It’s been on the schedule since before creation and we’ve waited to participate in it since we first heard it announced. The rewards for Christian service are about to be given out.
We stand with attention transfixed on the judgment seat of Christ. (II Corinthians 5:10) The throng cannot be numbered and stretches beyond our ability to see, and yet it is as if we all stand in the front row. There is a large angel and a book. We knew there was a book of remembrances and now it is opened. The electricity of anticipation crackles throughout our ranks.
We wonder … who will receive the greatest rewards? We have pondered this prior to our arrival here. There are five or six individuals who come easily to mind. And what will their rewards be? Heaven itself seems reward enough. The presence of the King and his Son surpass any possible gift.
The crowd quiets as it senses the opening moment is at hand. We had assumed that we would not be summoned by alphabetized names and we are correct. It will be as it should be. The rewards will be based on faithful service, exemplary bravery in the face of danger. Those who counted most should be honored first. It’s the right way, even from our perspective.
And so it starts. The first several names are called and humbly these saints move forward. But something is wrong. We don’t recognize any of their names. We peer intently at their faces, but haven’t seen any of them before. Somehow the publicists missed these people. They were never interviewed in print or before Christian television. They wrote no books and none had a church fellowship hall named for them, let alone an entire institution.
Our spiritual equilibrium is thrown off temporarily as we listen to the commendations. And as we hear, we understand something about the Kingdom that we had failed to grasp for our entire lives.
These first ones called were not the notables. They wouldn’t have shown up in a Google search. Their demeanor wouldn’t have turned anyone’s head. There was no obvious and manifested charisma to them at all. As they stepped humbly before their King to receive the greatest of heaven’s prizes, it suddenly dawns on each of us witnessing this event.
Each of these ‘world changers’ … these who most powerfully advance the agenda of the King on earth … these whose ministries altered the affairs of nations, stopped the vilest of wickedness, unleashed the massive power of God’s exquisite Gospel … they all stepped forward from places of obscurity.
These were the prayer warriors, heaven’s interceding saints. In many cases their ministry was not even known and noticed by their spiritual leaders. Behind closed doors and often in the stillness of the night they petitioned the King on issues of the greatest importance to the heart of God.
He had committed to partner with anyone who would dare to believe that when they prayed, He would respond. And these were the ones who took Him up on it … Heaven’s heroes.
When we get to heaven we may be embarrassed
that we didn’t pray more!