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Rev 4:1-4 “After this I looked, and, behold, a door was opened in heaven: and the first voice which I heard was as it were of a trumpet talking with me; which said, Come up hither, and I will shew thee things which must be hereafter. And immediately I was in the spirit: and, behold, a throne was set in heaven, and one sat on the throne. And he that sat was to look upon like a jasper and a sardine stone: and there was a rainbow round about the throne, in sight like unto an emerald. And round about the throne were four and twenty seats: and upon the seats I saw four and twenty elders sitting, clothed in white raiment; and they had on their heads crowns of gold.”

I. Introduction.

When I think of a crown, my mind goes automatically to the tower of London, the Crown Jewels!
And in my mind’s eyes, there it is: Beneath bright lights, behind bullet proof glass on a cusion of crushed velvet:
St. Edward’s crown is the centerpiece of the coronation regalia.
You’ve probably seen pictures: The purple velvet cap with an ermine border, wrapped in gold and jewels and jewels a gold and jewels and gold and gold and jewels and gold!
They made it more than 400 years ago, and I would imagine it’s worth a pretty penny!
There are actually more crowns there.
There are 13 to be exact, seven of which are sovereign crowns, not to be worn by the spouse of the sovereign but by the head honcho himself, or herself, whatever the case may be.
Can you imagine yourself, “King Paul” “Queen Christina” “Liam, your royal majesty!”
There you are, surrounded by the high and mghty, bowing and scraping to you with that thing on your head, just struttin your stuff!
That would indeed be quite a sight!
The Romans did crowns, although of a different sort:
Corona Obsidionalis was the highest honour and was conferred to army generals who broke a siege. It was made of grass, or weeds and wild flowers taken from the site of the siege as a token of victory.
Corona Civica was presented to a soldier who had saved the life of a Roman soldier in battle displaying unusual acts of valor.
It was  made of three different types of oak. Soldiers conferred with this great honor had a place reserved next to the senators at all the public spectacles.
Gatherings of people would always stand as a mark of respect to such a soldier. He and the closest male members of his family were freed from all public burdens
Corona Navalis or Rostrata were naval honors conferred to the first Roman to board and enemy ship. These crowns or wreaths were made of gold
Corona Muralis was conferred to the first man who scaled the wall of a besieged city and was presented by his commander with this mural crown. It too was made of gold!
The the official crown worn by the Kings of Bhutan is called the Raven crown. It’s a fancy hat with a raven on it!
The Raven is the national bird of Bhutan and It is symbolic to those folks! So much so, that at one time it was a capital crime to kill a raven in Bhutan!
Tonga has a crown. Did you know that? They say it is both the largest and heaviest in the world.
King Tupou VI (Pronounced Toopoo) donned the historic crown at his own coronation only seven years ago.
I even read about about a Polish crown lst night, belonging to one Boleslaw the Brave! (betchya there’s an awesome story behind that one!)
Finally, we have an American favorite: That’s right, the paper burger king crown.
And maybe sitting here this evening, you might say to yourself: “That’s the only crown I’ll ever wear!”
I Disagree.
The fact is, by the grace of God, I plan to see each one of you, wearing your own golden crown.
And if you keep your heart right, before it’s all said and done, you’ll get your crown.
Let’s talk about that....

1) The Crown Incorruptible!

If I was to wear the Burger King crown all day, I would get some strange looks.
And It would probably tear or get wet before the week was out and there would go my royal majesty!
Because you see, this here, just like those made of gold, are corruptible.
But brothers and sisters, your crown will be far better!
A crown incorruptible!!!
Turn to 1 Cor 9:24-25.
Let’s learn about your coming crown! Shall we?
1 Corinthians 9:24–25 KJV 1900
Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain. 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.
There are many runners, but not all win.
Hey, I don’t want to be just another runner!
I don’t want to lose out!!!
So then, run that ye may obtain!
Obtain what?
The crown!
Paul was writing to this Corinthian church who knew nothing about The World cup, the superbowl or Sevens rugby.
But they knew all about the Isthmian games.
They knew that the winner gained a crown of celery leaves.
About as hardy as my burger king crown! Corruptible.
But the crown that Christian men and women and boys and girls are striving for, running for, pushing towards, is an incorruptible crown!!!
It will not wilt, or break or tear or fade!
Paul said you’ll never win it by accident!
It’s gonna take effort!
Self denial!
But freind it’s worth it!!!
And so you will discipline yourself!
And you will deny yourself!
For the prize!!!!
We all get weary at times,
We all get weak.
But overcome by the blood of the Lamb!
God is with you!
He will help you!
“Run that ye may obtain!”

#2 The Crown of Righteousness

When I read 2 Tim 4:6-8, I honestly feel somewhat ashamed.
As though I am intruding on the Apostle’s deep personal convictions and private correspondance to his son in the Gospel Timothy.
Here, at the twilight of his life and ministry, Paul is not well.
Rome will soon take his life.
He know that he has little time left and this is what he says:
2 Timothy 4:6–8 KJV 1900
For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: 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.
We learn from this passage that a crown is reserved for the faithful.
Not everyone!
The faithful!
This crown is issued by the Lord, the righteous judge! Jesus!
He is not stingy.
One day, he will give them to all that love his appearing!
So friend, look up at the summer sky.
Puffy white clouds, scudding across endless blue....
Imagine a day when Jesus will call us home!
Imaine coming back to earth with him! Heaven’s army!
When life gets so hectic, chaos, unrest, fear...
Don’t focus on that. Rather, look to tommorrow! love His appearing!

#3 The Crown of Life!

James 1:13-15 tells the truth.
Before you blame your actions on some disease of the minds and emotions,
Before you blame your wrongs on anyone else,
Before you blame your wrongs on circumstances or bad history, the fact is:
James 1:13–15 KJV 1900
Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man: But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.
This is the pattern.
God does not tempt mankind!
We are drawn away ourselves!
Of our own lust, enticed!
And that road always leads to the same place.
But check out verse 12!
James 1:12 KJV 1900
Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him.
If you’ve got the guts to endure the trials of life,
If you can learn how to rely on God for strength,
If you can get your carnal flesh under subnmission and in obedience to the Word of God, This right here says: When you are tried, you shall recieve the crown of life!
And then it says, this crown of life, comes from the one best suited to give it: Prince of life!
The Lord has promised this to those who love him!
It’s either death, the result of lust and sin.
Or it’s life! A crown from your commander!

#4 A crown of Glory!

1 Peter 5:1–4 KJV 1900
The elders which are among you I exhort, who am also an elder, and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that shall be revealed: 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.
It is a wonderful thing to lead God’s people.
I have very high hopes for people in this very room! And others who will come, be born again, and mature and serve!
The things you will do for God!
It’s a heady thing to lead God’s own.
The trust, the love.
But to be responsible for their souls, to give an account, is at the same time, terrifying!!!
When the young preachers talk, everyone wants to be an evangelist!
Unless you know you are called to it, nobody wants to be a pastor!
It’s the weight of the thing!
The hireling comes along, and when better opportunities come up, he takes them.
His local ministry, whatever it is worth, is short lived.
Please don’t ever be that guy! H
His future is not a happy one!
The preacher who is more interested in preaching and the borrowed glory of the pulpit, than actually being a man of God, does not last very long either.
He will preach, and “scratch his itch” so to speak, but however long he stays, his ministry is not one that produces much.
At least not much good.
But the real deal is a stayer!
A worker!
One who endures, by the Grace of God!!!
And when that is you, know that there’s a prize waiting with your name on it!
A Crown unfading!
A crwon fo glory!
Every time you teach a HBS, trying to talk over the blaring TV,
Every card and conversation you hand out. Outreach!
Every prayer prayed for others!
Each trip to the hospital, to minister to the sick and the dying,
These all go toward your crown!
When you care and cry for others, it goes toward your crown!!!

#5 A Crown To Be Guarded!

Revelation 3:7–11 KJV 1900
And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write; These things saith he that is holy, he that is true, he that hath the key of David, he that openeth, and no man shutteth; and shutteth, and no man openeth; I know thy works: behold, I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it: for thou hast a little strength, and hast kept my word, and hast not denied my name. Behold, I will make them of the synagogue of Satan, which say they are Jews, and are not, but do lie; behold, I will make them to come and worship before thy feet, and to know that I have loved thee. Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth. Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown.
To the church of Philadelphia, guard your crown!!!
To you and to me, guard you crown!
Do you have holiness?
Do you have separation?
Guard it!
Do you have sound doctrine?
Do you have faith?
Guard it!!!!!!
Hold on to it! Let no man take your crown!
Listen, that is possible, otherwise Jesus would not have said it!
Guard your crown!

6) Crowns for Casting.

Revelation 4:1–11 KJV 1900
After this I looked, and, behold, a door was opened in heaven: and the first voice which I heard was as it were of a trumpet talking with me; which said, Come up hither, and I will shew thee things which must be hereafter. And immediately I was in the spirit: and, behold, a throne was set in heaven, and one sat on the throne. And he that sat was to look upon like a jasper and a sardine stone: and there was a rainbow round about the throne, in sight like unto an emerald. And round about the throne were four and twenty seats: and upon the seats I saw four and twenty elders sitting, clothed in white raiment; and they had on their heads crowns of gold. And out of the throne proceeded lightnings and thunderings and voices: and there were seven lamps of fire burning before the throne, which are the seven Spirits of God. And before the throne there was a sea of glass like unto crystal: and in the midst of the throne, and round about the throne, were four beasts full of eyes before and behind. And the first beast was like a lion, and the second beast like a calf, and the third beast had a face as a man, and the fourth beast was like a flying eagle. And the four beasts had each of them six wings about him; and they were full of eyes within: and they rest not day and night, saying, Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come. And when those beasts give glory and honour and thanks to him that sat on the throne, who liveth for ever and ever, The four and twenty elders fall down before him that sat on the throne, and worship him that liveth for ever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne, saying, Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.
Are these crowns spiritual?
Are they physical also? Perhaps. It might seem so. “We are kingd and priests unto our God.”
I do know this: NO crown of gold this world has ever seen, will be so sweet to me!
Your crown will be far greater!
An incorruptible crown!
A crown of Righteousness!
A crown of LIfe!
A crown of Glory!
A crown to be guarded!
A crown to cast at Jesus feet!
Why don’t we spend a little time there right now..
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