Note: All Scripture quotations found in this article are from the text of the Authorized King James Version of the Bible.
The Bible tells us that once a man dies, he is judged. The saved and lost are both judged. The saved man is judged at the Judgment Seat of Christ(1 Cor. 3), while the lost man is judged at the White Throne Judgment(Revelation 20:11).
Hebrews 9:27 "And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:"
Romans 14:10 "But why dost thou judge thy brother? or why dost thou set at nought thy brother? for we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ."
2 Corinthians 5:10 "For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad."
At the Judgment Seat of Christ, the saved man's works are judged. The fire tries to see what sort his works are, but he himself is not burned by the fire. A Christian is eternally secure and does not have to worry about Hell, but his works will be judged to see if the motive was right and with love(1 Cor. 13:3). If you are a Christian, do not be like Lot, who was a picture of a carnal Christian at the Judgment Seat of Christ. He himself did not burn, but everything he had did. Many Christians will be ashamed at the Judgment Seat of Christ because they got saved and never did anything just for Jesus Christ(Ephesians 2:10).
1 Corinthians 3:11 "For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12 Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; 13 Every man's work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man's work of what sort it is. 14 If any man's work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. 15 If any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire."
Notice the six types of kinds of work mentioned in the above passage. We know that Gold stands for Deity. If you want to lay up gold in heaven, then brag on the Lord Jesus Christ. Silver stands for the price of redemption. The Jews had to give men so much silver for atonement for their souls. Jesus Christ was sold for thirty pieces of silver. If you want to lay up silver up in heaven, then witness to people about Jesus Christ. Precious stones stand for people according to the scriptures(Malachi 3:17-18; Proverbs 11:22, 31:10, 1 Peter 2:5, Matthew 7:6, Zechariah 9:16). If you want precious stones in your crown, win souls to Jesus Christ(Proverbs 11:30). The other kinds of work, which is wood, hay and stubble will burn up because they are works that were done with the wrong motive.
Matthew 6:20 "But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: 21 For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also."
Christians, think about it. The only thing that will matter in the end is what we have done for Jesus Christ, nothing else will matter. We have the opportunity to lay up treasures in heaven. We can live for Christ and one day have Him put crowns upon our head, yet we live for ourselves? Unless you want to be ashamed at the Judgment Seat of Christ, you need to start giving God glory and live for the Lord Jesus Christ alone, so what one day you may hear these words…
Matthew 25:21 "…Well done, thou good and faithful servant…"
There are five crowns given out at the Judgment Seat of Christ.
1. The Crown of Righteousness is given to people that love the Lord's appearing. If you are happy that Jesus Christ is coming back one day then you will receive this crown. This crown will be given to the people that pray "..Even so, come, Lord Jesus."(Revelation 22:20)
2 Timothy 4:8 "Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing."
2. The Crown of Life is given to people that are faithful unto death and resist temptation. The martyrs that died for Jesus Christ will be receiving this crown, along with people that simply resist temptation.
James 1:12 "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."
Revelation 2:10 "Fear none of those 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."
3. The Incorruptible Crown are given to the people that run their own race and finish for Jesus Christ, while obeying the rules of the race by controlling their body. (2 Timothy 4:7, Hebrews 12:1-2)
1 Corinthians 9:24 "Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain. 25 And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible. 26 I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air: 27 But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway."
4. The Crown of Glory is given to shepherds that feed the flock the word of God. This crown is given to Pastors, Missionaries, teachers, preachers, Evangelists, etc. Those people are responsible for feeding God's sheep just like Peter(John 21:16)
1 Peter 5:1 "The elders which are among you I exhort, who am also an elder, and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that shall be revealed: 2 Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind; 3 Neither as being lords over God's heritage, but being ensamples to the flock. 4 And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away."
5. The Crown of Rejoicing is a crown for soul winners. It is called the Crown of Rejoicing because there is rejoicing in heaven when a soul gets saved(Luke 15:7).
1 Thessalonians 2:19 "For what is our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing? Are not even ye in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at his coming? 20 For ye are our glory and joy."
Those are the five crowns that you can win and receive at the Judgment Seat of Christ. These crowns will give glory to God because we will cast them at the feet of Jesus Christ in heaven(Revelation 4:10). Give everything you have to Jesus Christ, including your life and talents. Live to give God glory and make it the main purpose of your life(Revelation 4:11). If you can sing, sing for Jesus Christ. If you are good with people, witness to lost souls. If you are good at public speaking then preach the word of God. If you are good at teaching, teach the Bible. If you you can cook, do it for God's glory. All the things of the world are going to pass away and the only thing you will have left is what you did for God. Do not let the world beat you out of getting eternal rewards in heaven that will never pass away. Do not show up at the Judgment Seat of Christ with nothing. Live for God, read His book, obey his words and win souls to Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ is coming, are you ready for the Judgment Seat of Christ?
Be careful because a Christian can lose his rewards (1 Cor. 13:5). One way to lose your rewards is to cooperate or support those who preach false doctrines like the Mormons and Jehovah Witnesses (2 John 2:7-11).
Revelation 3:11 "Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown."