(Photo courtesy of: www.cstory.co.kr)

I recently was browsing through an old hymn book, when I saw a song entitled,
“Will There Be Any Stars?”. Sure enough, it was one I remembered singing in the old country church when I was a teenager. The chorus continued, “Will there be any stars, any stars in my crown....”?
I had just been talking to my friend, Judy, about that very subject (crowns), that the Bible said would be given to God's people in Heaven. I had mentioned that I had not read anything much about them and thought I should do some research on crowns and write about them in my August article. She agreed that she had not heard much about that subject either, and thought it would be an interesting topic.

I'm always excited when I can find a new subject of study, so I went to my favorite resource, my Bible Concordance. I was a bit disappointed, as not much was mentioned in the way of the saints being awarded with crowns . I had always heard the preachers refer to the Martyr's Crown, but the Bible doesn't list it per se, but is referred to as the Crown of Life. However, it is an interesting study and the following is what I gleaned from the Word via the scripture references.

We often talk about the rapture of the Church and are looking forward to the Lord's coming and the Heaven that awaits us, but most of us aren't aware that there are five crowns the Bible mentions that can be won, as well.

The Incorruptible Crown: 1 Cor. 9:24-25. This crown is given to believers who faithfully run the race. These verses imply that the crown is given to those who do without themselves in some way to point their fellow man to Christ. Part of that seems to be, as Paul indicates in verse 27, by keeping his own body in subjection, lest he would be disapproved of (or a stumbling block) for preaching one thing to others and he himself giving in to the desires of his own flesh. The Apostle is talking about service, not  salvation. Paul is not expressing fear of losing his salvation, but his Incorruptible Crown.

The Crown of Rejoicing: 1 Thes. 2:19, 20 & Daniel 12:3. This is also called the soul-winners crown because it will be given to those who are faithful in witnessing and leading others to salvation.

The Crown of Life: James 1:12 & Rev. 2:8-11. Also referred to as the martyr's crown. It is given to people who suffer severely and/or lose their lives for the sake of their faith.

The Crown of Righteousness:  2 Tim. 4:7-8. This crown is given to those who look forward to Christ's appearing. I would think that all of us made righteous because of the shed blood of the perfect sacrifice would be and should be candidates for this crown. If we are made righteous because of Him, we should be looking for His appearing with all yearning and earnestness. Knowing that our Savior's appearing could be at any time, we should endeavor to live as righteously (Christ-like) as we can with the help of the Holy Spirit. All three of these should go hand in hand. (Being made righteous, endeavoring to live righteously, and looking for His appearing).

The Crown of Glory: 1 Peter 5:1-4. This crown seems to be reserved for pastors, Sunday school teachers, missionaries and others who actively teach God's Word to others, helping them grow in their spiritual lives after they are saved.

These are the five crowns available and of course there are also the rewards. We are not really told what the rewards are but we are told that the crowns will be willingly placed at the feet of Jesus. (We find in Rev. 4:10-11 that the 24 elders cast their crowns at the feet of Jesus and praised Him). AMEN!

This looked to be the shortest article I had ever written, even though Laura Feldick (from the Les Feldick Ministries) had sent me most of the above from her research. I feel the subject has not been taught in our churches, because it is a short study in and of itself; therefore crowns are only mentioned when rewards are referred to in Sunday morning sermons. In fact, the only thing I found in my own library was a lengthy tract put out by the Calvary Gospel Press that I picked up sometime in the 1960's entitled 'Missing the Martyr's Crown'. (The other four Crowns are only named).

“The Apostle Paul teaches us in 1 Cor. 15:23 that there will be ranks in the resurrection, for he states that each shall be raised in “his own order (ranks)”. Then he illustrates the ranks or different values in the natural realm, ending with the illustration of the different ranks even in the heavens, with the sun and moon and stars differing in glory. Paul and Peter (also in his epistle) reveals that we can be crowned with four of the crowns that we have mentioned above, but James speaks of the Crown of Life (Martyr's Crown), which goes to those who die the martyr's death. The saints of the first centuries of  church history, felt it a great privilege to die for their Christ. They became martyrs, loving not their lives unto death, dying under cruel torture rather than DENY THE FAITH.

Jesus Christ became the first fruit of this great host of Christians, being the first Christian Martyr. Then under Saul of Tarsus's persecution of the Church of Jerusalem, recovered records show that about three thousand died, following the martyrdom of Stephen. Most of the early bishops died rather than deny the faith in each of the ten terrible persecutions of the early Church, by the pagan Roman Emperors, because they would not organize and submit to Rome. Thousands of men, women and their children were brought into Rome, tried and torn apart by wild beasts in the great arena before 80,000 spectators.

The Apostle Paul chose to die the martyrs death that he might wear the martyr's crown, and was able to write...”I have kept the faith”. It is said that all twelve Apostles died the martyr's death. John didn't die when they boiled him in oil but whether they killed him after being released from prison or not, the fact that he did not deny the faith when they tried to kill him the first time, earned him the Martyr's Crown.

Fox's Book of Martyrs is said to make one's blood run cold to read it, when you see the many cruel tortures the Christians have passed through to wear the martyr's crown. With their burning bodies lighting the way for drunken Nero to drive home at night, and to think that everyone could have saved their lives by denying their faith in Christ!

It occurred to me that not many have the opportunity to win the Martyr's Crown, or rather the Crown of Life, in our generation. Then I read that the same thought had also occurred to another minister who was attending a funeral. He had received the same revelation that had also came to me. The Bible does not use the term “martyr” but we associate death and/or suffering with this crown. Actually it is given to those who refuse to deny their FAITH in Christ WHATEVER the cost. Therefore it is possible that ALL of us have the opportunity to win this Crown of Life! Even here in America, we can see the persecution looming on the horizon, as the spirit of Anti-Christ is rapidly advancing across our land.

Many people have taken a stand for Divine healing and refused medical help. They were so committed to their belief that they died in the Faith. I do not know and would never say they were misguided in  their belief...but even if they were, I believe it was counted to them for righteousness and they, too, received the Crown of Life.
It seems to me with what we have listed, the key to winning crowns is much like everything else in our spiritual walk...living a Christ-like life! It goes right back to the W. W. J. D. bracelet days (What Would Jesus Do). Our number one objective is to be Christ-like, i.e. cultivate and grow the fruit of the Holy Spirit that was planted within our hearts the day we received Jesus as our Lord and Savior.

There are nine fruit of the Spirit listed in the Word, and 1 Cor. 13 is dedicated to Love. There are nine offices and nine gifts of the Holy Spirit, as well. It behooves us all to be open to everything that God has for us, as the time is fast approaching for our Lord to return. Keeping our hearts open to the gifts, and the calling God has on our lives and striving to bring forth the fruit of the Holy Spirit. The book of Acts is still for today. People are still saved, healed, and filled with the Holy Ghost and power, with signs and wonders following those that believe. However, Paul says in 1 Cor. 13:1: “Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not love, I am become as a sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal”. Paul sums it up in verse 13  “And now these three remain: faith, hope, and love. But the greatest of these is love”.

The Crowns of Life, Rejoicing, Righteousness, Glory, and the Incorruptible Crown are all available to the overcomers of this world, the flesh, and the devil, and who walk in the Fruit of the Spirit, especially the fruit of Love. In the end, we will dwell with our Lord forever and ever and cast our Crowns at our Blessed Savior's feet.

God Bless You All,
Pastor Moser
August, 2011


“Keep one eye on your path, and the other eye on the sky. Jesus is coming soon”!