Summary: Paul teaches us that not all will be rewarded in Heaven but some will. This sermon looks at the five crowns that will be awarded at the Great White Throne Judgment.
WHY DON’T I GET A TROPHY
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Intro: Over the last 20-30 years, what I consider a strange phenomena has occurred in our society. The concept of individual accomplishment and excellence from individuals has been under attack. The attackers are winning. In our sports teams for the children, there is no longer an MVP. There are no longer kids that are recognized as putting fort more effort than the others. The same is true in our schools. The Middle School concept is basically, never single any student out for their accomplishments. They are all treated the same way in regards to accomplishments. This is the rule because they don’t want the other children to feel bad that they did not accomplish what the other kids accomplished.
. The problem with that is that instead of inspiring others to greatness, inspiring them to work harder to excel and receive some type of reward for their hard work; we train people to accept mediocrity. What’s the use if there is no reward, no gain for me. That is not selfishness that is motivation.
. It seems that no matter what we do, we all get a trophy. Even if really do not participate; we still get a trophy just like everybody else.
. This concept has crept into the church also. We preach and teach a salvation by faith in Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of our sin. We are very good at teaching folks that Jesus Christ voluntarily gave up his life so that we would not have to forfeit ours due to our sin. Then we leave it right there. We are all the same then. There is no need for any special accomplishments or tasks because we will all be in Heaven and we will all be the same. We will all get the trophy of eternal life in Heaven.
. All that is true but there is more for some than others. This concept bothers some Christians but I challenge you to study more on this subject after today’s sermon and realize that there is recognition for and rewards for our Christian life after we have been “born again” as Jesus told Nicodemus.
. Jesus himself taught us the value of using what He gives us to work for him. In Matthew 25 He gives us the parable of the talents. In the parable, the master gives his servants talents to work with and He expects them to use them. One servant really used his and got a great reward. The second used his but not as much as the first but still got a reward, just not as much as the first. The third servant did nothing. He hid his talent and stood before the master and got nothing for the work that was supposed to be done.
. Scripture bears out that there is more expected from a Christian than just a profession of faith in Jesus Christ.
. Paul tells us this in very plain language here in 1 Corinthians. He writes that when we stand before the “Judgment Seat Of Christ” all that we are will be tested by fire and if it holds up, if it does not burn up in that test we will be rewarded. I want to re-visit that scripture this morning and expound on the rewards that Paul is talking about.
.We looked at this two weeks ago but I want to isolate three verses this morning.
. 13But on the judgment day, fire will reveal what kind of work each builder has done. The fire will show if a person’s work has any value.
14If the work survives, that builder will receive a reward.
15But if the work is burned up, the builder will suffer great loss. The builder will be saved, but like someone barely escaping through a wall of flames.
. What are the rewards that Paul is talking about here. I don’t believe that we know what they all are but scripture does teach us the there will be various crows awarded there at the judgment in heaven. It will be like an award banquet but not everybody will get a trophy. It will depend upon what you did after you became a Christian.
.The Bible tells us about five different crowns that people can receive at the rewards banquet.
. The first is: The Crown Of Life (put picture of crown on screen)
. James 1:12 tells us this:
12God blesses those who patiently endure testing and temptation. Afterward they will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.
. Rev 2:10 tells us:
10Don’t be afraid of what you are about to suffer. The devil will throw some of you into prison to test you. You will suffer for ten days.