The Crowns of a Christian

The Crown of Rejoicing

(The soul winners crown)

1 Thessalonians 2:19-20

 

Introduction: We are looking at the Crowns of a Christian, so far we have examined “The Crown of Life” and “The Incorruptible Crown” this week our study will look at “The Crown of Rejoicing” a Crown that will be won by those who have taken soul winning seriously and given themselves over to the participation of soul winning. Notice I said the participation and not the results, you see none of us can save anyone, that event is totally between the Lord and an individual. However you and I can give ourselves over to the Lord as an instrument to tell the world about the love of God and the saving power of Jesus Christ. Tonight as we learn about the crown of rejoicing we need to really examine our lives to determine where we stand when it comes to soul winning. To help us down this road we need to learn three things.

 

 

I.       Our hope

The apostle Paul gives tells us why they were so concerned at parting with the Thessalonians, and desired to see them again, also it is why they attempted it so often. The Thessalonians were the "hope" of Paul; not the foundation of it, which was Christ; nor the thing hoped for, which was eternal life; nor the ground of their hope, which was the blood, righteousness, and sacrifice of Christ; but they were people whom Paul hoped well of, and of whom his hope was steadfast in.

 

I have mentioned the word “hope” many times, what makes this word so important?   As the word is used here it comes from the Greek word elpis              (el-pece)' and it means the desire of some good with an expectation of obtaining it. Did you see that an expectation, not maybe, or possibly but having full confidence in the reality of obtaining something. Now what exactly is that something? In a word it is salvation. Our confidence in eternal life rests solely and fully on the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

 

Paul knew the testimony of the Thessalonians; he led most of them to the Lord. The Christians Crown of rejoicing is directly tied to our willingness to share Jesus Christ with the unsaved. We know the “hope” or confidence of having Jesus as our Lord and savior; we should share it with one another through rejoicing and with others as a witness.

II.    Our Joy

The apostle Paul tells us the Thessalonians were also his "joy"; their conversion was a matter of joy to him, because of the glory of God, Father, Son, and Spirit, displayed in their lives.  It was obvious to Paul that abundant grace was bestowed on the Thessalonians, the kingdom of Satan was weakened, the kingdom of Christ enlarged and the church increased and beautified. Pauls own ministry was blessed and confirmed, his heart and hands strengthened, and he was encouraged to go on because of their joy. The Thessalonians stood fast in the Lord, walked on in the truth, and had their conduct grounded in the Gospel of Christ. Paul was also convinced of their joy hereafter, at the second coming of Christ; when they should give up their account of themselves with joy, and not with grief.

 

The bema seat of Christ was Paul’s concern when he wrote the word chara

khar-ah' which means a cheerfulness that brings calm delight.  These people were not simply happy, glad, or entertained they had a cheerful content within their lives one that would take them all the way to eternal life. Once there they would give account of themselves and receive the reward due them.

 

III.  Our Crown

Which is a reward of "glorying", or "boasting"; not because Paul gloried in the Thessalonians, Paul or the Thessalonians never glorified in men, but always in the Lord, in his righteousness, riches, wisdom, strength, and grace, in the person, blood, and cross of Christ; you see they gloried because of them, as trophies of divine grace, as a prey taken out of the hand of death, and as lawful captives delivered from the power of Satan, and of darkness, and translated into the kingdom of Christ.

 

The Thessalonians were a group of men and women Paul was glad to be associated with.

 

 

 

Conclusion: When you associate with Christians do you share in their “hope”, “Joy” and refer to them as a crowning influence in your life? Can you look back on your Christian walk and remember people who you have influenced to a decision for Jesus Christ; have you helped others find salvation? These are heavy questions that we must consider the answers too. Why is it so important? Well “The Crown of Rejoicing” depends upon it. If we hope to stand before the Lord and receive this crown we must earn it His way, by presenting the gospel to those we come in contact with.