Matt 25:13 Watch Therefore 8/31/2008 ßà
#1. A Story of Calamity (Matt 25:1-13, 24:51, 25:30)
#2. Were They Ready? (Matt 25:1-3, 5:16, Psalm 7:11, Matt 7:24-27)
#3. A Cry at Midnight (Matt 25:6-10, Matt 24:30, Ex 12:29, 2Thess 1:7-10, Rev 1:7)
#4. Are We Ready? (Matt 25:13, Rev 3:15-16,21)
Please open your Bibles to the Gospel According to Matthew, Matt 25:1 (2X). We have here the parable of the ten virgins. And since this is a parable we need to find from the Bible what these people and things in this parable represent. It is important that we find the solution of this puzzle from the Bible, for we need to apply what we believe, which is that we must interpret Scripture with Scripture. And also remember the context. This chapter is a continuation of Matt 24, which mainly concerns eschatology, which means it describes the scenario near the end of time. Let us now read this parable here in Matt 25:1-13, and please put a sticker here in Matt 25, for we will be returning there many times.
#1. A Story of Calamity (Matt 25:1-13, 24:51, 25:30)
Mt 25:1-13 Then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened unto ten virgins, which took their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom. And five of them were wise, and five were foolish. They that were foolish took their lamps, and took no oil with them: But the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps. While the bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept. And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him. Then all those virgins arose, and trimmed their lamps. And the foolish said unto the wise, Give us of your oil; for our lamps are gone out. But the wise answered, saying, Not so; lest there be not enough for us and you: but go ye rather to them that sell, and buy for yourselves. And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came; and they that were ready went in with him to the marriage: and the door was shut. Afterward came also the other virgins, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us. But he answered and said, Verily I say unto you, I know you not. Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh.
What is the purpose of this parable? The last verse is the punch line and it is also the focus, or the purpose of this parable: “Watch therefore”. The Lord Jesus told this parable right after the punch line of the parable He told in Matt 24:51, where He said, “There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth”. And look at the ending of the second parable in this chapter. The Lord Jesus said in Matt 25:30, “There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth”. And so, we can infer that the destination of the five foolish virgins is a place where “There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth”. And thus the title for this sermon is taken from verse 13 in this parable, “Watch Therefore” (2X). It is a story of calamity for the 5 foolish virgins. It is a story of weeping and woe for the 5 foolish virgins. It is a story of those who are ready and those who are not ready for the coming of the Lord on the last day. There are only these two alternatives, and there is nothing in between. In the end there is only Heaven and Hell, and there is nothing in between. And all throughout the history of this earth there are only two armies fighting one another: there is the army of Christ, and there is the army of Satan, and there is nothing in between. And so, the punch line of this parable is an urgent reminder to us to examine ourselves, for either we are ready, or we are not ready, and there is nothing in between. When we look at the moral application of this story, we are reminded of the striking similarity between the conduct of the 5 foolish virgins and the conduct of someone who is facing the approach of death. When most men approach death, when their physician has told them they have only one month to live, they then begin to make ready. They are alarmed, anxious, and trembling, and then they seek counsel about the life hereafter, but often it is too late. When they get cancer they are so busy with their cancer treatments that there is no time left for the Lord. They are looking for a quick fix. And thus they seek counsel from other men rather than from the Lord; they seek the words of a preacher rather than the words of the Bible. And so, they fall in the hands of those who preach a false gospel, for they have no discernment to distinguish between true and false gospels, and there are many more false gospel teachers than there are true Gospel teachers; and so they are led more and more astray, and they die unsaved. They did not prepare for death when there was enough time to prepare.
Let us now consider the ten virgins. Please turn in your Bibles to the Revelation of Jesus Christ, Rev 14:3 (2X). Who or what do the ten virgins represent? Would they represent churches, or would they represent individuals? Let us find that out from the context. The parable at the ending of Matt 24 dealt with individuals. The second parable and the third parable in Matt 25 also have to do with individuals. And thus the first parable of Matt 25 must also pertain to individuals. Moreover, verse 10 is the language concerning salvation, and we know that God does not save entire churches, but God saves individuals. How is it that God calls these men virgins? How is it that these individuals do not seem to bear any sin? If that were so, then Christ would not have to come down for these who are called virgins. We read in Rev 14:3-5 about the 144,000, representing the church on earth, the church militant.
Re 14:3-5 And they sung as it were a new song before the throne, and before the four beasts, and the elders: and no man could learn that song but the hundred and forty and four thousand, which were redeemed from the earth. These are they which were not defiled with women; for they are virgins. These are they which follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth. These were redeemed from among men, being the firstfruits unto God and to the Lamb. And in their mouth was found no guile: for they are without fault before the throne of God.
How can it be that “They are without fault before the throne of God”? We read clearly in Rom 3:10, “There is none righteous, no, not one!” We clearly read in Eph 2:1-3 that WE ALL were spiritually “dead in trespasses and sins”, and that “WE ALL were by nature the children of wrath, even as others”. And so, how could it be that “They are without fault before the throne of God”? The answer is in the previous verse, “These were redeemed from among men”. Christ redeemed them, which means Christ paid the full penalty for all their sins, Christ washed their sins while He was hanging on the cross, and that is why “They are without fault before the throne of God”. But then Rev 14:4 also says, “They are virgins”, which spiritually means, “In God’s sight they are virgins; they are not defiled with sin, because in God’s sight they are as clean as if they had never sinned, for Christ has perfectly washed away all their sins”. It is in this way that God defined for us the term “virgins”, so that we can understand the parable of Matt 25. Where do we find those kind of virgins? We find them in the church where they gather to worship God and thank Him for sending His anointed the Lord Jesus Christ to save us from our sins and from our slippery slide into Hell. Let us now return to the parable in Matt 25, Matt 25:12 (2X). But now look, in the parable of Matt 25 we find both wise and foolish virgins together in the church, and the foolish virgins are also called virgins. But we know that the foolish virgins are certainly not saved, for the Lord says in verse 12, “Verily I say unto you, I know you not”. Why are they both called virgins? They are all called virgins for the sake of the storyline of the parable, and for declaring to us that here on earth we cannot tell who the wise or who the foolish virgins are. This will only be made known when the Last Day has arrived. And so, here is a parable of a number of individuals in the church who are waiting for the Last Day.
#2. Were They Ready? (Matt 25:1-3, 5:16, Psalm 7:11, Matt 7:24-27)
Mt 25:1-2 Then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened unto ten virgins, which took their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom. And five of them were wise, and five were foolish.
“The kingdom of heaven” shall be likened unto these ten virgins. And thus we understand clearly that the kingdom of heaven consists of two parts: A part that is in heaven, and a part that is on earth, which is the church militant, of which the 5 wise virgins are a part of. “They took their lamps and went forth to meet the bridegroom”. What are these lamps? The Greek word that is translated “lamps” actually means “torches” instead of lamps. This clarifies a great deal about the metaphor of these lamps, for these are not the lamps of which the Lord Jesus commanded us, saying in Matt 5:16, “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven”. These torches in Matt 25 were not burning all the time. These lamps in Matt 25 do not refer to us shining the light of the Gospel during our lifetime, but these torches refer to lights with which we will glorify the Bridegroom when He comes at midnight. And who is this Bridegroom? He is none other than the Lord Jesus Christ who is coming to take us, His Bride, to be with Him in the rapture forever. And so, these torches are only to be lit when the Bridegroom has come. The oil that these virgins would take in their vessels is oil that is poured on these torches, and then the torches are lit. And so, when we read in Matt 25:3 that the 5 foolish virgins took no oil with them, we realize that this was a really foolish thing to do. Why did they act so stupid? They did not believe that the Lord would come in their lifetime. Most people today do not believe that the Lord will come in their lifetime. And thus they lead a careless life and do not consider that they sin constantly, and thereby make God angry. They are not ready to meet their Maker and to give account of their worthless life that did not glorify God in any way. They do not consider that God made man for His own glory. And so, whatever we do in this life that is not glorifying God, it is sin, and God is angry with the wicked every day (Psalm 7:11). Can we see these wise and foolish virgins somewhere else portrayed in the Bible? Please turn in your Bibles to chapter 7 of this Gospel of Matt, Matt 7:24 (2X). We must see the overview of the passage shown to us in Matt 7:15-27. The Lord Jesus gave us here the same theme in three parables. The theme is: Salvation and Condemnation. The first parable in verses 15-20 deals with good prophets and bad prophets, good trees and bad trees, good fruit and bad fruit, and by their fruits ye shall know them. The second parable in verses 21-23 deals with the faith of those who put their trust in the will of the Father in heaven, and the faith of those who put their trust in their own works. The third parable in verses 24-27 deals with those who put their trust in the words of Christ, and those who put their trust in the words of another than Christ. Here is where the comparison with the 5 wise and the 5 foolish virgins come in. We read in Matt 7:24-27,
Mt 7:24-25 Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock.
Mt 7:26-27 And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it.
The wise man who built his house upon a Rock, and that Rock is Christ, can be compared to the 5 wise virgins. Be careful that we do not give the glory to man. The reason why the wise man acts wisely is because it pleased the Father in heaven to draw that man to Christ, and so this man represents one who has been saved, and he becomes a doer of the Word. The foolish man who built his house upon the sand represents one who remains unsaved, and he can be compared to the 5 foolish virgins who also remain unsaved. This man remains in rebellion against God and refuses to listen to the words of Scripture. This man is not a doer of the Word, but is a hearer only. Let us return to the parable of the ten virgins in Matt 25:8, and let us solve the riddle of the oil they were supposed to take in their vessels. One reason why previous expositors stumbled at this parable is that they almost unanimously considered the oil to be a representation of the Holy Spirit. But this is not possible for several reasons. #1. The 5 wise virgins could not take the Holy Spirit, but the Holy Spirit must be given them. #2. At midnight the foolish virgins could not possibly have asked the wise to share a portion of the Holy Spirit with them, for the Holy Spirit is given without measure. #3. The wise virgins could not have answered the way they did in verse 9, for they said, “Not so; lest there be not enough for us and you”. If oil represented the Holy Spirit it would display a serious misunderstanding of who the Holy Spirit really is. And so, we need to go back to the basics of the oil and what it really is used for. And for this we need to turn to:
Please turn in your Bibles to the prophecy of Deuteronomy, Deut 7:13 (2X). When we search the Bible for the combination “Corn (or wheat), and wine, and oil” we find 21 verses with this combination, where almost all of them favor the drinking of wine, and there are many more. And thus it is impossible to distill out of the Bible a law that forbids Christians to drink wine. Churches have done that, but it is a gross misinterpretation of Scripture. When we see so many verses repeating the same pattern, corn, wine and oil, and when we realize that it was impossible for people to exist on corn, wine and oil, we are drawn to look for a spiritual meaning for these three elements. For example, we read here in Deut 7:13,
De 7:13 And he will love thee, and bless thee, and multiply thee: he will also bless the fruit of thy womb, and the fruit of thy land, thy corn, and thy wine, and thine oil, the increase of thy kine, and the flocks of thy sheep, in the land which he sware unto thy fathers to give thee.
Please turn now to chapter 11, Deut 11:14 (2X)
De 11:14 That I will give you the rain of your land in his due season, the first rain and the latter rain, that thou mayest gather in thy corn, and thy wine, and thine oil.
Please turn now to chapter 12, Deut 12:17 (2X)
De 12:17 Thou mayest not eat within thy gates the tithe of thy corn, or of thy wine, or of thy oil, or the firstlings of thy herds or of thy flock, nor any of thy vows which thou vowest, nor thy freewill offerings, or heave offering of thine hand:
Please turn now to chapter 14, Deut 14:23 (2X)
De 14:23 And thou shalt eat before the LORD thy God, in the place which he shall choose to place his name there, the tithe of thy corn, of thy wine, and of thine oil, and the firstlings of thy herds and of thy flocks; that thou mayest learn to fear the LORD thy God always.
Please turn now to chapter 18, Deut 18:4 (2X)
De 18:4 The firstfruit also of thy corn, of thy wine, and of thine oil, and the first of the fleece of thy sheep, shalt thou give him.
I could go on, but you can already see what is developing here. God speaks of “the tithe of thy corn, or of thy wine, or of thy oil”, which God will give the children of Israel in abundance, for it is something that brings glory to God. And why will it bring glory to God? It brings glory to God because these are elements in the Ceremonial Law which were all pointing to the Christ who was to come. The corn, or the wheat, points to the doctrine of Christ as the Bread of Life (John 6:35). The wine, which almost unanimously refers to the wrath of God on Christ at the cross, points to the doctrine of Christ Crucified (1Cor 11:25). The oil, which is always olive oil, comes from an olive tree, and is pointing to Christ as the root of the olive tree of which the church is the trunk and we have been made the branches (Rom 11:18) Now, let us take this information to the parable of the ten virgins in Matt 25. What was the olive oil used for? The olive oil was the fuel to light the torches, which serve to glorify Christ after He has come to take us home. What is the fuel for the fire that burns within us before Christ takes us home? We remember that we love Him, because He loved us first. The love of Christ constrains us, and thus it is the fire of the love for Christ as the Word of God, a fire that only God could have lit within us. And it is still the same fire that burns within us after He has taken us home, only much stronger. And thus the fuel for the fire that glorifies Christ is the love of Christ, and the love we have for Christ as a result, which is symbolized by the oil for the torches that the virgins have in their hands. Please turn again to the parable in Matt 25, Matt 25:6 (2X). Let us see what else was in store for the 5 foolish virgins. We read in Matt 25:6-10,
#3. A Cry at Midnight (Matt 25:6-10, Matt 24:30, Ex 12:29, 2Thess 1:7-10, Rev 1:7)
Mt 25:6-10 And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him. Then all those virgins arose, and trimmed their lamps. And the foolish said unto the wise, Give us of your oil; for our lamps are gone out. But the wise answered, saying, Not so; lest there be not enough for us and you: but go ye rather to them that sell, and buy for yourselves. And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came; and they that were ready went in with him to the marriage: and the door was shut.
And the door was shut! This tells us in no uncertain terms that there is a time beyond which no more salvation is possible. And all those who are not ready are not able to enter into glory with Christ, who is our Bridegroom. Therefore it is of the utmost importance for us to examine ourselves to see if we are ready. “And at midnight there was a cry made”. Was this a happy cry? Absolutely not! Look a few verses back in the previous chapter where the Lord’s coming was announced and seen. Matt 24:30 (2X). “And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory”. No, this was not a happy cry, for all the tribes of the earth shall know that this is judgment day for them. But why was this cry at midnight. You can see that this timing cannot be taken literally, for Christ’s return shall be seen all over the world simultaneously, and only for a small fraction of the world will it be midnight. But God uses “midnight” to point us to an event that was similar to the judgment of the Last Day. It was the judgment on Egypt at the time of the first Passover. Let me read it to you and then you will remember.
Ex 12:29, “And it came to pass, that at midnight the LORD smote all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, from the firstborn of Pharaoh that sat on his throne unto the firstborn of the captive that was in the dungeon; and all the firstborn of cattle”.
What have the cattle anything to do with judgment on the Egyptians? But from these words we can see that God intended this event to be a picture of the judgment on the Last Day. Then indeed all the cattle shall also perish. In principle all that were in Egypt came under the judgment of God in that night. But God used the principle of a synecdoche where the fraction of all the firstborn represented the whole. And just like God brought judgment on all in Egypt at midnight, so God shall bring judgment in one instant over this entire world. Please turn in your Bibles to the Second Epistle to the Thessalonians, 2Thess 1:7 (2X). Will it be a happy occasion when the Lord returns on the clouds of glory? Absolutely not, for He comes to judge those who have not been taken in the rapture. And so, all the tribes of the earth shall mourn for everyone on the earth shall be found guilty. We read in 2Thess 1:7-10,
2Th 1:7-10 And to you who are troubled rest with us when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power; When he shall come to be glorified in his saints, and to be admired in all them that believe (because our testimony among you was believed) in that day.
Christ shall come, in flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God and that obey not the
Gospel. What is their primary sin? They know not God, and they obey not the Gospel. They know not our sovereign God who sent His only begotten Son into the world that those in the world might be saved. But His love was spurned by all of mankind. In fact, if the Lord would not have chosen some to be saved out of mankind, then no one would be saved. But because He loved us from eternity past, He was not going to take NO for an answer, and thus the Father drew us into His love, and made us willing. But on the Last Day, after He has raptured those whom He already saved, the Lord tells us in Rev 1:7,
Re 1:7 Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen.
They all shall wail because of Him. Please turn again to the parable in Matt 25, Matt 25:7 (2X). This is the moment in time when “All the virgins trimmed their lamps”. Actually the Greek text says, “Then all those virgins arose and prepared their torches”. This was the time when they poured oil in their torches and put fire therein. But the foolish virgins had no oil at that moment. And they went away to buy some oil. They were not prepared, for they did not expect the Lord’s coming in their lifetime. They were too busy enjoying themselves. But then they came to the door and the door was shut. We read in Matt 25:11
Mt 25:11 Afterward came also the other virgins, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us.
Mt 25:12 But he answered and said, Verily I say unto you, I know you not.
These are frightening words. These are words that contain the promise of Hell. If the Lord Jesus Christ says to us, “I Know you not”, it does not mean that He was not aware of us, but it means, “I do not know you as Christians, I do not know you as being in the family of Christ, I do not approve of you, I do not delight in you, or I do not admit that you are my friends”. The word “know” is often used in the Bible in the sense of approving, or loving, or acknowledging as real friends and followers. Please turn to chapter 7 of this Gospel of Matthew, Matt 7:21 (2X). This is the second parable on Salvation and Condemnation in this chapter of Matthew. Why do I say that this is a parable? When people stand before the judgment throne of Christ they actually will not be arguing with the judge, for He knows their inmost thoughts and intends of the heart. We read in Matt 7:21-23,
Mt 7:21-23 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.
What insight does this passage give to the parable of the ten virgins? It tells us that these people also were not ready for the Lord’s coming. They thought they were ready, for they had done many wonderful works in Jesus’ name. They have prophesied in Jesus’ name, which was very good; and they have cast out devils in Jesus’ name, which was very bad; for only Christ can cast out devils, because Satan is much too powerful for us. Gen 3:15 clearly says that it is Christ, as the Seed of the woman, who shall fight for us against Satan. We should not be so arrogant to take that job out of Christ’s hand. And so, what is the main problem with these people in Matt 7:21-23? Their main problem is that they have put their trust in their own works, rather than in the grace of Christ. In other words, they are adhering to a works gospel, rather than a gospel of fully the grace of God. They trust in their water baptism, and in their sinner’s prayer, and in their acceptance of Jesus as their Lord and Savior, and other such works, which may appear very holy, but they have only a form of godliness, but are denying the power thereof. And Christ says to them, “I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity”.
#4. Are We Ready? (Matt 25:13, Rev 3:15-16,21)
Let us not forget what the punch line is of this entire parable. The Lord emphasized in Matt 25:13,
Mt 25:13 Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh.
Notice that He said, “Watch therefore”. Why did He say “therefore”? Is it not to emphasize that no man knoweth the day or the hour, and therefore the Lord Jesus will return at such a moment when no one really expects Him? Even the people who presently have calculated that the Lord will come in 2011 shall be surprised, for He will appear at a time when they least expect Him. And so, the million dollar question is really: “Are We Ready?” Are we ready any time now? Are we watching as the Lord would want us to be watching? I touched on this subject in the sermon of last week. Based on Luke 12:29-34 we prepare ourselves for the coming of the Lord by seeking to do those things that are pleasing in His sight. We prepare ourselves by showing the Lord that our treasure is in heaven, and not on earth. And all these things we do, but it is God which worketh in us, both to will and to do of His good pleasure.
But is the majority of the people in this congregation ready for the Lord’s coming? I have to admit that I do not know the answer to this million dollar question. The evidence is not overwhelming. As you very well know, you can lead a horse to water, but you cannot make him drink. For the past twelve years I have been leading this congregation to the water of the Gospel, but I have not seen the urgency for Christ’s coming that I expect would be the result of the Gospel sinking into the hearts and minds of most people in this congregation. Perhaps some 20 years ago a pastor asked me what I would be teaching that week in the community Bible Study that I was leading at that time. I answered that I will be speaking about Daniel 9:24-27. And he responded, “Do they care?” for it was his experience that most people do not care to study these four verses that are among the most difficult verses in the Bible. I was shocked! Here was an aged pastor who admitted to have skipped certain passages because he thought it would be too difficult for his congregation. He was deliberately not preaching the whole counsel of God. Just like many pastors today are skipping at least 30% of the Bible, because it touches on the sovereignty of God. Did the Lord Jesus skirt these difficult passages when He taught the people? No! Not at all! Should I teach in such a way that I am pleasing men, rather than pleasing God? Of course not! It is pleasing to God if I preach and teach on everything that is in the Bible. I must preach the whole counsel of God. And so, when I bring out everything I have learned from the Bible, I know that it is often too difficult to absorb without seeing it actually on paper. But that is why I am writing transcripts of these sermons, and make them available on the Internet. And now another unsettling piece of information enters the picture. Last year Pablo asked for a show of hands of how many people actually dug up the sermon on the website to study it. Only one hand went up. I know that we have a small congregation, but now I also know that the fraction of people who actually appreciate the study I do for the sermon is less than 3%. And from the young people, who supposedly are more computer savvy than their parents, none actually has ever checked out a sermon from our website. None! And so, when I stand here and preach my heart out, I know that I am mainly preaching to the Chinese, and to the people in South East Asia, and to the people in the United Kingdom and in Australia, for they are the ones who are listening and reading these sermons from the website. Our congregation listens mainly for the duration of the Sunday service, and that is it. That is as far they will go. I have to be satisfied that I can lead a horse to water, but I cannot make him drink. And so, when I am asking myself if our congregation is ready to meet the Lord Jesus when He comes, I have to say that I do not know. That is why you hear me give a blistering sermon every week, because I have not seen any evidence that we are ready for the coming of the Lord. When I pose this last question, “Are We Ready?” it is really a legitimate question for many in this congregation. We must watch that we do not slide into becoming like the complacent church that we came out of. Do we remember what the Lord said in Rev 3:15-16? Let me read it to you.
Re 3:15 I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot.
Re 3:16 So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.
We are in danger of becoming lukewarm. This is what I want to warn you for. And if you would say to yourself, “That does not apply to me”, then keep in mind that everyone else around you is saying the same thing. But let me now bring a positive note to all whom God the holy Spirit is moving to prepare themselves for the Lord’s return. The Lord says in Rev 3:21,
Re 3:21 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.
What a glorious promise to be with Christ in His throne. Yes, we will be reigning as kings and priests unto God, and we will inherit all that God has in the new universe that He has created for us. But more so, we will inherit God Himself, and we will be in the presence of Him who loved us from eternity past, and who loved us so that He gave His only begotten Son for us, so that we might also inherit His glory. Praise God for His unspeakable gift.
AMEN. Let us turn to the Lord in prayer.