The Celestial Chronicles (14)
Stories imagining Christian service from Heaven’s point of view
Council of War
This ‘council of war’ was not like any you might imagine. For starters, it was taking place in Heaven, not on Earth. This was no assembly of high-ranking officers planning complex manoeuvres to outwit a cunning enemy. There was no head-scratching perplexity as to which was the best course of action to take, no worry about political consequences, no grim calculation regarding loss of life, not even any concern of defeat. In fact, to this gathering of angels, there was not even any possibility of defeat. They knew that the battle for Earth’s final destiny had long since been won – at the Cross of Christ. The awful warfare continuing on Earth in the meantime, the horrendous suffering, the heartache, the chaos, would all one day, very soon, come to an end. The question in the meantime was how many of the people on Earth would choose Life. Not earthly life or prosperity, but Eternal Life – beginning on Earth and leading to Heaven.
Since the fall of Adam and Eve, there had never been a year in the history of Earth that there had not been a war of some kind – whether between countries, nations, or individual people. Now, a European war was taking place on Earth. It had taken the Big Powers of the world by surprise. They had thought the world far too civilised for a significant war in the year 2022; surely mankind had resolved their differences and evolved into peaceful living by now! But the angels knew otherwise. They knew that there would never be true peace between people without there first being peace between individuals and God.
The angelic assembly watching this war were documenting several different things for the Records of Heaven:
They recorded prayers from around the world on behalf of those caught up in the war. Some of those prayers were on behalf of Christians – to strengthen, help, protect, provide practical aid and so on. Teams of angels were assigned to follow up on these various requests. Some of the prayer petitions were that people would trust Christ for salvation and be saved; other angels were sent to process these requests – perhaps by placing Christians in strategic places to witness; perhaps through bringing unbelievers into contact with the message of the Bible. In one way or another, according to the decree of the Creator of the Universe, the angelic forces moved to assist in answering the prayers of the Redeemed.
Angelic administrators also watched the actions of the Christians caught in the warzone. They recorded sacrifices, heroic deeds, and small acts of faithfulness. Whatever was done for the glory of God made its way into the eternal annals of Heaven, and glorious rewards (which always far outweighed the suffering!) were added to the heavenly accounts of individual Christians.
There were also teams of angels assigned to register every deed – great and small – by which people contravened the law of God. All who were responsible for invading a country and inflicting such great suffering would one day be punished, with absolute justice, for every single infringement of the law of God. Every tiny, hidden detail was recorded with meticulous care. No sin was too small to escape notice. Unless those perpetrating the war repented of their sin, they would one day be subject to the eternal wrath of a righteous God.
But, perhaps more than all the other angels who watched and chronicled the consequences of this latest conflict on Earth, the angels that worked for Sefer, the chief angelic Keeper of the Book of Life, were the scribes most to be envied. Despite the suffering (or even because of it), from the bomb shelters, from among the mass of terrorised humanity, from every corner of a besieged nation, people cried to God for salvation and were eternally saved. Sefer’s assistants inscribed the new names in the Book of Life, and Heaven was filled with the sound of great rejoicing even while the bombs continued to drop on Earth.
The God of Heaven took note of even a fallen sparrow in that war. His scribes and administrators recorded every moment of suffering, every sin, and every cry for salvation that arose from the warzone. The cost of suffering, the eternal reward, the rich harvest of souls, and the ultimate victory look completely different from Heaven’s point of view.
That’s why this ‘council of war’ is like none you could imagine on Earth.