As in 1 Corinthians 9:25, the crown is a word-picture for a reward. It was the custom to make a crown from the leaves and branches of the tree called laurel or bay; this was the reward for the winner of a race.
In Matthew 5:12, Christ spoke about a great reward in heaven. It is possible to enter heaven without a reward, as 1 Corinthians 3:15 shows. In that verse, God saves a person who has lost the reward for his good works.
It would be a great pity to lose any reward that God wants to give to us. It would be much worse never to enter heaven. So everyone who wants to go to heaven must be very careful about their relationship with God.
When we have something precious, we hold on to it carefully. Nothing is more precious to us than the things that God gives to us. Our relationship with God is precious. The Bible is precious. Prayer, love and trust in God are precious. We would not want to lose any of these things. So we must guard their place in our lives.
Everyone has troubles in their lives. Sometimes those troubles cause someone to deny their relationship with Christ. Sometimes a Christian loses the love that he once had (2:4).
Christ spoke these words at a time when troubles would soon affect the whole world (verse 10). However, he gave a message of hope to Philadelphia’s Christians: he will return soon. The troubles that Christians suffer, are not without end. Christ will come to rescue them from this world. Then, there will be a wonderful reward for them. So now, they should serve him loyally (Luke 12:35-37).
Please use the links at the top of the page to find our other articles in this series. You can download all our articles if you go to the download page for our free 700+ page course book.
© 2016, Keith Simons.