 Corinthians 9:25 Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last; but we do it to get a crown that will last forever.2 Timothy 2:5 Similarly, if anyone competes as an athlete, he does not receive the victor’s crown unless he competes according to the rules.
I want to talk about crowns today......and the different kinds that we expect to wear when our Lord comes for us. The Bible speaks of five different kinds of crowns. We are going to look at them each individually so we can make sure God has one each in our size! One kind of crown the Bible talks about is in PROV 16:31 Gray hair is a crown of splendor; it is attained by a righteous life. Some of us must be living pretty righteous lives! Well, that’s not the kind of crown that we are going to talk about, but that may be one that you’ve already earned! I’m speaking of crowns that God will reward His children with...
The first crown I want to talk about is an imperishable crown found in 1 COR 3:11For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12If any man builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw, 13his 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 man’s work. 14If what he has built survives, he will receive his reward. 15If it is burned up, he will suffer loss; he himself will be saved, but only as one escaping through the flames.
Now, what Paul is talking about here is the work we do for Christ whole here on this Earth. You see, it’s just not enough to volunteer to "work for Christ"...you have to have the right motives! You can’t teach, preach, or even give money with wrong motives. This text is clearly talking about good deeds, which are required of all Christians, but we already know that simply "good deeds" will not be enough to get you to Heaven. You must be pure at heart and willingly serve our Lord and Saviour to receive this crown. As a matter of fact, we see that your work will be shown for what it truly is...and will be tested by fire. If your work survives, you will receive your reward. But in vs 15 it says that if your work is burned up, you WILL suffer loss. You may be saved, but only "as one escaping through the flames". You know the story of the servants and the talents. Are you using the talents God gave you for Him?Work hard for Christ...it’s worth it!
Here’s the next crown...The crown of righteousness as mentioned in 2 TIM 4:8Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day—and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing. What is the crown of righteousness and how do we get it? Well, the text says it is for all who have longed for His appearing. Do you long for His appearing or are you uncertain? As Christians, we are called to righteousness. Our churches today are failing miserably whenever they don’t preach about sin and its consequences. Christ is coming for a bride without blemish or spot. COL 1:22 But now he has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation— and He’s coming for a righteous people. How serious is it to live in righteousness? 2 PTR 2:20If they have escaped the corruption of the world by knowing our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and are again entangled in it and overcome, they are worse off at the end than they were at the beginning. 21It would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than to have known it and then to turn their backs on the sacred command that was passed on to them. 22Of them the proverbs are true: "A dog returns to its vomit,"and, "A sow that is washed goes back to her wallowing in the mud."
So how can I get righteousness? ROM 6:16B you are slaves to the one whom you obey—whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness? So....obedience leads to righteousness. Our Lord will reward us with a crown of righteousness on our judgment day if we can only obey His Word....and not return to "wallowing in the mud." Live righteous...be righteous. You are called to do so!