At the end of John Bunyan’s classic book, Pilgrim’s Progress, the characters Christian and Hopeful meet two angels as they reach the Celestial City, or heaven. The angels tell them what to expect: “You must there receive the comfort of all your toil, and have joy for all your sorrow; you must reap what you have sown, even the fruit of all your prayers, and tears, and sufferings, for the King, by the way.”
Evangelism is a temporary task. It will only be necessary as long as this world lasts. One day—not too long from now!—Christ will return and gather to Himself the full number of His redeemed people (Rev. 22:20). Not one of all that the Father gave to Christ will be lost; each one will be carefully numbered (vv. 4–8; John 6:37).
In eternity, we will no longer proclaim the good news of God’s love in Christ so that people can be saved. Instead, we will proclaim it because we have already been saved and cannot stop thanking Him for it. We will no longer labor, but we will rest in His near presence and delight in His glory (vv. 15–17).
In eternity, too, we will see the fruits of our evangelistic labors. As the psalm promises, “Those who go out weeping, carrying seed to sow, will return with songs of joy, carrying sheaves with them” (Ps. 126:6). The child from Sunday school, the elderly man who lived next door, the girl at youth group, the postal carrier, the college roommate—all rejoicing with us. As we look around the throne, we will see every person who trusted in Christ through our prayers and testimony. Together, we will all raise our voices in worship: “Salvation belongs to our God, who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb” (v. 10).
In anticipation of that day of rejoicing, plan a time of prayer and praise. Pray for loved ones who still need to trust Christ for salvation, and praise the Lord for His promise to redeem all who call on His name. Pray for continued faithfulness in witnessing to the lost, and praise God for His encouragement and strength that will be yours as you follow Him.