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OVERCOMER CROWN-OF-LIFE TRUTH

Esther Helland’s father was an overcomer who founded Project Amazon (PAZ – meaning peace in Portuguese) that works in partnership with all organizations like Joyce Meyer Ministries and Samaritan’s Purse/Billy Graham Evangelistic Assoc. They were a big part in BGEA’s My Hope Project of 2008.

Esther’s father died in Brazil at the age of 44 in 1944. His by-plane hit a tail wind and crashed. Early in his life, he had a dream where Jesus asked if there was anyone in this crowd who would be willing to die for him. No one raised a hand except her dad. He woke up in sweat knowing he’d had a visitation from the Lord. His whole life he mentioned off and on to his family to expect him to die young. He knew he would be a martyr, but it was very difficult for his family.

Esther was born and raised in Brazil. Her brothers are leading in the planting of churches in all the little villages along the Amazon.  Their mother remarried and is a missionary in Japan. Esther and her husband Aaron and their four children moved back there almost ten years ago. Their mission? To bring the vision to a close – for all of Brazil to be saved!

When the Hellands returned, it was estimated that only 35,000 more villages were left to be evangelized. Today, they have a Christian president and are close to seeing their Father’s vision materialized. And the family’s testimony lives on––with one member wearing a CROWN OF LIFE in heaven.

CROWN OF LIFE TRUTH - What is the crown of life promised to the Overcomer? And, and why should you care? What does it take to receive this award after death? Is it only for the martyr? #CrownReward, #CrownOfLife, #overcome, #overcomer, #martyr, #martyrdom, #ExperienceLife, #Endtimes, #GodWhoAreYou, #WhoAmI

For an introduction to the 5 Eternal Crown Rewards and their meanings, with links to the article about them, click this link for a nice printable summary>>5 ETERNAL CROWN REWARDS.

THE OVERCOMER WILL RECEIVE REWARDS IN HEAVEN

All five crowns are referred to as imperishable and are victor crowns for those who overcome. Whether there are actually five crowns when we get to heaven, or all five are rolled up into the one CROWN OF LIFE, we will find out one day soon. For me, I want to know about all five mentioned in the Bible, so I can be ready to come face to face with Jesus––without any regrets. How about you?

The Crown of Life is described in Revelation 2:10: “Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life.” This crown is the reward for the Christian who is faithful until death – whether that death is natural or not.

The nickname for this crown is ‘the martyr’s crown’ which caught on early, because most Christians in the days after Jesus was martyred were martyred also. All the disciples were killed; one was not: John.

John was banished to the isle of Patmos because of his testimony of Jesus. He had a vision, wrote the book of Revelation and sent it to the seven churches in Asia. He later died and was buried in Ephesus as an old man.[i] It’s certain he received the crown of life as well.

The character and spiritual makeup of this Christian can be described as follows:

THE OVERCOMER PERSEVERES

To fully understand this crown, we need to read the full Scripture: To the persecuted church in Smyrna, John wrote: “Do not fear any of those things which you are about to suffer. Indeed, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison, that you may be tested, and you will have tribulation ten days. Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life” (Rev. 2:10: NKJV).

The root Greek word for tested is peirazō which means to try, to prove and “describes the testing of the believer’s loyalty, strength, opinions, disposition, condition, faith, patience of character. Peirazō determines which way one is going and what one is made of”[ii]

James 1:12 tells us this person is blessed because he preserves under trial; for once he has been approved [or passed the test], he will receive the crown of life.

Do you feel you’ve ever been in a trial where you know God was trying to see how you would respond––what you were made of?

SEE>>Tested Through the Refiner’s Fire of Jehovah-Jireh: HERE

THE OVERCOMER ENDURES UNDER TRIAL

Perseverance moves us to endurance under trial as James said. Jesus tells us in Matthew 24 what to expect in the days we are living in. The first sign of the times is deception; then, wars and rumors of wars; nations rising against nations; tribulation to be killed and hated by all nations for Jesus’ sake; betrayal and hate of one another; and false prophets will deceive many.

“And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold. But he who endures to the end shall be saved” (Matt. 24:12-13).

The root word for endures is hupomeno: “to hold one’s ground in conflict, bear up against adversity, hold out under stress, stand firm, persevere under pressure, wait calmly and courageously. It is not passive resignation to fate and mere patience, but the active energetic resistance to defeat that allows calm and brave endurance.”[iii]

“Treasure your moments when you are the only one who believes, when you are the only one standing; you were just given a gift. In other words, if all you are left with is God, consider that a gift.” ––Brian JohnsonClick to Tweet

THE OVERCOMER PATIENTLY ENDURES UNTIL THE END

The apostle Paul wrote in Hebrews 6 that it was time to go on to perfection beyond the elementary principles of salvation. What follows salvation, or merely obtaining our ‘fire insurance’ is this:

10 For God is not unjust to forget your work and labor of love which you have shown toward His name, in that you have ministered to the saints, and do minister.

11 And we desire that each one of you show the same diligence to the full assurance of hope until the end,

12 that you do not become sluggish, but imitate those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.

Paul goes on to recount the promise and blessings given to Abraham,

15 And so, after he had patiently endured, he obtained the promise [of multiplication,: a child, a nation, a land].

“Do not become sluggish, but imitate those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.” This encompasses the character and disposition of the overcomer: This Christian is busy helping to care for others’ needs; not lazy, but 100 percent surrendered to Jesus Christ.

Overcomers from the Bible

So, let’s look at a few overcomers from the Bible in order to see some examples. What did they endure, and what was the result?

Heb. 11:2  Abel: by faith, obtained a good testimony and a witness that he was righteous. Being dead, he still speaks. He was the first martyr, killed by his brother Cain

Heb. 11:5 Enoch: by faith did not see death but was not found, his testimony was that he pleased God and God took him.

Heb. 11:7 Noah: By faith prepared the ark and saved his family, by which he condemned the world and obtained righteousness which comes by faith.

Heb. 11:39 “And all these obtained a good testimony through faith, did not receive the promise.”

Look at that! They did not receive the promise personally, but they endured by BEING faithful until death; thereby obtaining a good testimony that lives on and on to the next generation. Their lives still speak, and their testimony is recorded and bearing fruit–just as Missionary Helland’s life.

THE OVERCOMER CROWN-OF-LIFE REWARD GOES TO THE FAITHFUL MARTYR

The crown of life reward goes to martyrs and faithful Christians who endure and persevere until death. John records to the church at Pergamos in Revelation 2 about Antipas who was a faithful martyr.

The lives of faithful martyrs still speak in our present day: Remember the image of 21 Egyptian Christians with the orange jumpsuits facing beheading in 2015?

The Center for the Study of Global Christianity, an academic research center that monitors worldwide demographic trends in Christianity, estimates that between the years 2005 and 2015, 900,000 Christians were martyred — an average of 90,000 Christians each year.

The center explained the definition of “martyr” it used for its study. Two of the qualifying factors for “martyr” is that the slain Christians must have been in a “situation of witness” and have been killed “as a result of hostility.”[iv] They leave behind a testimony of a witness.

Before many martyrs accept Christ, they know they are facing immediate death. Evangelist Daniel Kolenda, of Christ for all Nations, reports of a young lady who accepted Jesus in his crusade in Muslim territory, returned home and was murdered by her father. Her witness lives on. Missionary Helland’s death was not immediate, but he knew what he was facing.

It’s impossible to name today’s many martyrs. Mainstream media ignores those martyred in Nigeria, who have no one to help them. During 2018, more than 6,000 were killed by Boko Haram, and genocide is threatening them.

Especially relevant, Revelation 6:11 says that martyrs in heaven are told to rest a little while longer until the full number of their fellow servants and brothers join them.

THE OVERCOMER CROWN-OF-LIFE REWARD GOES TO THE FAITHFUL SERVANT

AVOID IGNORANCE WHEN IT COMES TO THE CROWN OF LIFE. What is the crown of life promised to the Overcomer? And, and why should you care? What does it take to receive this award after death? Is it only for the martyr? #CrownReward, #CrownOfLife, #overcome, #overcomer, #martyr, #martyrdom, #ExperienceLife, #Endtimes, #GodWhoAreYou, #WhoAmI

Epaphras and Tychicus were hailed and recorded as faithful servants and bond-servants by Paul in the book of Colossians but not because they were martyred. Moses is said to have been faithful in all his house as a servant, for a testimony, yet, not a martyr. He gave his life for God’s mission to set His people free from bondage and take them to the Promised Land.

To two out of three servants, the master said twice in Chapter 25 of Matthew: “‘Well done, good and faithful servant; you were faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord’” (Matt. 25:21 and 23). The third was fearful and hid his talent.

No doubt the joy of the Lord is eternal rewards in heaven and joy on earth. Our goal is to hear these words from Jesus in Matthew 25..

“Great faith will always take you away from the fear of man.” Bill JohnsonClick to Tweet

THE OVERCOMER LOVES THE LORD

We must ask ourselves, is it possible to endure this hard life, persevere, pass every test, never deny the Lord’s name, and yet not receive any eternal reward?

John recorded Jesus’ words to the church at Ephesus: “You have persevered and have patience, and have labored for My name’s sake and have not become weary. Nevertheless, I have this against you, that you have left your first love” (Rev. 2:3-4).Click to Tweet

Jesus goes on to tell them and us to repent or else He will remove our lampstand from its place. He looks at the heart more than the works. He wants a relationship with us–not our religious works.

It all comes down to love, doesn’t it? We could be the most dedicated overcomer and faithful servant with all the faith in the world, but without love, we are nothing. (See 1 Corinthians 13.)

What are we made of? What is our character, our motives, our disposition? Do we love Jesus and others? Is what we are doing out of love or selfish ambition?

May we always look to Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

“For consider Him who endured such hostility from sinners against Himself, lest you become weary and discouraged in your souls. You have not yet resisted to bloodshed, striving against sin” (Heb. 12:3).

And they overcame him (the devil) by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death––Rev. 12:11

He who overcomes, I will make him a pillar in the temple of My God, and he shall go out no more . . . . I will write on Him the name of My new name. Rev. 3:12

And behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to give to every one according to his work––Rev. 21:12

HERE IS YOUR FREE PRINTABLE SUMMARY OF ALL FIVE CROWNS>>CROWN JUDGMENT SUMMARY


[i] The Time Chart of Biblical History, Third Millennium Trust, Chippenham, England, 2002, XXIX.
[ii] NKJV Spirit-Filled Life Bible Word Wealth, Rev. 2:10.
[iii] NKJV Spirit-Filled Life Bible Word Wealth, Matt. 24:13.
[iv]  https://www.christianpost.com/news/over-900000-christians-martyred-for-their-faith-in-last-10-years-report.html

 

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5 Eternal Crown Rewards and What They Mean to You NOW

Francy married an Army Lieutenant. His assignments created numerous moves in the states and abroad, let alone all the deployments thrown in. It was hard leaving behind friends and family and starting over every couple years.

Early in their marriage, Francy resented some of these assignments and took it out on her husband, blaming him until she realized that soldiering is all he ever wanted to do in life. She was going to have to alter her perspective to be able to support him better.

Finally, Francy decided that if her husband was to be able to do what he was called and trained to do, she had to learn that his mission had to become her own. She believed in what he was doing, and she knew the only way he would ever be happy was for her to become adaptable.

Not being a natural extrovert, she learned to go out right away, make new friends and get involved in the community. She settled in faster and experienced a whole new state and/or country, which became an exciting adventure—especially when running marathons in each state became a new goal.

Francy became an expert in running marathons and created her own training system for leading the wives of Army personnel to run also. They all had the same challenges in making so many moves, and it brought them together.

Before long Francy had a whole wall of medals, so she decided it was time to train her parents! They could not run after 40 years of marriage and weight gain, so she helped them to walk a half marathon – the 13.1 miles – without stopping.

A race was coming to her city––the perfect opportunity to get her parents ‘in shape.’  Her parents complied and were glad to be part of their daughter’s world. They worked hard, but still didn’t see how they could finish the race with everyone else unless they ran it. So, Fran got permission for them to start earlier in the morning.

It worked, and they finished the race approximately the same time as all the rest finished the whole marathon. Of course, only one person received first prize in each age group, but they received a medal when they crossed the finish line.

5 ETERNAL CROWN REWARDS AND WHAT THEY MEAN TO YOU NOW

BELIEVERS IN JESUS CHRIST WILL RECEIVE CROWN REWARDS

Much like a marathon, at the end of our race on earth, believers in Jesus Christ will receive eternal crown rewards when they make their Creator’s mission their own.

Much like a marathon, at the end of our race on earth, believers in Jesus Christ will receive eternal-crown rewards when they make their Creator’s mission their own. Do you know what they are?Click to Tweet

“For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad” (2 Corinthians 5:10).

We must be clear on one point. Scripture does not say that a person is saved, or obtains eternal salvation because of his works, or what he does while in the body; it does say our works matter.

Ephesians 2:8-10 will always be our faith foundation: “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus FOR good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.”

As I live, says the LORD,
Every knee shall bow to Me,
And every tongue shall confess to God. Romans 14:11

In other words, we will all have to “give an account of ourselves to God” (Romans 14:12)––at one of two judgments.

[To understand more of what it means to be a Christian believer in Jesus Christ, click on these links to learn about HEART change and the what the BLOOD of Jesus Christ did for you.]

THERE ARE TWO JUDGMENTS

There will be two judgments: one for believers (the *Bema) and one for non-believers in Jesus Christ (the Great White Throne Judgment).

THE *BEMA JUDGMENT FOR BELIEVERS – CROWN REWARDS . . . OR NOT

1 Corinthians 3:11-15 tells believers that their works can be compared to gold, silver, precious stones, or wood, hay and straw. Each one’s work will be revealed by fire that tests each one’s work of what sort it is.

“If anyone’s work which he has built on it [the foundation of Jesus Christ] endures, he will receive a reward. If anyone’s work is burned, he will suffer loss, but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire” (1 Corinthians 3:14-15).

THE GREAT WHITE THRONE JUDGMENT FOR NONBELIEVERS– NO CROWN REWARDS

Revelation 20:11-15 reveals what will happen at the Great White Throne Judgment for unbelievers. All the dead, small and great, from the sea, death and hell will be judged, “and books were opened. And another book was opened which is the Book of Life. And the dead were judged according to their works, by the things which were written in the books . . . And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire.”

What are the books that were opened that were compared to the Book of Life? Read Psalm 139:

“Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed. And in Your book they all were written, the days fashioned for me, when as yet there were none of them” (Psalm 139:16).

All the days ordained for you were written in your book the moment you were conceived in your mother’s womb. This is God’s plan for your life, your destiny and your days numbered.

Everything about your life is recorded in your book, especially if you have chosen to believe in Jesus Christ and follow Him and have allowed Him to fulfill His plans for your life.

Believer’s crown rewards are determined from this book at the Bema Judgment. Believers take no part in the Great White Throne Judgment at the very end of time.

WHAT ARE THE FIVE CROWN REWARDS?

5 ETERNAL CROWN REWARDS: WILL YOU RECEIVE ANY OR SUFFER LOSS? Much like a marathon, at the end of our race on earth, believers in Jesus Christ will receive eternal-crown rewards when they make their Creator’s mission their own. “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad” (2 Corinthians 5:10). Will you receive any rewards, or suffer loss? #crownrewards, #judgementday, #godwhoareyou, #whoamiThey are summarized below.

[I will write about each one of the following in the next five posts, so if you are reading this before completion, they will not be linked; otherwise, they are linked to more detail.]

1. Incorruptible Crown/Victor’s Crown – “Everyone who competes for the prize is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a perishable crown, but we for an imperishable crown” (1 Corinthians 9:25).

2. Crown of Life – “Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life” (Revelation 2:10).

3. Crown of Glory – “Shepherd the flock of God which is among you, serving as overseers, not by compulsion but willingly, not for dishonest gain but eagerly; nor as being lords over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock; and when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that does not fade away” (1 Peter 5:2-4).

4. Crown of Righteousness – “There is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will give to me on that Day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing” (2 Timothy 4:8).

5. Crown of Rejoicing – “For what is our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing? Is it not even you [souls won] in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at His coming? For you are our glory and joy” (1Thessalonians 2:15).

(Other descriptive names given these crown rewards: 1. Victor’s Crown 2. Martyr’s Crown 3. Elder’s or Shepherd’s Crown 4. For Those Who Love His Appearing  5. Soul Winner’s Crown)

Notice that the Apostle Paul summarized the imperishable crown (#1), also called victor’s crown, in 1 Corinthians 9; still yet, all the crowns are also victor crowns for those who overcome. My next post will address the Victor’s Crown in detail as to how I can know I will receive it; what am I to do?

The following Scripture passage from 1 Corinthians 9:24-27 (NKJV) is merely an introduction to the incorruptible victor crowns:

• 24 Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may obtain it.
• 25 And everyone who competes for the prize is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a perishable crown, but we for an imperishable crown.
• 26 Therefore I run thus: not with uncertainty. Thus I fight: not as one who beats the air.
• 27 But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified.

I RUN to receive crown rewards

Even though we may not come out first, we must run or walk very fast as though we will be first. Those of us who started out life earlier than most, will cross the finish line at the same time when the body of Christ is caught up together to meet the Lord in the air (1 Thessalonians 4:17).

For a visual of what this will look like, you may go HERE to listen to or read about the open vision the Lord gave me of what happened when the body of Christ RAN fast and faster.

I FIGHT to receive crown rewards

We must fight because we have an adversary (the devil). He does everything he can to keep us from fulfilling our destiny and what is written by our Creator in our own personal book. We must not allow him to cheat us of our reward (Colossians 3:18), or lose it by deception (2 John, vs. 8).

If we do allow this to happen, we stand the chance of losing our crown reward if we continue to let the enemy “take our crown” (Rev. 3:11). The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill and to destroy. Jesus has come to give us life and life abundantly (See John 10:10).

We must educate ourselves on how to use our spiritual word weapon, so we don’t just beat the air. This is what my next post will address in The Victor’s Crown.

I DISCIPLINE my body into subjection so I’m able to receive crown rewards

I think we all know how hard discipline is. It takes a conscious decision to prepare for a marathon; even a half marathon of 13.1 miles. Likewise, to be a disciple of Jesus Christ requires discipline and a quality decision.

It’s not by chance that ‘disciple’ is the root of ‘discipline.’ And how we live our life on this earth affects everyone we know and possibly many we may never know. Will you receive a crown reward?

It’s time to RUN!

And behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to give to everyone according to his work (Revelation 22:12).

REMEMBER: TO PICK UP YOUR FREE PRINTABLE FOR FUTURE REFERENCE for the crowns >>> 5 ETERNAL CROWN REWARDS AND WHAT THEY MEAN TO YOU NOW CROWN JUDGMENT SUMMARY

*Bema is the transliteration of the Greek word used in the New Testament used to distinguish the Great White Throne Judgment of nonbelievers from the judgment seat of Christ for believers. A bema was a raised platform in the city square or at the coliseums where a dignitary would sit to hear civil matters or hand out rewards at competitive games (Tim LaHaye & Thomas Ice, Charting the End Times, Harvest House Publishers, p. 122.)

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