Is it any wonder that commentators have so little to say about these gifts? (Perhaps that suggests a greater wisdom and discretion than this writer possesses.) In the first place, they are gifts that will be enjoyed in the eternal state, and, as such, our understanding of them is limited. And in the second place, these gifts hint at such unfathomably exalted things that even when the mind does grasp some understanding of them, it draws back in awe-filled humility, recognizing how utterly undeserved are these expressions of divine grace upon the objects of His sacrificial love. So vast is the richness of these gifts that it should be inconceivable to any believer that these blessings are in any way the fruit of his own efforts. No, they flow from the boundless love and infinite grace of the One Who loved us and gave Himself for us. In revealing the seventh and final gift to the church, John quotes the Lord directly: “I will grant to him [those who overcome, that is, those who have been granted overcoming deliverance through the work of Christ] to sit down with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne” (Rev. 3:21).
Those believers who suppose that they will be second- or even third-class citizens of heaven have failed to take into account the thrust of this promise. Although the degree to which we reflect God’s glory will vary from saint to saint in accord with our faithful service on earth, there will be no Christian janitors, Christian garbage collectors, or Christian dishwashers in heaven. Again, while faithful service will be recognized and rewarded, there will be no superstars and no privileged class. As objects of His love, we will share in His glory because He is pleased to bless us in that way.
This promise to sit down with Christ on His throne is not an isolated promise. For later in the book, we read this: “You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to our God; and they will reign upon the earth” (Rev. 5:10). And still later: “Blessed and holy is the one who has a part in the first resurrection; over these the second death has no power, but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with Him for a thousand years” (20:6). Paul suggests a similar idea when he asks the believers in Corinth, “Do you not know that we will judge angels?” (I Cor. 6:3a). We must again marvel that in our text this promise is made to the Laodicean church, for which the Lord has no commendation, yet they receive the full blessing of the gift of salvation. And here, the reminder that believers will be judging angels is promised to, perhaps, the most carnal church in the New Testament. Yet again, Paul encourages Pastor Timothy with this assurance: “If we endure, we will also reign with Him” (II Tim. 2:12a).
So as difficult as it might be for us to accept, believers will sit with Christ on His throne. To deny the reality of this promise is not to express godly humility but carnal unbelief; however, properly to embrace the reality of it will not culminate in pride but in godly humility. And in properly recognizing its reality, we bring glory to the Lord for His infinite kindness.
The throne symbolizes sovereignty, authority, glory, and majesty—qualities the Lord is pleased to share with His eternal Bride, the church. To some degree, this gift will be the culmination of our Lord’s high priestly prayer. “The glory which You have given Me I have given to them, that they may be one, just as We are one; I in them and You in Me, that they may be perfected in unity, so that the world may know that You sent Me, and loved them, even as You have loved me” (John 17:22, 23).
The revelation of these gifts begins to reveal the reality found in the answer to Paul’s question to the Romans: “He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him over for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things?” (Rom. 8:32). “To God be the glory, great things He hath done.”
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