Friday, March 25, 2011

The Crown of Righteousness

Prophecy watching can hard. For years I have pondered this topic and tried to figure out why prophecy watching can, at times be a difficult process.

On the one hand, it is completely exhilarating: the knowledge that we are just on the brink of seeing Jesus Christ Himself, up close and personal - can become a mind blowing exercise. Not to mention the massive reunions - all of us - seeing our deceased brothers and sisters in Christ, grandparents, siblings, best-friends, and all of the biblical characters we have so long read about.

This is not even considering the abundant joy, the peace that we will experience, and the delight in exploring the wonders of Heaven and getting comfortable in the special place that Jesus has prepared for each of us - that place He described in John 14:1-3 and promised to take us. Our eternal home, "New Jerusalem", which is described in the last two chapters of the book of Revelation.

But that's the hard part as well, and I know this from talking to so many "prophecy watchers" over the years.

Fatigue can set in. Why? Because we know that we are JUST on the brink of the glory and the wonder described above - and yet it is still, at the moment unattainable.

Somehow that makes the difficulties of this world seem worse. We know how things should be and we know that our real world lies just beyond this world. We know that this world is just a temporary stop on a much longer journey. In short, we are looking beyond this world. As stated, we know that we are in this world, but we are not of this world.

As the hardships mount - and almost everyone I know right now is experiencing multiple hardships for various reasons - the more frustrating it is that we are still having to endure this world. Sure, we want to do the Lord's work until the very final moments, and sure, we want to witness to as many people as we can possibly reach. That goes without saying.

After its all said and done, all we really want is to be with Jesus - to be in His glorious presence and to have the opportunity to thank Him - in person - for what He did on the cross.

The longer it takes, the more painful it is. The wait actually becomes more difficult the longer it goes, especially when the anticipation remains high at all times.

Perhaps that is why we receive the "Crown of Righteousness":

"There is laid up for me a crown of righteousness which the Lord, the righteous judge shall give me at that day: and not only to me, but unto all them also that love his appearing." (2 Timothy 4:8).

In other words, those who are looking for His appearing are specifically identified as being worthy of one of the five crowns mentioned in the Bible. There will be many rewards given at the Bema "judgment" (2 Corinthians 5:10, 1 Corinthians 3:9-15), but this is one that is specifically declared.

As the apostle Paul set the framework for this discussion, he briefly mentioned the longing and "groaning" we experience while we wait:

"Now we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, an eternal house in heaven, not built by human hands. Meanwhile we groan, longing to be clothed with our heavenly dwelling...For while we are in this tent, we groan and we are burdened, because we do not wish to be unclothed but to be clothed with our heavenly dwelling, so what is mortal may be swallowed up by life." (2 Corinthians 5:1-4)

Now comes the good part:

"Now it is God who has made us for this very purpose and has given us the Spirit as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come." (2 Corinthians 5:5)

We groan while in this body. We all have physical ailments, money concerns, cancer, taxes, work problems, traffic, too much to do and too little time, and on and on this list goes. Such is life on earth in the year 2011.

But as the apostle Paul stated we have been given a guarantee. And what exactly is that guarantee?

"Do not let your hearts be troubled.
Trust in God; trust also in me.
In my Father's house there are many rooms;
if it were not so, I would have told you.
I am going there to prepare a place for you.

And if I go and prepare a place for you,
I will come back and take you to be with me
that you also may be where I am."
(John 14:1-3)

And this passage is also worth remembering:

"For the Lord himself will come down from heaven
...with the trumpet call of God,
and the dead will rise first.
After that, we who are still alive and are left
will be caught up together with them in the clouds
to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with
the Lord forever.

Therefore encourage each other with these words."
(1 Thessalonians 4:16-18)

Amen and Maranatha.

It won't be long now.

We are simply too far into this generation and the signs are abundant.

Its a guarantee.


Paula Fether said...

Every time some "scoffer" trots out the line that prophecy watchers are a bunch of fruitcakes, I give them 2 Tim. 4:8-- a verse they seem to never have read before. I also add 2 Peter 3:3-10, which describes them to a T.

As far back as I can remember, I always looked up to the sky and wondered if this would be the Day. It has been my lifelong expectation that I would be among the Raptured.

People hear these things and think we are bragging about how righteous we are, but who gets Raptured has nothing to do with who is "holier than thou" or who is afraid to suffer, but Who has promised to return for His Bride. And what bride doesn't long to see her groom for the wedding? It's a strange Christian who either doesn't care or mocks those who do.

Scott said...

Well stated Paula. And thanks for that. I also agree re
2 Tim 4 completely; its a perfect description of this present era.

Alice said...

Thank you, Scott! God bless you!

That was VERY encouraging on a day when I needed encouragement!

Scott said...

Alice - I needed to hear it myself!
Thanks - its greatly appreciated!

Anonymous said...

AMEN, AMEN and AMEN!!!!! scott that was sooo wonderful to read. Praise God from whom ALL blessing flow.

I was just yesterday or today posting about the crown of righteousness to someone. and how when the rapture comes and we get to heaven and recieve that crown...those not getting one, will be wishing they had it. and thinking about what an amazing time in the history of creation and life itself they missed out on. and...we will have one more crown to place at our Saviour's feet.!! PRAISE THE LORD.

OH I just can't wait, I just can't wait. I believe I have a torn manecus in my left knee and walking with a limp now that is effecting my hip and neck... and that means surgery. I just had one on the same knee about 2 yrs ago. I;m in sooo much pain and I just can't handle another surgery emotionally. I am soooo hoping and believing we are DAYS from the rapture.....because i will have a NEW BODY. Please Lord ....Jesus come quickly....LIKE NOW!!!


Anonymous said...

im not sure it will be in the next fews days...but it could be :) im excited enough for it to happen this second! i will pray for you Gods girl. for healing

Caver said...

OK Folk. Don't forget now, there's a Pot Luck at my mansion the first Friday after "THE Feast".

Dress: White Robe & Sandals

Stay Tuned: There will be a sign up list for what you're bringing posted later but it may be about time to start cooking now.:)

Scott said...


Anonymous said...

Thanks Scott..I'm sooo glad I found your website,I read your blogs everyday!yes I am so excited for the our Lord's return and everyday I am always looking and watching the news and world events,and sometimes it gets really hard because the fatigue sets in because like you said we are still living in this world but we are not of it and that makes it so hard especially when you are surrounded by scoffers and evil.Like you said it won't be long now before our Savior returns because there are just too many signs and events happening at such a fast rate!God speed that time and God Bless us all!

Scott said...

Thats a GREAT post Anon - thank you. And yes - we are all surrounded by scoffers - but throughout history there have been the same scoffers...They wouldn't listen to Jeremiah as the Babylonians were marching south towards Jerusalem, they wouldn't listen to any of the prophet's warnings and today is no different. People don't change throughout history. Thankfully we have had the truth revealed to us and its a wonderful thing.

Thanks again