HIS CROWNS AND OURS
E. J. CHECKLEY
We may contemplate our Lords coronations with wondering and adoring hearts.
In Ps. 8: 5 as Son of Man, the crown of dominion, lost to Adam, is conferred on the Second Man, who worthily wears its glory and honour, having manifested perfect obedience and perfect dependence in the very scene where the first man failed.
In John 19: 2-5 He is crowned as Saviour. The soldiers platted a crown of thorns, and put it on His head ... Then came Jesus forth, wearing the crown of thorns.
Crowned with thorns upon the tree,
Silent in Thine agony,
Dying, crushed beneath the load
Of the wrath and curse of God.
In Heb. 2: 9 He is crowned as Victor over Satan, sin, the grave We see Jesus ... crowned with glory and honour.
With joy and praise Thy people see
The crown of glory worn by Thee.
Rev. 19: 12 shows Him as King of kings and Lord of lords. On His head were many crowns. Royal diadems proclaim His right to universal homage.
Crown Him, crown Him, Lord of all.
Trace Him through His sufferings to glory, and be assured we are called to follow in the very path He trod.
The [regenerate] Believer's Crowns
The Goal is in prospect (Phil. 3: 14), but the redeemed may wear a present crown. Who crowneth thee with loving-kindness and tender mercies (Ps. 103: 4). The garland of His loving-kindness and tender mercies, gracing every Christian's brow, may surely gladden every journeying mile we tread homewards; but we are told that many, unhappily, forfeit the joy of this possession: The crown is fallen from our head ... we have sinned (Lam. 5: 16). Blessed Lord, graciously recover in the souls of Thy redeemed the delight such loving-kindness and tender mercies minister to Thy weary heritage!
The Crown Incorruptible
(1 Cor. 9: 24-27), for self-control, is within reach of all (Heb. 12: 1). There should be the denial of self, subjection, our old man put off (Matt. 16: 24; Eph. 4 22-24). The [regenerate] believer's training for eternity should be welcomed for,
A crown incorruptible then will be theirs,
A rich compensation for suffering and loss.
The Crown of Life
(Jas. 1: 12 and Rev. 2 : 10) is for those who seek glory and honour by patient continuance (Rom. 2: 7). [Eternal] Life we already have in Christ; this reward is for those who live Christ. 2 Tim. 2: 12 tells us that sufferers, endurers, reign. In the days of Acts 14: 22; Phil. 1: 29; 2 Cor. 12: 10, the privilege of winning such a crown as this was courted by loyal hearts, and still should be until He comes. Gal. 6: 9 encourages us in such a path.
The Crown of Righteousness
is promised in 2 Tim. 4: 8. [Imputed] Righteousness we have in Christ, and there is no crown for that, but a righteous course that costs us something to maintain He will crown. The "course," the stewardship kept, this crown is for those who, loving His appearing, have, while hastening to the goal, faithfully wrought righteousness.
The Crown of Rejoicing
of 1 Thess. 2: 19 is the soul winners garland. Oh, the joy when the soul-winner and the soul won meet together in the crowning day! Then, too, the Divine Seeker and those He sought will rejoice together. His rejoicing will excel, for we read, Behold, I and the children, etc. (Isa. 8: 18; Heb. 2: 10).
The Crown of Glory
is spoken of in 1 Peter 5 : 3, 4. Glory is the portion of every believer in Christ, but the crown of glory is for those who lay down their lives for the brethren, who are ensamples to the flock, who feed the flock, and share the Chief Shepherds loving interest in each and all who compose the little flock; having respect unto the recompense of reward, they regard all earthly, fading honours as nothing to be compared with the crown that fadeth not away; prizing the promise of crowning as loving encouragement from the lips of the glorious Promiser (Heb. 6: 10; Mark 9: 41; Jer. 31: 16). With the promise of His coming He has coupled My reward.
Such reward to him who serveth, Far surpasseth earthly fame.
It has been truly said, We shall have all eternity to celebrate victories, but we have only the few hours before sunset to win them. While [eternal] salvation is of grace freely,
Crowns Must Be Earned
We have opportunity to win crowns only here and now. Striving for masteries is a present experience. In view of the coming day of awards, and knowing that each souls biography is being written in heaven, to be published then, the soul surely should desire to come nearer to God's thoughts now, exercise the mind of Christ, and cleave to the written Word. The overcomers' Well done, and all lesser prizes will be dispensed after the Lord has come for His Bride, the Father's house entered, the home of love reached, when we all are manifested before the judgment-seat of Christ in heaven. Only believers will appear there, those already accepted in the Beloved (Eph. 1: 6), subject to no condemnation (Rom. 8: 1), whose names are in the Lamb's Book of Life (Rev. 21: 27), already glorified (Col. 3: 4), in Christ's likeness (1 John 3 : 2), a beautiful, brilliant assembly before the Bema, where, as in Grecian games, the Umpire proclaims successful competitors, and bestows awards; or, as the judges in Art Galleries, appraise the artists works, not persons; or as in flower-shows the plants and blooms are judged, and not the persons of the exhibitors.
In prospect, suffer loss (1 Cor. 3: 15), being ashamed (1 John 2: 28), or seeing works consumed as worthless, should mightily influence our present purpose to wear the bright gem of His approval now, and to reap in the crowning day the promised recompense.
Judgment for the Believer
will be such as to bring to light hidden things, the thoughts of the heart, etc. (1 Cor. 4: 5). With His servants the Lord reckoneth (Matt. 25 : 19). The sort of works, motives, and faithfulness He will manifest, only accrediting service which is comparable to gold, silver, precious stones, such as when put to the proof stand the fire; while worthless works, which are comparable to wood, hay, stubble, will be consumed (1 Cor. 3:11-15). Quality, not quantity, will there be appraised (Matt. 25 :21-23).
Rules Must Be Observed
otherwise there can be no crown (2 Tim. 2 : 5). Only those who finish well are crowned. The runners must obey strict requirements, the Divine directions (1 Cor. 9: 24, 25; Heb. 12: 1, 2); be exercised by child-training, by Fatherly discipline (Heb. 12: 6-9; 1 Pet. 1: 17); be subject to the corrective rule of Christ as Lord (1 Cor. 11: 31,32); submit to the cleansing Word (John 15: 3); profit by the rebuking rod (Heb. 12: 5); exercise gift received as stewards entrusted with their Master's goods (1 Peter 4 : 10); conscious that a full reward may be forfeited (2 John 8; Rev. 3 : 8-11).
As Divine Incentives
read the Saviour's Blesseds (Matt.5: 3-11), and receive Divine encouragement for Christ-like ways. It will be His joy to say Well done. To gratify Him is surely sufficient inducement!
To be reapers then, the sowing must be done now. Diligent quest of Christian virtues brings abundant entrance; and with no barrenness or unfruitfulness (2 Peter 1 : 8). Entries abounding to the account (Phil. 4: 17) will then be summed up. No loving service, however small, will be unrewarded (Mark 9: 41), and he who serves, him will My Father honour (John 12: 26). In view of His coming quickly (Rev. 22: 12), we should trade with talents given and so reap heavenly profits (Luke 19: 12-19).
The recompense He has promised (Luke 14: 14) is a blest incentive not to lose His great reward:- Sit with Me in My throne (2 John 8; Rev. 3: 21).
Not in vain are present steadfastness and abounding works (1 Cor. 15: 58), to So run that ye may obtain, and keep under the body (1 Cor. 9: 26, 27).
Its blessed effect is godly fear (1 Peter 1: 17) and leads to preferring present training, discipline and chastening to sharing the worlds judgment (1 Cor. 11: 31, 32).
This one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus (Phil. 3 : 13, 14).
The highest rapture in heaven is not when the redeemed wear crowns, but when they cast them down before Him (Rev. 4: 10)
-The Prophetic Digest.