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The Daily Word of Righteousness
Diversity of Destinies
To him who overcomes, I will give the right to sit with me on my throne, just as I overcame and sat down with my Father on his throne. (Revelation 3:21—NIV)
He who overcomes will inherit all this, and I will be his God and he will be my son. (Revelation 21:7—NIV)
If what he has built survives, he will receive his reward. If it is burned up, he will suffer loss; he himself will be saved, but only as one escaping through the flames. (I Corinthians 3:14,15—NIV)
Christian teaching and preaching leave people with the impression that only two choices of destiny, to be saved or lost, are available to mankind, and that all the saved are given much the same reward. However, it is not true that the destinies of all the saved are so similar there is not much point in examining the issue.
The differences in destiny among the saved are indeed important. The rewards the Scriptures hold out to us are desirable. They will be our possessions for eternity. The fear of punishment and the hope of glory provide us with the strongest of motivations to serve the Lord with all our mind and strength.
Christian teaching and preaching leave people with the impression that an individual will be seated on the throne of Christ as one of God's kings and priests or else he or she will spend eternity in the Lake of Fire.
There is at least one aspect of the plan of redemption that indeed is an either-or situation. It has to do with the destiny of the individual after the judgment that takes place at the conclusion of the thousand-year Kingdom Age (Revelation 20:11-15). At this judgment, either the person is brought forward to enjoy eternal life in the new heaven and earth reign of Christ or else he or she is cast into the Lake of Fire prepared for the devil and his angels.
When considering those who are brought forward to enjoy eternal life in the new world we see, in the Scriptures, that there will be saved people on the new earth who are not part of the Throne of Christ. The members of the Throne, of the new Jerusalem, the Wife of the Lamb, are one set of saved persons who will occupy the new earth. But in addition there will be nations of saved people dwelling on the new earth, over whom the Lamb's Wife will rule.
And the nations of them which are saved shall walk in the light of it: and the kings of the earth do bring their glory and honour into it. (Revelation 21:24)
The "it" of the above verse is the Wife of the Lamb. The "nations of them which are saved" are just that—the saved peoples of the earth. Both the Old Testament and the New Testament reveal to us that the saints of God will rule over the nations of saved people.
For the nation and kingdom that will not serve thee shall perish; yea, those nations shall be utterly wasted. (Isaiah 60:12)
And there shall be no night there; and they need no candle, neither light of the sun; for the Lord God giveth them light: and they shall reign for ever and ever. (Revelation 22:5)
To be continued.