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The crown of righteousness – Part 2

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Israel Kristilere<br />

A French officer, who was imprisoned upon his parole at Reading, came in contact with the Bible. He read it, and was so impressed and convinced of the principles and truth of Christianity that he resolved to become a Protestant. When his former associates rallied him for taking so serious a turn, he said, in his vindication, “I have done no more than my old schoolfellow, Bernadotte, who has become a Lutheran.” “Yes, but he became so,” said his associates, “to obtain a crown.” “My motive,” said the Christian officer, “is the same; we only differ as to the place. The aim of Bernadotte is to obtain a crown in Sweden; mine is to obtain a crown in heaven.”

Conclusion
In the Christian race, there is a place of choice and the place of compulsion, just like in the world of sports. You can chose which sport to do, but the organisers of a competition chose the venue, the field and even your lane. At the end of the race, there is a crown in reserve. The word “henceforth” – (loipon) means, “what remains.” The race had been run; the conflict had been waged; and all which was now necessary to complete the whole transaction, was merely that the crown be bestowed and this will be done in the last day.

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The rewards of heaven are not conferred in an arbitrary manner. They are bestowed because they ought to be, and God is righteous and just in doing it. No man will be admitted to heaven who ought not, under all the circumstances of the case, to be admitted there. No one will be excluded who ought to have been saved. Also, no one shall be given a crown, which He has not won. The crown, indeed, was prepared, but then it was “laid up.” A crown is not given till the victory be gained. But, no matter how numerous the competitors, how worthy any one of them may be, or how pre-eminent above his brethren, yet all can obtain the prize. All may be crowned with a diadem of life and of equal brilliancy. No one is excluded because another is successful and no one fails of the reward because another obtains it. Let us, therefore, make every effort to win the immortal crown. According to Paul, the crown of righteousness is for all that love His appearing, i.e. those who desire His second coming. Only true believers genuinely desire and pray for His appearing.

A lady in a dream wandered around heaven, beholding its glories, and came at last to the crown-room. Among the crowns, she saw one exceedingly beautiful. “Who is this for?” “It was intended for you,” said the angel, “but you did not labour for it, and now another will wear it.” May no one else wear your crown! Amen. Shalom.

Shepherdhill Baptist Church (Sanctuary of Grace & Glory), Baptist Academy Compound, Obanikoro, Lagos.

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In this article:
Dr. Israel Kristilere
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