Stars without a Crown
by Thando Siziba
Not For Sale
Author requests article critique
Not For Sale
Author requests article critique
Stars without a Crown
The book of Matthew towards the 25th Chapter from brings to light the eventuality of an impending judgement upon every person that has lived on this earth since the beginning of history, The verses highlight the destinations of two groups of believers or Christians that each one of us calling themselves Christian must eventually contend ourselves with, eternal life and eternal damnation. The basic separating factor depends on what one saw and did or did not do and then all Christians are classified into sheep or goats. The parable of the tares growing together with wheat also highlights the two states of Christians within a given Christian community, the tares represented by the goats and the sheep being represented by the wheat. The conclusion facing us then is that not all Christians are going to Heaven and it is not because of anything close to predestination but related to our response to Godâ€™s saving Grace. The purpose of this essay is to serve as a warning to everyone who calls themselves Christian that this name-calling does not translate to a free way to Heaven.
A traditional depiction in our Church is that of a ladder and the people climbing the ladder to get to the top. The crisis that the ladder has is that it can get as many people to the top while it remains below on the ground and never to reach the top. This is depicted in the book of Jonah when the Prophet was sent to broadcast a warning to the children of Nineveh who were about to face disaster because of their wayward lifestyle . After going through the formalities of fleeing to Tarshish, being found asleep in a tempest and eventually praying in the belly of a fish, the Prophet eventually makes his way and proclaims the message to a dying city. The result is a fast involving all alive from the King to the lowest levels of that society including all domestic animals. This was a situation not palatable to the Prophet, who awaits to see their destruction as per the message sent via him. Jonah goes to the extent of blaming a Saving God for saving the entire City of Nineveh at that time. We are not told about the end of Jonah any where in the Bible but a whole City was saved through his message. The lesson we can get from Jonahâ€™ s experience is that sometimes we might not like the change that occurs in others because of the messages of warning we pass on to them. Sometimes the new converts may change more than we expect them to and some of the sins we still want to involve them in may not be palatable to them. We are thus led to hate the result of our labour. Jesus mentioned a fact about the Pharisees travelling to places to make converts of people to Judaism and then struggling to make those new converts as twice as evil as they are.
Several verses in the Bible depict a promise of crown to be given to victorious Christians at the end of time. A few of those verses will be cited from the King James Version. James 1:12 says â€œ 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.â€ â€œAnd when the Chief shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away.â€ Fear none of these things which thou shalt suffer; behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation ten days: be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life.â€ â€œBehold, I come quickly: hold fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown.â€
One person that has definitely lost his crown is King Saul, the first king of Israel. He is cited in the Bible where he was filled with the Spirit and began to prophesy. The first instance is found in 1 Samuel 10 soon after Saul is annointed as king. In the following chapter the Spirit of the Lord also came into Saul and he defeated the Ammonites. The Spirit of the Lord continued working in Saul until he began his disobidience to the specific instruction from the Lord. The Lord had specifically required sacrificial services to be carried on by specific individuals from the Tribe of Levi and Saul did offer the safrfice himself yet he was from the Tribe of Benjamin. From then on the downward path was set for him. He later on disobeyed when he was asked to destroy every living creature of the Amalekites and his last strand was to consult the Widow of Andor, who had dedicated herself to the service of Satan. King Saul was to commit suicide after his three sons, including Jonathan were killed in his final battle against the Philistines. From a Spirit-filled King to his demise, a King that had lost the Heavenly Crown because of disobidience. Through all his experience the Lord had continually shown him the right but he ignored the Divine Instructions.
The second King of Israel had his own faults throughout his reign. His sins included adultery and murder. His children were not as well disciplined and as a result several other crimes, including rape and treason, were added to the royal house before the end of reign. Yet in all this, King David was to find favour in the eyes of the Lord. This was due to his humility and the will to offer himself fully to the Lord for guidance especially in the final days of his life. David requested for forgiveness from the Lord and he was granted his wish.
In conclusion several stories are mentioned of people who started but ended up in the wrong path and of people who had an opportunity but never used it. One such story is of the Balaam, who was once a Prophet of God but had turned aside to serve a different god in the form of treasure he might have gained had he managed to curse the Israelites. Judas Iscariotâ€™s story also comes to mind of opportunities to wear a crown given but finally sold for 30 pieces of silver. Some of us may be the best of soul winners in our Christian but the Devil sometimes finds a way to recruit us to his side. Fortunately, the Lord always finds a way to preserve the souls we have laboured for and keep them for His kingdom. John in Revelation 3:1 encourages us to â€œHold on to what we have, so that no one will take our crownâ€ and I also pray that the Lord preserves the stars in our crown.
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