Home » Nearing Midnight » Righteousness and the Crowns

Righteousness and the Crowns

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:

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. The crown of life, given to those who successfully endure temptation

James 1:2–3

My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations;

Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience.

Revelation 2:10

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.

  1. 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.

  1. The crown of glory, given to faithful preachers and teachers

Acts 20:26–28

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!


  1. Carol Cole says:

    WONDERFUL article, Terry ! Thank you very much. I have heard you mention your death experience many times, however since I am not very swift on the internet, I am clueless as to where to find the complete journey you had. Will you please send me a link ? Thank you.

    Terry, as dumb as this sounds, do you feel our pets will be in heaven with us ? Let me put this another way……..Do you feel our pets will be left behind to suffer starvation and/or abuse…..to end up dying……to be in heaven with us ? ( Bet you are gritting your teeth at me for THOSE questions ! )

    Blessings to you and your family, Carol Cole Atlanta

    Sent from my iPad


    • Ed Wood says:

      Hi, Carol.

      Regarding Terry’s experience, he wrote an excellent book on it called “Heaven Vision” a few years ago. I strongly recommend it.

      (I’ll leave the pets in heaven question up to those more knowledgeable than myself!)

      God bless.
      Ed W.

  2. Ted Bates says:

    Terry that was nice that before Bob went home he gave you a word if live and blessing. Over 8 years ago when my parents passed about 5 months apart, I really desired to receive a word of blessing even when they knew that they would soon die. I encourage everyone that if you are aware that you will die soon to leave your family with a word of blessing first. God bless you all, Ted

  3. Clyde E McKelvey says:

    Terry ole friend playmate,teammate classmate and most important Christain hope you are well and saying safe. Keep it up.

  4. Ed Wood says:

    Matthew {25:40} And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done [it] unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done [it] unto me.

    See also Matthew 20:1-16. [The parable of the generous vineyard owner.]

    From these, it seems that a person will get the appropriate crown even if they did something for God only once, a further reflection of his generosity. Of course, that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t each try to do as much as we can while we are here.

    We don’t do good works to get saved, but because we ARE saved by faith in Jesus already, right?

    Excellent recap on this subject, Terry. Thank you.

  5. Ron Toney says:

    Amen brother Terry. God bless you.

  6. Julia Pomeroy says:

    Superb article but it does seem to me I will not be receiving any crowns, not even for soul winning because I have lost count of the number people I have shared Jesus with on a one to one basis but I have only ever led one person to the Lord and she is now seriously backslidden. Anyway to my point, is there somewhere I can go to read an article on your experiences from ten or so years ago – when you were clinically dead because I did not know that had happened to you and whilst, I find I am very, very suspicious of the plethora of books written by people who claim they have been to heaven, I ahve read enough of your stuff to know you would not be telling people this for your own glory. Thanks.

    • Ted Bates says:

      Hi. I just want to share that it is dissapointing when we share the gospel and Jesus with others but do not see the fruit of our labors after we have shared. I have learned to not place my goal on what someone else will do or doesn’t do because I cannot control how that person responds. God has given all people a free will. Since I cannot control what someone else does, instead it is my goal to share Jesus with others. I can do that. Whether they behave yea or nay is in their court. So my goal is to share the gospel because that depends on me. Yes we want to see the seed we sow produce fruit. But the Bible says that we sow the seed in tears. Sometimes it is someone else who reaps the sheaves with joy. That sounds unfair but you will be rewarded by God for your service for Him. I sow the seed whether someone responds or not. That’s my goal. Whether anyone responds or not,, God holds me responsible to share the gospel, to warn the people what is ahead, but He does not hold me responsible for whether they heed the warning or not. He holds them responsible for that. But if I don’t warn them then their blood is on my hands. Read Ezekiel 33. God told Ezekiel that he was a Watchman on the wall. If he blows the horn and warns the people and rhey and they don’t heed the warning and perish their blood is upon their own hands. But if Ezekiel does not warn the people and they perish, God holds the Watchman responsible and their blood is on the watchman’s hands. God calls you to share your faith whether anyone hears or not.

      • Julia Pomeroy says:

        Thank you so much for pointing me in the right direction, it was just when I read about the crown for ‘soul winning’ I was saddened but then it means, I am sure, for those who have shared Jesus with others. Of course the outcome is up to God and not me, again thank you.

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