Victor's Crowns (6 of 12)

Mike Connell

Victor's Crowns (6 of 12) A Crown is given to the Victor who has won the race or the fight. It is given in recognition and honour to a person because of what they have achieved or overcome.

In this message we discover five different Crowns that are promised to believers who meet the conditions. These are the Incorruptible Crown, The Crown of Rejoicing, The Crown of Righteousness, The Crown of Life and the Crown of Glory.

Welcome. We're doing our series on Eternal Rewards, and we're up to #6, Victor's Crowns.

Jesus taught about Eternal Rewards. In fact all of His message was about a kingdom that was here now, and then a kingdom that was coming. You will find the theme running right through scripture is sown from the very beginning, where a man and woman come together, and there's a wedding; and at the very end, there's a wedding of Christ and His bride who has prepared herself.

So the Bible is an unfolding revelation of Jesus Christ. It's not our story, it's His story, and it's all about the Father's plan and how it unfolds. As we look at Eternal Rewards, we find that Jesus taught in many different places about the kingdom, and about rewards.

Matthew 16:27 – “For the Son of Man will come in the glory of His Father with His angels, and then He will reward each one according to his works”.

That reward is a recompense. It's got nothing to do with being saved, so we need to then distinguish what it means: to be saved; and what it means to be rewarded for service. Receiving a reward is different to receiving a gift. If you receive a gift, then it's free - there's no strings attached, it's a gift. You did nothing. It was all dependent on the person who gave.

A reward or a wage is something that you have contributed effort, time, sacrifice, labour, and now there's a recompense for what you've done. So the free gift of eternal life is offered to every man. God's plan of salvation includes every person, and it's totally by faith, and by faith alone.

Ephesians 2:8-9 – “For by grace you've been saved, through faith, and even that not of yourselves. It is the gift of God, not works, lest anyone should boast.”

It's very clear in that scripture there: there are no works involved, in us being saved. We are saved totally by the work that Jesus Christ did on the cross; and His work on the cross has made full provision for us to be redeemed out of sin and curses, and established in a relationship with God, and with Him, as a Father.

We're justified by what Jesus did, totally, and you must have that as a foundation for your life. Otherwise, when we teach on eternal rewards, you move from that foundation, and then you begin to work to try and gain acceptance with God. To be saved by faith means: I am now declared innocent. I am in relationship with God. I can't do any more to make Him love me more. I can't do any more, to be more accepted. I'm accepted fully, by what someone else did.

However, now that I have become saved, I'm part of God's plan - and His plan is not just to save me. Many people consider, or their whole understanding of the cross, and the work of the things described in the Bible, is that it's all about us being saved and going to heaven. This is not the plan! That was the glitch in the plan, that man fell, and God implemented a process for us to be restored; but it's the restoration, and back into His purpose, is the thing that really counts.

Reward for service is a recompense, for something you have done. It's something you receive, because you qualified. So in this situation you qualify, or you don't qualify; and the rewards are not given automatically. They're given to those who fulfil specific conditions. When we read Revelations 2 & 3, you get a number of promises, and they're spread through Book of Revelation; promises that have conditions attached. For example…

Revelations 3:21 – “o him who overcomes I will grant to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down My Father on His throne”.

John 12:26 – “If anyone serves Me, let him follow Me, and where I am, there My servant will be also. If anyone serves Me, him My Father will honour”.

God will honour those who serve Jesus. From God, the Father's point of view, the whole of the Bible is the revelation of Jesus Christ; the whole of His plan centres around the person of Jesus Christ. Notice in that other scripture: to him who overcomes. That means there must be something we have to overcome, so Revelation 2 & 3 lays out different things that we're called to overcome, and different promises for the overcomers.

We looked at the different kinds of rewards. We're going to pick up one today called: Victor's Crowns. There are different ways you could organise the rewards, but as I've gone through them, and looked at them, they really fall into three principle categories. All the rewards can be placed under one of these headings.