“And They Sat Upon the Thrones” (3)
As Christians we should
seek the highest reward
of the next age, that of
sitting with Christ
upon His throne
Then I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment was given to them. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of their testimony of Jesus and because of the word of God, and those who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received the mark on their forehead and on their hand; and they came to life and reigned with Christ for a thousand years.
— Revelation 20:4, NASB 95
I did not really see what this verse is saying until I read a comment on it by G.H. Pember, the 19th century student of Biblical prophecy, in which he states that in it,
…We can discern three different classes of glorified believers….The first class appears to occupy a higher position than the others: but all live and reign with Christ for a thousand years.
— The Great Prophecies, Volume 1, page 443
When we look at this verse again in the light of his comment, we notice that, while all of these believers will be blessed to live and reign with Christ for the 1,000 years of His reign upon the earth, only some of them, the overcomers (cf. 3:21) will actually be sitting upon the thrones.
The rest of these believers will also reign, but it appears that they will do so under the direction of the overcomers, the ones upon the thrones. Beneath the overcomers will be, first, those who were martyred for Christ (“who had been beheaded because of their testimony of Jesus and because of the word of God”), and beneath them, those who were faithful and who did not deny Christ (who “had not received the mark on their forehead and on their hand”), but who did not bear such a testimony that it caused them to be martyred.
The Lord made it clear that there will be degrees of punishment in the Lake of Fire:
“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you devour widows’ houses, and for a pretense make long prayers. Therefore you will receive greater condemnation.”
— Matthew 24:14
Now Revelation 20:4 makes it clear that, at least during the 1,000 year reign of Christ, there will also be degrees of reward and honor for those who have followed Christ.
May we all aspire to be those who pursue Christ in this age to the extent that we may overcome to sit with Him upon His throne in the next age!
“For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul? For the Son of Man will come in the glory of His Father with His angels, and then He will reward each according to his works.”
— Matthew 16:26-27
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— 16 March 2023 —