There will come a time when the world will know what has been done because one day all service for Christ will be evaluated.
The apostle Paul speaks of this divine evaluation. 2 Corinthians 5:10, “For 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.”
There is a divine certainty to this day of evaluation for Paul writes “we must.” It will not be an option. The place will be before the judgment seat of Christ. The purpose is plainly stated. “That every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.”
For the believer, there is to be no fear of this judgment seat. Romans 8:1, “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.”
In as far as life is lived in the Spirit the heart is not condemned. Life can be given to serving the Savior with the hope of being properly rewarded for there are several crowns the believer can look forward to.
There is the Crown of Life that will be granted to those who resisted sin and enduring persecutions and trials. James 1:12, “Blessed 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.”
There is the Crown of Rejoicing given to those who lead people to Christ. 1 Thessalonians 2:19, “For 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?”
There is the Crown of Righteousness that will be awarded to those who live in the fear of the Lord, love Him and long for His return. 2 Timothy 4:8, “Henceforth 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.”
There is the Crown of Glory given for serving others. Speaking to the pastors of the church Peter wrote, “Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind; 3 Neither as being lords over God’s heritage, but being ensamples to the flock. 4 And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away” (1 Pet. 5:2-4).
In light of the judgment to come, with the hope of being justly rewarded let the church live to be a witness for Christ. When that is done, we will join the apostolic band and carry on the rich tradition of bearing testimony for Christ.
Because the crowns Christians are to receive are spiritual and not literal, care must be taken not to teach that believers will try to return the crowns to Christ, as humbling as that idea may be. There is no need for such a teaching because the gifts of God are without repentance. The Lord does not want us to return the crown of life, the crown of rejoicing, the crown of glory, or the crown of righteousness. He wants us to enjoy the spiritual rewards of our labor and faithfulness to Him.
While the believer can anticipate spiritual rewards and the crowns of glory, the heart of every Christian does want to crown Jesus with many crowns for He is worthy of all honor and praise.
“Crown Him with many crowns, the Lamb upon His throne.
Hark! How the heavenly anthem drowns all music but its own.
Awake, my soul, and sing of Him who died for thee,
And hail Him as thy matchless King through all eternity.”