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.
Anyone who follows the international news is used to hearing members of the British Royal Family referred to by only their first name—such as Prince Charles, Prince William, or Queen Elizabeth. Members of England’s (or any) Royal Family follow the centuries-old tradition of having first names and titles only. But modern conventions demand last names as well. But what is the surname for members of the Royal Family? The surname for the Royal Family has been Windsor since 1917. Queen Elizabeth chose to include a reference to her husband’s ancestry, so her descendants have the surname of Mountbatten-Windsor. However, Prince William and his family could use the name “Cambridge,” since he is the Duke of Cambridge, and Prince Harry could use the name “Sussex,” in accordance to his royal title. The name they choose to use does not change their ancestry, it just exemplifies their role in the monarchy.Benissimo
The Benissimo (“I Am Fine”) Mask is uniquely Venetian, for Venice is famous not only for its canals and masks but also for its glassmakers. During the Middle Ages and Renaissance, the principal center of European glassmaking was the Venetian island of Murano. Great cathedrals across Europe adorn their windows and mosaics with the superb stained glass from Venice.
It isn’t surprising, then, that the stained glass mask was among the most popular on the city’s Grand Canal. People wearing the mask appeared religious when in fact they were perhaps nothing of the kind.
The Benissimo Mask is equally popular among American churchgoers. On the outside, we often give the appearance that all is well. “I’m fine,” we say if asked. “I attend a great church. I have a marvelous family. My job’s great.”
But beneath the mask is a heart that says, “Things are not all right. My marriage is rocky. My kids are drifting. I’m lapsing in hidden areas of my life. I don’t feel close to God. I’m hurting.”
Could you be wearing this mask? Are you giving others the impression you’re doing better than you really are?The Doubter’s Hands
“Doubting” was his nickname. Never mind that prior to his lapse, he volunteered to die with Jesus. Never mind that after his lapse, he took the Gospel to India where, according to our best traditions, he was martyred. We remember him most for his qualms following the Crucifixion, and we call him D. T.—“Doubting Thomas.”
We identify with him. It’s not that we struggle with doubts about the resurrection of Christ. We’re convinced of that. But none of us trusts as we ought. So the Bible gives us Thomas, the forerunner of all who occasionally question; and his story assures us of the patience of our Lord Jesus.
When Jesus spent a final night teaching His disciples in the Upper Room, Thomas broke in with the question they all wanted to ask: “Lord, we do not know where You are going, and how can we know the way?” (John 14:5) On the day of our Lord’s crucifixion, however, D. T. was nowhere to be seen, nor did he meet with the other disciples three days later amid the flurry of rumors and reports of the Resurrection. We can only assume he was embittered and disillusioned, no longer wanting to associate with the Twelve.
Looking back on The Jesus You May Not Know, are you wondering what to do with all that you learned? Today, Dr. David Jeremiah shares practical tools for building a deeper intimacy with Christ than you’ve known before.All Sermons by Dr. David Jeremiah