The Five Crowns

Five crowns are mentioned in the Word of God and these are the believer’s rewards. When it comes time for God to hand out these rewards to born again believers, these crowns will be our prize. They will be awarded to us, for our walk, our commitment, our stand for God, speaking His Word and believing in the record that God gave about His Son.

  “..And that You should reward Your servants the prophets and the saints, And those who fear Your name, small and great” (Rev 11:18)


1 Corinthians 9:25 NKJV
And everyone who competes for the prize is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a perishable crown, but we for an imperishable crown.

The first crown mentioned is in 1 Corinthians 9:25, the ‘incorruptible’ crown. This crown will never be destroyed; it can’t disappear, it will never turn to dust. This crown means, that we will be immortal, to never die again.

To fully understand what this means, let’s look at the record in 1 Corinthians 9.

1 Corinthians 9:19-23 NKJV – Serving All Men
For though I am free from all men, I have made myself a servant to all, that I might win the more; and to the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might win Jews; to those who are under the law, as under the law, that I might win those who are under the law; to those who are without law, as without law (not being without law toward God, but under law toward Christ), that I might win those who are without law; to the weak I became as weak, that I might win the weak. I have become all things to all men, that I might by all means save some. Now this I do for the gospel’s sake, that I may be partaker of it with you.

When reading the above, Paul is describing, how he worked to win others to God, to save some, for the gospel’s sake. This is the type of Christian walk in which, we should all desire to seek.

1 Corinthians 9:24 NKJV
Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may obtain it.

Our Christian walk is compared to an athletic race. Now no one runs a race to loose, do they!  They run a race, in such way, so that they will win, to receive a prize.  So we are urged to run this race, with the intention of winning.  This is not just a fun run, but it’s a race to win an imperishable crown.

1 Corinthians 9:25 NKJV
And everyone who competes for the prize is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a perishable crown, but we for an imperishable crown.

Every athlete in training submits to strict discipline, and they do this, to obtain a temporary crown, that will not last forever, but we are running this race to win one that will be permanent and everlasting.

1 Corinthians 9:26
Therefore I run thus: not with uncertainty. Thus I fight: not as one who beats the air.

Paul ran for something that is certain, he was not like a boxer that wasted his punches, by shadow boxing.

1 Corinthians 9:27
But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified.

Paul kept his body in subjection to his mind (renewed mind), so that when he preached, he too, should not be disqualified.

The Incorruptible Crown will be made available to the committed, focused Christians. Those who renew their mind, and practice discipline and self control like a committed athlete.


1 Thessalonians 2:19 NKJV
For what is our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing? Is it not even you in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at His coming?

The crown of rejoicing is given for winning others to Christ.  The NIV calls it “the crown in which we will glory.”  We are to reach others with the Word, bringing them to the point of salvation is something that every Christian should want to do. It is an act of love and compassion because death in the lake of fire is the fate of those who reject God and His Son. If people are going to believe and receive salvation, someone needs to speak: We are to preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.

Romans 10:13-14 NKJV
For “whoever calls on the name of the LORD shall be saved.” How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them?

When Christ comes back, we will all be together, we can let everyone else know about it. Our brothers and sisters in Christ will make up the crown of rejoicing.

Philippians 3:20-21 NKJV
For our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body that it may be conformed to His glorious body, according to the working by which He is able even to subdue all things to Himself.

Philippians 4:1 NKJV

Therefore, my beloved and longed-for brethren, my joy and crown, so stand fast in the Lord, beloved.

Paul referred to the believers as ‘dearly beloved’, so we know how he loved his brothers and sisters in Christ. Also, they are his ‘joy and crown’. Every day we must be thankful for all the believers in the world. On the day of Christ’s return, we will all get together and wear the crown of rejoicing.


2 Timothy 4:7-8 NKJV
I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing.

The crown of righteousness makes an athletic reference like the ‘incorruptible crown’.  Paul says he has fought a good fight — he didn’t give up, lie down, or quit. He finished the race and he kept believing. Because of this, the crown of righteousness has been reserved for him, and for all others who look forward to the appearing of Lord Jesus Christ. ‘Righteousness’ means that something is just and right. How many times have we read a news story, or seen something on television that made us say, “It just isn’t right”? That won’t happen even one time once Christ returns. Paul wrote this to the church in order to exhort them (us) to stand for God in light of the hope of the return of Jesus Christ. If we look forward to our crown of righteousness, we can stand firm and sure right now.


James 1:12 NKJV
Blessed is the man who endures temptation; for when he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him.

Happy is the person that endures trials, tribulations and temptations. For when he is proved, he will receive (manifest) the crown of life (life in all its fullness, complete).

The church of God, of which we are a part, is exhorted to be steadfast in the face of trials and tribulations. When we overcome them, we will receive the crown of life.

5. CROWN OF GLORY:                         

1 Peter 5:1-4 NKJV
The elders who are among you I exhort, I who am a fellow elder and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that will be revealed: Shepherd the flock of God which is among you, serving as overseers, not by compulsion but willingly, not for dishonest gain but eagerly; nor as being lords over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock; and when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that does not fade away.

Peter writes these lines to the elders of the church, so we see the crown of glory will be available to leaders in the Word. They are supposed to feed the ‘flock’ the undiluted and perfect Word of God, not for money or any personal gain, but willingly and out of love. They are not ‘overlords’ of the other believers, but should lead by example. If they do this, Peter says, when Christ (the chief Shepherd) returns, they will receive a crown of glory that never fades away. It is everlasting, and the color and brilliance will abide forever.


These five crowns will be part of our reward, which Christian believers will receive after the return of Christ. The Word of God tells us some things about the crowns, but not everything.  A big part of the reward will be a surprise of finding out everything about our new life, and the privileges and responsibilities that go with it. For now, we can do the best we can for God, and look forward to the Hope, the return of Jesus Christ.

James 1:12 ERV
Great blessings belong to those who are tempted and remain faithful! After they have proved their faith, God will give them the reward of eternal life. God promised this to all people who love him.

Rev 11:18 ERV
The people of the world were angry, but now is the time for your anger. Now is the time for the dead to be judged. It is time to reward your servants, the prophets, and to reward your holy people, the people, great and small, who respect you. It is time to destroy those people who destroy the earth!”