The King is on His Throne


“God is on the throne. No one is kicking Him off. And you can trust Him.” This is something I heard my theology professor say multiple times. And what an encouraging phrase it is! Jesus is in control and we can rest in His sovereignty. But, I know we live in a challenging time and it is hard to put that truth into practice. Sadly, we are tempted to seek encouragement and comfort from many sources. But, when we hear about God’s wonderful nature and His incredible power and immerse ourselves in Biblical truth, we find the encouragement we need. 

    Revelation 1:4-8 says: John to the seven churches that are in Asia: Grace to you and peace from Him who is and who was and who is to come, and from the seven spirits who are before His throne, and from Jesus Christ the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead, and the ruler of kings on earth.To Him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by His blood and made us a kingdom, priests to his God and Father, to Him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.  Behold, He is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see Him, even those who pierced Him, and all tribes of the earth will wail on account of Him. Even so. Amen.“I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.”

   In the Bible, John, through the Holy Spirit, begins his words in the book of Revelation by encouraging believers not to succumb to fear in the midst of the challenges and hardships they were facing. And what encourages the soul more than turning our gaze upon God and learning about His character. Who God is and what He has accomplished on our behalf helps to give us a redirected perspective from our problems to the Lamb who has overcome. 

     So, John starts out his letter by greeting his recipients, the seven churches of Asia. Mentioning seven churches is symbolic; the number seven is really a way to indicate completeness, wholeness, and perfection. So, all churches, all believers throughout history benefit from this encouraging message. Then, John turns His attention to God’s nature, and in doing so proclaims the saving work of the Trinity. He starts with God the Father, the God who is and who was and who is to come. This statement reminds us that God is eternal. He rules over all of time, past, present, and future. Nothing is outside His realm. He is not bound by time or history; He is sovereign over all of time and history and human activity. After mentioning the Father, John turns to mention the Holy Spirit. He mentions the seven spirits before God’s throne, which again is his symbolic way of referring to the Holy Spirit. Here, John emphasizes the Holy Spirit’s glorious perfection. 

   John’s words then point to the Son, Jesus. He places a great deal of emphasis on Jesus and what He has done for believers. As a faithful witness, He preached God’s message and proclaimed His truth faithfully throughout His earthly life, remaining faithful to death.  John also mentions Jesus’ preeminence. Jesus is preeminent over every being. He is the firstborn of the dead. He is the One who has the authority and power to save those who believe in Him. He is our mighty Savior. John continues this theme by reminding us of Jesus’ power and love demonstrated on the cross. He showed us His love by removing our sin and freeing us from sins’ bondage, giving the ultimate sacrifice of His life by dying on the cross. And notice the word order here. It starts with God’s love. God’s love, like His being, is eternal. He loved us before the creation of the world, before there was time and space and matter. This changes the trajectory of our lives forever and ensures our future with God in Heaven. And through His power and saving work, Jesus makes believers priests. Priests have access to God, which allows them to offer sacrifices in His presence and give God all worship and glory and dominion. 

   John then shifts his focus to Jesus’ second coming. This promise is so amazing! Jesus will come to earth again, completely vanquish evil, consummate salvation, bring about the fullness of His kingdom, and restore all of creation. This will be a joyous, happy reality of those all over the world who have believed in Jesus. But for all who rejected His name and hated Him now wail and cry in fear as they behold King Jesus. Nothing will stop his event. In verse 8, John closes by referring once again to God’ eternality: He is the first and the last, the Alpha and the Omega over all things. He is almighty: completely supreme in power over everything, which erases the need to be fearful.

   What encouragement can we take away from this? By remembering God’s nature, we are encouraged not to fear or worry about the unknown things in our life or the crazy things happening in the world. God knows all of our moments and will perfectly carry out His good and loving plan in our lives. Second, Jesus’ faithfulness serves as a good reminder to us today, to stay true to the Gospel in all situations. Also, God is holy and perfect, very much unlike us. So, we can be thankful for Jesus shedding His blood and atoning for our sins. We can be thankful that the all knowing, all powerful, triune God made a way to bring restoration to this broken world and to our fallen, sinful souls. Also, while it is very true that God deserves our worship because of the things He has done for us, God warrants worship simply because of who He is. He is the almighty, faithful, triune, loving, perfect, holy, eternal, glorious King of the universe. So, let us be encouraged that: God is outside of time. God is all powerful. And we have every reason to trust Him.