Sunday Service:The Wonder of Christmas -Pt1

CROWNS BELIEVERS CAN RECEIVE IN HEAVEN | HEAVEN: BIBLE STUDY SERIES – PT 4 & 5

    Nov 17, 2021 | by Mike Prah

    CROWNS BELIEVERS CAN RECEIVE IN HEAVEN | HEAVEN: BIBLE STUDY SERIES – PT 4 & 5 | MIKE PRAH

    INTRODUCTION

    Rewards in heaven glorify God and provide us with joy, peace, and wonder as we pursue godly living and surrendering to God’s work in us and through us. Rewards in heaven are the completion of our earthly salvation experience and those rewards will be eternally satisfying (Psalm 16:11).

     There are Six (6) heavenly crowns mentioned in the New Testament that will be awarded to believers.

    • The Crown of Rejoicing
    • The Crown of The Soul-Winner
    • The Crown of Righteousness
    • The Crown of Life
    • The Crown of Incorruption or Imperishable Crown
    • The Crown of Glory

     The Greek word translated “crown” is stephanos (the source for the name Stephen the martyr) and means “a badge of royalty, a prize in the public games or a symbol of honor generally.” Used during the ancient Greek games, it referred to a wreath or garland of leaves placed on a victor’s head as a reward for winning an athletic contest. As such, this word is used figuratively in the New Testament of the rewards of heaven God promises those who are faithful.

     How Are These Crowns Awarded?

     Paul’s passage in 1 Corinthians 9:24-25 best defines for us how these crowns are awarded.

     “Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may obtain it. And everyone who competes for the prize is temperate [disciplined] in all things. Now they do it to obtain a perishable crown, but we for an imperishable crown” 1 Corinthians 9:24-25, NKJV.

    1. THE CROWN OF REJOICING

     The Purpose

    The apostle Paul tells us in Philippians 4:4 to “rejoice always in the Lord” for all the bountiful blessings our gracious God has showered upon us. As Christians we have more in this life to rejoice about than anyone else.

     “Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice!” Philippians 4:4, NKJV

     Luke tells us there is rejoicing even now in heaven

    “In the same way, there is more joy in heaven over one lost sinner who repents and returns to God than over ninety-nine others who are righteous and haven’t strayed away!” Luke 15:7, NLT

     The crown of rejoicing will be reward for believers where

    “God will wipe away every tear from their eyes there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away” Revelation 21:4, NKJV

     2. THE CROWN OF THE SOUL-WINNER

     The Purpose

    Reward for faithful service

    “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad” 2 Corinthians 5:10, NKJV

     “By the grace God has given me, I laid a foundation as a wise builder, and someone else is building on it. But each one should build with care. 11 For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12 If anyone builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw, 13 their 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 person’s work. 14 If what has been built survives, the builder will receive a reward. 15 If it is burned up, the builder will suffer loss but yet will be saved—even though only as one escaping through the flames” 1 Corinthians 3:10-15, NIV

     The Recipient

    The crown of rejoicing will be given to soulwinners

     “The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life, and the one who is wise saves lives.” Proverbs 11:30, NIV

     “After all, what gives us hope and joy, and what will be our proud reward and crown as we stand before our Lord Jesus when he returns? It is you! 20 Yes, you are our pride and joy” 1 Thessalonians 2:19-20, NLT

     The Exhortation

    “… the one who is wise saves lives.” Proverbs 11:30b, NIV

     3.  THE CROWN OF RIGHTEOUSNESS

     The Purpose & Recipients

    We inherit this crown through the righteousness of Christ which is what gives us a right to it, and without which it cannot be obtained. It is an everlasting crown, promised to all who love the Lord and eagerly wait for His return. Through our enduring discouragements, persecutions, sufferings, or even death, we know assuredly our reward is with Christ in eternity

    “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. 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.” 2 Timothy 4:7-8, NKJV

    “We are citizens of heaven, where the Lord Jesus Christ lives. And we are eagerly waiting for him to return as our Savior. 21 He will take our weak mortal bodies and change them into glorious bodies like his own, using the same power with which he will bring everything under his control.” Philippians 3:20-21, NLT

    The Exhortation

    First the race, then the reward

     4. CROWN OF LIFE

    The Purpose & Recipients

    • This crown is for all believers. We know that our earthly lives will end. But we have the amazing promise that comes only to those who come to God through Jesus.

    “And this is the promise that He has promised us—eternal life” 1 John 2:25, NKJV

    • This crown will also be given to those who successfully endure temptation and suffering, who bravely confront persecution for Jesus, even to the point of death.

    “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.” James 1:12, NKJV

    “Don’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. But if you remain faithful even when facing death, I will give you the crown of life.” Revelation 2:10-11, NLT

    “Behold, I am coming quickly! Hold fast what you have, that no one may take your crown” Revelation 3:11, NKJV

     5. THE CROWN OF INCORRUPTION OR IMPERISHABLE CROWN

    The Context

    Paul uses the analogy of the Olympic athlete to explain this reward.

     “Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may obtain it. And everyone who competes for the prize is temperate [disciplined] in all things. Now they do it to obtain a perishable crown, but we for an imperishable crown” 1 Corinthians 9:24-25, NKJV

    •  Paul explains that he exercises his Christian liberty by living a life of disciplined endurance. The Corinthians were familiar with the Isthmian games and Paul used that knowledge to teach them that they should live the Christian life with a certain motive. That motive is to win an incorruptible crown, an honor bestowed by God. He then provided himself as an example of such a life with the illustrations of both a runner and a boxer (1 Cor. 9:26-27).

     “Therefore I do not run like someone running aimlessly; I do not fight like a boxer beating the air. 27 No, I strike a blow to my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize.” 1 Corinthians 9:26-27, NIV

     The Purpose

    To reward the winner of an Olympic type race. Thus such a reward points to a permanent honor that Christ will bestow upon those who live life by Holy Spirit restraint which keeps them qualified for ministry.

     The Recipients

    Those Christians who steadfastly live out their call in the Christian life. In other words, those who master the old sinful nature.

     The Exhortation

    Learn to deny yourself for God’s glory that you might be honored at the Judgment [Bema – Rewards] Seat of Christ.

     6. THE CROWN OF GLORY

    The Purpose

    This reward points to a permanent honor that Christ will bestow upon those leaders in the church who diligently disciple God’s people to Christian growth and maturity.

     The Recipients

    Those Christian pastors who steadfastly live out their calling in the Christian life in service to God’s people

     “And now, a word to you who are elders in the churches. I, too, am an elder and a witness to the sufferings of Christ. And I, too, will share in his glory when he is revealed to the whole world. As a fellow elder, I appeal to you: 2 Care for the flock that God has entrusted to you. Watch over it willingly, not grudgingly—not for what you will get out of it, but because you are eager to serve God. 3 Don’t lord it over the people assigned to your care, but lead them by your own good example. 4 And when the Great Shepherd appears, you will receive a crown of never-ending glory and honor.” 1 Peter 5:1-4, NLT

    The Exhortation

    Live faithfully to your calling as a servant of God, a co-laborer with Christ and the Holy Spirit to God’s people entrusted to you, and a committed Christ-follower.

    CONCLUSION

    Rewards in heaven glorify God and provide us with joy, peace, and wonder as we pursue godly living and surrendering to God’s work in us and through us. Rewards in heaven are the completion of our earthly salvation experience and those rewards will be eternally satisfying (Psalm 16:11).

    • Will you be there? No one above the age of accountability is going to be there who hasn’t received Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord. How unspeakably tragic it would be for you to have taken this study and yet not be in Heaven with the redeemed!
    • Have you ever really, honestly, trusted Jesus? Not trusting your charity work, your gifts, religion or church membership, but trusting in the shed blood of the Lord Jesus Christ. 
    • Would you like to know that you have a home in Heaven? You must trust in Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior. 
    • Do you know Jesus personally? If not, you can pray to Him today by asking Him to come into your life. Call upon Jesus today. Repent (turn) from your sins, and turn to Jesus. Ask Him to forgive you of your sins, and acknowledge Him as Lord of your life. 

    Romans 3:23

    Romans 10:9-10

    Romans 10:13

    Acts 16:31

    John 3:16

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