All the mighty doers in Christ’s church ascribe their crown to him. What a glorious crown is that which Elijah will wear—the man who went to Ahab, and when Ahab said, “Hast thou found me, O mine enemy?” reproved him to his very face—the man who took the prophets of Baal, and let not one of them escape, but hewed them in pieces and made them a sacrifice to God. What a crown will he wear who ascended into heaven in a chariot of fire! What a crown, again, belongs to Daniel, saved from the lion’s den—Daniel, the earnest prophet of God. What a crown will be that which shall glitter on the head of the weeping Jeremiah, and the eloquent Isaiah! What crowns are those which shall cover the heads of the apostles! What a weighty diadem is that which Paul shall receive for his many years of service! And then, my friends, how shall the crown of Luther glitter, and the crown of Calvin; and what a noble diadem shall that be which Whitefield shall wear, and all those men who have so valiantly served God, and who by his might have put to flight the armies of the Aliens, and have maintained the gospel banner erect in troubled times! No, but let me point to you a scene. Elijah enters heaven, and where goes he with that crown which is instantly put upon his head? See, he flies to the throne, and stooping there, he uncrowns himself, “Not unto me, not unto me, but unto thy name be all the glory!” See the prophets as they stream in one by one; without exception, they put their crowns upon the head of Christ. And mark the apostles, and all the mighty teachers of the church: they all bow there and cast their crowns at his feet, who, by his grace, enabled them to win them.
For meditation: Will you receive any of the crowns mentioned in the New Testament?—The crown of rejoicing—for faithful evangelism out of love for the lost. The crown of righteousness—for faithful expectation out of love for the Lord’s presence. The crown of resurrection life—for faithful endurance out of love for the Lord’s person. The crown of renown—for faithful examples out of love for the Lord’s people (1 Thessalonians 2:19; 2 Timothy 4:8; James 1:12; 1 Peter 5:2-4).