Saturday, October 15, 2016

Reflection - Crown of righteousness

Source (book): "Faithful to the end", Chapter 11, Question 3, Page 161.
By Robert M. Solomon, Bishop of the Methodist Church in Singapore from 2000 - 2012


A Crown of Righteousness
PHOTO: A Crown of Righteousness
Death would not be the end of Christians but to a new future with Christ (in heaven). A crown of righteousness will be awarded to all who have longed for the Lord's appearing (2 Timothy 4:8). Those who wear it will know that they are unworthy of these crowns, but that they had received it by the grace and mercy of God. This crown of righteousness is not something to be worn as an achievement or award, but as a reminder of the greatness of the Lord who has made it possible for redeemed sinners to wear such glorious crown. The crowns would be seen as honouring God who is merciful and kind, generous and loving.
Picture posted by prayerfriends, taken on 24 August 2009 - A Crown of Righteousness for my Auntie Gin
https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-ndTVtKyIaAI/WAHm223jNtI/AAAAAAAAlQg/rV5OOPS3NgkXXYB5mXqDepfjxR-Bc89kACLcB/s1600/3862755256_1303903da8_b.jpg
https://farm3.staticflickr.com/2645/3862755256_1303903da8_b.jpg
http://www.flickriver.com/photos/prayerfriends/3862755256/



Imagine receiving and wearing your crown of righteousness. What do you think the Lord would say, how would you response? What sort of rewards do Christians have in mind when they serve the Lord? Which of these thoughts would be helpful and which ones wouldn't be?

Imagine receiving and wearing your crown of righteousness. What do you think the Lord would say, how would you response?

The Lord would say: "I am please with you as you have does the will of my Father who is in heaven. You have baptise your heart and tell someone else about your new faith in me. Your faith in me, and willingness to repent from your sins have save you. Here is your crown of righteousness. I have other great plans for you as I had indicated before. You will receive them in time to come. Welcome to heaven!"

My response: "Lord, I am a sinner. It was through Your Crucifixion on the cross, and because of Your love, sacrifice, grace and mercy that I am redeemed. The Holy Spirit cleanse and prepare me for this moment. Thank You, Lord. Amen!"



Safely Home
PHOTO: Safely Home is a depiction of the victorious side of martyrdom. The long awaited embrace from our Master and Savior is more than enough reward for the saint who followed in His footsteps. In the painting, Christ steps off His throne to greet the new arrival with the same love that He once demonstrated on a cross outside of Jerusalem 2,000 years ago. As promised, He has gone ahead to prepare a place for this martyr. Safely Home shows that death is just the beginning of life…not the end.
Artwork by Ron DiCianni - Safely Home
Picture posted by Tapestry Productions
 

https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-2qjHbDBXQIg/WAHm3yC2GfI/AAAAAAAAlQ4/50IO-2J-kAssiCUAvtLuJWr1_qFtGnsrQCLcB/s1600/Ron-DiCianni-Safely-Home-Full.jpg
http://www.tapestryproductions.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/Ron-DiCianni-Safely-Home-Full.jpg
http://www.tapestryproductions.com/product/safely-home-artwork-by-ron-dicianni/



What sort of rewards do Christians have in mind when they serve the Lord?
A Crown of Righteousness [1]
Death would not be the end of Christians but to a new future with Christ (in heaven)
Having reviewed his past, Paul then looked forward to his future. He continued his idea of an athletic event that culminates (reach a climax or point of highest development) in victory and the reception of a victor's crown. Yes, he had a future, for death would not be the end of him; rather, it would mark the beginning of a brand new future for him - a future in eternity in the glorious presence of Christ.



Death would not be the end of Christians but to a new future with Christ (in heaven).
PHOTO: Death would not be the end of Christians but to a new future with Christ (in heaven). Death would not be the end of Christians; rather, it would mark the beginning of a brand new future for us - a future in eternity in the glorious presence of Christ.
Picture posted by Rea Mall on Thursday, 15 October 2015 at a 13:27
https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-2eYlHppWD-E/WAHm4nGtdII/AAAAAAAAlRE/xa00ck5O9nYrUmMz7aZgtsFOpR5Y3UNXgCLcB/s1600/grande-folla.jpg
http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-o8-LDFQACho/ViAMELJ5mvI/AAAAAAAAHh4/hRrd-8geeQQ/s1600/grande-folla.jpg
http://sorellasilvia.blogspot.sg/2015/10/capitolo-48.html



A crown of righteousness will be awarded
The Lord will give him a crown of righteousness (
2 Timothy 4:8). There are two main words for "crown" in the New Testament. One refers to a royal crown won by kings and emperors, and the other to the victor's crown (the stephanos) in the Games. The victor in a race in the Olympic or Isthmian Games was given a crown made of olive or laurel leaves. Here Paul referred to this victor's crown - the crown that was essentially a trophy, a recognition that one had competed according to the rules and had won. Incidentally this crown (stephanos) has the same name as the first Christian martyr, Stephan, who was surely given the wonderful crown of righteousness as he completed his race faithfully (Acts 6:8 -7:60).


There is something more important than life, and that is eternal life.
PHOTO: Paul referred to this victor's crown (the stephanos) - the crown that was essentially a trophy, a recognition that one had competed according to the rules and had won. Incidentally this crown (stephanos) has the same name as the first Christian martyr, Stephan, who was surely given the wonderful crown of righteousness as he completed his race faithfully (Acts 6:8 -7:60).
The story of Stephen in Acts 7 gives insight. When Stephen stood firm for Christ in the face of Jewish persecution in Jerusalem, he was stoned. But just before the stones began to fly, Stephen had a vision of Jesus in heaven standing at the right hand of God, waiting to receive Stephen’s spirit. Normally, Jesus is pictured seated at the right hand of God (Ephesians 1:20; Hebrews 8:1). But Jesus stood in honour of Stephen’s courage and commitment. It also says, “Then he (Stephen) knelt down and cried out with a loud voice, 'Lord do not charge them with this sin.' And when he had said this he fell asleep." Acts 7:60
Posted by LIVING ETERNAL on 15 June 2016
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https://livingeternal.files.wordpress.com/2016/06/picture-of-stephen-being-stoned.jpg
https://livingeternal.net/2016/06/15/what-is-more-important-life-eternal-life/



The crown "will never fade away" but "last forever"
The ancient Olympic crown would not last long as it was made of leaves; it would wither after a very short while. On the other hand, the crown of righteousness that faithful disciples of Jesus will receive after their race "will never fade away" but "last forever" (1 Peter 5:4; 1 Corinthians 9:25). This crown will not sit well on the head of a sinful or proud person; rather, it will be a sign of great humility and gratitude. Those who wear it will know that they are unworthy of these crowns, but that they had received it by the grace and mercy of God.



The crown 'will never fade away' but 'last forever'
PHOTO: The crown "will never fade away" but "last forever"
This crown will not sit well on the head of a sinful or proud person; rather, it will be a sign of great humility and gratitude. Those who wear it will know that they are unworthy of these crowns, but that they had received it by the grace and mercy of God.
Picture posted by Tradition Studio - Crowns at His Feet
https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-nXYPT54-oRg/WAHm3d3fw-I/AAAAAAAAlQw/8LL_b5Zq8kYIiiu9Rls40nihV5PSsQyJwCLcB/s1600/Crowns_at_His_Feet1.jpg
http://www.traditionstudio.com/media/large/gallery/Crowns_at_His_Feet1.jpg
http://www.traditionstudio.com/gallery/crownsathisfeet.cfm



Possible for redeemed sinners to wear such glorious crown
One scene in the book of Revelation has the twenty-four elders seated on their twenty-four thrones. In the presence of Christ, they do not sit well on their thrones. Ever mindful of their own standing before Christ, as they witness the glory of the Lord, "they fall down before him who sits on the throne, and worship him who lives for ever and ever. They lay down their crowns before the throne" (Revelation 4:10, emphasis added). This crown of righteousness is not something to be worn as an achievement or award, but as a reminder of the greatness of the Lord who has made it possible for redeemed sinners to wear such glorious crown.



Possible for redeemed sinners to wear such glorious crown
PHOTO: Possible for redeemed sinners to wear such glorious crown
One scene in the book of Revelation has the twenty-four elders seated on their twenty-four thrones. In the presence of Christ, they do not sit well on their thrones. Ever mindful of their own standing before Christ, as they witness the glory of the Lord, "they fall down before him who sits on the throne, and worship him who lives for ever and ever."
Picture posted by Andrew Roebert on 7 December 2015 - LAYING DOWN OUR CROWNS
https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-Oxtw5t1r6IA/WAHm3VDIBBI/AAAAAAAAlQs/7KvROPYOOvsqsQqkQu-I5mwun4LeX9OCQCLcB/s1600/AAEAAQAAAAAAAAV8AAAAJDI0ZmI1NWRiLTc5YWUtNGExZi04NDc2LTg1ZTA5ZDFjNjQwNA.jpg
https://media.licdn.com/mpr/mpr/AAEAAQAAAAAAAAV8AAAAJDI0ZmI1NWRiLTc5YWUtNGExZi04NDc2LTg1ZTA5ZDFjNjQwNA.jpg
https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/laying-down-our-crowns-andrew-roebert



Paul knew this crown of righteousness was awaiting him. The old apostle stood at the brink of eternity and saw the future clearly. As Adam Clarke puts it, "This is most probably the last letter the apostle ever wrote and it is impossible to see him in a more advantageous point of view than he now appears, standing on the verge of eternity, full of God, and strongly anticipating an eternity of glory." [5]



Standing on the verge of eternity, full of God, and strongly anticipating an eternity of glory
PHOTO: Standing on the verge of eternity, full of God, and strongly anticipating an eternity of glory
Paul knew this crown of righteousness was awaiting him. The old apostle stood at the brink of eternity and saw the future clearly.
Picture posted by manfred-gebhard.de
https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-Eok_7lUU-WY/WAHm36gbvxI/AAAAAAAAlQ0/HzpkFnF7sfYTe0uHulK7VFeKzSwWJUFnwCLcB/s1600/Offenbarung2020202.jpg
http://www.manfred-gebhard.de/Offenbarung2020202.jpg
http://www.manfred-gebhard.de/Offenbarungsbuchreise20.htm



The crown is not just for the elite in the kingdom of God
The apostle had every confidence in Christ, knowing that He would rescue him and bring safely to the Father's house. He also knew that Jesus is "the righteous Judge" (
2 Timothy 4:8) who will assess people and judge them with justice and perfect righteousness. No one would be able to find fault with His judgements. He is the one who will award the crown of righteousness to those who had followed Him faithfully. Paul also declared that this crown was not just for Paul but "also to all who have longed for his appearing" (2 Timothy 4:8). In other words, the crown is not just for the elite in the kingdom of God; it is for anyone who would place his or her trust in Christ and live out that trust in faithful obedience as they wait for the return of the Lord.


The crown is not just for the elite in the kingdom of God
PHOTO: The crown is not just for the elite in the kingdom of God
It is for anyone who would place his or her trust in Christ and live out that trust in faithful obedience as they wait for the return of the Lord.
Picture posted by The Bible on 4 May 2015 at 11:11 am - Welcome Home to the Redeemed
King Jesus welcomes the redeemed to New Jerusalem

https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-39iss5NJX8E/WAHm4VWRuZI/AAAAAAAAlRA/6qSx7us5wlw6wk_HImTuCVKndaizXSPHACLcB/s1600/fT-jUvVTrI0.jpg
https://pp.vk.me/c624719/v624719747/2b6bf/fT-jUvVTrI0.jpg
https://vk.com/topic-18074922_31997064?post=8352



Everyone in heaven would have a crown
Everyone in heaven would have a crown, but no one would show off their crown as a personal trophy. Instead the crowns would be seen as honouring God who is merciful and kind, generous and loving. The attention would not be on the crown wearer but on the crown giver.



Everyone in heaven would have a crown
PHOTO: Everyone in heaven would have a crown
The crowns would be seen as honouring God who is merciful and kind, generous and loving. The attention would not be on the crown wearer but on the crown giver.
Picture posted by AlterVista
https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-BqIA16yaexQ/WAHm23giKMI/AAAAAAAAlQc/0KE-kpT5nDkXqdDtIobLhC3TVvY-uoQuACLcB/s1600/2015160_univ_lsr_lg.jpg
http://gemmeteocratiche.altervista.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/2015160_univ_lsr_lg.jpg
http://gemmeteocratiche.altervista.org/illustrazioni-utili/



Various Descriptions of Crowns Awaiting Believers
These are the five crowns mentioned in the New Testament:
1. Crown of Righteousness - for those who loved the Lord's appearing (
2 Timothy 4:8)
2. An Incorruptible Crown - for those with disciplined bodies (1 Corinthians 9:25-27)
3. Crown of Life - for those who endured trials (James 1:12, Revelation 2:10)
4. Crowns of Glory - for godly leaders (1 Peter 5:2-4)
5. Crown of Rejoicing - for soul winners (1 Thessalonians 2:19)



Various Descriptions of Crowns Awaiting Believers. These are the five crowns mentioned in the New Testament.
PHOTO: Various Descriptions of Crowns Awaiting Believers. These are the five crowns mentioned in the New Testament.
Picture posted by Anne (Pinterest)
https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-Xo9Phq0wG60/WAHm4Icpg0I/AAAAAAAAlQ8/cyrKdwcDX90_5B1wsmf9qfDmdE_SRgiYgCLcB/s1600/b8981e0114e56bf2b816fed16486ce39.jpg
https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/originals/b8/98/1e/b8981e0114e56bf2b816fed16486ce39.jpg
https://www.pinterest.com/pin/573294227546726446/



Which of these thoughts (rewards of Christians) would be helpful and which ones wouldn't be?
Helpful thoughts

  • After death, go to heaven to be with Jesus Christ. Christians had a future, for death would not be the end.
  • A crown of righteousness will be awarded. It is a recognition that one had competed according to the rules and had won.
  • The crown "will never fade away" but "last forever". It will be a sign of great humility and gratitude.
  • Possible for redeemed sinners to wear such glorious crown. It is a reminder of the greatness of the Lord who has made it possible through His grace and mercy.
  • Everyone in heaven would have a crown and not just for the elite in the kingdom of God.
  • The crowns would be seen as honouring God who is merciful and kind, generous and loving.
Helpful thoughts
PHOTO: Helpful thoughts
This crown will not sit well on the head of a sinful or proud person; rather, it will be a sign of great humility and gratitude. Those who wear it will know that they are unworthy of these crowns, but that they had received it by the grace and mercy of God.
Artwork by Timothy Kobs, 2003 - "Broken Wing" 

https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-XEPKss9Y3kE/WAHm292WsJI/AAAAAAAAlQk/OtoL8I6XJBg7jft1975aEF7IWl0QR34AgCLcB/s1600/030d637362c3dc5833217c53352d4105.jpg
https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/736x/03/0d/63/030d637362c3dc5833217c53352d4105.jpg
https://www.pinterest.com/pin/295548794274407121/



Unhelpful thoughts

  • After having the crown become proud of the achievement. Those who wear it will know that they are unworthy of these crowns, but that they had received it by the grace and mercy of God.
  • This crown of righteousness is something to be worn as an achievement or award. This is not a helpful thought as the crown is not awarded because of our own efforts. The crown is a reminder of the greatness of the Lord who has made it possible for redeemed sinners to wear such glorious crown.
  • The crown is only for the elite in the kingdom of God. Not true. It is for anyone who would place his or her trust in Christ and live out that trust in faithful obedience as they wait for the return of the Lord.
  • Crown wearer will garner attentions. This is an unhelpful thought because the attention would not be on the crown wearer but on the crown giver.

We should neither lose our witness nor lose our holiness.
PHOTO: Unhelpful thoughts about rewards of Christians
After having the crown become proud of the achievement. Those who wear it will know that they are unworthy of these crowns, but that they had received it by the grace and mercy of God. This crown of righteousness is not something to be worn as an achievement or award. The crown is a reminder of the greatness of the Lord who has made it possible for redeemed sinners to wear such glorious crown.
Picture posted by Walmir Almeida on Saturday, 23 February 2013
http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-oJPB12v9L0A/VYgPNLrj-aI/AAAAAAAAgZY/w_weThY3m4M/s1600/Depositphotos_8664109_original.jpg
http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-YGECbbI0ex0/USlxMCKrwjI/AAAAAAAAAIM/gkaPEm_X1tk/s1600/Depositphotos_8664109_original.jpg
http://walmirbsb.blogspot.sg/2013/02/a-inocencia-dos-anjos.html#.VYUsJVKYQz8
http://veryfatoldman.blogspot.sg/2015/06/reflection-heresy.html
http://veryfatoldman.blogspot.sg/2016/09/reflection-christians-manner-of-ministry.html



Dear Lord, We pray that death would not be the end of Christians but to a new future with Christ in heaven. A crown of righteousness will be awarded to all Christians and those who wear it will know that they are unworthy of these crowns, but that they had received it by the grace and mercy of God. This crown of righteousness is not something to be worn as an achievement or award, but as a reminder of the greatness of the Lord who has made it possible for redeemed sinners to wear such glorious crown. The crowns would be seen as honouring God who is merciful and kind, generous and loving. Through Lord Jesus Christ, we pray. Amen!
PHOTO: "Dear Lord, We pray that death would not be the end of Christians but to a new future with Christ in heaven. A crown of righteousness will be awarded to all Christians and those who wear it will know that they are unworthy of these crowns, but that they had received it by the grace and mercy of God. This crown of righteousness is not something to be worn as an achievement or award, but as a reminder of the greatness of the Lord who has made it possible for redeemed sinners to wear such glorious crown. The crowns would be seen as honouring God who is merciful and kind, generous and loving. Through Lord Jesus Christ, we pray. Amen!"
Posted in Dreams, Truth, Life on 5 October 2014
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https://sacredspiritdance.files.wordpress.com/2014/10/42d77da8.jpg
https://sacredspiritdance.wordpress.com/2014/10/08/%E2%99%A5%E2%99%A5-sacred-spirit-dance-%E2%99%A5%E2%99%A5-3069/
https://sacredspiritdance.wordpress.com/category/sogni/page/146/


Reflection - Crown of righteousness
By Robert M. Solomon, Bishop of the Methodist Church in Singapore from 2000 - 2012



Reference

[1] From "Faithful to the end" A Preacher's Exposition of 2 Timothy, Copyright © 2014 by Robert M. Solomon, ISBN 978-1-62707-241-0, PART FOUR: FAITHFUL TO THE END, Chapter 11 "Preparing For The End" (2 Timothy 4:6-8), Page 158-160.

[5] Adam Clarke, Commentary on the Bible, 2 Timothy 4:22, http://www.studylight.org/com/acc/view.cgi?bk=54&ch=4.

NIV, New International Version, Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

1 Corinthians 9:25 - https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=1+Corinthians+9%3A25&version=NIV

1 Corinthians 9:25-27 - https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=1+Corinthians+9%3A25-27&version=NIV

1 Peter 5:2-4 - https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=1+Peter+5%3A2-4&version=NIV

1 Peter 5:4 - https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=1+Peter+5%3A4&version=NIV

1 Thessalonians 2:19 - https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=1+Thessalonians+2%3A19&version=NIV

2 Timothy 4:6-8 - https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=2+Timothy+4%3A6-8&version=NIV

2 Timothy 4:8 - https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=2+Timothy+4%3A8&version=NIV