The imperishable crown

Published 12:46 pm Thursday, April 28, 2022

BY TONY HOSS
Today athletes train vigorously for a victory, a perishable crown. However, there is a crown that all people should strive to gain that is the imperishable crown! It is a crown as shown in the scriptures that should never be taken lightly. It should be the goal of all men to pursue the imperishable crown with all passion and determination. How do we pursue with absolute passion and determination? First one must recognize the value of the imperishable crown. If it is compared to other crowns of life, they all pale in comparison. The Apostle Paul explains how to gain the imperishable crown in (1 Corinthians 9:24-27).
Consider the value of the imperishable crown. Paul said, “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” (1 Corinthians. 9:25). Paul explains that athletes pursue earthly and perishable crowns with self-control, they are temperate in their pursuit. Christians should pursue the crown of life with the same intensity. This is so because of the value of man’s soul. Jesus asked, “What will a man give in exchange for his soul” (Mark 8:37).
While it is sad, it’s certainly true that many will give up their imperishable crown. Some will lose their crown due to the cares of life (Luke 10:38). Some will lose it for financial gain (Luke 18:18-23). Others will lose it for physical pleasures as Herod did in (Mark 16:18). Some will give it away for earthly prestige and honor (John 12:42-43).
However, when we consider the value of the soul and its imperishable nature, we find reason to retain it at all costs. It’s value is seen in the fact that Jesus died for our soul’s security. It is seen in the fact that Jesus went to prepare a place for us (John 14:1-6), and that through Him we have an inheritance (1 Peter 1:3-5). The certainty of the imperishable crown is acknowledged by Paul. He said, “I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so, fight I, not as one that beateth the air (1 Corinthians 9:26). Paul fought the good fight (2 Timothy 4:7), because of the certainty of the reward of an imperishable crown. As he wrote in Philippians 3:12-14, Paul pressed towards the mark; he did so knowing the reward awaited him and all who strive towards that goal.
We too have the promise of the reward (Revelation 2:10). Therefore, as Paul, we must strive to exercise self-control in our daily living. Paul said he disciplined his body to bring it under control. This demands that we constantly look to ourselves being sure to examine ourselves with eyes wide open (Romans 12:1-2). The desire for the crown motivates us as it did the athletes in Paul’s day to keep themselves in control.
We can exercise self-control by looking into the spiritual mirror, the Word of God. The child of God can never be satisfied with where they are, but with due diligence strive for perfection each and every day. It is in this way that we can learn to abstain from the sin that takes away our eternal reward, our imperishable crown, or as the King James version states it, our incorruptible crown. As we live the Christian life, we should strive to keep our eyes on the crown that is in store for the faithful. We should ever keep it before our eyes. In doing so we will find the strength we need to endure to the very end.
(Tony Hoss is minister of the Centerview Church of Christ, Elizabethton)

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