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The One Who Wants to Wear the Crown Must Bear Its Weight

No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has conceived the Kingdom of Heaven God has prepared for His children. However, the way to Heaven is not a smooth paved way. It would be good if we could go to Heaven easily, without any difficulty. On this path, however, there are big barriers that stop us and obstacles that are beyond our control.

It was the same with the members of the early Church, including the apostles, who preached the gospel in obedience to Christ’s command. They walked the path of faith under hardship and persecution; it was not a smooth, easy path. Why did God allow His beloved children to walk the rough path instead of an easy, comfortable path? Let’s think about the reason and look forward to the glory that we will enjoy in Heaven forever and ever, holding fast to the crown of life and running the race of faith till the end, as the people of Zion.

Take up your cross and follow me

There is a saying that goes, “The one who wants to wear the crown must bear its weight.” This means that if a person wants to be a king, that person must at least be able to bear its weight. Likewise, the person who wants to go to the eternal Kingdom of Heaven must be able to bear the weight of the cross. Jesus said if anyone would come after Him, he must take up his cross and follow Him.

Lk 9:23 Then he said to them all: “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.”

We are following the path of Christ every day, looking forward to the eternal Kingdom of Heaven. In this journey of faith, everyone has their own cross to bear. The people of Zion all around the world are no exception. They all look comfortable and happy, but actually they have their own difficulties. I know they are patiently enduring while hiding their own hardships behind their smiles in the hope of going to Heaven. Sometimes they may feel like putting down the cross that weighs heavily on their shoulders. However, a cross-less path is not the path of Christ.

2,000 years ago, God came to this earth in the name of Jesus and carried the burden of the cross. If He had shown His almighty power even just for a moment, all the people would have been surprised and believed in Him as Christ and followed Him. However, Jesus revealed Himself as a human being just like one of us and preached the gospel during His public life that lasted for three and a half years, being ridiculed and hindered by His creatures in all sorts of ways and enduring all the troubles and sufferings. To atone for our sins, He was whipped and nailed to the cross, and his side was pierced with a spear. Through His great sacrifice and love, He opened the door of salvation wide for mankind and went up to Heaven.

Jesus set an example before us and said, “If anyone would come after me, he must follow the path of the cross I have walked.” This means that only the person who participates in Christ’s sufferings can follow the path of Christ.

2 Ti 3:12 In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted . . .

The Bible says that everyone who wants to live a godly life in God will be persecuted. The systems of this world do not allow people to walk the path of faith. So, we may encounter many hardships like the cross, which prevent us from living a life of faith.

Whenever you face hardship, you need to realize the will of God through it, instead of just trying to escape the burden of your cross. At the end of your hardship, you will see the Kingdom of Heaven. Do not forget this. When we enter a tunnel, it is very dark at first, but there is light at the end of the tunnel. Likewise, the brilliant and glorious Kingdom of Heaven is waiting for us at the end of this path. All the people of heaven, who want to be saved, must bear the weight of their own cross and follow the life of Christ fully, so they can enter the eternal Kingdom of Heaven.

The reason God allows us to take up our cross

There is a reason for everything that God created. Some people say it would be great if the weather was always clear and sunny. Actually, however, a desert where the weather is sunny throughout the year is very desolate and plant-less. It does not rain or snow in the desert, which leads to a shortage of water, so plants cannot grow and herbivores cannot survive, either. This makes the desert an uninhabited place. Plants can grow properly when it occasionally rains or snows and the wind blows. Lightning, which scares many people, is also essential for plants to get nitrogen, one of the most important nutrients for their growth.

Life is no different than the weather. There are not always good days; sometimes there are cloudy days, sometimes windy days, and sometimes stormy days. Through God’s providence in Creation, we can see that we, too, must go through the same kind of process in the truth to be able to grow into the spiritual wheat.

Sometimes we regard our cross as a heavy, painful burden. However, our cross is not a painful burden, but an essential element for our salvation. The Apostle Paul had a thorn in his flesh—a disease, which afflicted him. He pleaded with God multiple times to take it away from him, but God told him that it was also His grace.

2 Co 12:7–10 To keep me from becoming conceited because of these surpassingly great revelations, there was given me a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

Paul was very happy to realize that God loved him so much that He gave him a physical ailment. The physical discomfort served as a brake system that prevented him from being conceited and going astray.

As the path of Christ was the path of the cross, so is the path of Christians. The members of the early Church, who believed in Jesus Christ as the true God and followed Him, were also persecuted a lot by the religious leaders who regarded Jesus as a heretic and persecuted Him. The Apostle Paul was accused of being the “ringleader of the Nazarene sect” in the court. However, like myrrh that gives off more fragrance as it is split apart, the gospel spread more and more day after day. It seemed that the numerous hardships and persecutions were hindering the gospel work of the early Church. However, the more it was hindered, the more powerful the Holy Spirit was at work. So, amazingly enough, God’s word was preached in Samaria and to the ends of the earth—to all parts of Europe beyond Asia.

This is God’s will revealed through the cross. When we hear the word “cross,” we are apt to think only of suffering, but behind it there are victory, glory, and salvation.

The royal priests who will bear the weight of the heavenly crown

God can make rough paths smooth, and difficult things easy. However, He had the gospel preached amidst persecution in the time of the early Church, too. There is a reason God allows His people, who will be saved, to take up their cross and follow Christ today. It’s because they are the ones who will be royal priests in Heaven (1 Pe 2:9).

Rev 22:1–5 Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, as clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb down the middle of the great street of the city. On each side of the river stood the tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, yielding its fruit every month. And the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations. No longer will there be any curse. The throne of God and of the Lamb will be in the city, and his servants will serve him. They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads. There will be no more night. They will not need the light of a lamp or the light of the sun, for the Lord God will give them light. And they will reign for ever and ever.

We will receive a heavenly inheritance from God, who is the Ruler of the universe and the King of kings, and will reign as kings forever and ever. Those who will be kings need education and experience accordingly. If we were to be ordinary people and serve royalty, accompanying them wherever they go in Heaven, we would not need to go through hardship and suffering now.

Since the Bible says we will reign in Heaven forever and ever, we have a crown to wear on our head, right? There is laid up for us the crown of righteousness and the crown of life, which God has prepared for us (2 Ti 4:8; Jas 1:12). Only the person who has the ability to bear the weight of the crown can become a king.

Ro 8:16–17 The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.

The crown that we will receive as God’s heirs is weighty. From the time of the early Church until today, the gospel work has not always been smooth sailing. In this age, Heavenly Father led our church amid so many difficulties, and Heavenly Mother has been sparing no effort and sacrifice so that the truth can be preached to all people around the world. They have made us what we are today.

As heirs of heaven—co-heirs with Christ, we should share in His sufferings in order that we may also share in His glory. Sometimes, we have pain, sorrow, and suffering, but in such hard times God gives us joy and hope as well. We are also comforted by the fact that we will inherit the eternal Kingdom of Heaven. Whenever we go through hardship, let us believe that God is refining us, so that we can become greater vessels, and work harder to preach the gospel, as the heirs of Heaven.

The Bible acknowledges the people, who are under the New Covenant, as God’s heirs who will reign in the eternal Kingdom of Heaven forever and ever.

Heb 9:15 For this reason Christ is the mediator of a new covenant, that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance—now that he has died as a ransom to set them free from the sins committed under the first covenant.

As the Mediator of the New Covenant, Jesus said He would give us the promise of the eternal inheritance—the eternal Kingdom of Heaven—through the New Covenant. Whoever does not abide in the New Covenant cannot receive the heavenly inheritance that God has promised us.

We keep the New Covenant today. As God’s heirs, we must bear the weight of our cross so that we can share in the glory God has prepared for us. Not just anyone can walk this path because it is narrow and only a few find it (Mt 7:13–14). Only those who have enough faith to fully conform to the will of God can walk the path. We must walk the path of the truth—the New Covenant—together with Heavenly Father and Mother until the end.

The mission of preaching we must do as royal priests

A king should avoid being narrow-minded. He has to look at the whole kingdom, instead of just looking at his surroundings, and think about what he should do to make the people comfortable. For this, he needs to experience many things. So, God has commanded us to preach the gospel. He can accomplish world evangelism by His power in a moment. However, God has entrusted the great mission to us who lack ability and wisdom. There is a profound providence of God behind that.

Mt 28:18–20 Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

It is not easy to teach people to obey everything Jesus has commanded us. However, it brings forth the blessings God has prepared for us.

God wants us to experience many things before we reign forever and ever. Through preaching, we can meet people who speak different languages and have different customs and cultures, and understand them. There are people in the world who do not keep God’s commands because they do not know them yet, and there are also people who do not keep them although they know them. There are well-rounded people and unsociable people as well as people who are on the same wavelength as us and those who are not. However, God has commanded us to go to all people and preach the Word.

As we preach God’s word to people with different characters, we come to learn many things. One of the things we should all keep in mind is that we must have the love, which God has shown us, to lead them all to repentance and salvation. If we preach with our own personality and our own thoughts, it causes some problems. However, if we preach God’s word with the love of Christ, we can help unite the whole world and achieve good results.

Our members of Zion in 175 countries are now making every effort to preach the gospel, being united as one while yielding to one another and caring for each other with God’s love. So every day, I hear the joyful news from all over the world that many souls are returning into God’s arms. It requires much sacrifice on the part of brothers and sisters to help one soul be born again to a new life and become a new person of heaven. So, the Apostle Paul likened the work of preaching to one person to the pains of childbirth.

There is no king without his crown. The one who wants to wear the crown must bear its weight. The heavenly people who want to go to Heaven must bear the weight of their cross. We are the ones who will reign forever and ever. We need to consider one another’s circumstances and unite with whomever we meet, through the love of Christ. Heaven is a place filled with love, right? We accumulate experience in preaching so that we can be beautifully changed. It is a process that we must experience to go to Heaven and something that helps us have the capability to bear the weight of the crown.

God gives the blessing of eternal life and the crown of righteousness to His children who bear the weight of their cross with the hope for heaven. I earnestly ask all of you to be encouraged and live according to the will of Heavenly Father and Mother by preaching, praying, and studying God’s word more diligently, until the gospel of the kingdom is accomplished. Bear the weight of the crown you will wear and give eternal glory and praise to Elohim in the Kingdom of Heaven.