Posted in theology

Some crowns are imperishable, but if put on perishable heads…

By Elizabeth Prata

I saw this arresting photo on Twitter. It’s from History Defined:

Hellenistic period: 323 B.C.E. and the rise of Augustus in Rome in 31 B.C.E

The first thing I thought was, man that guy had good teeth! The next thing that struck me were the verses about crowns in scripture:

Everyone who competes in the games trains with strict discipline. They do it for a crown that is perishable, but we do it for a crown that is imperishable. (1 Corinthians 9:25)

in the future there is reserved for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day; and not only to me, but also to all who have loved His appearing. (2 Timothy 4:8)

We are flesh, and flesh is but grass. Within 3 generations a person’s name is forgotten. No one remembers what that Greek man’s achievement was, and it doesn’t matter anyway. Was he fast? Strong? Agile? Who knows? Who cares?

Peter, quoting Isaiah 40:6, For, “All flesh is like grass, and all its glory like the flowers of the field; the grass withers and the flowers fall, (1 Peter 1:24).

EPrata photo

And never was that verse brought more to life than the dead Greek’s skull with the gold leaf still sticking to it.

What matters is God’s glory! That is the ONLY thing that matters in this fleshly life and after resurrection for eternal life. How do we give God glory? By obeying Him, proclaiming Jesus’ name everywhere, being salt and light in submission to His calling us out of our perishable darkness into everlasting light, and so on.

Even if the crown the Greek received was the high point of his life, the skull it was placed on was perishable. Perhaps the Greek was a believer and if so, his skull will be remade new on resurrection Day. Probably wasn’t a believer though. For a few decades he enjoyed his crown, apparently was attached to it enough so that when his family buried him, they buried it with him. And that was the end of that!

What is not the end is that after our resurrection on the Day of Judgment, people will be divided into two groups, the sheep (Believers) and the Goats (non-believers). According to the Bible, this is what will happen:

“But when the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the angels with Him, then He will sit on His glorious throne. 32And all the nations will be gathered before Him; and He will separate them from one another, just as the shepherd separates the sheep from the goats; 33and He will put the sheep on His right, but the goats on the left.

34“Then the King will say to those on His right, ‘Come, you who are blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. 35For I was hungry, and you gave Me something to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me something to drink; I was a stranger, and you invited Me in; 36naked, and you clothed Me; I was sick, and you visited Me; I was in prison, and you came to Me.’ 37Then the righteous will answer Him, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry, and feed You, or thirsty, and give You something to drink? 38And when did we see You as a stranger, and invite You in, or naked, and clothe You? 39And when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’ 40And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it for one of the least of these brothers or sisters of Mine, you did it for Me.’

41“Then He will also say to those on His left, ‘Depart from Me, you accursed people, into the eternal fire which has been prepared for the devil and his angels; 42for I was hungry, and you gave Me nothing to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me nothing to drink; 43I was a stranger, and you did not invite Me in; naked, and you did not clothe Me; sick, and in prison, and you did not visit Me.’ 44Then they themselves also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry, or thirsty, or as a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not [i]take care of You?’ 45Then He will answer them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did not do it for one of the least of these, you did not do it for Me, either.’ 46These will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.” (Matthew 25:31-46).

There are only two things that will happen to a crown: it will either be burned up in when the earth is remade new, or it will be cast onto Jesus’ feet in joy for His enabling us to achieve a crown of glory in the first place. Everything always goes back to Him, including all achievements.

To become a sheep instead of a goat, means to believe on the Christ and repent of your sins.

For I handed down to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, (1 Corinthians 15:3–4)

Now after John was taken into custody, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of God, 15and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel. (Mark 1:14-15)

Repent and believe today. Your trophies won’t save you. Only Jesus saves.

The End Time Blog Podcast Season 2, Episode 271


Christian writer and Georgia teacher's aide who loves Jesus, a quiet life, art, beauty, and children.

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