Have you ever forgotten a future appointment that you felt was important? Later, when you remembered it, you felt terrible because it was just that important. That appointment could have given you a great future, but over time it slipped from your memory.
It could be that it was regarding our spiritual eternity. What if we forgot what Jesus, the only Savior of this world, said in Matthew 6:33 – “Seek you first the kingdom of God and His righteousness.”
A kingdom has four basic ingredients: 1) Rulers; 2) Territory; 3) Laws; and 4) Subjects. God (the Father and Jesus Christ) made men in Their own image (Gen. 1: 26). Man sinned and came short of the glory of God (Rom. 3:23). As a result, God, the Father, must provide a way to “reconcile” mankind back to Himself and remove the death penalty, so man can live.
Before the recreation of the Earth as described in Genesis One, the God family had already laid down a plan just in case mankind sinned. It offered salvation of the WHOLE world, if each person accepted the plan.
The plan called for the Son of God to come into human form and live without sin. He would then die for the sins of the human race (John 3: 16-17). He would be resurrected from the dead because He did not deserve death! He had no sins!!! The death penalty only comes when someone has sinned.
Being resurrected and ascended to sit at the right hand of the Father, He would plead our cause. This is where God’s wonderful plan becomes important to understand. In the resurrection chapter, I Corinthians 15: 20-23, we are told “each man (would be resurrected) in his own order.” This means a series of resurrections – one after the other. This is why Revelation 20: 6 mentions the first resurrection.
What importance does the first resurrection have in comparison to the remaining series of resurrections? Hebrews 11 is the FAITH chapter describing men and women of old that maintained faith in a future. After mentioning that many died for their faith, the reason is given – v. 35b, “that they might obtain a BETTER resurrection:” ‘Better’ is number 2909 and 2904 in the Greek Section of the Strong’s Concordance of the Bible. It means “stronger, better, nobler, BEST, vigor [‘GREAT’].”
Jesus said a certain number of people would be called to understand the plan of salvation before the remainder of mankind. These “firstfruits” (James 1:18) will be resurrected to their NEW immortal body at the last trump (I Cor. 15: 51-54; Rev. 11: 15, 18).
These individuals are being trained for rulership in the kingdom of God under Jesus Christ’s authority. Notice very carefully what had been prophesied: “But the SAINTS of the most high shall TAKE the kingdom, even for ever and ever” (Daniel 7: 18).
“Until the Ancient of days came, and judgment was given to the SAINTS of the most High; and the time came that the SAINTS possessed the kingdom” (Daniel 7: 22).
“And the kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven, shall be given to the people of the SAINTS of the most High, whose kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey him” (Daniel 7: 27).
Daniel, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, wrote that the SAINTS’ future is to take and possess the kingdom. The kingdom is to be GIVEN to the saints by God personally. This was written BEFORE the God of the Old Testament, not the Father, came into human form as Emmanuel – meaning, God with us.
After Jesus’ resurrection and ascension, He continued to inspire His servants to reveal our future that should keep us going, if we don’t forget!!! He inspired John to write: “And from Jesus Christ [Who] … washed us from our sins in His own blood. And has made us KINGS and PRIESTS unto God and His Father; to Him be glory and dominion forever and ever. A-men” (Revelation 1: 5-6). These will be RULERS in God’s kingdom!
“And has made us unto our God kings and priests: and WE shall reign on the EARTH” (Revelation 5: 10). This described the territory.
The writer of the Book of Hebrews recalls that a new covenant would replace the old one. Why? Was something wrong with God’s law given at Mount Sinai? The Ten Commandments are spiritual. “Wherefore the law is HOLY, and the commandment holy, and just, and good” (Romans 7: 12). Now look at Hebrews 8: 6-12 – “But now has He [Jesus] obtained a more excellent ministry, by how much also He is the mediator of a better covenant, which was established upon better PROMISES. For if the first covenant had been faultless, then should no place have been sought for the second. For finding fault WITH THEM [the people], He said, … I will make a new covenant with the House of Israel and with the House of Judah: … I will PUT MY LAWS INTO THEIR MIND, AND WRITE THEM IN THEIR HEARTS: …” The Holy Spirit is given today.
We have found the rulers, the territory, and the Laws – God’s Laws that will rule the kingdom. What about the subjects?
All who do not survive the end time tribulation will die and reside in the grave. Notice what Jesus will do! “… and the earth shall cast out the dead” (Isaiah 26: 19). “… O My people, I will open your graves, and cause you to come up out of your graves … And shall put MY SPIRIT IN you, and you shall live, … then shall you know that I the Lord have spoken it, and performed it, says the Lord” (Ezekiel 37: 1-14). Your future is waiting for you. Kings and priests in God’s kingdom – RULERS, reigning on planet earth over humans by God’s Laws. How wonderful it is!!!