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This article concerns eternity.

Saints reigning in the heavenly kingdom.

And humility.

At the end of the Book of Revelation, we see a partial view of heaven’s eternal reality. The sun and moon no longer exist. Jesus has made all things new. “And night will be no more. They will need no light of lamp or sun, for the Lord God will be their light, and they will reign forever and ever” (Revelation 22:5).1 We read this and think, “Hmm. Wow,” but give it very little further thought. I understand why, because comparatively little is written in Scripture about saints reigning. None of the New Testament writers spend much time teaching about Christians ruling in the God’s kingdom. But it shows up once is a while, and since it is one of the rare statements about the state of saints in eternity, it is a worthwhile topic to consider, since our lives here are as temporary as one beat of a humingbird’s wing and our lives in eternity are, well, eternal.

Other passages come quickly to mind concerning our participation as rulers in God’s kingdom, and some are clearer than others. For instance, Jesus said, “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth” (Matthew 5:5). The problem we face with this sentence, however, is not its clarity. It’s that it is so well known that we pass over it. It’s a beautiful sentence placed on coffee mugs and adorned with flowers. Christians should be meek. It’s a good thing, apparently, somehow. Let’s move on. However, within both passages above rests an interesting, seemingly contradictory, conundrum. How can one be meek and reign someday with Jesus? How can one be meek and be a king? The answer lies within the question. One will be given the earth and rulership because he or she is meek.

Clear as mud?

So, what does it mean to be meek as a Christian? That one must be soft-spoken and non-confrontational? Not necessarily. Sometimes strongly raising one’s voice for a righteous reason is necessary, such as confronting misleading error, injustice, or disastrous sin. But meekness means, at its center, that one has surrendered—in faith—to the One who is Master, Lord, and King.

However, the Lord adds to meekness another vital trait in His kingdom mix: Endurance. We must not isolate endurance from humility, because humility is required for one to persevere. Perseverance requires bowing the knee to a sovereign God who is the great driver of your history as well as that of the world. He is sovereign. You are not. He is in control of circumstances and situations. You are not. You must yield to that truth, that reality. Here is an interesting scripture to contemplate regarding the need for perseverance to enter the Kingdom:

In Acts 14:21–22, Luke wrote: “When they had preached the gospel to that city and had made many disciples, they returned to Lystra and to Iconium and to Antioch, strengthening the souls of the disciples, encouraging them to continue in the faith, and saying that through many tribulations we must enter the kingdom of God.”

Continuing faithfully in tribulation requires humbling oneself to the will of God, regardless of how distressing conditions are.

Thus, those who are meek, who bow to God’s sovereignty, will live in an eternal kingdom where this will be one of their tasks: “Do you not know that we are to judge angels?” (1 Corinthians 6:3a).

Who will inherit the earth? Who will reign with Jesus?

The meek. The one who humbly concedes control to the only one who is in control. That is how we learn to reign like kings.

 

1All Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2016). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles.

Gif courtesy giphy.com.

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