The Crown of Rejoicing and Crown of RighteousnessBy: Pastors Rodney & Adonica Howard-Browne
Publish date: 11/15/2020
For I know of nothing against myself, yet I am not justified by this; but He who judges me is the Lord. 5 Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord comes, who will both bring to light the hidden things of darkness and reveal the counsels of the hearts. Then each one’s praise will come from God. 1 Corinthians 4:4-5 NKJV
1. The Crown of Rejoicing (Crown #1).
a. Certain heavenly crowns will be handed out to qualified believers at the Judgment Seat of Christ.
b. 1 Thessalonians 2:19-20 AMPC — For what is our hope or happiness or our victor’s wreath of exultant triumph when we stand in the presence of our Lord Jesus at His coming? Is it not you? 20 For you are [indeed] our glory and our joy!
c. Also known as the Soul-Winner’s Crown.
d. Philippians 4:1 AMPC — Therefore, my brethren, whom I love and yearn to see, my delight and crown (wreath of victory), thus stand firm in the Lord, my beloved.
e. He who wins souls is wise.
f. Proverbs 11:30 NKJV — The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life, and he who wins souls is wise.
g. All heaven rejoices over one sinner that comes to repentance (Luke 15:7).
h. Psalm 2:8 NKJV — Ask of Me, and I will give You the nations for Your inheritance, And the ends of the earth for Your possession.
i. They that sow in tears shall reap in joy (Psalm 126:5).
j. Every soul you win, or help to win, will come to your account and go toward your Crown of Rejoicing.
k. Set your sights on the Soul-Winner’s Crown!
2. The Crown of Righteousness (Crown #2).
a. 2 Timothy 4:6-8 NKJV — For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure is at hand. 7 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. 8 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.
b. The Crown of Righteousness is the Winner’s Crown—also known as the Overcomer’s Crown or the Victor’s Crown.
c. It is a crown for those who finish their race well.
d. This is not a crown just for being saved, and made righteous, by believing in Jesus.
e. The Crown of Righteousness is given to all those who look forward to His return—those who fight the good fight of faith, who have finished the race and who have kept the faith.
3. Fight the Good Fight.
a. A good fight is a fight that you win!
b. 1 Timothy 1:18-19 ERV — Timothy, you are like a son to me. What I am telling you to do agrees with the prophecies that were told about you in the past. I want you to remember those prophecies and fight the good fight of faith. 19 Continue to trust in God and do what you know is right. Some people have not done this, and their faith is now in ruins.
c. We must keep God’s Word in our eyes and ears and heart.
d. Fight the good fight by continuing to trust in God and doing what is right.
e. If you do not, you might end up shipwrecking your faith.
f. 1 Corinthians 16:13-14 NKJV — Watch, stand fast in the faith, be brave, be strong. 14 Let all that you do be done with love.
g. 1 Corinthians 16:13-14 Message Bible — Keep your eyes open, hold tight to your convictions, give it all you’ve got, be resolute, and love without stopping.
4. Keep the Faith.
a. Do not get distracted from your goal.
b. 1 Timothy 6:10-12 AMPC — For the love of money is a root of all evils; it is through this craving that some have been led astray and have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves through with many acute [mental] pangs. 11 But as for you, O man of God, flee from all these things; aim at and pursue righteousness (right standing with God and true goodness), godliness (which is the loving fear of God and being Christlike), faith, love, steadfastness (patience), and gentleness of heart. 12 Fight the good fight of the faith; lay hold of the eternal life to which you were summoned and [for which] you confessed the good confession [of faith] before many witnesses.
c. You have to pursue righteousness and lay hold on eternal life!
d. Covetousness will cost you your Crown of Righteousness.
e. 1 Timothy 6:20-21 ERV — Timothy, God has trusted you with many things. Keep these things safe. Stay away from people who talk about useless things that are not from God and who argue against you with a “knowledge” that is not knowledge at all. 21 Some people who claim to have that “knowledge” have gone completely away from what we believe.
f. Do not be sucked in by false doctrine and flaky people who compromise the Word of God.
g. James 1:3-4 AMPC — Be assured and understand that the trial and proving of your faith bring out endurance and steadfastness and patience. 4 But let endurance and steadfastness and patience have full play and do a thorough work, so that you may be [people] perfectly and fully developed [with no defects], lacking in nothing.
h. Trials come to distract, hinder and/or stop you, but they can serve to grow you and grow your faith.
i. But only if you keep your eyes on the Lord and on His Word, if you trust Him with your life, and if you are a doer of the Word.
j. Good news! The trials you triumph over, all contribute to your reward!
5. Finish Your Race Well!
a. You can be an example and an inspiration.
b. 1 Timothy 4:12 AMPC — Let no one despise or think less of you because of your youth, but be an example (pattern) for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, and in purity.
c. 1 Thessalonians 1:4-10
d. Your life and your faith testify of the power and goodness of God.