By  Cannon Howitt


"Do you not know that the saints will judge the world?" (1Cor.6:2). "Do you not know?"  It is as though the Apostle would say, Is it possible that you have forgotten this truth?  Is it possible that you have overlooked the fact that there is this wonderful destiny in store for you, the rulership of the world?  What would Paul say, I wonder, if he came amongst Christians to-day?  In that wonderful passage, (Rom. 8: 17), Paul, speaking by the Holy Spirit, says :- "Now if we are children, then we are heirs - heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory."  The saints of God are to be rulers with Christ, administrators under Him, of the affairs of this world by and by.  Oh, what a glorious prospect that holds out to us!


Possibly you have heard the story of Queen Victoria, when she was a child.  There came a time when her parents felt that it would be wise for her to know that possibly she might some day be Queen of England.  Her governess, the Countess Lehzen, therefore, was instructed to make that fact known to her: so she inserted in her history a list of the Hanoverian kings, at the end of which she wrote the name Victoria.  When in her study the Princess came upon the insertion, the Countess, her governess, watched the effect closely.  The Princess read down the page, and finally her eyes came upon her own name.  She conned it very attentively.  Then, looking up at the Countess, she said, "Can it really be that I am to be Queen of England?"  The Countess replied, "Yes, in all probability that will be true."  After a moment's pause the Princess said, "Then I will be good."  She had not been an apt scholar before; she rather rebelled against the tedium of study; but now that she realized how absolutely necessary it was that she should qualify herself to be the Queen of England, then it was no hardship, and she began to apply herself with all her power and ability.  Would to God we could all get that same inspiration!  If I could only impress upon you the fact that God is calling you to be kings and queens!  If I could only make you believe it, it would transform many lives.  It would make us all far more zealous than we are, and would give us a deeper interest in the things of God.  It is a fact that God is calling us to this high destiny; therefore let us seize the opportunity, and prepare ourselves, qualify ourselves, by His grace to share in it.


Now the question arises, Who will reign?  It is a very solemn question.  It should be a most searching question, and I do hope and pray that God will enable me to impress it upon everyone here, because, beloved, it will mean so much to you individually if you will only think of it and act upon it.  Who are to reign with Jesus Christ?  All the saints?  Oh no, by no means.  Let us turn back again to that eighth chapter of Romans, looking now at verse 17: "And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ: if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together." There will be no glorification, and there will be no ascent to the throne, there will be no crowning and there will be no kingdom for us, unless we do suffer with Jesus Christ.  The easy modern ideas of the present day are not calculated to bring about such a wonderful consummation, and Christians to-day are content to take things very easily.  I cannot help thinking, beloved, that we are in the eleventh hour of the parable that speaks of the labourers of the vineyard.  The eleventh hour is not the usual time for the husbandman to go out and engage labourers; and if it were not that the work is so tremendously pressing, no husbandman would ever do such a thing.  I believe the Lord is very near, and I believe that He is calling many whom He never called before into His service.  I believe the reason is the urgency of the time.  The Lord wants us to be sharers in His work; and it will be those who are willing to share in it and those who are willing to suffer in sharing in it, upon whom this wonderful privilege will be bestowed.  It is quite possible to be saved without reigning with the coming King; but the salvation that we should desire and seek after diligently is salvation with glory.  Let us read on: "It is a faithful saying: for if we be dead with him, we shall also live with him: if we suffer, we shall also reign with him; if we deny him, he also will deny us.Without the suffering there will not be the reign.  No cross, no crown.


Look at the type given in David.  He was crowned no less than three times.  He was first of all anointed king at Bethlehem secretly, even in the days of King Saul.  Nobody knew of the fact except his own immediate relatives; and even they did not realize definitely what it all meant.  Later on, he was anointed and crowned king over Judah. His own tribe, his own people, were ruled over by him; and it was not until some time later that he was crowned king over the whole kingdom of Israel.  The Lord Jesus Christ is to be King, and He has already been anointed as such.  He was anointed secretly, as it were, at the Jordan.  It was there that the Holy Spirit came upon Him, and He was anointed as the Messiah, the Prophet, Priest and King of His people.  The world did not recognize Him as King, any more than they recognized David as king; but you remember there came a time a little later on, after David had been anointed as king, when people did flock to him, when people came and joined him when he was flying from King Saul.  Who are recognizing Jesus as King to-day?  The world does not do it.  He has no visible kingdom as yet; but He is reigning in the hearts of His own true people, and there are those now who are giving their allegiance to Him, who are really acknowledging Jesus as Lord.  And what did David do with the faithful in the cave of Adullam? (2 Sam. 23).  These men who had gone to him in the hour of his distress, in the day of his rejection, who were willing to suffer with him, who were willing to do anything for his sake, who were willing to confess him before men, when David came to the throne these were the men on whom he bestowed the high positions near his throne, and to whom he gave the administration of his kingdomSo will it be when Jesus comes.


For the Apostle compares (1 Cor. 3: 9) our life work to a building.  He says we are all builders, building every day of our lives.  He tells us that when the building is completed, there will come a great inspection.  All our life actions will be brought under review in the presence of God.  I fancy that the fire which is to try every man's work is just the presence of God.  Our God is consuming fire; and when we stand in the light of the Holy One, and that light searches us through and through, it will reveal the actual character of everything we have done, thought and said.  Everything that is not according to the will of God will then wither away; and it will be only that which remains which will be rewarded, and upon that our entrance and positions in the Kingdom will depend.  There are thousands of Christians who are only doing dead works today.  Much, very much, I might almost say by far the greater amount, of our Church work is simply an accumulation of dead works, and it is not producing the fruitage God wants it to produce.  What, then, are the wood, hay and straw?  Wood is a dead tree, hay is dead grass, straw is dead stalks.  When Christians are led by the motives of the world, the flesh, or the devil - for it is quite possible for them to be led by the devil, just as Peter was - then their life structure is only built on dead works, and when Jesus comes, all will be exposed, and those works will pass away.  Oh, what a terrible thing it would be to be found naked before Him;  Saved as by fire, but with no inheritance in the [Millennial] Kingdom!  But that reward may be ours if only we will give ourselves whole-heartedly to Jesus Christ, and begin to live with all our powers FOR HIM!