The twenty-four elders fall down before Him who sits on the throne and worship Him who lives forever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne. . . .
- Revelation 4:10
I have a friend who has run a lot of triathlons and has even competed in some Ironman events. He has a lot of medals, and so I once dared him to go out in public wearing them. I said, "Put on all of your medals, and go walk around."
Of course he refused. (But it would have been great.)
The Bible promises crowns to those who are faithful to the Lord. And Jesus promised the church in Smyrna a crown of life because of their suffering (see Revelation 2:10). The apostle Paul wrote that if we endure temptation, God will give us a crown of life. He also wrote to Timothy, "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).
We also read in Revelation 4:9–10, "Whenever the living creatures give glory and honor and thanks to Him who sits on the throne, who lives forever and ever, the twenty-four elders fall down before Him who sits on the throne and worship Him who lives forever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne. . . ."
The elders wore a crown that denotes, in the original language, a reward that is given for faithful service. It is not a crown of royalty like that of a king or a queen. It is a crown of reward.
We might imagine heaven with high achievers, men and women who are walking around, wearing multiple medals or crowns. But they will not be using their crowns in heaven to boast of how much they accomplished on earth. Rather, they will be laying down their rewards at God's throne.
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