“And They Sat Upon the Thrones” (4)
Even the highest glory we
could obtain in this age
could never compare to
that of reigning with
Christ in the next age
Then I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given to them.
— Revelation 20:4
Have you noticed how this verse speaks of the thrones? It is quite significant. It does not say,
And I saw them sitting upon the thrones.
Rather, when John first saw the thrones, they were empty; the Holy Spirit made sure John saw that. Only after he had seen the empty thrones did the overcoming followers of Christ (cf. Rev. 3:21) come forward to sit upon them.
This should cause us to realize, what a day that will be, when the overcomers finally sit upon their thrones!
Today in the earthly realm, whenever a king or queen sits upon their throne for the first time, it is an occasion of the utmost pomp, ceremony, and solemnity. Soon in fact, for the first time in 70 years, England will crown a new sovereign in what is no doubt the most splendid of all the earthly coronation ceremonies.
And yet, even that will be as nothing, and less than nothing, on the day the overcomers are crowned. The Bible doesn’t tell us exactly what will happen then, but surely the heavenly host will be singing praises to the Lord and shouting many “Hallelujah’s!” at that time.
Earlier in the book of Revelation, when the Lamb took the scroll, John tells us,
Then I looked, and I heard the voice of many angels around the throne and the living creatures and the elders; and the number of them was myriads of myriads, and thousands of thousands, saying with a loud voice, “Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power and riches and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing.”
— Revelation 5:11-12
This should give us some idea of the kind of praising of the Lord that will take place when those who suffered with Christ so that they might also be glorified with Him (Rom. 8:17), enter into the reward they so diligently sought during their lifetime. In this age they were “the scum of the world, the dregs of all things” (1 Cor. 4:13); they
…Experienced mockings and scourgings, yes, also chains and imprisonment. They were stoned, they were sawn in two, they were tempted, they were put to death with the sword; they went about in sheepskins, in goatskins, being destitute, afflicted, ill-treated—of whom the world was not worthy—wandering in deserts and mountains and caves and holes in the ground.
— Hebrews 11:36-38
These ones, rejected by the world today, will in that age be the very ones who rise up to sit upon the thrones; no doubt the courts of the Lord will be overwhelmed with shouts of rejoicing!
In fact, regardless of what kind of earthly glory we might seek or even achieve in this age, there is nothing here that could in any way compare with the glory of that age. The Apostle Paul illustrated his running of the Christian race by the example of those who sought the glory of the ancient Olympic games; in doing so he said,
They do it to obtain a perishable crown, but we for an imperishable crown.
— 1 Corinthians 9:25
In that day, those who gave themselves to pursue the fleeting rewards of this passing age will realize just how foolish they were, for they will see those who, instead, gave themselves and their lives to Christ, receive the imperishable crown of the next age.
To live such a life today is indeed not easy, but as Paul also tells us:
Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is being destroyed, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day. For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory.
— 2 Corinthians 4:16-17
This view of the coming reward should cause us to consider again the Lord’s warning to His disciples, and in so doing to be much more serious in our seeking after Him now, so that we may be among those who are rewarded at His return:
“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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— 18 March 2023 —