THE GLORIOUS GOSPEL - 4
It remains to us, now, to say a little about THE GLORIOUS PROSPECT that lies ahead of God's people,
-for that also is part of the Christian Gospel and makes it, indeed, a glorious Gospel.
Here, particularly, we are right out of our depth, and can only hope to "flash something" into the minds
and spirits of those who read us.
When the Apostle Peter wrote his first letter to those "strangers scattered abroad", he cheered their hearts
by telling them that they had been "called to God's eternal glory" (1 Pet.5: 10), -and that God Himself
would "stablish, strengthen, and settle them". He was "the God of all grace", and He would surely do it,
"after they had suffered a little while". What a prospect for "scattered strangers", -they were "CALLED
TO GOD'S ETERNAL GLORY"! That, surely, is one of the great "unfathomables" of the Bible!
More amazing still, -the word of Christ Himself, when praying to His Father for His people said, "The
glory which Thou gavest Me, I have given them" (John 17:22). We still feel we can only whisper such a
word; -God's Christ SHARING WITH US the glory which the Father gave to Him!
Then again, the last picture we have of the Church in the Bible likens her to "a great city HA VING THE
GLORY OF GOD" (Rev .21: 10, 11). It might be well; now, to read quietly the rest of that chapter, but
the few verses we quoted will suffice to show us the Glorious Future that lies ahead of God's people. And
that, most surely, is part of our Christian Gospel. Glad tidings, indeed! A glorious Gospel! And it is for
"all people" (Luke 2:10), - wondrous grace!
As Christians, we love to talk about our "Blessed Hope" (lit. "Happy expectation"). We generally have in
mind our Lord's Second Coming, -that wonderful day when our Lord shall come, and we shall be caught
up to meet Him in the air (1 Thess.4: 16,17). That truly is a "blessed hope", '- but what of the glorious
events that will follow that coming? -Enthronement with the Lord. - Marriage to the Lord. Seeing His
face, and being forever with Him? All this is included in the believer's "glorious prospect", and all is part
of God's Glorious Gospel. All must be told to all nations, as the Holy Spirit leads and under His powerful
No doubt, there are countless separate components, which together comprise The Glorious Prospect that
lies ahead of us as Christian believers. It may be well for us now to mention just three of them, -all of
them extra to that initial meeting with our Lord in the air (1 Thess.4).
First, there is the prospect of ENTHRONEMENT WITH CHRIST. Paul told young Timothy, "If we
suffer, we shall also reign with him" (2 Tim.2: 12). Our Lord said to His disciples. "Fear not, little flock;
it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the Kingdom" (Luke 12:32). He said the same in Luke 22:29,
-"I appoint unto you a Kingdom, as My Father hath appointed unto Me". The following verse actually
mentions "sitting on thrones", indicating a real partnership in the administration. Our Lord seems to come
still closer when He says to the Laodiceans, "To him that overcometh will 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).
taking some of these terms as symbolic, we are still left with an amazing picture; -saved sinners, sharing
with their Saviour in the administration of His everlasting Kingdom! This glorious theme runs all through
the Bible, but all can be gathered up in the statement of Daniel 7:27, "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". We
can only say again, "What a glorious prospect", -reigning with Christ forever!
One important point does need to be mentioned here. We must always realise what is the nature of
"dominion" in the eyes of God; -what is its essential character. The Lord made this plain in Matt.20:
25-27, when He said to His disciples, "Ye know that the princes of the Gentiles exercise dominion over
them, and they that are great exercise authority upon them. BUT IT SHALL NOT BE SO AMONG
YOU: but whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister (Gk. Servant); and whosoever
will be CHIEF let him be your (lit.) SLAVE". This is a clear reversing of our own ideas; -the
qualification for "reigning" is HUMILITY. We must take the towel before we can take the Throne (John
13:4,5; -also vs. 13, 14). This was the "way" for Christ, and it must be the "way" for us (see Phil.2: 8-11).
May the Lord put that "mind" into us, and teach us to be overcomers. That new kind of ruling is part of
our Glorious Prospect, -and part of the Glorious Gospel.
We move on now to our second thought. For the Christian believer, there is something still more
wonderful, -and, even today, I feel I can only whisper it; -we are appointed to a marriage with Christ.
Paul plainly told the Ephesian believers that "Christ loved the church, and gave Himself for it; that He
might present it to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing" (see Eph.
5:25- 27). Here again is a theme that runs from the beginning of the Bible (see Gen.2: 21-23), to the end
(see Rev.19: 9 and 21: 9-11). What stupendous thoughts are these; -the Marriage-supper of the LAMB;
-the LAMB's wife; -and notice again the emphasis on humility! Again, I feel quite helpless, and totally
unable to develop such a theme, or even to comment upon it. What a prospect! -what a Gospel! -"thy
Maker is thine Husband" (lsa.54: 5) This, of course, was something planned and purposed before the
foundation of the world. The Father will secure a worthy bride for His all -worthy Son, and sinners, -
washed, justified, and glorified, will make up that bride! It was just like Abraham in Genesis twenty-four.
He sent his servant, Eliezer, to find, and bring home, a bride for his son Isaac, -beautiful picture of the
Holy Spirit working in our age to find, and "bring home" a Rebekah for "the Beloved Son".
To conclude our meditation on this marvelous matter, we suggest that our readers just turn to Psalm 45,
and read it through with a prayerful and worshipping heart. The Psalmist's heart is overflowing (v.1), and
he sets out to write some-thing about "the glorious King". He gives his beautiful picture, but unavoidably
it flows on to an equally beautiful picture of the Queen, standing beside him in gold of Ophir. All of this
is very significant, -specially, perhaps, the statement that her raiment was "raiment of needlework"
(Cp.Gal.5: 24; 6:14). That, again, is part of our GLORIOUS PROSPECT, -all included in our Glorious
We said earlier that we hoped to mention three aspects of the believer's "Glorious PROSPECT". We have
now said a little about the prospect of reigning with Christ, and the prospect of marriage to Christ. Our
last thought will be the simplest of them all, -but, I think, the dearest of them all.
We again have in mind the word of Paul to the Thessalonians regarding the Second Coming of Christ,
and we note that he concludes by saying, "so shall we be ever WITH THE LORD". Is not that the most
precious prospect of them all? -just "being with the Lord", -for ever! May God speed the day!
It is interesting to note that the very next chapter tells us that when Christ died, it was with that kind of
fellowship in view. The passage reads, -Christ "died for us that whether we wake or sleep, we should
LIVE TOGETHER WITH HIM" (1 Thess.5: 10). Yes, -very simple words, but what a prospect, -living
"with Christ" FOREVER! Hallelujah, Hallelujah; -May God speed the day!
The time has now come for us to close off our little series of meditations on God's Glorious Gospel. We
have said that that Gospel is glorious because it tells of A Glorious Person, -a Glorious Plan, -a Glorious
Provision, and a Glorious Prospect. ALL this is in the Gospel we are to carry to the nations. May God
help us to see it, and to say it; -to see HIM and to speak of HIM... everywhere! Maranatha!
YE ARE MY WITNESSES -13
By prayer the early Church began to grow spiritually. That is the secret of the early Church. And when
they had prayed, the place was shaken where they were assembled together; and they were all filled with
the Holy Ghost, and they spake the word of God with boldness...But we will give ourselves continually to
prayer, and to the ministry of the word" (Acts 4:31; 6:4). By perseverance the early believers were able to
defeat their enemies.
The enemy's attack on the believers is to make them cut short their prayer time. They are busy with other
things and have no time for prayer. They pray but for a short while. That is why the enemy gains ground.
The early Church overcame the enemy by prayer.
When Paul and Barnabas came to Jerusalem there was not only famine in Judea but also persecution.
Peter was in prison and James was killed. Believers in Jerusalem began to pray earnestly for Peter. In
answer to those prayers God delivered Peter from the prison.
Generally, we want to see God's power in great things. God works in small matters much more than in
big matters to strengthen and encourage us. We do not think of small things as God does. No doubt, we
see God's power in mighty things but we can also see His power in small things. God's ways are not our
ways. Verse four tells us, four quaternions of soldiers kept watch over Peter turn by turn; he was in
between two soldiers, bound to them with chains. Yet he was fast asleep. He was not sleeping on dun lop
pillow but on the stone floor of the prison, with two very strong chains on each hand. With all that he was
able to sleep soundly, because he had no worries or anxiety. He could trust God for every situation. Most
of us when we have small worries do not get sleep. We may drink ovaltine or any hot drink, still we do
not get sleep. Some take pills to get sleep in the nights. Even that fails and they cannot get sleep. But here
we find this man of God sleeping soundly, in spite of all his disadvantages. When we put our trust in the
Lord we will not be anxious about any matter, no matter what happens. Peter was having sound sleep.
The angel smote him even then he could not get up. Then the angel raised him up, and he got up, and the
chains fell off from his hands.