Below is some research I am doing for a sermon. I thought I would share it as a blog post…
The Five Crowns, also known as the Five Heavenly Crowns, is a concept in Christian theology that talks about the five crowns that individuals can receive after the Last Judgment.
In the Greek language, stephanos is the word for crown and is translated as such in the Bible, especially in versions descending from the King James Version. These five rewards can be earned by believers, according to the New Testament, as “rewards for faithfulness in this life”.
Crown of Life
James 1:12 – God blesses those who patiently endure testing and temptation. Afterward they will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love Him.
Revelation 2:10 – Don’t be afraid of what you are about to suffer. The devil will throw some of you into prison to test you. You will suffer for ten days. But if you remain faithful even when facing death, I will give you the crown of life.
The Crown of Life is referred to in James 1:12 & Revelation 2:10; it is bestowed upon “those who persevere under trials.” Jesus references this crown when he tells the Church in Smyrna to “not be afraid of what you are about to suffer…Be faithful even to the point of death, and I will give you the crown of life.”
1 Corinthians 9:25 – All athletes are disciplined in their training. They do it to win a prize that will fade away, but we do it for an eternal prize.
In the KJV it calls this prize the “Incorruptible Crown”. It is also known as the Imperishable Crown. This epistle, written by the Apostle Paul, deems this crown “imperishable” in order “to contrast it with the temporal awards Paul’s contemporaries pursued”. It is therefore given to those individuals who demonstrate “self-denial and perseverance”.
Crown of Righteousness
2 Timothy 4:8 – And now the prize awaits me–the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give me on the day of His return. And the prize is not just for me but for all who eagerly look forward to His appearing.
The Crown of Righteousness is mentioned in 2 Timothy 4:8 and is promised to “those who love and anticipate” the Second Coming of Christ. These Christians desire intimacy with God.
Crown of Glory
1 Peter 5:4 – And when the Great Shepherd appears, you will receive a crown of never-ending glory and honor.
Crown of Exultation/Rejoicing
1 Thessalonians 2:19 – After all, what gives us hope and joy, and what will be our proud reward and crown [of rejoicing – KJV] as we stand before our Lord Jesus when He returns? It is you!
Philippians 4:1 – Therefore, my brethren dearly beloved and longed for, my joy and crown, so stand fast in the Lord, my dearly beloved.
The Crown of Exultation is also known as the Crown of Rejoicing. Talked about in 1 Thessalonians 2:19 and Philippians 4:1, it is given to people who engage in evangelism of those outside the Christian Church. In the New Testament, Paul earns this crown after winning the Thessalonians to faith in Jesus.
So, we will be rewarded for our service in this life. Everything we do for God will be added to our account. Now I must admit, generally I am not motivated by rewards, I serve God out of my love for Him and my desire to please Him. But on the days when it is hard, it helps me to know that God sees my efforts and He will reward me.