Borrowed Truths

Crowns Study (Part 6)

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Crowns Study (Part 6)

The crown of rejoicing, the final crown in our study. Those that we have been blessed by our Lord to lead to Him, those that we have been given the extreme privilege and awesome responsibility to assist in maintaining and growing in the grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ, these are your crown of rejoicing. All that will enter the kingdom of our Lord will have someone that they can point to and say, “There is the one who led me to the Savior, there is the one who prayed with me, who encouraged me, who wept and laughed with me as I sought my way home.”

Although I in no way feel deserving of this crown, or any of the others that we have discussed in this study, I have been blessed to lead people to our Lord, to assist them in their growing knowledge of Him, and to help whenever I can to keep them on the path that Leads to His kingdom. I do not glory in these individuals, but in Christ who has seen fit to take this ordinary man and use Him in extraordinary ways, ways that are far beyond anything I would even dare to attempt to accomplish. I have been beyond humbled to watch as He has turned drug addicts and drunks to Him, women whose lives had no meaning into servants of His wonderous glory, those who were at the very bottom where life had absolutely no meaning begin and continue to reach for His loving hands that are always there, always available, always strong and firm, always filled with love.

These are our crowns, these are the human souls that God has sent to us to lead to His Son, for all are His. “All things were created by Him and for Him” (Col. 1:17) We can, as it were, point to these individuals and say in all humility that these are our proof that we have fought a good fight. No soldier of Christ leads someone to the Lord, watches as they accept His great mercy and forgiveness, and then leaves them on the battlefield to fend for themselves. We who have led have been led ourselves, and it is out responsibility, indeed our privilege and honor to assist these new ones in their walk with Christ as much as we are able to by the power of the Holy Spirit. Until the times comes for them to move to where He would lead them or they become mature enough in the faith of Christ, they are to be assisted in any way that we can.

At all times we must be vigilant, especially among those who are new in the faith of Christ, for they, as we all have at times, can and will be led astray. “Lest any man beguile you with enticing words.” (Col. 2:4) Religious organizations, false teachers, prosperity theology, and a myriad of others will entice these new believers in as many ways as can be imagined. The adversary will do everything in his power to call them back into the world and all that he will entice them to believe that it still offers them. Those that he cannot deceive in one way, he will try another, for any Christian that is useful to Christ is a burden and a loathing to him.

Not only are we to remind the ones who would come to Christ to count the cost, but we ourselves must as well. It is beyond a blessing to lead someone to our Lord and watch as they become a child of the Most High God, but to assist them into becoming obedient and willing servants to all that He asks of them is another matter. We are well past the point here of just inviting them to church, there are no rewards for simply inviting someone to church that I am aware of. Once these individuals have accepted Christ, they will need a teacher, how long you are to be that person is up to the Lord, but in the beginning there is no question, someone must lead them on the path in a way that glorifies God, and that someone is the one who is the recipient of the crown of rejoicing.

“For what is our hope, our joy, our crown of rejoicing? Are not even ye in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at Hs coming?” (1st Thess. 2:17)

People that you lead to Christ, those that you continue to build up and  encourage in the continuing of their faith and assurance in Christ, these are your crowns of rejoicing. My friends, how are you going to feel when you enter the kingdom of our Lord and there is no one there that knows you because you would not speak to them here? Granted, you may have loved ones there that have gone before you, but what about the one that led you to Him, what will that person say to you, much less the Lord on that day, when there is no one there that you have led to Christ.

I have encouraged my lovely wife in this area many times, for one of her great joys is to leave tracts lifting up the name of Jesus almost everywhere we go, hundreds a year in fact. Those she has yet to meet, any of these that have read them and accepted Christ as Savior through the passing out of them, I have assisted her in resting in the fact they  are those that she will meet one day who will say to her, “Thank you, and praise God for your ministry.”

This is not a difficult crown to obtain, it requires only that you open your mouth and start speaking. Think of the incredible difference in the Scriptures, those who will receive crowns, and those who will be ashamed at His coming. (1st John 2:28) How may times have you arrived back at your house and scolded yourself for not speaking when you knew you were supposed to, when you were prompted by the Holy Spirit and allowed fear instead to rule you at that moment. I just hit a nerve didn’t I, I know, I have that same nerve, and have berated myself because of it many times. Do not give up hope, but do not let this become a habit. It is our own personal fears that hinder us the most in nearly all our spiritual endeavors for the Lord, like it or not, we fear the reprisals of men sometimes more than the disobedience of ourselves towards the Lord. But it need not be so.

The crown of rejoicing awaits those who have cast this fear aside, who seek the will of the Lord, and no longer fear the things that man can do to them. Will you stand in line, awaiting your crown of rejoicing, or will you stand here with your friends, the lost friends you still have, knowing that the path they are on is the path to a lake filled with fire and torment, but afraid to tell them so. Will you speak His words to them, no matter the mocking and rebukes they hurl at you, or will you continue to hope that some other Christian will come along some day and tell them about the lord that you say you serve. I am afraid that far too many Christians are in the second group these days, and even those that are speaking of His wonderous love are becoming fewer and fewer. The love of many is waxing cold.

Those who will receive the crown of rejoicing are those who have a love so deep for Christ that it cannot but be shared with others. They understand full well that without Him those they speak to will suffer eternal punishment, and their hearts break at this thought each time it appears in their mind. They are not seeking the crown for the crown’s sake, they are seeking the lost for Christ, and for Him alone, for without Him there is no hope. Those who have opened their mouths and spoke of the wonderful mercies and eternal forgiveness that is in Christ will receive this crown, for you can rest assured that some will heed the call, for “The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some men count slackness, but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.” (2nd Peter 3:9)

Some will listen, some will heed the call, some will become your crown, and as with all the other crowns, they will be cast back at the feet of their rightful owner on that day.

I have placed here at the end of this study of the five crowns a brief summary of each of them. I pray that you will endeavor to obtain all of them, so that you do not stand in that final day before our Lord empty handed, but that the coin that was given unto you has increased much for His glory.

The Crown of Life is awarded to those who endure trials and tribulations and continue to glorify God in them, no matter the outcome.

The Crown of Glory is reserved for those who have spent their lives admonishing, building up, edifying and serving for the glory of God, not just the children of God, but all that they meet.

The Crown of Righteousness is for those who constantly long for the appearance of the Lord Jesus, not for selfish reasons, nor to escape the troubles of this world, but to be with Him.

The Incorruptible Crown will be given to those whose mind, time, strength and entire being are constantly devoted to Christ, whose life has been spent in service to His glory, and for His glory alone.

The Crown of Rejoicing is presented to those who have been faithful in leading others to Christ, both initially and in continued service to them for Him.

“For though I preach the gospel, I have nothing to glory of: for necessity is laid upon me; yea, woe is unto me, if I preach not the gospel! For if I do this thing willingly, I have a reward: but if against my will, a dispensation of the gospel is committed unto me. What is my reward then? Verily that, when I preach the gospel, I may make the gospel of Christ without charge, that I abuse not my power in the gospel. For though I be free from all men, yet have I made myself servant unto all, that I might gain the more.” (1st Cor. 9:16-19)

“And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be.” (Rev. 22:12)

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