This past week, the going home to Heaven of my friend Bob Rogers to be with our Lord brought the impression I believe is from that eternal realm of glory.
Bob was both a gentleman and a gentle man, as the great Paul Harvey used to put it in describing those he greatly honored and respected. We will miss Bob, but only for a very brief time in terms of eternity. In our last conversation, he confided that he and his family loved me and my family. That memory means more to me than I can adequately express. We were—and are—indeed one family, both in terms of here on earth and of eternity.
His passing into glory immediately brought forth my own recollection of dying clinically those three times on Good Friday of 2011. What a magnificent sight I, a blind person, saw each time my heart discontinued its beating. I won’t go into all that again, as I have mentioned it many times. Suffice it to say it all was just…well…glorious!
So, the joy Bob is experiencing now, I perhaps can remember only a brief glimpse of, but to be there in God’s presence forever must be beyond anything any of us can imagine.
And this has me contemplating the time when we will all stand before our Lord Jesus Christ to receive eternal rewards. These we will enjoy in a timeless dimension that will grow exponentially in terms of heavenly exultation.
We who are in Christ and particularly look with great anticipation for the Rapture are told we will receive the crown of righteousness.
There are some who believe all Christians will receive this crown, because all Christians will be thrilled when Christ calls them to Himself. I don’t view this crown this way, because I’m convinced we must look forward with great anticipation now, in this life, in order to be rewarded for our belief that Christ will keep this promise of escape from the time of Tribulation (Revelation 3:10).
Here are the Apostle Paul’s words on this promise of that crown.
Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing. (1 Timothy 4:8)
Most who read these commentaries, I believe with all that is within my spirit, will be awarded this crown. Rapture Ready–and my personal blog, terryjamesprophecyline.com—are devoted to putting forth the magnificent promise that our Lord will snatch us from this fallen earth just in time to avoid the great trouble that is prophetically scheduled for this planet of rebellious people. Those who love to read these articles and study other materials must have in their spiritual hearts the love for Christ’s appearing, as Paul terms the prerequisite for receiving the crown of righteousness.
Here, again, are the crowns promised to believers who devote themselves to godly living while in this present life on earth.
The Bible mentions at least 5 crowns/rewards:
- The incorruptible crown, given to those who master the old nature
1 Corinthians 9:25–27
And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible.
I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air:
But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.
- The crown of rejoicing given to soul-winners
Proverbs 11: 30
The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life; and he that winneth souls is wise.
Daniel 12: 3
And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever.
1 Thessalonians 2: 19–20
For what is our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing? Are not even ye in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at his coming?
For ye are our glory and joy.
- The crown of life, given to those who successfully endure temptation
My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations;
Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience.
Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer: behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation ten days: be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life.
- The crown of righteousness for those who especially love the doctrine of the Rapture
2 Timothy 4:8
Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.
- The crown of glory, given to faithful preachers and teachers
Wherefore I take you to record this day, that I am pure from the blood of all men.
For I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God.
Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.
2 Timothy 4:1–2
I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom;
Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.
1 Peter 5:2–4
Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind;
Neither as being lords over God’s heritage, but being ensamples to the flock.
And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away.
What a glorious prospect—to see our Savior face to face and to hear Him say: “Well done, good, faithful servant.”
Praise God, that is what my great friend Bob Rogers is hearing at this very heavenly moment!