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dolfan
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Joined: 2011/8/23
Posts: 1650
Tennessee, but my home's in Alabama

 Re:

J,

I don't mean to make overmuch of your word choice. This is way more than semantics, for sure.

Is Jesus "ruling and reigning through His Church"?

When I view the scope of His rule as described in absolute terms in the Bible, and I compare it to what is happening now on Earth, I say, "no".

"Of the increase of His government and peace there shall be no end." Isaiah 9:7 vs. "Because iniquity [lawlessness] shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold." Matthew 24:12

This is not Christ "ruling and reigning through His Church". The rebellion of man, the rebellion of Israel even, continues. The transgression has not yet been finished nor has sin been ended. As it stands, the government of Christ, if the Church is the extent of it on earth, is an abject failure. The trajectory of the Church must be elevated without biblical textual support in order to arrive at some future day where the world is somehow made subject to Christ if He does not rule here.

On the other hand, when I look at the ascended Christ, I see Him on the throne. "He must reign until He has put all enemies under His feet. The last enemy that will be abolished is death." 1 Cor. 15:25-26. Hebrews 1:13 "Sit at my right hand, until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet." He IS King of kings, Lord of lords. But, that throne is the throne of the Father. "He who overcomes, I will grant to him to sit down with Me on my throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne." Rev. 3:21. It is not the throne of David. "...the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David.: and he shall reign over the house of Jacob forever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end." Luke 1:30-33.

Furthermore, the reign of Christ must include the reign of the Church at some point, but not prior to the resurrection. "Then I saw the thrones, and those seated on them had been given authority to judge. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for their testimony of Jesus and for the word of God, and those who had not worshiped the beast or its image, and had not received its mark on their foreheads or hands. And they came to life and reigned with Christ for a thousand years. ... Blessed and holy are those who share in the first resurrection! The second death has no power over them, but they will be priests of God and of Christ, and will reign with Him for a thousand years." Rev. 20:4, 6. It is not mere spiritual rule. "And he who overcomes, and keeps My works until the end, to him I will give power over the nations -- 'He will rule them with a rod of iron; they shall be dashed to pieces like the potter's vessels' -- as I also have received from My Father." Rev. 2:26-27

There is an earthly reign of Jesus Christ that has not yet occurred. It does not diminish His kingship as king of that kingdom of God that does not come observably. Luke 17:20. Yet, it does consummate that which was promised. Jesus will reign on earth. That kingdom WILL be seen. "Every eye shall see Him." Rev. 1:7.

Preterists like R.C. Sproul and Ligonier Ministries spiritualize the reigning of the church.

Quote:
"We may not often think of ourselves as kings and queens who will rule over creation, but this consequence of our redemption flows directly from who the Lord made us to be and what salvation accomplishes in repairing His broken images. God made us to have dominion over creation, to rule it for His glory (Gen. 1:26-31). We forfeited our ability to fulfill this vocation in Adam, but Christ has succeeded in reigning over creation as the last Adam. In Him, we are now able once more to achieve our original purpose as righteous rulers of the world (Rom. 5:12-21; Eph. 2:1-7). ... [W]e are even now reigning with our Savior in many ways. Sin no longer has dominion over those who believe in Jesus, for we live in the gracious era in which we have been adopted as God's children. ... By the Spirit, we can now conquer sin and grow in holiness. We are also free from the tyranny of the Law over guilty consciences. Forgiven in Christ, we may fulfill the royal law of liberty in serving our Creator."



See, Sproul spiritualizes the ruling and reigning of the church. If this present era is our rule, we Christians in the West are rebels and traitors of the worst sort and I don't see the whole of the gospel as meaning very much in this culture. And, I don't read any testimonies of Christians in the Eastern hemisphere living like rulers and co-regents with Christ, but instead as subjects laying down their lives in the hope of ruling with Him one future day. If THIS is our rule, if His kingdom has come and His will IS being done on Earth as it is in heaven, we really ARE reduced to things like "making an impact". And, I don't mean to pick on your word choice there, but you are not alone in using it. It seems to be the whole ministry of the church in our culture that it just somehow, you know, make an impact. (And, I hasten to add that for most of those folks who are so minded, the gifts of the Spirit are relegated to the past, too. It is a wonder that anyone even bothers with Jesus anymore if what we see around us is what He died to bring.)

His will is being done -- in some degree -- by His obedient servants. But, His will means His rule. His authority. Obeyed. Without rebellion. It is not yet. It will be though, and it will be on Earth.




_________________
Tim

 2016/9/6 12:19Profile





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