Revelation 20; Isaiah 7-8; Psalm 110
Jack Bailey had an admirable goal: he wanted to make every woman a queen, every day. Bailey was the emcee of a program called “Queen for a Day” that began on radio back in 1945 and migrated to TV in 1956 and ran until 1964. The basic premise of the show was that he would interview three ladies who were having difficulties in life. As they interviewed, they would eventually get to the main question: what one thing do you need to make your life better? The audience would vote using an applause meter. The winning lady would be draped in a sable-trimmed red velvet robe, given a glittering jeweled crown to wear, placed on a velvet-upholstered throne, and handed a dozen long-stemmed roses to hold as she wept, often uncontrollably, while her list of prizes was announced which included what she needed and a long list of other prizes. The other contestants didn’t go home empty-handed and, as the show ended, Bailey shared his goal each time.
Sometimes the actors we see just say the lines they’re given. It would be a shame if Bailey used those words without really believing them. Wouldn’t we all like to be queen, or king for a day? Royalty doesn’t have as much power as it used to, but, it would be an interesting experience. As John relates the coming end times, the Revelation that he shares has an amazing story of a heavenly throne room where those given the authority to judge were seated. “I saw thrones on which were seated those who had been given authority to judge. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of their testimony about Jesus and because of the word of God. They had not worshiped the beast or its image and had not received its mark on their foreheads or their hands. They came to life and reigned with Christ a thousand years.” (Revelation 20:4)
Yeah, Jack Bailey, you made women queen for a day but those who follow Jesus will reign in heaven. There’s a whole lot of discussion about this time noted at the end of the verse. Is this a literal 1000 years? Is this a figure of speech? Do you believe Jesus will return to earth before this 1000-year reign or after? Why does God let the devil out after this time? There’s a lot I don’t understand about the end times. I don’t believe we’re supposed to parse every word in apocalyptic literature so that we can make pronouncements about what God’s gonna do, though. The purpose of this part of the story is to remind people that those who stay true to God will discover that the sacrifices are worth it. Staying true to God was worth losing their heads; it was worth dealing with the attacks for not worshiping the beast, nor engaging in commerce with the beast by taking its mark. Staying true to our testimony of Jesus and the word of God is worth any difficulties we may encounter.
Given that we aren’t laying our lives on the line when we testify about Jesus, how are we showing and telling others about His love? If we claim to follow Jesus, we’re called to serve Him in one way or another. My pastor is involved with ministry that is not an outgrowth of the church because he wants people to know that his call to ministry is more than his paid ministry. What ministry are you called to? How are you called to serve Him? To spread the message of grace that is available to all people? To care for people in need? I really don’t care about sitting on a throne, but if the picture John painted of the throne room is true, those thrones are more comfortable than what we normally see. I care about being faithful to God. To hear at the end of my life, at the final judgment, or whenever this happens, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant.” I don’t want to be king for a day, I want to serve the king always.
Lord, let me be faithful to You because of Your greatness and Your grace.