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Heavenly Incentives with Earthly Images

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by asterisktom, Oct 15, 2015.

  1. asterisktom

    asterisktom Well-Known Member
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    May 29, 2007
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    I remembered reading "In Harm's Way", the story of the sinking of the Battle Cruiser Indianapolis in the last two weeks of World War Two, and the subsequent ordeal of drifting for four or five days in the ocean, mostly raftless, in some cases even without life-vests. By the time they were rescued only one-fourth of the crew was alive. Over 900 had died, either in the initial torpedo attack or due to the later ordeal of shark attacks, exposure, dehydration, succumbing to wounds, and other tragedies.

    When help finally came, many, amazingly, could not be coaxed onto the rescue crafts! They thought they were the enemy, that it was some kind of trick. So the rescuers had to do some quick thinking. They said that the sailors were being invited to an "ice cream party". They need to get in line for this. In other cases they used other incentives.

    This reminded me of the incentives that God uses when He speaks to us of heaven, He refers to a Supper, a Wedding, to receiving Crowns and Rewards. It seems to me that these are all incentives to those whom he has called, to associate earthly desires - the better kinds - with an essentially unspeakable heavenly reward. It is unspeakable because we have no frame of earthly reference. Perception and understanding, after all, are built largely from experience and observation. (As Christians we have the mind of the Christ, the Spirit of Christ enlightening for us all the riches we have in the Savior.)

    However, getting back to those earthly images: There are many who focus too specifically on those images used (crowns, supper and so on) and don't see the underlying truth. For instance there are some who speak of one type of crown versus the another, not seeing that all of these crowns (sic) are all just referring to our being glorified in Heaven. This mistake comes from overvaluing the "Golden Rule" of hermeneutics, imposing a literal grid over certain truths that are better taken spiritually.

    God uses these incentives because many are way too comfortable with the familiar sin-infested waters of this present age and don't realize the pressing need to change our thinking and all of our energies to our Heavenward calling. There are other ways that God changes our desires, of course, but this method used here seems to be one of them.
  2. Darrell C

    Darrell C Well-Known Member
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    Jan 30, 2010
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    When we consider the crowns, we also consider the teaching associated with those crowns. As one who interprets from first a literal read which then recognizes figurative speech employed in any given passage, I see it as absolutely critical to understand the underlying teachings that may be represented in any given passage (as most do).

    And I just don't see the Lord giving us Scripture in a manner which implies deceit as we see in the example of the sailors, but rather that God has given us His Word in such a way that it does exactly what the intent of Scripture was given for in the first place...to communicate the will of God to Man.

    While there are intricacies that require diligence in study, even the average "plow-boy" can read the Word of God and understand the simplistic nature of the Word of God, and, when he further applies himself, understand the intricacies as well.

    I also don't view the teachings associated with crowns to be as simple as a road-map to Heaven, but within those teachings we learn more about the road-map we need in the here and now. While getting to Heaven is the desire we all share, let us also share in what is commanded of us, which refers more to our current living conditions than those we await.

    God bless.
  3. revmwc

    revmwc Well-Known Member

    Mar 28, 2011
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    1 Thessalonians 2:19, 20 defines the crown of rejoicing as a crown or reward for leading folks to the Lord. To the faithful witness we might say. So if one wins a soul they have a reward. That would mean when they face the BEMA seat judgment a.k.a the Judgment seat of Christ that will be an everlasting reward.

    2 Timothy 4:8

    8 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.

    for those who Love His appearing their is the crown of Righteousness, those who are watching for His imminent for His Bride the Church. When He comes at the Rapture many believers who say he has come or will not come until a final resurrection will not have this added to their eternal rewards. Since He is yet to come for His Bride as 1 Thessalonians states He will and as 1 Corinthians 15:52 states many will be found without this crown. They will have not heeded Jesus's warning in "Revelation 3:11 Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown." How can someone take your crown or reward here by getting you to believe a doctrinal lie. In this case no longer watching for His return for His Bride the Chruch at the Rapture.

    James 1: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.
    Crown of life or eternal reward part of the gold, silver and precious stone for an eternal reward is seen here for enduring trials and tribulations in your life as a believer in this age. But the church is promised that she will not that is we as belivers of this age will not go throught the time of great trial upon the earth, the hour of temptation it is called in Revelation 3:10 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.
    This crown is for those who in this age will not be seeing the hour of tempatation which is coming upon the whole earth.

    The crown for the Faithful pastor that is the one who holds and teaches the truth and remains faithful: 1 Peter 5:3-4
    3 Neither as being lords over God's heritage, but being examples to the flock.
    4 And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away.
    Being an example of Christ likeness to the flock brings the pastor an eternal reward for being faithful to teach the truth and being an example of Christ likeness.

    Those who faithful stay in the race that is those believers who continue to faithfully serve and follow after the truth:
    1 Corinthians 9:
    24 Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain.
    25 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.
    The incorruptible crown is promised. Those who deny themselves and sacrifice things for the cause of Christ.

    Each one carries the means for obtaining it, each one will be an eternal reward tried in the fire as 1 Corinthians 3 tells us. These come to those who carry out each of the instructions and faithfully follow the truth. That means we each have that opportunity, when as a body of believers we stand before Christ at the BEMA Seat judgement, 2 Corinthians 5:9-11,
    9 Wherefore we labour, that, whether present or absent, we may be accepted of him.
    10 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.
    11 Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men; but we are made manifest unto God; and I trust also are made manifest in your consciences.

    We see this and the rewards given in 1 Corinthians 3:
    13 Every man's work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man's work of what sort it is.
    14 If any man's work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward.
    15 If any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.

    See when we face the Judgment seat understand this is not the Great White Throne as seen in Revelation 20:
    10 And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.
    11 And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them.
    12 And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.

    this judgment is for all the unbelievers those who face this Great White throne are given this as their reward, Revelation 20:15 And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.

    so Christ is Coming for the Believers of this age, we will meet Him in the Air and go home to be with Him we at that point will receive our eternal rewards which will be tried by fire, tested and those who have been faithful in each category will receive an eternal reward as promised a crown as it is called.
    • Winner Winner x 1
  4. agedman

    agedman Well-Known Member
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    Nov 4, 2011
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    A most excellent post, revmwc!

    Do you consider the rewards given to the churches members who "overcame" mentioned in the opening chapters of the Revelation also given to believers of all ages that meet the qualifications?