REIGNING WITH CHRIST
AS a king calls to his cabinet his trusted and valued friends, and appoints to the most responsible posts those of the most approved fidelity, both for their reward, and for the benefit of the kingdom, so does Christ with his saints.
This future rulership is really the secret of our present discipline. We are being trained in service with a view to the coming kingdom. What an outlook! Through faith in Christ we shall experience the fullness of an eternal life in a new and better world. And if we are faithful to him here, we shall reign with him there - in the Millennuum.
The thousand years for Christ's reign on earth with its judgments and justice make the great high peak presented in the Scriptures. It is the subject of the greater part of prophecy. Since it is a time of justice and judgment, and since it is presided over by One who has been thoroughly tempted and tried; One who has suffered and died to prove his merit - therefore all who take part in this thousand years must also be of proven merit, many of them even proven by martyrdom. Any position held in this regime and reign is upon individual merit alone. No position in this kingdom is held because of grace alone. Everyone in this reign with Christ, of course, is a born-again, saved, resurrected Christian; but, more than that, everyone, besides being a saved individual, is an overcomer, a Christian, Spirit-filled, and one who has walked in spiritual victory, a worthy.
"Everything that has to do with this thousand years must meet the most terrific fires of testing. Only that which can pass through the fire test at the judgment seat of Christ can be admitted into this thousand years of millennial splendour." - Dr. Paul Rader.
Edward Greswell, B.D., in an article entitled "The Millennium and Eternal Life," says :- "The interposition of the millenary scheme, with its peculiar economy of retribution, is necessary to reconcile the doctrine of Scripture, that we are justified and saved by faith, and by faith alone, with the promise of Scripture, nevertheless, of a reward proportioned to works.
It is a necessary consequence of the doctrine of salvation by faith, that all who are justified, and saved, on that account, are justified freely, and without any regard to their personal works, and consequently to their personal deserts. A promise of rewards, on the other hand, in proportion to works, must be strictly in proportion to deserts; and therefore, it seems to be implied by the fact of such a promise that in apportioning the future reward of those who are saved their personal deserts will be strictly taken into account.
Now these two things, as thus stated, are evidently at variance. Salvation by faith excludes all reward of works, and therefore all difference of personal deserts; a reward of the good and righteous, in proportion to their works, must be in proportion to their deserts. Nor can I imagine any mode of reconciling them together, but this - that the doctrine of Scripture, which relates to final acceptance irrespectively of the differences of personal desert, is in reference to one state of things ; and the doctrine of Scripture, which holds out the expectation of a reward in proportion of works, and therefore has respect to the differences of personal desert, is in reference to another.
The former I consider to be the state of things, which is known by the name of eternal life, or is the condition of being, through all eternity, in the kingdom of heaven; the latter of the state of things under the millennium, and during the temporal reign of Christ on earth.
The matter of fact involved in each of these statements is in either case equally indisputable. It is equally certain that all who are saved, as such, are saved by faith in Jesus Christ; and by faith without respect of works - and consequently, of differences of desert; and it is also certain that if any are to be rewarded in another life, for their conduct in the present life, that is for their works, they must be rewarded in proportion to those works, and therefore in proportion to their deserts."
- Christian Life.