The Bible makes it very clear, no amount of good works can save you, and no amount of works keep us saved. The good works should produce from our salvation. A new attitude toward sin should result from salvation.
Once you believe and put your faith and trust in the Gospel of your salvation (1 Corinthians 15:1-4), a spiritual baptism occurs, you are baptized into the body of Christ (Ephesians 1:13-14). Once the Holy Spirit indwells you as a new believer, he begins a work in you and will continue to work in your life until the day of redemption (Philippians 1:6).
We are all in different areas of our walk. We will never be perfect. We will make mistakes. We will fall. We will struggle. But we get back up and keep pressing forward.
Ephesians 2:8-10 KJV – “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.”
Titus 3:5 KJV – “Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;”
Romans 4:5-7 KJV – “But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness. Even as David also describeth the blessedness of the man, unto whom God imputeth righteousness without works, Saying, Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered.”
When I was a captain and College Ice Hockey player at Penn State University, nothing I did made me not part of the team. But I wanted to be the best, not because it made me better than anyone else on the team, but because I wanted to win and make my coach proud. That sounds familiar, doesn’t it? It should! Remember what the Apostle Paul said:
1 Corinthians 9:24 KJV – “Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain.”
So although our works do not save us or keep us saved, Jesus has called us unto good works! Once you are baptized into the Body of Christ. We are all on the same team! We have a job to do!
If you are saved at the time of the Rapture, all of us will go to something known as the Judgement Seat Of Christ. This is also known as the Bema Seat.
2 Corinthians 5:10 KJV – “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.”
The purpose of the Judgement Seat of Christ is not to punish believers. Your sin debt was paid in full on that cross at Calvary. Rather, the purpose of the Judgement Seat of Christ is to reward believers for their faithful service! I don’t know about you, but I want to hear “Well done, good and faithful servant”!
The Bema is a tribunal for awards. The Judgement Seat is translated as “court or tribunal.” In the large Olympic arenas, there was an elevated seat where the judge would sit. After the contests and events were over, the competitors would gather to receive their rewards or crowns.
Likewise, our lives as Christians are a race. At the end of this race, when we all stand before the Judge (God) at the Judgement Seat, we will be rewarded for our faithful service.
In the New Testament, we can see five specific Crowns that can be given at the Bema (Judgement Seat of Christ). Let’s go through them together:
Crown # 1 – The Crown Of Glory (For Faithful Shepards)
1 Peter 5:4 KJV – “And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away.”
This crown will be given to those who have served Jesus Christ, ministering to His flock. Those whose tireless efforts were to reach a Christ-rejecting world, protect from wolves of false doctrine, and diligently feed His sheep with the word of God will be rewarded.
Crown # 2 – The Crown of Rejoicing (The Soul Winners Crown)
1 Thessalonians 2:19 KJV – “For what is our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing? Are not even ye in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at his coming?”
This Crown will be given to those who have won others to faith in Jesus Christ.
Crown # 3 – The Incorruptible Crown (Victorious Lives Of Purity)
1 Corinthians 9:25 KJV – “And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible.”
This crown will be given to those who exercise spiritual discipline. Those who are victorious in their daily spiritual struggle will receive an incorruptible crown.
Crown # 4 – The Crown Of Righteousness (For Those Who Love His Return)
2 Timothy 4:8 KJV – “Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.”
This Crown will be given to those who are watching, waiting, and longing for our Blessed Hope (Titus 2:13). We are commanded to be watchful and vigilant in scripture. We should be expecting the Lord to return at any moment, but at the same time occupying and redeeming the time as if it is years from now.
Crown # 5 – The Crown Of Life (For Those Who Suffered For His Sake)
Revelation 2:10 KJV – “Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer: behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation ten days: be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life.”
James 1:12 KJV – “Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him.”
This Crown will be given to all those who have suffered and/or given their lives for Christ’s sake throughout the entire Church age. Every Generation has suffered persecution, trials, and martyrdom for their faith in Jesus Christ, but Jesus has promised to them the Crown of Life. That should be immensely encouraging!
This article isn’t written to make anyone feel bad about themselves. Again, if you are saved, you are going to Heaven. This is simply to encourage all of us to redeem the time we have left before the Rapture of the Church!
There is a whole world lost and looking for answers right now. It is not our job to save them, but it is our job to plant the seeds and let God provide the increase in His timing (1 Corinthians 3:6). We are all part of the team, the Body Of Christ, but let us strive for the crowns to lay down at our King’s feet because He is worthy of all honour, praise, and glory!
Revelation 3:10-11 KJV – “Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth. Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown.”