The Christian's Throne
“To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with my Father on His throne.” (Revelation 3:21)
The words are not hard to understand, but it may be impossible to fully appreciate them. There are no little thrones in heaven. There is one throne, God’s throne, and all who serve Him partake of this throne. It seems that the worship and praise of God will continue in heaven (Revelation 22:3), but those who worship in heaven will do so as citizens and as children who have the right to enjoy every blessing their Father’s kingdom has to offer.
There is a sense in which we can be thought of as partaking of the throne of God and its blessings in the present. The Colossians had been transferred into the kingdom. (Colossians 1:13) The Ephesians were said to be the possessors of every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus. (Ephesians 1:3) However, it should be evident that the full realization of these blessings is still in the future. Those who overcame in Laodicea would be glorified with Jesus to the extent that He was glorified with the Father when He overcame the world through the cross.
Jesus promises us that we will partake of His throne in heaven itself. Paul, who partook of of the throne of Jesus and the glory of Jesus in this life, spoke of a crown yet to be received (2 Timothy 4:8), and an entrance into the kingdom after his death. (2 Timothy 4:18) What will it be like to share the throne of Christ in heaven? In his book Worthy Is The Lamb, Ray Summers explained it as well as it can probably be understood in this life: “Neither hope nor imagination can go beyond the possibilities of this promise.”
It is important for us to realize that this promise is for the one who overcomes as Jesus overcame. Satan tried to convince Jesus to settle for a kingdom without the cross. (Matthew 4:8, 9) The kingdom that Satan offered to Jesus would have been pleasurable and beautiful in many ways, but it wasn’t the best that the Father had to offer. It wasn’t the kingdom that would be able to demonstrate the depths of the Father’s love or the true ugliness of sin. It wasn’t the kingdom that came with the promise of being glorified with the Father, and so Jesus refused to settle for it.
Why would anyone settle for a little throne on earth, when the Father has promised to share the glory of His throne with those who stand with Him? The devil is a skilled opponent. He can appeal to our flesh through desires, relationships, or addictive behaviors. He can show us the cross and intimidate us with fear and pain. The example of the Pharisees shows us that Satan can even use our religion against us. How can we possibly overcome an adversary who has so many ways to attack us?
We must look up. The Laodiceans believed themselves to be rich already, but Jesus challenged them to look up and see riches in the greatest and truest sense of what it means to be rich. We must look up and see the glory of Jesus who carried His cross to Calvary in view of the Father’s promises. When we keep our eyes on Jesus and the throne that is waiting for us in heaven, we see the little throne on earth for what it is: rubbish. It won’t last. It is merely a distraction.
Father, when the devil tries to blind us to our religious apathy, when he tries to entice us with entangling sins, when he tries to lull us into complacency with material comfort, when he tries to intimidate us with grief or pain, help us to see the throne You have promised to share with us!