Let no one take your crown.
 

2Jn 1:8  Look to yourselves, that we lose not those things which we have wrought, but that we receive a full reward. 
Revelation 3:11"Hold on to what you have, so that no one will take your crown"


The question is: Can we lose our crown.
What we need to understand, first of all, is that there are two Judgement seats.

1 Corinthians 3:14-15 speaks of loss of reward: "If what he has built survives, he will receive his reward. If it is burned up, he will suffer loss; he himself will be saved, but only as one escaping through the flames."

Whilst the scriptures speak about a loss, (suffering loss), it is a loss that is based on one of two foundations. If the work is built on a solid foundation, (Christ),  it will stand the test. If the work is built on a wrong foundation, (Self, flesh), it will be burned up, (Lost).

The loss isn’t loss of salvation, but it is loss of reward.

The idea is the loss of reward you otherwise would have had. It doesn’t
directly say that actual reward laid to your account is lost, (Taken), but reward which should have been laid to your account—and would have been if you’d been faithful—is lost.

Before we look at this subject, it is important to understand that the Bible speaks of two judgement seats.


1. The Judgement seat of Christ. (This seat follows the Rapture of the church, when Jesus returns with the clouds.)

2. The Judgement seat of God. (This seat is at the end of time, when Christ returns to the earth)

The Judgement seat of Christ is “The Bema seat”.
The Bema seat was a judgement seat at the Greek games. It was were the judge sat to give judgement on the performance of an athlete and to award a prize.

The victors of the top contests received a crown (Greek—Stephanos) made of laurel leaves as symbolic prize. This does not mean that they did not profit from their victory. They received financial and other rewards in their home town when they returned triumphantly.
There was no condemnation at this seat, it was strictly related to performance.
This Bema seat is where every born again believer will stand one day to answer for what he or she has done in the body whilst on the earth as a Christian.
The truth is, that everyone that has received Christ as Saviour, will stand here.
The very fact that they will be there is a result of what Christ did on their behalf and it does not depend on anything that they have done.


2 Corinthians 5:10. 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 we have done whether good or bad

Rom 14:10  But why dost thou judge thy brother? or why dost thou set at nought thy brother? for we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ. 

1 Corinthians 3:10,12,13).According to the grace of God which was given to me, as a wise master builder I have laid the foundation, and another builds on it. But let each one take heed how he builds on it . . . Now if anyone builds on this foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, each one's work will become manifest; for the Day will declare it, because it will be revealed by fire; and fire will try each one's work, of what sort it is.

The crown that has been secured for everyone that stands before that seat is the Crown of Righteousness.
This crown was not earned by anything that we have done but it was paid for by the blood of Jesus Christ.
It is based on the foundation of Christ.


1 Corinthians 3:11: “For other foundation can no man lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ.” 

This crown cannot be lost or forfeited; it is paid for in full by Jesus Christ at Calvary. It has been credited to ones account.
The Crown of Righteousness is an unconditional Crown.
One who is saved
"has everlasting life, and ... is passed from death unto life" (John 5:24). 

Having said this, there will be other crowns, rewards, based on what we have done in our lives as Christians.
What is available to us in Christ can be either won or lost by our  performance during our Christian race of life.
According to scripture there is more than one crown. (Prize – Reward).
So, what are these crowns that we will be wearing?

In Revelation 4:10-11 we are shown, “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, saying: “You are worthy, O Lord, to
receive glory and honor and power; For You created all things, and by Your will they exist and were created.” NKJV

Isaiah 28:5 In that day the LORD of hosts will become a beautiful crown And a glorious diadem to the remnant of His people;
Psalm 132:18 "His enemies I will clothe with shame, But upon himself his crown shall shine."
2 Timothy 4:8 in the future there is laid up for me the crown of  righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day; and not only to me, but also to all who have loved His appearing.
James 1:12 Blessed is a man who perseveres under trial; for once he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him.
Revelation 2:10 'Do not fear what you are about to suffer. Behold, the devil is about to cast some of you into prison, so that you will be tested, and you will have tribulation for ten days Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life.
1 Peter 5:4 And when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the unfading crown of glory.
Revelation 3:11 'I am coming quickly; hold fast what you have, so that no one will take your crown.
Revelation 4:4 Around the throne were twenty-four thrones; and upon the thrones I saw twenty-four elders sitting, clothed in white garments, and golden crowns on their heads.
Revelation 4:10 the twenty-four elders will fall down before Him who sits on the throne, and will worship Him who lives forever and ever, and will cast their crowns before the throne, saying,

1 Thessalonians 2:19 For who is our hope or joy or crown of  exultation? Is it not even you, in the presence of our Lord Jesus at His coming?
Philippians 4:1 Therefore, my beloved brethren whom I long to see, my joy and crown, in this way stand firm in the Lord, my beloved.
Isaiah 62:3 You will also be a crown of beauty in the hand of the LORD, And a royal diadem in the hand of your God.
1 Corinthians 9: 24-25 “Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain. 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 question is this.
Can we lose those rewards (crowns) that have already been credited to our account?
We have seen that there are crowns that have been credited to our account as a free gift of God, based on what Jesus Christ accomplished at Calvary.
These crowns cannot be lost for they are unconditionally given because of grace through faith.

“Abraham believed God and it was accounted to him as righteousness”.

Paul said “I am persuaded that He is able to keep what I have committed unto Him against that day”
Revelation 3:11 says, "Hold on to what you have, so that no one will take your crown.


Interestingly this verse points to that which we have. (the present tense).
“He that hath the Son hath life”.
John 10:28 And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.
John 10:29 "My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father's hand.
1 John 5:13 These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, so that you may know that you have eternal life.


There are many other verses pertaining to eternal security.

To be in agreement with other scriptures that teach eternal security the
statement “that no one will take your crown” can only refer to the potential that we have in Christ.
What about those rewards that have already been credited to us on the grounds of our works for Christ?
If we have earned a credit, then that credit is ours. But can they be lost or
stolen?
I have quite a few golfing trophies, medals etc that I won in competitions. They are mine and I have kept them. None of these will be taken from me, because I won them fair and square.
In 1988 Ben Johnson the sprinter had his gold medal taken from him because it was found that he had cheated in his race. The medal was given to  another.
This could never happen with the rewards at the Judgement seat of Christ, for God knows the heart of man and the prize will only be given to the  genuine victor. No one can cheat his way to a crown.
Jesus promises in Marks Gospel, that our crown will not be taken from us.
Jesus said in:

Mar 9:41  For whosoever shall give you a cup of water to drink in my name, because ye belong to Christ, verily I say unto you, he shall not lose his reward. 

One of the scriptures that is quoted by those who say that we can lose that which is credited to us is:
1 Corinthians 9:27.  But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway. 
 

However, is this what it means?, The word castaway in Greek is adokimos, rejected or disapproved.

To say that this is a loss of his crown does not fit in with the words of the Apostle.

“I am persuaded that He is able to keep what I have committed unto Him against that day”

The apostle's concern is, lest he should do anything that might bring a reproach on the Gospel; lest some corruption of his nature or other should break out, and thereby his ministry be justly blamed, and be brought under contempt; and so he be rejected and disapproved of by men, and become useless as a preacher: not that he feared he should become a reprobate, as the word is opposed to an elect person; or that he should be a castaway eternally, or be everlastingly damned
Paul knew that his salvation was sure and any loss he would suffer was at the Bema seat of Christ. Anything that was not based on the foundation of Christ would be burned up but he himself would be saved.

1Co 3:15  If any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire. 

Another way we lose reward is if we do anything that is based on the flesh or for praise of man. Whatever potential to earn reward is lost.

Mat 6:5  And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. 

Mat 6:6  But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly. 
 

We can suffer loss if we do not use the talents that God has given us in Christ.
If we bury our talent and do not produce fruit, then God may remove that talent, therefore removing the opportunity of earning a reward.
                                           ........................................

The second Judgement seat is the Judgement seat of God (The Great White Throne). This throne does carry punishment. This is where people will be judged by their works. All the dead and living that did not take part in the first resurrection, will stand before this Judgement seat of God.
This is where the Books will be opened.

It is where Divine retribution will be payed.
Revelation 20: 11, "And I saw a great white throne and Him who sat upon it from whose presence earth and heaven fled away and no place was found for them. And I saw the dead, the great and the small, standing before the throne and books were opened, and another book was opened which is the book of life and the dead were judged from the things which were written in the books according to their deeds. And the sea gave up the dead which were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead which were in them, and they were judged, every one of them according to their deeds. And death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire. And if anyone's name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire."
 

Praise God, that if you stand before the Judgement seat of Christ (the Bema seat), you will not stand before this judgement seat.

Rev 20: 6 Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.


Conclusion.
 

Believers who have right motives, proper conduct, and effective  service build with gold, silver, and precious stones. Based on the foundation of Jesus Christ.
They run the race, working for the Lord and will receive corresponding rewards.
The Lord's reward for all His faithful followers are varied and  wonderful, and all of them are imperishable (1 Cor. 9:25)

1Co 9:25  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 New Testament refers to them as crowns. (Greek—Stephanos)
2 Tim. 4:7--8 "For those who have true saving faith and thus are faithful to live in hope until Jesus comes, there will be 'the crown of righteousness'.
1 Thess. 2:19--20 Because the faithful proclaim the truth, there is promised a 'crown of exultation' .
1 Pet. 5:4 Because of the service of the redeemed, the reward given is 'the unfading crown of glory' .
James 1:12" For all who love the Lord there will be "the crown of life".

 
These can be better understood as follows.
(i.e., The crown which is righteousness.
The crown which is exultation.
The crown which is glory.
The crown which is life.

All these crowns refer to the fullness of the believer's promised reward.
 
We should be  very careful not to waste our time by building with worthless materials, Paul warned about the worthless materials, wood, stubble and hay. This is building on a wrong foundation, instead of building on the foundation of Jesus Christ.
Any work or practice developed from selfish,  fleshly sources will be worthless.Paul warned the Colossians 2:18 "Let no one keep defrauding you of your prize by delighting in self--abasement and the worship of the angels, taking his stand on visions he has seen, inflated without cause by his fleshly mind".

When we rely on human wisdom, rather than the Word of God, we are acting in a carnal manner, following a fleshly mind , manifesting the works of the flesh rather than the fruit of the Spirit.

We will suffer loss because of these things.

We can forfeit rewards from God by seeking rewards from men.
We can forfeit our opportunity of reward because of our unfaithfulness. 
We can become disqualified for rewards because of moral and spiritual
compromise, an unproductive life , by carelessness and waste or through the lack of obedience.

Any work that is done in the name of Christ will be tested and tried as gold and will stand and no one can take that which is credited to our account.


Mar 9:41  For whosoever shall give you a cup of water to drink in my name, because ye belong to Christ, verily I say unto you, he shall not lose his reward. 

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