Thoughts on the Kingdom of God: Charles Spurgeon

What does it mean to be a citizen of heaven? It means we are under heaven’s government. Christ the King of heaven reigns in our hearts; our daily prayer is, “Thy will be done in earth as it is in heaven” (Matt. 6:10). The proclamations issued from the throne of glory are freely received by us; the decrees of the Great King we cheerfully obey. Then, as citizens of the New Jerusalem, we share heaven’s honors. the glory that belongs to beatified saints belongs to us, for we are already sons of God, already princes of the blood imperial; already we wear the spotless robe of Jesus’ righteousness; already we have angels for our servants, saints for our companions, Christ for our Brother, God for our Father, and a crown of immortality for our reward. We share the honors of citizenship, for we have come to the general assembly and church of the firstborn whose names ae written in heaven. As citizens, we have common rights to all the property of heaven. Ours are its gates of pearl and walls of chrysolite; ours the azure light of the city that needs no candle nor light of the sun; ours the river of the water of life, and the twelve manner of fruits that grow on the trees planted on the banks thereof; there is nothing in heaven that does not belong to us. “Things present, or things to come” (1 Cor. 3:22) are all ours. Also as citizens of heaven we enjoy its delights. Do they there rejoice over sinners who repent—prodigals who have returned? So do we. Do they chant the glories of triumphant grace? We do the same. Do they cast their crowns at Jesus’ feet? Such honors as we have we cast there, too. Are they charmed by His smile? It is not less sweet to us who dwell below. Do they look forward, waiting for His second advent? We also look and long for His appearing. If, then, we are thus citizens of heaven, let our walk and actions be consistent with our high dignity.

Charles Spurgeon, Morning &Evening, Whitaker House, 2002, July 10, morning, p. 396

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What I Believe: The Book of Revelation

The Book of Revelation began its existence being thought of as an apocalypse, a revelation from God, and turned out to be a mystery. It continues to cause problems for interpreters and commentators. I have two commentaries that have over 1,000 pages each. They are both written by respected academics yet both are entirely different in their approach to and understanding of Revelation. And this begins with the translation of the Greek text.

As for myself I have read the two commentaries, other books on Revelation, the book of Revelation with various study guides and still do not think I have it all figured out. There is one thing though that I have found in my efforts. It came to me when I asked myself “Why is the Second Coming described at the end of chapter 11?”

I think the answer to my question is that Revelation consists of two very different accounts of events. Chapters 1 through 11 begin with John on the island of Patmos and end, as I said, with the Second Coming. In this first section, events on earth are described in literal, figurative and symbolic ways. The second half of the book is a spiritual account of events that impact people all the way from the formation of the nation of Israel at Mount Sinai until the believers are united with God in the New Jerusalem, and evil spirits and unbelievers have ceased to exist.

The rest of what I think I have learned about the book of Revelation is on the Revelation page of my blog as “Revelation: A Short Version.”