The apostle Paul wrote in, “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 Tim. 4:8). When Peter spoke about this crown, he called it a crown of glory. “And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away” (1 Peter 5:4). This crown is one that should be sought after more than any earthly crown.
In ancient days there was a crown known as the “Victor’s Crown”. It was given as a token of honor to one who had shown distinguished service. The “Crown of Righteousness” will be worn by all those who serve loyally the King of Kings. Any person who will obey the gospel and live righteously will be able to receive this crown. Jesus died to make this possible, “But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man” (Heb. 2:9). John tells us that Jesus made propitiation for everyone. This means that Christ has made the atonement for all men (1 John 2:2). He was willing and did give Himself for the sins of all men, if they will accept His sacrifice.
The gospel message of the sacrifice of Christ is to be preached to the entire world. This command was given by the Lord prior to His ascension back into heaven. “And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned” (Mark 16:15, 16). It does not matter who the individual may be, be they king or beggar, rich or poor, educated, or illiterate, the message of the gospel is for all mankind. Those who feel they are worthless and useless need to realize that God believes they are worthy of salvation if they will be obedient to God’s word.
Paul wrote that the gospel is the “power of God unto salvation”. The gospel message is the “key” to man’s salvation. When Jesus was speaking to Peter near the coast of Caesarea Philippi, He told Peter He would give to him the “keys” to the kingdom of heaven. On the day of Pentecost Peter used the keys; he preached the gospel of Christ. He told of how Joel had prophesied of the day that had arrived, of how David spoke of the savior, telling of the resurrection of Christ. He told them how Jesus had performed miracles, signs and wonders which they knew about, and declaring that, “that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ” (Acts 2:14 – 36). They stopped his sermon and demanded to know what they needed to do, Peter’s response was, “Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call” (Acts 2:38, 39). The “Crown of Righteousness” awaits all who will follow God.