On Sunday, Sept. 25, 2011 Rev. Margaret Minnicks preached at New Canaan Baptist Church in Richmond, Virginia while her sister, Rev. Blanche Murphy preached at First Shiloh Baptist Church in Mechanicsville and another sister, Rev.Gladys Robinson preached at Second Baptist Church in Chester.
In her sermon, Rev. Minnicks explained the difference between earthly awards and eternal rewards.
Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last; but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. (1 Corinthians 9:23-24)
She based her teaching on the above scripture what Paul taught the Corinthians that in a physical race only one person gets the prize that will not last. On the only hand, Christians run in a race where everyone gets a crown that will last forever.
Rev. Minnicks explained that earthly awards depend on . . .
- who is the fastest as in the Amazing Race.
- who is the prettiest as in the Miss America beauty pageants.
- who is the best singer as in American Idol and the X Factor.
- who is the best dancer as in Dancing with the Stars.
Thanks be to God that He does not have a voting system like man.
In heaven, there are no Emmies, no Oscars, no Academy Awards, no Heisman trophies, no plaques, no black belts, no heavy weight champions and no star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
Thank God that He doesn’t issue out rewards by man’s standard but by His goodness, by His grace and by His mercy.
Eternal rewards are known as crowns. Everyone is given at least one crown. Many of us could get all five crowns.
CROWN OF REJOICING (1 Thessalonians 2:19)
This crown is also known as the soul winning crown and is given to those who those have evangelized and told others about the saving power of Jesus Christ. They will rejoice to see those people in heaven.
CROWN OF RIGHTEOUSNESS (2 Timothy 4:8)
This crown is for those who are saved and have lived a righteous life and awaited the coming of Jesus. If you are in heaven, you will get this crown.
CROWN OF LIFE (James 1:12, Revelation 2:10) For those who endured hardships and do not give up in the face of trouble. Also, the crown of life is for those who have been martyred.
CROWN OF GLORY (1 Peter 5:1-4)
This crown is for pastors, ministers and teachers of God’s word and other leaders who were godly examples.
CROWN OF VICTORY (1 Corinthians 9:24-25)
The crown of victory is for those who stayed in the race and didn’t give up no matter how hard it was.
Rev. Minnicks ended her teaching by telling a story about an old couple about 90-years-old who had been missionaries since in their 20’s. They were returning to their hometown after having been away on the mission field also all their lives. They would have continued but they were experiencing ill health.
A winning football team was on the train with them. When they arrived at the train station fans were there to meet the winning football giving them gifts and accolades and congratulations.
As the missionaries made their way through the thick crowd of well wishers for the football team, the husband said to his wife, “No one is here to give us gifts and to welcome us home.” The wife responded, “But we are not home yet!”
The Bible encourages us when we don’t get the pats on the back and the applauds we think we deserve:
Rejoice and be exceedingly glad for great is your reward in heaven. (Matthew 5:12)
- Earthly awards are given by MAN according to MAN’S standard. They will rust, tarnish, break, get lost or stolen. Earthly awards will not last.
- Eternal rewards are given by GOD according to the work we have done in the kingdom of God while on earth. Eternal rewards will last.