Sunday, August 26, 2007

Sunday Quote: Subjects of a Kingdom

"The very term kingdom implies a king, subjects, and laws. Of the kingdom of heaven Jesus is the king. In Psalm ii. 6, the Father speaks, 'I have set my king upon my holy hill of Zion.' From the next verse it is plainly seen, that this king is the Son of God. This truth runs through the scriptures, especially of the New Testament. The bounds of his kingdom are coextensive with the world. The heathen are given to him, (as king) and the uttermost parts of the earth for a possession. All authority in heaven and in earth is given to him; therefore the gospel is to be preached in all the world to every creature. Authority over all flesh is given him by the Father, that he might give eternal life to all, on the condition that they believe on him and obey him. To this kingdom the Son of God has a perfect right, having received it of the Father, and to whom he will ultimately surrender it. He is made Lord of all. This kingdom had rebelled against God, cast off his government, and would not be subject to his laws. In great love and pity to the rebel world the Father sent the Son, the prince of peace, as his minister, to them, and his ministry was to destroy their enmity and reconcile them to God.--The same ministry was committed to his apostles; and the same was by divine authority committed to faithful men from the apostles, and is yet perpetuated by all the true teachers of christianity.

"What if some--the majority--the overwhelming majority of mankind, do not submit to their lawful king, and yield obedience to his laws? Surely they are, or they would not be punished for their rebellion by the king himself. See Luke xix. Every one of Adam's family, who has ears to hear, and understand the word of the Lord, preached to them, is under equal obligations to obey him. The same gracious reward is offered the obedient, and the same punishment threatened the disobedient.

"But the kingdom of heaven of which we speak, is his church, composed of all such as believe in Jesus, who have repented of their wicked rebellion; who have reformed their lives; who have bowed humble submission at the feet of their king, and have been born again; born of water and of the spirit. These are the subjects of his kingdom, as we are every where taught in the scriptures. Let us attend to this as among the most important matters of the christian faith." ~ Barton W. Stone, The Christian Messenger, March 1835

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