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MEMORY VERSE: For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory? 11 Cor. 4:17.

BIBLE PASSAGE: 1 Corinthians 9:16-27.

INTRODUCATION: It is generally believed that the rewards to be given at the Judgement Seat of Christ will consist of crows and other glorious things. 11 Cor. 4:17 speaks of the momentary light, affliction which is descriptive of this world of sorrow, pain, tears and problems. However, the moment that we cross to the other
side, this moment of affliction will be exchanged for an “Exceeding and eternal weight of glory.” The believer falls asleep in Christ (Jn. 11:11), suddenly awakes in the Lord’s presence and the glory begins (Ph. 1:23).

WHAT GLORIES ARE BELIEVERS TO EXPECT?
Every born-again child of God, living a holy life and walking in the Spirit of God may expect:
(a) To be with Christ on the last day (Jn. 14:3). Now everyone is happy to be in the presence of a great person but nothing can compare to being in the presence of the King of Kings!
(b) To behold His face (Ps. 17:15). What glory it will be just to be able to gaze on that wonderful face (Rev. 22:4).
(c) To behold the glory of Christ (Jn.17:24). We shall not only behold His face but also His glory. The disciples saw a glimpse of this glory on the Mount of Transfiguration. We shall see it in full when we get to heaven!
(d) To be glorified with Christ, (Rom. 8:17-18). We are not just to behold His glory; we are to be glorified too! WE do not know what this actually means but it is surely going to be marvelously wonderful!
(e) To reign with Christ (11 Tim. 2:12). We shall reign with the King of Kings! In Matt. 25:20-23 parables of the talents, the faithful ones were made rulers over many things. That is a challenge to us today.
(f) To inherit all things (Rev. 21:7). Not some things but all things!
(g) To shine as the stars (Dan. 12:3). I believe we should increase the rate at which we are winning souls for Christ.

WHAT CROWNS MAY BELIEVERS WIN?
It is possible for believers to win several crowns. For example there is:
(a) Crowns of runners (1 Cor.9:24-25). It is an incorruptible crown, an eternal one. It is for those who patiently run the race to heaven and are temperate in all things (Heb. 12:1).
(b) Then there are crowns for soul winners (1 Thess. 2:19). This is called the crown of rejoicing. Perhaps each convert will be a jewel, a star in that crown. How many stars will there be in your own crown? You ought to have at least one for each year of your Christian life if you win at least one Soul a year!
(c) Then there are crowns for anticipators, that is, those who are expecting the Lord’s return (11 Tim. 4:8). This is called the crown of righteousness. Everyone ought to win this crown, each one of us ought to be watching and waiting for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.
(d) There is also the crowns for faithful ones (James 1:12). This is called the crown of life. There seems to be three conditions to winning this crown:
i. Enduring temptation, overcoming evil;
ii. Loving the Lord, which ought to be easy
iii. Being faithful unto death, enduring to the end, even if it means martyrdom (Rev. 2:10).
(e) Then there are crowns for true Pastors (1 Pet. 5:4). This is called the crown of glory. This is the crown for the elders, the under shepherds, pastors, missionaries and teachers who perform their duties so well that the Great Shepherd would say “well done” to them.
(f) Finally, there are crowns of gold for all the redeemed (Rev.4:4). Not only earthly kings and queens have crowns. Redeemed men, born-again, holy living Christians shall crowns too.

CONCLUSION.
It is possible to earn a crown and then lose it again (Rev. 3:11). Would that not be a terrible tragedy? May God grant that it will not happen to us? But then the challenge is to faithfulness. Be faithful, even unto death. How many crowns do you hope to win, anyway? Will you like to tell God about it?

QUESTIONS
1. Mention some things that could be included in the future glory of believers.
2. Mention some crowns that a believer could win.
3. What are the conditions for winning a crown of life?
4. Which of the crowns do you think will be easiest to win?
5. Is it possible to win a crown and then lose it later? Explain.

FURTHER READINGS: JN. 8:51, 1 Cor. 15:55, 1 Thess. 4:14, 11 Cor. 4:6, Matt. 17:2,

 
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