King Solomon observed, “Riches are not forever, nor does a crown endure to all generations” (Proverbs 27:24). That’s why Jesus said, “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth… but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal” (Matthew 6:19-20). He also reminded us, “Do not labor for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to everlasting life” (John 6:27). Paul added, “Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth” (Colossians 3:2). And John wrote, “Do not love the world or the things in the world… The world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever” (1 John 2:15, 17). The message is clear: Our focus should be on eternal possessions and treasures—not on temporal pleasures and pursuits. In fact, the Bible records rewards that will be awarded to the faithful.
The Crown Jewels of Eternity
The New Testament writers promise certain imperishable crowns for God’s people. Five of them are displayed in the vaults of heaven, ready to be awarded at the Day of Judgment.
There’s the Crown of Righteousness, which Paul enjoyed contemplating during his final imprisonment. Writing in 2 Timothy 4:8, he said, “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.” This is the crown for all those who eagerly await our Lord’s return and frequently offer the Bible’s closing prayer, “Even so, come, Lord Jesus!”
There’s the Crown of Life, described in James 1:12: “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.”
There’s the Crown of Glory, given to God’s faithful servants who shepherd His flock as overseers, not by compulsion but willingly, not for dishonest gain but eagerly. “And when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that does not fade away” (1 Peter 5:4).
There’s the Crown of Rejoicing, mentioned in 1 Thessalonians 2:19, for faithful soul-winners.
And there’s the Incorruptible Crown in 1 Corinthians 9:25, for those who live disciplined lives of purity.
In stark contrast to that to those crowns, remember how our Lord was treated on the day of His crucifixion. “When they had twisted a crown of thorns, they put it on His head, and a reed in His right hand” (Matthew 27:29). But when He comes again, we’ll see Him like this: “His eyes were like a flame of fire, and on His head were many crowns” (Revelation 19:12).
One day the Tower of London will collapse, the Crown Jewels of the British Empire will perish, and the riches of all nations of history will melt away as the unsaved stand before the judgment of Almighty God.
Don’t labor for the crown that perishes, but for the imperishable crown which the Lord, the Righteous Judge, will award on that day to all who love His appearing.
On that day, our Lord will crown us with endless blessings.
David Jeremiah is the Senior Pastor of Shadow Mountain Community Church and the founder and host of Turning Point. For more information, visit the website www.DavidJeremiah.org.
This Is How David Jeremiah Begins His Weekly Sermon Preparation...For years, David Jeremiah has begun his weekly sermon preparation by copying the central Scripture passage word-for-word using pen and paper. About this habit, he says, “It’s hard to describe, but the blessing and insights I have received from this practice are almost incalculable.”To guide you through this powerful process, David has designed The Written Word Journal for the book of Romans. Request your copy this month with a gift of any amount.