A Hope Leading to Action

KEY VERSE: “Abide in him; that when he shall appear, we may have confidence, and not be ashamed before him at his coming.” —I John 2:28


LIKE Christ, to whom was given all power in heaven and in earth; like Christ who was made a quickening spirit that he might give life to the dead world of mankind; and like Christ who is now the express image of his Father’s person, having partaken of his glory, so are some of the aspects of the glory of God promised to the joint-heirs of Christ. (Matt. 28:18; I Cor. 15:45; Heb. 1:3) They have to do with the personal glory of God and Jesus—the glory of the divine nature.

Related to this is also the official glory to which the Gospel Age sons of God are heirs. Jesus was exalted to share his Father’s throne, and we, too, are promised that if faithful we shall sit with Jesus in his throne. (Rev. 3:21) Jesus is now the great king—the King of kings—and his joint-heirs are to be made kings, to reign over the earth. (Rev. 5:10) When the disciples asked Jesus what they would receive in return for taking up their crosses and following him, he said they would sit on thrones. This would be during the time of “regeneration,” when the human race will be restored to life and harmony with their Creator.—Matt. 19:28

Before the kingdom can begin to reign, all who are to be rulers in it must be called, chosen, and found faithful. (Rev. 17:14) It is this feature of the divine plan which has been in progress during the present age. If Jesus alone was the king in this kingdom, he would have begun to reign at the beginning of the age; but, as we have seen, his faithful followers are to reign with him, and these, as sons of God, together with Jesus, his beloved Son, as the Head, will be the divine ruling house.

The Lord’s kingdom is symbolized in Old Testament prophecies by a mountain, and is called the “mountain of the Lord’s house.” This simply means the kingdom of the Lord will be in the hands of his ruling house of sons. The Prophet Isaiah wrote, “It shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the Lord’s house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills [dominating all the nations of earth]; and all nations shall flow unto it.”—Isa. 2:2

Throughout the Gospel Age, God’s kingdom promises are conditional to prospective members of the new creation, the sons who will make up his ruling house. They must be faithful to him and to the doing of his will. The Apostle Peter admonishes us to add to our faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; and to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; and to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly-kindness love. “If ye do these things ye shall never fall, for so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.”—II Pet. 1:4-11

When the enemies of Jesus put him to death, one of the charges against him was that he claimed to be a king. They probably thought they had permanently disposed of this pretender. But they were mistaken. It was God who decreed that Jesus should be a reigning king, so he raised him from the dead. Never before in the annals of history had such power been utilized to make sure of the establishment of a kingdom. In view of this miracle, it would be folly to suppose any set of circumstances could prevent, or even delay, the fulfillment of God’s kingdom promises as they center in Jesus.

That mighty miracle was at the beginning of the Gospel Age—that period in the divine plan during which the joint-heirs of Christ are selected and prepared to live and reign with him. As each of these has proved faithful unto death, it has been with the hope and assurance expressed by Paul concerning himself, when he wrote, “I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them that love his appearing.”—II Tim. 4:7,8

To all the faithful children of God who waited throughout the age in the sleep of death until the day of his appearing, another mighty miracle occurred—their resurrection from the dead that they might be joined with Christ, share his glory, and live and reign with him.—Rev. 20:6

Dawn Bible Students Association
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