Crown of Righteousness

You would like a reward coming from the Lord Jesus Christ.  The doctrine of the Second Coming of the Lord Jesus Christ is the greatest doctrine in the Bible.

For a long time I thought I loved Jesus Christ’s appearing.  But loving his appearing is not the same as wanting to get out of this world.  I didn’t love his appearing near as much as I loved my disappearing.  Paul says because of certain things, there is laid for him a crown of righteousness.  So what exactly does it mean to love Jesus Christ’s appearing?  And what does righteousness have to do with his appearing?

Look back at the beginning of this chapter in verse 1.  See the charge by Paul and a judgment that coincides with Jesus Christ’s appearing and his kingdom.  The last prayer in the Bible is for the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ.  Someone who loves his appearing will do the following things.

Cleans House (vss 2-4)

  • When company is coming over you get out the vacuum, swiffer, you set out the plates, etc.  In other words, you prepare by cleaning and sanctifying your place.
  • Not just “spring” cleaning – seasonal.  But out of season as well.
  • The cleaning agent is the word of God
    • Preach it
    • Reprove
    • Rebuke
    • Exhort with longsuffering and doctrine
  • Clean up the mess because it’s going to get messy
    • No endurance of sound doctrine, so they stop listening.
    • Guided by lusts to turn their ears to something more acceptable.
    • Christianity will be marked by what we listen to.  Broadcasting good preaching and teaching is good.  But Christian radio has helped people believe they are Christians by what they listen to.
    • I am convinced that we have more people than we think in the pews today of Bible believing churches who are not saved, but simply heaping to themselves teachers.  They don’t need a Bible.  There is no relationship with Jesus Christ.  They say prayers, but have never prayed.  They’ve never led a soul to Jesus Christ.  They’ve had no edifying effect on the body of Christ.  There has never been an overcoming of any sin in their lives by yielding to the Holy Spirit of God.
  • Someone who truly loves the appearing of Jesus Christ is actively using the words of God to clean whatever he or she has influence on.
    • 1 John 3:3 And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.

Circumspectly Observes (vs 5)

  • Watch thou in all things
  • Watches for his coming like you would look through the windows to see if he’s here yet.
  • Also looks for areas that need to be cleaned up.  Watches in all things.
  • This is not someone you would find sleepwalking through their Christian life.
  • Someone who truly loves the appearing of Jesus Christ is constantly watching for areas that the Lord will be displeased with if he comes.

Concerns themselves with the task at hand (vs 5)

  • Endure afflictions
  • More concerned with the task at hand than their own feelings.
  • Doesn’t escalate the problems by lashing out.

Corrals as many guests as he can (vs 5)

  • Do the work of an evangelist.

Completes what is set before him (vss 5-7)

  • Make full proof of thy ministry
    • Leaves no question that the area he was responsible for has been thoroughly prepared for the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ.
    • Paul’s testimony of his own labor in the gospel.
  • Acts 20:26-27 Wherefore I take you to record this day, that I am pure from the blood of all men. 27 For I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God.
    • Satisfaction of a job well done.
    • On top of that, a crown from the Lord Jesus Christ.