crowns believer's may be given in heaven. These are rewards we may obtain according to the deeds done while we lived on earth. In this blog, we'll see what the bible teaches about the last crown-the crown of glory.
1Pe 5:1 The elders which are among you I exhort, who am also an elder, and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that shall be revealed:
1Pe 5:2 Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind;
1Pe 5:3 Neither as being lords over God's heritage, but being ensamples to the flock.
1Pe 5:4 And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away.
This crown is given to those who've obtained a good report, and the faithful service to those under them as pastor's, elders, and leaders in the body of Christ. Being faithful to preach and teach the word of God without compromise, and feeding those put before them with sound doctrine, without corruption, or worldly gain. In the day we're living in, this is a monumental task. The Adam Clarke commentary gives us a good description of what this means:
Feed the flock - Do not fleece the flock.
Taking the oversight - Discharging the office of bishops or superintendents. This is another proof that bishop and presbyter were the same order in the apostolic times, though afterwards they were made distinct.
Not by constraint - The office was laborious and dangerous, especially in these times of persecution; it is no wonder then that even those who were best qualified for the office should strive to excuse themselves with a genuine Nolo episcopari, “I am unwilling to be a bishop.”
Not for filthy lucre - Could the office of a bishop, in those early days, and in the time of persecution, be a lucrative office? Does not the Spirit of God lead the apostle to speak these things rather for posterity than for that time? See the notes on 1Ti_3:3.
But of a ready mind - Doing all for Christ’s sake, and through love to immortal souls.
Who am a fellow-elder. An elder as well as an apostle. He exhorts them as one of themselves.
And a witness. An eye witness of what Christ suffered and of his resurrection.
A partaker of the glory. An heir of the glory that shall be revealed when Christ comes.
Feed the flock of God. "Tend" (Revision). The word means more than feed. See Joh_21:15-17.
Which is among you. The churches wherever you are.
Taking the oversight. Acting as bishops (Act_20:28).
Not of constraint. Attend to the duties cheerfully, willingly.
Not for filthy lucre. Not for sordid love of gain, but with alacrity.
Neither as being lords. Not with an arbitrary, despotic rule.
Over God's heritage. Rather, "over the charge allotted you" (Revision).
Ensamples to the flock. Instead of ruling imperiously, rather set an example that others may follow.
And when the chief Shepherd. Christ, to whom all the under shepherds shall give account.
Shall receive the crown of glory. The eternal reward of faithful duty.
Sadly, when we study these verses and the commentaries on them; we come away seeing the condition of many fellowships today. There are some excellent churches and ministries, but many have become industries, businesses, and are run that way. And, greed and gain are a top priority-anyone with eyes to see realize this. The only blind ones are those head over heels in these prosperity ministries-and it's impossible to talk to them or reach them. They've learned to maneuver every question or debate, and giving them scripture to try to get them to see their error is a waste of time. They know how to twist them, and use them to support their gluttony for money, and nothing reaches them now. You'll never hear these people teach on the book of James, for good reason. James is full of problematic verses that shoots holes through their prosperity gospel, and they avoid it completely if possible.
For those who strive to serve the Lord according to the verses in 1Peter; we look forward to the day verse 5:4 speaks of, when our chief Shepherd will appear, and we are with him. It's not the crown I'm interested in, it's seeing the One whom I've lived and served in this life, and see His glorious face-and join him in glory-this is crown enough for me. But, if there's anything done in me worth anything, and a crown is given-I'll gladly cast it at His feet, in adoration-He alone is worthy of all praise and every crown.
Many good hearted, called men and women of God have dropped their service and walked away because of discouragement, convinced they are failures. They haven't seen the people come in groves, or watched them give enormous sums of money in the donation bucket. Some of them have watched every person turn and leave them, standing totally alone. Another lie Satan uses, which is preached by these prosperity ministries, is that the only gauge for success we are to be looking for-how many pews are filled, how many people idolize you, along with how much money they are giving to you. This is completely contrary to what Jesus teaches us, and the examples of the first disciples-but this is what the world is selling, and the churches have bought it. Very few hold to the truth of the word of God-if you walk with God, preach his word without compromise, and won't speak what the majority wants to hear-your going to get persecuted, hated, and may end up standing alone. This is the truth the mega churches won't tell you.
We are living in the days of Noah-he only won his family, only eight people got on the boat. I'm not even sure all of his family were saved-but they agreed to follow Noah, and gave their assent to having faith. It's what saved them in the end. You may be called to preach, teach, and lead-but no followers. You may only have bystander's; listening, mocking, laughing, and scoffing what your preaching. It's no indication of your success in God's eyes. He didn't call us to look at numbers of bodies in the pews, or the size of our wallets-He told us in Timothy to preach the word, in season and out, no matter what the circumstances. IITim. 4:1-5
Let the chips fall where they may. Just be faithful, and find grace in the eyes of the Lord-as Noah did.
"According to these words Peter, though he stood at a distance, must have been an eyewitness of the Savior’s death. He is careful to speak of the glory in the same breath as the sufferings, because if we endure the one, we shall share the other. Positions of influence in the Church in those days involved grave risks, but the Apostle believed that love to Christ would induce men to take the place of under-shepherds to the flock of God, and that they would use their power with gentleness, humility and holy consistency.
The younger men may include the deacons, but the all, 1Peter 5:5, refers to the entire membership. They were to gird on humility, as a slave his towel, that they might serve one another, Joh 13:4. Those who humble themselves in the profoundest loyalty toward God stand as rocks before their fellows. Remember Luther’s-“Here I stand, I can do no other.” You cannot say, “Nobody cares what becomes of me.” God cares, and with an infinite tenderness. He cared before you cast your care on Him! God is linked to your little life by His tender regard and care for you."
I'll simply add my amen to this, and say-let us all look forward to the day when we stand before God, and see what our service has added up to. May it not be counted as chaff in the wind-but gold which does not rust, incorruptible, and used to mold the crowns described in these studies.