Answers to Bible Questions
Scriptures are from the KJV of the Bible
(Q) What are some of the CROWNS found in the Bible and who can receive them?
(A) Before we get into the crowns in the Bible and who can receive them, I want you to realize that all Christians will face judgment before Christ Jesus our Lord and Savior. We will not be judged for our sins, which were paid for by Christ’s blood on the cross, but judged for our works here on earth. Christ will hold each of us accountable for the deeds performed in our lives while here on earth, but our salvation is never in question, only the size and scope of our rewards.
Paul makes it clear in his letter to the Corinthians that all Christians will be judged by Christ: 2 Corinthians 5:10: 10For 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.
Will everyone have the same status in Heaven? Although God loves each of us without end, some will be given positions of higher status, authority, and responsibility than others because their good works were done for God’s glory. Anything done for our own glory will not be deserving of any reward in Heaven from God.
Let’s look at 1 Corinthians 3: 10-15: 10According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise masterbuilder, I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon. 11For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; 13Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is. 14If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. 15If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.
Christ Jesus, knowing the nature of heaven and the rewards that await us, discourages us from becoming captives of this world and its fleeting pleasures. Instead he encourages us to focus on the accumulation of heavenly treasures. Our heavenly rewards are eternal and will be beyond our wildest imagination: 1 Corinthians 2: 9: 9But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.
For the Christian, belief in Jesus Christ is only a beginning. This is the foundation of our holy existence, and no one can lay a foundation other than Christ. Upon this foundation, we are expected to build a portfolio of works which benefit the Lord. Not one of these works is necessary for our salvation, but if we truly believe in Him, it will be our pleasure to perform such works. On the day of Judgment, each work will be tested to see if it has eternal value. Only that which has everlasting value will result in reward.
So how do we know what works will have everlasting value? We must remember it is not our deed alone the Lord will judge, but the motive which caused us to perform the deed in the first place. The Lord, who knows the deepest secrets of our hearts and minds, will know the motives upon which our earthly lives were built. And the only motive which will result in a reward is one that desires glory for Jesus Christ.
The Bible specifically mentions five Crowns which all true believers are eligible for, and God desires for us to receive them. Below is just a brief synopsis of these five Crowns, but the last one on this list, “THE CROWN OF RIGHTEOUSNESS,” I will be presenting a more in depth study of this Crown as it is very important to understand its real meaning to receive it. I believe these Crowns are only a few among many rewards that we could receive based on our works done for God’s glory.
(1) THE INCORRUPTIBLE CROWN – for those who “run a good race” in the Christian life. 1 Corinthians 9:25: 25And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible.
(2) THE SOUL- WINNER’S CROWN OR THE CROWN OF REJOCICING – to people who labored to save souls from the fires of hell. 1 Thessalonians 2:19: 19For what is our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing? Are not even ye in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at his coming?
(3) THE CROWN OF LIFE – for people who endure suffering, knowing there is a better life in the world to come. James I :12 12Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him.
(4) THE CROWN OF GLORY – for those who faithfully teach and preach God’s Word. l Peter 5:4: 4And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away.
(5) THE CROWN OF RIGHTEOUSNESS – for those who look for and love Christ’s return. 2 Timothy 4:8: 8Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.
Now as I said before, I want to dig a little deeper into “THE CROWN OF RIGHTEOUSNESS.”
WHO SHALL OBTAIN THIS CROWN?
Who shall obtain the prize? Who shall receive the crown of righteousness? Paul said that the crown of righteousness is “laid up” (in store) for him, and shall be given to him by “the Lord, the righteous judge … at that day; and not to me only [he said], but unto all them also that love His appearing” (II Tim. 4:8. The Greek word here for “appearing” is (epiphaneia). Paul used this word regarding ” … the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ…through the gospel: whereunto I [Paul] am appointed a preacher, and an apostle, and a teacher … II Tim. 1:10,11. This refers to a special-manifestation of Christ in resurrection, whereby He has destroyed the effectiveness of the death which came through Adam’s transgression, and brought to light, life and incorruption through Paul’s gospel. In II Tim. 4:8, “His appearing” (His epiphaneia) refers to this special-manifestation of Christ, yet most believers in Christ today see nothing at all special about this manifestation, or this “appearing” of Christ. Those of us who hold to the “Pre-tribulation Rapture” view, regarding Christ and the Church, generally see this as referring to an “appearing” of Christ at the Rapture of the church. Others, who believe in a “Post-tribulation” – Second Coming of Christ view, regarding Christ and the Church, generally see this as referring to His “appearing” at His second coming to earth to establish His Kingdom on earth. The “appearing” (epiphaneia) of Christ, here as well as in other occurrences, is viewed therefore by most believers in Christ as referring to whatever “appearing” of Christ coordinates with their own perception of the doctrine concerning Christ and the Church, and His coming again.
Now, since the crown of righteousness in this passage of scripture is to be given to all them that love His “appearing,” does it really matter what “appearing” of Christ one loves? Will this crown of righteousness be given to all them that love His appearing at the “rapture” of the Church? Or will the ones who love His appearing at His second coming to earth be given this crown’? NO! The crown of righteousness, spoken of by Paul, in II Tim. 4:8, will be given to all them that love His (epiphaneia), His special-manifestation. So, a vital ingredient to our ability to attain our goal and obtain the prize, even to be qualified to receive the crown of righteousness, is our knowledge and understanding of, and by all means our love for Christ’s special-manifestation as revealed to the apostle Paul; which we may call: the special-manifestation of Christ, according to the Revelation of the Mystery given to the apostle Paul, concerning Christ and the Church “which is His body, the fulness of Him that filleth all in all” Eph. 1:23. So, at this time we must say a few words more about Christ’s epiphaneia, His special-manifestation, to affirm that which we have already stated, and to increase our knowledge and understanding; and most of all our love for His special-manifestation – (His epiphaneia).
In 1 Tim. 6:14,15, the apostle Paul is giving charge to Timothy “To keep the commandment spotless, blameless, unto the extent of the special-manifestation of our Lord Jesus Christ; which in its own specially assigned seasons shall exhibit the blessed and only Sovereign, the King of those being kings, even ( the) Lord of those being lords.” The specially assigned seasons for this special-manifestation of our Lord Jesus Christ are to God’s manifestation of His Word to the apostle Paul, Titus ,1:3. This is very well stated as such by Paul, II Tim. 1:10,11, where we read, beginning with verse 8: “Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me His prisoner: but be thou partaker of afflictions of the gospel according to the power of God; hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began], but is now made manifest by the appearing [epiphaneia – special-manifestation] of our Saviour Jesus Christ, Who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality [incorruptibility] to light through the gospel: whereunto I am appointed a preacher, and an apostle, and a teacher of the Gentiles.” It should be evident from Paul’s words here that this “appearing,” this special manifestation [epiphaneiaJ of Jesus Christ has already occurred, and that the specially assigned seasons for this special-manifestation of our Lord, in which He is exhibited as the blessed and only Sovereign, the King of those being kings, even (the) Lord of those being lords, began with God’s manifestation of His Word to the apostle Paul, and continue even to this day – “with the preaching of Jesus Christ according to Paul’s gospel.”
The crown of righteousness is not laid up in store for, and will not be given to everyone who is in Christ. Neither will it be given to any of the members of the Church, Christ’s Body, who love simply Christ’s “appearing” in the air to catch away His Church from the earth (at the “rapture” – I Thess. 4:16,17). And it is certainly not laid up in store for, and will not be given to any who, whether misinformed or misdirected, are loving some “appearing” of Christ, whether true or imagined, which is outside of the realm of the special-manifestation of Christ as revealed to the apostle Paul. The crown of righteousness will be given only to ” … all the ones having loved the special-manifestation [epiphaneiaJ … ” of Christ II Tim’. 4:8; “ the entire special-manifestation of Christ,”… through the gospel: whereunto I [Paul] am appointed a preacher, and an apostle, and a teacher … ” II Tim. 1:10,11. But that love must be such that they have determined for themselves to know and understand His special-manifestation, so much so that they desire, with Paul, to apprehend that for which they were apprehended by Christ Jesus Phil. 3:12, by attaining unto the out-resurrection, out from among dead persons Phil. 3:11. The Crown of righteousness II Tim. 4:8, the Prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus Phil. 3:14, will be given to all the ones having loved His special-manifestation and have therefore pursued this prize and have attained unto the goal of the out-resurrection. And this we all can do, jf we heed the. instruction of this special-manifestation of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ; “instructing us, in order that, having denied the ungodliness and the worldly lusts, we may at any time actively live prudently and righteously and godly in the present age” Titus 2:12.
Some of this may be a little confusing, so let’s look at Phil. 3:11 again: 11If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead. The resurrection Paul is talking about here “is not” the resurrection of the dead. The resurrection of the dead is not something unto which we must attain. It is an event which will occur at the time when our Lord Himself shall descend from heaven to catch away the living members of His Body, the Church, from the earth. It will happen automatically to every member of
Christ’s Body who shall have died before this event. And just as assuredly there are resurrection of the dead events scheduled for God’s people of other ages and dispensations; such as for the ones who will stand up from the dead to reign with Christ a thousand years at the event of “the first resurrection” Rev. 20:4-6, and for those who will stand up from the dead in resurrection at the event of the “resurrection of the dead, both of the just and unjust” Acts 24:15, “at the last day” John 11:23,24. But that of which Paul speaks in Phil. 3:11, ” … “the out-resurrection,” the one out from among dead persons,” can not be attained by a person who is dead, even though he may be dead in Christ. It can be attained only by a person who is alive in Christ, and is walking in the likeness of Christ’s resurrection; having become jointly-together-planted-for-growth in the likeness of His crucifixion death Rom. 6:5. Therefore, the out-resurrection of Phil. 3:11, if it is to be attained, must be attained by the ones who are alive, and living in Christ. It must be attained “in this life.”
In simple terms, the resurrection Paul is talking about in Phil. 3:11 has the meaning that some believers are spiritually dead in Christ. All they know is that Christ paid for their sins when He shed his blood and died for them at Calvary. When they became believers they were forgiven of all sin and they became part of the true Church today called the “Body of Christ.” After being “saved” their attitude became, “what more is there to know.” They do not care about learning more truth or growing in grace and knowledge, but are satisfied just being “saved.” These people are spiritually dead and are not trying to attain to the “out-resurrection,” the ones out from among the spiritually dead persons.
In conclusion, if you want to receive the Crown of Righteousness, you need to love all of the apostle Paul’s epistles from Romans through Philemon, because they contain the special manifestation reveled to Paul by the appearing of Christ Jesus. This is the preaching of Christ Jesus according to the Revelation of the Mystery given only to Paul some 2000 years ago. This special manifestation contains the full knowledge of God’s will for the Body of Christ which is His true Church for today.
If you study Paul’s epistles with all you heart, you will be loving His appearing which has already taken place, and you will also be longing for the appearing of Christ to Rapture away His Church in the very near future.
God wants to give “you” these Crowns, but how much do you really want them? To receive them does require some effort on the part of all believers. May God give you the desire to attain them all!
Maranatha (Lord come)