Devotion #6 in Cultured for Reigning



"If we suffer, we shall also reign with him: if we deny him, he also will deny us" (2 Tim 2:12).

This is one of the strongest appeals in Scripture. Those that choose identity with Christ incur the hatred and rejection by this world. Faith costs us the approval of the world. The irony of the situation is seen in this verse. In the world to come, we will reign, whereas in this world we are often relegated to second class citizens. Note that our reign is conditioned upon our suffering here. Our acceptance in heaven is set along side of our rejection by this world. But our labor is not in vain in the Lord, and if we accept suffering, we shall be given rulership!


"Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years" (Rev 20:6).

This highly controversial passage must be seen in the context of the rest of Scripture. Interpretations that appeal to our curiosity and incite corrupted views of God's Word are extremely dangerous.

In this text, saints that were martyred by the world are said to reign with Christ. The point of the text is not the duration of their reign, but the reality of it. In this world, it appeared that they had no authority at all. They could not even protect their own lives. But after their life here, they commenced a reign superior in both quality and duration to that possible while in yet in their houses of clay.


"To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne" (Rev 3:21).

Here we wage war, there we will reign without opposition. Jesus holds a promise out to those that are willing to "endure hardness as a good soldier" (2 Tim. 2:3). A crown is promised (2 Tim. 4:8), but not merely a crown. Those that maintain their spiritual focus, repelling the efforts of Satan to distract and discourage them, will sit with Jesus in His throne. This is the posture of reigning. We will not be sitting like a child on the knee of its father, but as co-regents of the world to come.


"But the saints of the most High shall take the kingdom, and possess the kingdom for ever, even for ever and ever . . . 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 . . . 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" (Dan 7:18,22,27). Daniel's remarkable prophecy gladdens my heart. The Lord enabled the prophet to speak of things beyond his time. They were written "for our learning," and speak of the appointed outcome of salvation.

Admittedly, the "saints" do not appear to possess the kingdom now--but they do! They have been "translated" into it (Col. 1:13), and have "received" it (Heb. 12:22). However, they operate incognito now. Like their Lord, they are hidden from view. But it will not always be this way! The time is coming when the "meek shall inherit the earth, and delight themselves in an abundance of peace" (Psa. 37:11). They are now being cultured for that reign in Christ Jesus.