Crowns and Judgments
By Dennis Huebshman
In the Bible, there are specific “rewards” and “punishments” given for our after-life. It doesn’t matter if a person is a believer or not, in His message to us (Bible), the Father spells out two different paths, but gives specific times when they will take place, and who will be involved with them. He also talks about the rewards for believers, both from the Christian era and also from the beginning to the Cross.
This is broken into two sections: Crowns for reward, and Judgments for both saved and lost.
Starting with the Crowns: There are 5 Crowns named in the Bible.
1. Imperishable Crown (Crown of Victory) – 1 Corinthians 9:24-25 (Faithful endurance – self-control:
Do you not know that in a race, all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? So, run that you may obtain it. Every athlete exercises self-control in all things. They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable crown.
2. Crown of Rejoicing – 1 Thessalonians 2:19; Philippians 4:4; Revelation 21:4 – (Rejoicing – Leading others to Christ)
1 Thess. – for what is our hope or joy or Crown of Boasting (rejoicing) before our Lord Jesus at His coming? Is it not you? For you are our glory and joy. (another celebrating the coming of our Lord)
Phil. – Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice.
Rev.- He will wipe away every tear from their eyes and death shall be no more; neither shall there be mourning nor crying nor pain anymore, for the former thing have passed away.
3. Crown of Righteousness – 2 Timothy 4:8; Philippians 3:20. Love His Appearing.
2 Tim. – Henceforth, there is laid up for me the Crown of Righteousness which the Lord, the righteous judge will award me on that day, and not only to me, but also to all who have loved His appearing. (If you are truly looking, waiting and longing for the arrival of Our Lord Jesus – you will get this one.)
Phil.- But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly bodies to be like His glorious body by the power that enables Him even to subject all things to Himself.
4. Crown of Glory – 1 Peter 5:2-4 – Feed the flock – pastors, teachers for faithful service.
1 Peter – Shepherd the flock of God that is among you, exercising oversight, not under compulsion, but willingly as God would have you, not for shameful gain, but eagerly, not domineering over those in your charge, but being examples to the flock. And when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the Crown of Glory that does not fade away. (There will be no false prophets or preachers that do not give the true word of the Father.)
5. Crown of Life – Revelation 2:10 – martyrs crown – endure suffering and trials
Rev. – Do not fear what you are about to suffer. Behold, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison that you may be tested, and for 10 days you will have tribulation. Be faithful unto death, and I will give you the Crown of Life.
The way the context reads on each of these crowns, they will be given by Jesus Himself.
Judgments: There are 4 Judgments – three for righteousness, and 1 for condemnation:
1. Judgment Seat of Christ: – (Rapture)
1 Thessalonians 4: 13-18: especially 17 –
2 Corinthians 5: 10; 1 Thes. 5:9 and Romans 5:9
1 Thes – But we do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about those who are asleep that you may not grieve as others who have no hope. For since we believe that Jesus died, and arose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring to Him those who have fallen asleep. For this we declare to you by a word from the Lord that we who are alive who are left until the coming of the Lord will not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord Himself, will descend from Heaven with a cry of command with the voice of an archangel and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive who are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord. Therefore, encourage one another with these words.
2 Cor – For we must all appear before the Judgment seat of Christ so that each one may receive what is due for what he has done in the body whether good or bad.
1 Thes 5 – For God has not destined us for wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ.
Rom 5 – Since therefore we have now been justified by His blood, much more shall we be saved by Him from the Wrath of God.
(This is for the believers from the Cross to the time of the Rapture.)
2. Tribulation Martyrs – Rev. 20:4 (believers to reign with Christ 1000 years.)
Revel 20 – Then I saw thrones and seated on them were those to whom the authority to judge was committed. Also, I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for the testimony of Jesus and for the word of God, and those who had not worshiped the beast and its image and had not received its mark on their foreheads or their hands They came to life and reigned with Christ for a thousand years.
3. End of the Millennium – Matthew 25:32-46 (Righteous to the right – unrighteous to the left)
Matt. – Before Him will be gathered all the nations, and He will separate people from one another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. And He will place the sheep on His right, but the goats to the left. (To paraphrase the rest of this section, the righteous will be on His right and enter glory with Him; the unrighteous will be on the left and go to the next Judgment.)
4. Great White Throne Judgment – Revelation 20: 11-15.
All unbelievers from all of history from Genesis to the last day get this judgment! No one saved will be in this judgment.
Rev: Then I saw a Great White Throne and Him who was seated on it. From His presence, earth and sky fled away, and no place was found for them. And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Then another book was opened which is the book of life. And the dead were judged by what was written in the books, according to what they had done. And the sea gave up the dead who were in it, death and hades gave up the dead who were in them, and they were judged, each of them according to what they had done. Then death and hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire. If anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown in the lake of fire.
As was stated, the first three judgments are for believers and the final one for all unbelievers. Many people believe Hell is already populated, but that is not correct. The final Hell – The Lake of Fire is currently empty.
An example of this is the parable of Lazarus and the Rich man in Luke 16: 19:31. Lazarus died and was righteous in God’s eyes and went to a place of peace; the rich man went to a place called Hades which is reserved for those who have died outside the will of the Father before and after Calvary and is a waiting place for the lost before the final judgment. It is not the Lake of Fire, but is a preparation for it and the White Throne Judgment. Anyone there is already feeling torment.
The soul- our very being – of anyone that has died in Christ after Calvary is already with Him. Those who have died outside of Christ, or in the Old Testament as mentioned in the previous paragraph outside the will of God are already in a place of suffering, and after the White Throne Judgment will have their final destination in the Lake of Fire.
Verses to consider:
Revelation 19:20 – Now the beast was seized and along with him the false prophet who had performed the signs on his behalf, signs by which he deceived those who had received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped his image. Both of them were thrown alive into the lake of fire burning with sulfur.
(1000 years later)
Revelation 20:10 – And the devil who deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and sulfur where the beast and the false prophet are too, and they will be tormented there day and night forever and ever. (note: it does not mention anyone but the beast and false prophet up to this point. Satan is the 3rd. occupant.)
Revelation 20:15 – (Great White Throne) If anyone’s name was not found written in the Book of Life, that person was thrown into the lake of fire. (No one at this judgment is in the book of life. Emphasis mine.)
Final thought: it’s one thing to believe Jesus is real – Even satan and the demons know this (James 2:19 – you believe that there is one God, you do well. Even the demons believe and tremble.) However to be saved, one must not just believe, but must accept His sacrifice, and accept His free gift of eternal life that He gave us through His blood shed on the cross for us, and that He is truly the Son of God.
Please remember one final word, God does not send anyone to Hell. Anyone who ends up in the Lake of Fire will have chosen it for themselves. God being righteous and just will allow a person to choose Hell, even though it grieves Him. Choose wisely!
(note: main reference is the English Standard Version of the Bible with occasional use of the New King James Version. e-mail: [email protected])