Life is difficult! Life is even more difficult if we pursue righteousness, for ‘indeed, all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will be persecuted. We have established this principal truth – ‘Through many tribulations, we must enter the kingdom of God,’ thus, ‘we strengthen the souls of the disciples, encouraging them to continue in the faith . . .
Until the late 1500’s the hope of the early Church was anchored in the resurrection. In fact, the expectation of the Second Appearance of Messiah was so vivid in the lives of the early Believers in Thessalonica that some ceased working, and the apostle Paul had to write two epistles to rebuke these Believers, and thus establishing in this congregation foundational teaching on the Second Appearance of Messiah and the Resurrection . . .
Inevitably, every human being will appear before the eternal Judge to give an account for his life on earth (Mat 16:27; Rom 14:12), for Almighty God will finally judge the whole world with equity, (Ps 75). Judgement is a court procedure. Adam sinned, and since the fall, every human being has fallen short of the glory of God, (Rom 5:14-18; Rom 3:9-23). ‘There is no partiality with God,’ thus every man will render an account for the choices he made . . .
God has prepared a city for us. We cannot see it, yet this city is real. Moreover, this city belongs to a country and is ruled by a King, (Phil 3:20; Ps 2:6). Even though we have to wait for it, this reality should affect our worldview, and keep our focus on the future, yet the glorious appearance of the Kingdom we belong to . . .
Those whose deeds are exposed will either come to the light to be healed or they will resist it, ‘For everyone who does evil hates the light, and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed. But he who practices the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be manifested as being wrought in God,’ . . .
There will be two armies fighting in this war, the armies of this world under the authority of Antichrist (Dan 7:21-27; Rev 13:7-8); and the kingdom of Messiah, those coming with Him from heaven (Rev 19:11-14; Zech 14:4-5), and Judah leading the army of Israel into this final battle foreshadowed by the prophet Ezekiel, (Ezek 39:17-29; Zech 9:11-17; Rev 19:17-21).
What a glorious hope! ‘Beloved, now we are children of God, and it has not appeared as yet what we shall be. We know that, when He appears, we shall be like Him, because we shall see Him just as He is,’ (1 John 3:2). Indeed, we do have a hope and a future . . .
The picture of a woman set apart for God in holy matrimony is not a new image occurring in the New Testament writings of the apostles. The first occurrence of a bride set apart for her husband emerges when Abraham sent his servant to seek out a wife for his son, Isaac, the seed of promise . . .
The “talents” in this parable represent an amount of money entrusted to His servants in order to equip them for the work they have to do in His Kingdom while He is away (in heaven). In the context of this parable, it seems clear that each ‘citizen of heaven’ will receive different responsibilities, and it does not depend on ‘how much has been entrusted,’ but how faithful the servant will be over that which has been entrusted to him.
Can a house without a foundation stand? (Mat 7:24-27). A vivid description of a spiritual house being built by living stones, having Messiah as the cornerstone of the building, appears in the first epistle of the apostle Peter, (1 Peter 2:4-8). It becomes evident, in the context of this passage, that this “House” represents the Kingdom of God, for those who are built into this “House” as living stones, are ‘a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people of God’s own possession,’ (1 Peter 2:9). The author of Hebrews laid down the same concept of a “House,” explaining that ‘Christ was faithful as a Son over His house whose house we are, if we hold fast our confidence and the boast of our hope firm until the end,’ (Heb 3:6).
The relationship between a holy God and ‘a holy people set apart for His own possession’ (Deut 7:6-8), is portrayed throughout Scripture as a covenant relation, best understood in the light of a marriage covenant, (Eph 5:22-33). Israel, the covenant nation, to whom God entrusted the blueprint of His Kingdom (Rom 9:3-5), is portrayed as a woman and a Bride betrothed to God throughout the Hebrew prophets, (Ezek 16:1-14; Hos 2; Jer 3:1-9). The picture of the woman and Bride remained in tact when …
Setting up the everlasting glorified Kingdom of God through the current secular world system contradicts all that is taught in the Word of God concerning His Kingdom. This world system lies in the power of the evil one (1 John 5:19), and this system works against the principles of God’s Kingdom, for it is carnal, filled with lust, and feeds the pride of life, (1 John 2:15-17). From the very beginning, Almighty God purposed to purchase from among men ‘a people of His own possession,’ a holy people who will be set apart for His glory only. God is a jealous God (Ex 34:12-16; Zech 8:2; James 4:4-5), and He will not share His Kingdom with this world, nor defile what is set apart for His holiness and glory with the profane, (1 Peter 2:9-10; Deut 7:6).
The Gospel of Salvation is also known as the Gospel of the Kingdom (Mat 4:23; 9:35; 24:14), for those who are purchased by the blood of God’s only begotten Son, also inherit an eternal and glorified Kingdom, (Rev 1:5-6). This gospel is clear – Messiah, the Priest-King, will purchase by His blood, “a people for God’s own possession” from among men, justify them in the Court of Almighty God by paying the penalty of their sin through His own death and resurrection (Rom 3:21-26; 4:25; 5:18), wash and cleanse them throughout their walk of sanctification (Rom 6:22; 1 Cor 1:30-31; 6:11), and glorify their bodies through resurrection at His Second Appearance, (1 John 3:2; Col 3:4).