The first century apostles and disciples were a unique generation of people in the history of mankind.  God chose that time and that place in Palestine for Jesus Christ to make His visible entrance into the world.  He came as a man, born of a virgin, and personally ministered to those first century Jews.

The Pharisees, priests, and Jewish leaders of that time rejected Him and His message.  They did not believe that He was the promised Messiah.  Christ was crucified, physically died, was buried, resurrected, and ascended back to heaven during that time in AD 30.  He commissioned His chosen apostles to make disciples and to teach the gospel of the New Covenant Kingdom to the Jews, Samaritans (half-breeds), and the Gentiles.

“19Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, EVEN TO THE END OF THE AGE.” (Matt. 28:19-20).

The non-believing Jews at that time hated Him.  They persecuted and even killed those first century Christians because of their faith in Jesus as the Messiah.  The Romans also persecuted and killed those faithful Christians.  The gospel of the New Covenant Kingdom was preached and taught by those first century disciples in the synagogues and elsewhere.

Jesus told them that He would return at His second coming Parousia in their generation.  He said that they would have to suffer and be hated by all nations for their faith.  Some of them would even be killed.  Jesus told them that if they endured until He returned at the end of the Jewish age they shall be saved/rescued.

9Then they will deliver YOU up to tribulation and kill YOU, and YOU will be hated by all nations for My name’s sake. 10And then many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another.” (Matt. 24:9-10). “13But he who ENDURES TO THE END shall be saved.(Matt. 24:13).

34Assuredly, I say to YOU, THIS GENERATION will by no means pass away till all these things take place.” (Matt. 24:34).

Christ had special CROWNS for those first century faithful Christians.  These were given to them, not to us, after the judgments in AD 70.  Apostle Paul said that those brethren who became believers in Christ through his work as an apostle and preacher of the gospel were his joy and CROWN (Phil. 4:1; 1 Thess. 2:19).

Paul told Timothy that all of those first century saints would receive the CROWN of righteousness, which the Lord would give to them at His second coming Parousia in AD 70 (2 Tim. 4:8).  James said that the faithful who endured temptation in the first century would receive the CROWN of life (James 1:12).

Peter said that those first century faithful saints would receive the CROWN of glory when Christ returned at His second coming Parousia (1 Pet. 5:4).  John wrote that those first century saints would be thrown into prison and have tribulation, but if THEY were faithful until death, THEY would receive the CROWN of life (Rev. 2:10).

Their entrance into the Holy of Holies in the heavenly realm was not yet fully consummated, but it would be when He returned at His second coming Parousia (Heb. 9:8).  Jesus promised the first century church that He was coming quickly.  If THEY held fast to their faith, no persecutor could take away their CROWN.

“11 Behold, 1 am coming quickly! Holdfast what YOU have, that no one may take your CROWN.”Rev. 3:11).

We Christians, who live after Christ’s second coming Parousia in AD 70, all have the guarantee of our instant new immortal, perfect, spiritual body with instant entrance into eternal life in heaven after we physically die.  All has been fully consummated unlike for those transition saints, who had to wait for the full consummation in AD 70.  We do not serve Christ to receive a CROWN, but we serve Him in the earthly realm of His New Covenant eternal Kingdom solely for His glory.