In Revelation 4:10–11, part of the vision of heaven given to John, the phrase appears: "the twenty-four elders fall down before him who is seated on the throne and worship him who lives forever and ever. They cast their crowns before the throne, saying, 'Worthy are you, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they existed and were created.'"
What Bible verse talks about casting crowns before Jesus?
These elders model for us our own response when we encounter Jesus in heaven: our gratitude and desire to worship will cause us to give to Him any honors, titles, possessions, or prizes we may have accumulated. England's Queen Victoria famously wished for Jesus' second coming during her reign so she could literally remove her crown and lay it at His feet. As the heavenly elders and the worldly queen exemplified, we give Jesus our best possessions, those things that give us identity—our everything. We can begin to do this even now as we worship Him and live for Him.
Some aspects of Revelation seem to be very poetic. That is, they give an accurate description of what will happen, but not necessarily a literal one. An example from daily life would be when one person "gives their heart" to another. This is accurate, in the sense that they are giving their "all" to the one they love, and taking a risk of great personal hurt. They are not, however, removing an organ and placing it in the other person's hand.
This means that the "crowns" we are given by God, and the way we lay them at the feet of Jesus, can just as well be a beautiful description of what heaven is like, not necessarily what it actually is. Whether with literal circles of metal, or merely His stated approval, God will reward us for our service, and we will return those honors to Christ.
The New Testament also refers to crowns as an example of the rewards offered by Jesus for those who are faithful. See James 1:12 (the crown of life), 1 Peter 5:4 (the crown of glory), and Revelation 3:11 (your crown). Rewards are also referred to in Matthew 5:12 (a great reward in heaven), 1 Corinthians 3:14 (reward for work that survives a refining fire), and Revelation 22:12 (repayment for work).
It would make sense for use to immediately offer back to Christ every bit of glory we receive, understanding that such a gift is nothing compared with His great gift of salvation and His absolute worthiness of all praise.
What are the crowns a believer can receive in heaven? What are the heavenly crowns?
How can I worship the Lord in spirit and truth (John 4:23-24)? What is true worship?
Should a Christian worship Jesus?
What is the Judgment Seat of Christ?
When will the various resurrections described in the Bible happen?
Truth about Eternity