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The Daily Word of Righteousness
Suffering and Rulership, continued
The creation waits in eager expectation for the sons of God to be revealed. (Romans 8:19—NIV)
Notice that the creation is not waiting to go to Heaven, nor is it waiting for Jesus to come, but for the sons of God to be revealed. The sons of God are being prepared not only to bless the saved nations with the Holy Spirit, as the priests of God, but also to judge and destroy wickedness and then to govern the nations.
Did you ever ask yourself, "Why doesn't Jesus return today"? The reason is, there is no point in Him returning until those who are to appear with Him have come to maturity. The nations will lurch onward in their drunken stupor until the believers come to maturity as measured by the stature of the fullness of Christ.
And they sang a new song: "You are worthy to take the scroll and to open its seals, because you were slain, and with your blood you purchased men for God from every tribe and language and people and nation. You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to serve our God, and they will reign on the earth." (Revelation 5:9,10—NIV)
"They will reign on the earth"! How can they reign on the earth when they are lying around in their mansion in Heaven?
If the Christian church will ever accept the fact that we have been purchased from every nation by the blood of Jesus Christ to reign on the earth, not to go live in a mansion in Heaven, the greatest revival of all time will be here. We will escape the teaching of Gnosticism (which has ruined the Gospel) and begin to press toward the first resurrection and our role as governors of the earth.
Because we have been called to "reign on the earth" we have to suffer. The American Christians tend to be silly, immature, pleasure-loving gossipers. They are not all this way. There are many fine disciples in our day. But far too many of the believers shun the idea of suffering. They have been pampered and coddled with the reckless doctrine that God will keep them from suffering, a doctrine that defies history as well as the Scriptures.
Stop and think. Is the typical Christian of our day, jumping up and down next to his pew to prepare for the unscriptural "rapture," refusing to deny himself, refusing to take up his cross, refusing to present his body a living sacrifice, refusing to arm himself with a mind to suffer, refusing to endure hardness as a good soldier of Jesus Christ, prepared to govern a nation such as Russia? Is such a lukewarm professor of Christ prepared to govern one city of Russia? Is our dainty church attender prepared to govern one village of Russia? Is our casual believer who refuses to repent of his gossiping, coveting, and unforgiving spirit, who loves pleasure more than Christ, who wants his ears tickled with teaching that makes little or no demands on him and yet promises him the fullness of God's glory, able to bless and guide one Russian peasant?
Evangelical people often speak of "ruling and reigning" with Christ. Yet they reject the demands of Christ. They are living in a fantasy world. I think the Evangelical fantasy world is close to its demise in America. I suspect catastrophic trouble is on the way.
To be continued.