The Believer's Dominion Destiny | Hebrews 2:5-9 | Dr. David Harrell
The Believer's Dominion Destiny
Dr. David Harrell | Bio
October, 23 2016
The Believer's Dominion Destiny
Each transcript is a rough approximation of the message preached and may occasionally misstate certain portions of the sermon and even misspell certain words. It should in no way be considered an edited document ready for print. Moreover, as in any transcription of the spoken word, the full intention and passion of the speaker cannot be fully captured and will in no way reflect the same style of a written document.
It is a great honor, a great privilege, a very humbling thing to be able to open up the word of God to you this morning and I would like for you to take your Bibles and turn to Hebrews 2 as we continue to study this great epistle. We will be looking at verses 5 through 9 in a few minutes. Hebrews 2.
But before we look at the text, I'd like to captivate your attention for a moment. In 1990, the NASA spacecraft Voyager I launched in 1977, was about to leave our solar system when the famous scientist and philosopher, Carl Sagan, requested that it turn its camera around and take a photo of the earth in the midst of the vast expanse of space from a distance of almost 3.8 billion miles away. Perhaps you have seen the picture. You can go on the Internet and you can see it. It's absolutely astonishing for in that unfathomable sea of space, one little speck can be seen shining brighter than all of the others, what he called a pale blue dot, the planet upon which we live, earth. But the question is: why is it there? Why is it here? Does it have a purpose? More importantly, do the human beings that live on that pale blue dot have any meaning? Have any purpose? Do we have any destiny? Why do we exist? Here's what the now deceased Carl Sagan had to say as he looked upon that pale blue dot, quote, "Our posturings, our imagined self-importance, the delusion that we have some privileged position in the universe are challenged by this point of pale light. Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark. In our obscurity in all this vastness, there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves." He went on to say, "It has been said that astronomy is a humbling and character building experience. There is perhaps no better demonstration of the folly of human conceits than this distant image of our tiny world. To me, it underscores our responsibility to deal more kindly with one another and to preserve and cherish the pale blue dot, the only home we've ever known."
How sad. How hopeless. Sadly, the musings of a fool who had no fear of God, who mocked his word. Yet this mindset reflects the thinking of most people on our planet today. Most people think that we as human beings are merely the product of billions of years of evolutionary natural selection, descendants of apes who descended from some other sub species, to be traced back some 13.8 billion years ago to a Big Bang that supposedly got everything going and then somewhere out of some primordial swamp of gas and liquids, certain creatures began to form and now here we are. Of course, without a Creator, there is no meaning, there is no purpose, no destiny. Without God, dear friends, we have no hope. Our foolish heart is darkened. We are alienated from him. But in the text that we have before us, we can read of great hope. Scripture not only explains the purpose of that pale blue dot that shines brighter than all of the others, it explains the destiny of those that inhabit this planet, and for the redeemed whom God has set his love upon in eternity past, the future is magnificently bright.
In these few verses combined with other supporting texts that I will give you, we're going to see with clarity the Creator's purpose for those that he has reconciled to himself through faith in his Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. Like Paul who said in 1 Corinthians 2, "we speak God's wisdom in a mystery, the hidden wisdom which God predestined before the ages to our glory; the wisdom which none of the rulers of this age has understood." He went on to say, "Things which eye has not seen and ear has not heard, and which have not entered the heart of man, all that God has prepared for those who love Him. For to us God revealed them through the Spirit; for the Spirit searches all things, even the depths of God."
Now, as we look at this text, let me remind you as it has been a couple of weeks, let me remind you of the context. Remember that the Jews virtually worshiped angels next to God the Father, and because Jesus of Nazareth was a human being, they had a terrible time believing that somehow he was also God, their promised Messiah. So this letter to the Hebrews addresses the surpassing glory and greatness of the Lord Jesus Christ; that he is not only superior to the angels but he is superior to all things because he is the Creator of all things. So the Jews were robbing Christ of his glory by worshiping the creature rather than the Creator, and I might add that anyone or anything in our life that takes priority over the supremacy of Christ in all things is an idol, and every form of idolatry is not only a supreme insult to the Lord of glory, it will ultimately bring misery to our soul. Whether we worship our children, our spouse, power, prestige, pleasure, our hobbies, our bodies, material possessions, whatever it is, we must all guard our hearts from desiring anything that detracts from the solitary glory of the Lord Jesus Christ and the priority that he should be in our life.
So the inspired writer here is deeply concerned about this and as you will recall from our last study in the first four verses of chapter 2, he gave an impassioned heartfelt warning directed primarily to unbelieving Jews. Notice verse 1 of chapter 2, he says, "For this reason we must pay much closer attention to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away from it." And you will recall that he is referring to what he had said in chapter 1, that Christ is superior to the prophets. We need to pay closer attention to that reality, that he is the fulfillment of all that was prophesied. He is the full and the final and the perfect revelation. He is the Son of God. He is the radiance of the glory of God. He is the Creator, the sustainer, the consummater of all things. He is the one who made purification of sins and now sits at the right hand of the Majesty on high. He is superior to the angels. He is the unchangeable everlasting God and he is going to return again in all of his glory to establish his earthly kingdom for a thousand years. He is going to then uncreate the heavens and the earth. He is going to roll them up as a garment and create a new heaven and a new earth where righteousness alone will dwell. Said simply: you must pay closer attention to the realities of the Gospel and its implications on your life and your eternal soul. And I must add that the same can be addressed to each of us. Notice he says, "lest we drift away from it." In other words, lest the swift current of this world with all of its deceptions and all of its pleasures, capture us with its flow and lead us to destruction. For unbelievers, that destruction will be an eternal hell. For believers, it's the forfeiture of divine blessing that accompanies divine chastening and the misery of reaping what we have sown.
In verse 2, he goes on to say, "For if the word spoken through angels proved unalterable," referring to the 10,000 holy ones that Moses described that accompanied God at the giving of the law, "For if the word spoken through angels proved unalterable, and every transgression and disobedience received a just penalty, how will we escape if we neglect so great a salvation?" The term "neglect" means "to pay no attention to; or to make light of." For example in Matthew 22, we have the parable of the wedding feast and those invited to the wedding feast of the king's son in verse 5, "paid no attention." It's the same word. "They paid no attention and went off, one to his farm, another to his business," and so forth. They made light of the word of God.
Back to the text in verse 3, he says, "After it was at the first spoken through the Lord, it was confirmed to us by those who heard, God also testifying with them, both by signs and wonders and by various miracles and by gifts of the Holy Spirit according to His own will." So despite all of this, they were neglecting, they were making light of what God had said and what he had done. And I must extend this warning to each of us. Folks, when it comes to the truth of God, especially as it relates to the person and the work of the Lord Jesus Christ and salvation, we must take this seriously. Not that we should be oppressively melancholy or lugubrious, as if there is no hope, but we simply cannot be flippant or superficial. What God has said is serious. I mean, think about it: if God has spoken to us through the prophets, through the angels, through his Son who is now exalted in unspeakable glory who now sits at the right hand of the Father as the sovereign of the universe, the one whom angels worship, the very Creator and the goal of all creation, the one to whom every knee will one day bow and every tongue confess that he is Lord, then certainly we must pay closer attention to what God has said. We must be keenly attentive to what God has said in his word and, dear friend, I plead with you, I mean, given what has been revealed to us concerning the unsearchable riches of Christ, concerning the transcendent majesty of his person, our heart should absolutely be exploding with shock and awe. Never lose the wonder of these great truths. These are divine realities with eternal consequences. They are not merely trivial theological doctrines to be considered only by ivory tower intellectuals. This is the revelation of God to us. These are truths that should set our soul ablaze with worship and praise. And when that doesn't happen, dear friend, there is something terribly wrong with your spiritual condition. What an inexcusable insult to make light of God's revelation. How appalling to not regard what he is saying with utmost seriousness. The eternal destiny of men's souls are at stake.
"For this reason we must pay much closer attention to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away from it." You will remember "drift away" means "to flow past; to be drawn by something else." It's interesting that the writer of Hebrews warns here of drifting away and in chapter 3, verse 12, he speaks of falling away; and in chapter 13, verse 9, he speaks of being carried away. In chapter 3, verse 7, he says, "Therefore, just as the Holy Spirit says, 'Today if you hear His voice, do not harden your hearts,'" and then he goes on and he gives this warning in verse 12, "Take care, brethren, that there not be in any one of you an evil, unbelieving heart that falls away from the living God." Then in chapter 13 and verse 9, "Do not be carried away by varied and strange teachings." Folks, in each passage we have being addressed the idea of being careless; the danger of being careless toward the things of God; not taking him seriously.
I was reflecting upon this and my mind went to....I can almost get overwhelmed when I think about this. Literally by now thousands of times I have sat across from someone who was sobbing so hard that they cannot speak, and in almost every case, it's because of this very thing: they had a careless attitude toward the things of God. They just didn't take him seriously so they drifted away from the truths of the Gospel, they fell away from the word of God and hardened their hearts against him even without realizing it, and they were carried away by varied and strange teachings. Dear friend, if you have no appetite to study the word of God – please hear this – if you have no appetite to study the word of God, if it is frankly just kind of no big deal to you, you have no desire to know it and to yield yourself to it, you have already begun to drift. If you're a cavalier cultural Christian, church is just a social club, just something you do in the South because everybody else does it, if you're careless about the truth of God and you're simply not serious about it, you've already begun to drift. And because the slope of sin grows steeper with time, the current will gradually become increasingly more powerful, making it harder and harder for you to extricate yourself from it. So I pray that each of you will cultivate a mental seriousness about the things of God which will result in not only an eagerness to study it and to know it, but also a moral seriousness to obey it.
So in Hebrews 1, remember he's speaking about the surpassing glory and greatness of Christ, focusing on his deity. And then he pauses here in the first four verses to give this warning that we just reviewed, and now and where we're going this morning, he continues to speak of Christ but not about his deity but about his humanity. It's very important. And this is so incredibly exciting to me, I only pray that I could help you understand it in a way that will help you to share my excitement. And because of Christ's humanity, what we are going to see, every believer has what I would call a dominion destiny and we see this laid out in verses 5 through 9, which is also another powerful argument that the writer is using to prove Christ's superiority over the angels, to prove his deity, but also an amazing revelation concerning what God has promised and what Christ has accomplished for all those who trust him as Savior and worship him as Lord.
Now, I wish to examine this under three very simple headings. They might sound a bit confusing but hopefully they will become very clear to you. We're going to look first at man's original dominion by creation; secondly, man's current dominion marred by sin; and finally, man's future dominion by new creation.
Now, let's look at the text. Notice verse 5,
5 For He did not subject to angels the world to come, concerning which we are speaking.
The term "subject" means "to give control or administration to." He did not give control to angels, the world to come. Now, this is interesting, the term "world" in the original language is a very specific Greek term referring to the inhabited earth. So there are two things that are very clear here: 1. there is another inhabited earth or world to come; and secondly, God has not placed angels in control of it.
Now, what is this future inhabited earth? I believe it is the millennial kingdom. This is one of many passages that I believe refutes the amillennialists claim that we are living in the kingdom now. "A" means "no," there's no millennium, we're living in it now, we're living in the kingdom now. Well, if that is so, this text and I would argue many others, beg for relevance. Moreover, we must understand that under the present dispensation of God's economy, this current inhabited earth is ruled by angels, right? Of course it is, by Satan and his minions. Jesus called Satan the ruler of this world, John 12:31. Paul described him as the god of this world who has blinded the minds of the unbelieving, 2 Corinthians 4:4. He is described as the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience, Ephesians 2:2. And in Ephesians 6:12, Satan and his demonic hosts are described as principalities, powers and rulers of the darkness of this age, spiritual hosts of wickedness in heavenly places. And John says in 1 John 1:19, I think that's 4:19, the whole world lies in the power of the evil one. But not so in this world to come, in this inhabited earth to come. I might also add that today even the holy angels have some measure of mediated rulership under God and they are in constant conflict with Satan's demonic horde, but not so in the inhabited world to come.
As we look at Bible prophecy, we understand that at Christ's second coming, he will establish his earthly kingdom and according to Revelation 20:3-4 Satan and his demons will be bound for a thousand years. He goes on to say that he would not deceive the nations any longer until the thousand years were completed. After these things, he must be released for a short time. And as we read those texts, we learn that Satan will then gather all of the unbelievers who were born and lived during the millennium, and he will attempt one final rebellion against the most high God, but he will be decisively crushed and this will be followed by the uncreation of the universe and a recreation of new heavens and the new earth, the great white throne judgment, and the establishment of the eternal state. But again, when Christ establishes his messianic reign, when he returns again, the joint rulership of fallen and holy angels in the current inhabited earth is going to cease, and Christ will reign supreme along with a glorified humanity and, folks, that is our destiny.
Now, with this brief overview, let's look closely at this text under the first heading and that is: man's original destiny by creation. And I might point out that, once again, the author uses the Old Testament to prove his point to the Hebrew doubters. Notice again version 5, "For He did not subject to angels the world to come, concerning which we are speaking." So obviously God has had a plan all along. Verse 6,
6 But one has testified somewhere, saying, "What is man, that You remember him?"
Now let me pause here. The writer is now going to go on and quote Psalm 8 attributed to King David. And by the way, this writer knew exactly who the author was. He quotes the passage perfectly but the human author is unimportant. What he wants to emphasize and focus upon is the divine author, the Holy Spirit. Now, if we were to take time and go back to Psalm 8 that we read in our Scripture reading this morning, we can see how it is often called the song of the astronomer. David beholds the vastness of the skies, he pensively reflects upon the wonder of the stars and the planets and all of this had just a very humbling effect upon him as it does to all of us. And as he marvels at the vastness of the universe, as he looks at the infinite grandeur of outer space, he is overwhelmed with astonishment and he says, "What is man that You remember him? Or the son of man that You are concerned about him?" "Son of man," by the way, is a phrase often used in the Old Testament referring to mankind in general. Verse 7,
7 You have made him for a little while lower than the angels; You have crowned him with glory and honor
Now, we must also understand that Psalm 8 is a commentary on Genesis 1:26 through 28, and there we learn that we have been made in the image of God, Genesis 1:26, God says, "Let Us make him in Our image, after Our likeness." In other words, "Let Us make a creature similar to Us." Likeness, a term in the Hebrew, demuth, it denotes something that is similar but not identical to the thing that it represents or that it is an image of. So image is something that represents something else. So God is saying, "Let Us make man to be like Us, to represent Us," and that would include things like intellectual ability, emotional feelings, moral purity, a spiritual nature, the ability, the responsibility to have dominion over the earth, things like creativity, the ability to make moral and ethical choices, immortality and so forth.
So as we go back to Hebrews, we read at the end of verse 7 that he has appointed man over the works of his hands. He says,
8 You have put all things in subjection under his feet. For in subjecting all things to him, He left nothing that is not subject to him.
That is absolutely an amazing statement. Now, you will recall in the Genesis account of the creation of man, God made it clear that man was created to rule. Let me take you back to Genesis 1:26, "Then God said, 'Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.'" So in the original creation, man was given dominion over the earth and the animals that God had created, and he did this through Adam, who is the head of the human race, a reality that harmonizes with the doctrine of Adamic headship set forth in Romans 5 and 1 Corinthians 15 and so forth. And when God says, "let them rule," you have the plural there, "let them have dominion," that was probably a reference to Adam and his wife Eve. And as you think about it, Adam we know was a type of Christ. A type is an example, it's a pattern, a form. God intended Adam to correspond to or resemble Christ and you may recall in our study of biblical typology, that the antitype is always greater than and superior to the type; there is an increase, a heightening, an escalation. So Christ is far superior to Adam. The antitype of Adam is the last Adam, the Lord Jesus Christ, who also has a wife, a wife that will one day rule with him in his messianic kingdom. Who is that wife? It's his bridal church.
So man was created to exercise dominion over creation and we are commanded to rule as his representatives over all that he has created. Because we have a very unique role, we have a superior separate role from all of the other animals; we are different than anything else in the created order because we are made in the image of God. Man's original dominion was to be directed by God. Man was to be the mediator but what happened? Adam set aside the ultimate sovereignty of his Creator, he violated his role as God's mediator of his dominion, and with his sin he brought down the entire human race.
This leads me to our second point and that is: man's current dominion marred by sin. Notice the end of verse 8,
But now we do not yet see all things subjected to him.
Referring to man. Now, to be sure, as we live out our lives today, we don't see ourselves in a position of having dominion over everything in this earth, instead man himself is under the dominion of sin and Satan and death. I ask you: is our earth and its people moving toward utopia? Do you leave your house unlocked? Do you let your kids play wherever they want to in the park unsupervised? Can you go out in your yard and find an abundance all of the food and pure water that you need to live year-round? And on and on it goes. Hardly, because sin continues to metastasize and it destroys everything it touches. We do not rule the earth, the earth is ruling us today, and what we experience today is a hiatus of chaos and misery, that is, an interruption, an interval between what was once perfect dominion before the fall in the original creation, and what will be perfect dominion when the Messiah ascends the throne in the world to come, in the millennium, when he reigns supreme along with his redeemed and glorified humanity. So again at the end of verse 8, "But now we do not yet see all things subjected to him." And this is not going to happen until the one Mediator between God and man, the man Christ Jesus, returns, judges the nations, renovates the earth, returns it once again to the splendor of Eden.
So with respect to mankind, as we look at these things theologically, biblically, we see that in the fall God's image was distorted but it was not lost. There is nothing that any of us can do to eradicate the image of God in our life. And in redemption, we experience a progressive recovering of that distorted image and when Christ returns, we will experience complete restoration of not only God's image but the dominion for which we were intended. This is our destiny as believers. Said differently: because of the fall, we are incapable of properly fulfilling God's commission for us to be administrators, but in Christ, because of his redemptive work, all that will one day be recovered. You see, he is the supreme representative of mankind and he alone has fulfilled man's original purpose. So, folks, this is why the doctrine of Christ's humanity is every bit as important as the doctrine of his deity.
Now, back to our text. The writer quotes Psalms 8 because it's a commentary on Genesis 1:26 through 28. It explains the importance and the role of humanity in God's creation and thus it defends, yea, it exalts the humanity of Christ. He's essentially saying, "Folks, don't worship angels. They were never intended to rule over us. They're not going to rule in the world to come. They're going to be servants, not rulers. Worship your Messiah, the Lord Jesus Christ." And this speaks so practically to each of us today. If I can put it in a way that I think you will understand: folks, don't succumb to despair regardless of who wins this election, alright? Don't succumb to despair because, you see, our hope is in the man, Christ Jesus. That's the point and that transcends all of this chaos. I listen to the news and I feel like I'm being forced to listen to rap music while I'm undergoing a root canal. I mean, it's just terrible. And what do you do? Well, you turn and say, "Oh Lord, thank you because of who you are and the hope that I have in you!"
Now, not all things are subjected to man yet but notice verse 9,
9 But we do see Him who was made for a little while lower than the angels, namely, Jesus, because of the suffering of death crowned with glory and honor, so that by the grace of God He might taste death for everyone.
And this leads us to our final point and that is: man's future dominion by new creation. Now think about this, think about what that text has said. In order to secure our eternal destiny, Jesus had to become a man; he himself was made for a little while lower than the angels. And at the cross we know that our Lord Jesus dealt a fatal blow to sin's dominion and Satan's rule. The only way the curse upon man and the earth can be removed is for that penalty to be paid in full and that's what Jesus did on the cross of Calvary. But the full blessing of our future dominion awaits the coming of our Redeemer. Do you realize that all of creation awaits the Creator's return and groans for it, agonizes for it? It's also waiting for our perfect administration under God's direction. Paul speaks about this in Romans 8, beginning in verse 19. He says, "For the anxious longing of the creation waits eagerly for the revealing of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it, in hope." Oh, I'm so glad those words are there. In hope, "that the creation itself also will be set free from its slavery to corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groans and suffers the pains of childbirth together until now." In other words, like a woman in labor, it's wanting to see something birthed. Verse 23, "And not only this, but also we ourselves, having the first fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our body."
Folks, don't you just long for the kingdom to come? Oh, I do. And it's coming. He says now the one who was made for a little while lower than the angels, namely Jesus, is going to come again. Where is he now? Well, he sits at the right hand of God the Father. He is preparing to come to restore all things to himself and to bring many sons to glory. That's our hope in Christ. Remember, he is the pioneer of our salvation, the perfect man that made the perfect offering, our great high priest, and he has been taken up into glory where he is now at the right hand of the Father as our forerunner. And because of his presence there, we have a guarantee of our own future destiny in God's purpose, the inheritance that will be ours by his grace. It's interesting, for this reason he says later on in verse 11 that Christ is not ashamed to call us brother. Isn't that great? Verse 17, "Therefore, He had to be made like His brethren in all things, so that He might become a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people." So in other words, he had to be made like us in order for us to be made like him. This is our hope. Being fully God and fully man, he has secured for us our eternal salvation and has entered into the destiny that one day we will share with him, and in the meantime, his perfect humanity really is the pattern for what God is going to do for us.
Well, I couldn't help myself. As I was thinking through this great passage, my mind was flooded with a whole host of promises that God has given us, and we don't have a lot of time, we have a little bit, I want to give you just a little sample of our future dominion. Do you realize that during the millennium we will rule with our King, according to Revelation 3:21? Revelation 20:4, "Then I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment was given to them." Who is he referring to here? Well, the only persons who appear on thrones elsewhere in Revelation are the 24 elders which represent the church of the present age, the body and bride of Christ. Paul says in 2 Timothy 2:12, "we shall reign with him." Old Testament prophets also described the unique role of the saints in the administration of the mediatorial government upon the earth. Daniel says in Daniel 7:13 and also verse 18, "the saints of the Most High shall receive the kingdom and possess the kingdom forever, even forever and ever."
You see, friends, the future kingdom is to be the genuine revival and continuation of the throne of David where the world will be ruled by David's greater son, the Lord Jesus Christ. Finally there will be the fulfillment of that great Christmas passage in Isaiah 9:6 where we read, "And the government will rest on His shoulders." That's not happening yet. It will. "And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace. There will be no end to the increase of His government or of peace, On the throne of David and over his kingdom, To establish it and to uphold it with justice and righteousness From then on and forevermore. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will accomplish this." Wouldn't that be something? No more corrupt, arrogant, greedy, immoral politicians. Zechariah writes in chapter 14, verse 9, "in that day the LORD shall be King over all the earth." Total dictatorship. I love it. Daniel 7:14, "And to Him was given dominion, Glory and a kingdom, That all the peoples, nations and men of every language Might serve Him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion Which will not pass away; And His kingdom is one Which will not be destroyed."
The Old Testament also describes amazing blessings that will come upon the earth during the kingdom age. We know that the Messiah's reign upon the earth will radically alter every aspect of the world, every aspect of life as we know it. It is described in Isaiah as a new earth and God is going to even anticipate and provide for every human need, Isaiah 65:24. And ultimately working through the chosen nation of Israel, according to Isaiah 27:6, God will fill the face of the world with fruit. And according to Isaiah 33:6, there will be an abundance of salvation. Literally in the original language, salvations. An abundance of salvations. So in other words, every legitimate need, every aspect of human life and experience will enjoy the effect of his regal saving activity.
He's going to transform the world spiritually when he returns according to the word of God. From the very beginning of the King's arrival, there will be an outpouring of, according to Zechariah 12:10, the Spirit of grace. In other words, the miracle of regeneration. And it's going to begin when Israel is regathered back into her own land as we are beginning to see the start of that now according to Ezekiel 36, along with the new birth whereby the Holy Spirit will be poured out upon Israel and also upon all flesh, according to the prophet Joel. His reign is going to transform the world morally, socially and politically. During the messianic age, the Lord will be King over all and the crooked shall be made straight, Isaiah 40:4. Great text.
And he's going to reign upon Mount Zion from Jerusalem which will be the capital of the world. It is called the city of truth, Zechariah 8:3. And there the King will bring forth justice in truth, Isaiah 42:3. And Isaiah also says in chapter 2, beginning in verse 2, "Now it will come about that In the last days The mountain of the house of the LORD Will be established as the chief of the mountains, And will be raised above the hills; And all the nations will stream to it." There is evidence that Jerusalem will be the highest point on all of the earth. "And many peoples will come and say, 'Come, let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, To the house of the God of Jacob; That He may teach us concerning His ways And that we may walk in His paths.' For the law will go forth from Zion And the word of the LORD from Jerusalem."
Do you realize that during the millennium when we reign with him, they will be no militaries? Hosea 2:18, "I will abolish the bow, the sword and war from the land, And will make them lie down in safety." Micah 4, beginning in verse 3, "And He will judge between many peoples And render decisions for mighty, distant nations. Then they will hammer their swords into plowshares And their spears into pruning hooks; Nation will not lift up sword against nation, And never again will they train for war. Each of them will sit under his vine And under his fig tree, With no one to make them afraid, For the mouth of the LORD of hosts has spoken."
The kingdom will have effects on society and the environment. All of that will be reclaimed. No more pollution. No more toxic waste, environmental disasters. No more government housing projects. No more Obamacare. None of that stuff. Isaiah 61:4, for example says, "Then they will rebuild the ancient ruins, They will raise up the former devastations; And they will repair the ruined cities, The desolations of many generations."
During the kingdom age, all of the social injustices will be reversed, even the current mistreatment of the elderly and the unborn and the diseased and the disabled, the oppressed, the poor. All of that is going to cease. Psalm 72:13, "He will have compassion on the poor and needy, And the lives of the needy he will save. He will rescue their life from oppression and violence, And their blood will be precious in his sight." Imagine such a day. Zechariah describes it in chapter 8, beginning in verse 4, "Thus says the LORD of hosts, 'Old men and old women will again sit in the streets of Jerusalem, each man with his staff in his hand because of age. And the streets of the city will be filled with boys and girls playing in its streets.'"
And one day the nations of the world will recognize and rejoice at the supremacy of Israel over all of the nations because by that time, they will have been redeemed. Zechariah 8:23, "In those days it shall come to pass that 10 men shall take hold out of all languages of the nations, even shall take hold of the skirt of him that is a Jew saying, 'We will go with you for we have heard that God is with you.'"
The coming kingdom age will radically alter the physical world. The Old Testament prophets indicate enormous changes in the geologic structure of the earth as well as the climate. In fact, during the final judgments of the day of the Lord, there will be cataclysmic changes. Isaiah 2:19, "Men will go into caves of the rocks And into holes of the ground Before the terror of the LORD And the splendor of His majesty, When He arises to make the earth tremble." Today most of the earth's surface is not suite for cultivation but not so during the kingdom. It is promised that rainfall will produce magnificent crops in Joel 2. Rain is going to come at proper times in Ezekiel 34. There is also going to be profuse streams of water in new and unlikely places like Isaiah describes in Isaiah 30:25, "There shall be upon every mountain, high mountain and upon every high hill rivers and streams of waters." Isaiah 35:6, "In the wilderness shall waters break out and streams in the desert and the parched ground shall become a pool, in the thirsty land springs of water." Isaiah 41:18, "I will open rivers in high places and fountains in the midst of the valleys." The Lord will also cause streams to flow apart from even the normal hydrological cycle such as pictured in the stream described in Ezekiel 47:1-12. And in Zechariah 14:8, the prophet says this, "And in that day living waters will flow out of Jerusalem, half of them toward the eastern sea and the other half toward the western sea; it will be in summer as well as in winter." Isaiah 35:1, "The wilderness and the dry land shall be glad and the desert shall rejoice and blossom as the rose. It shall blossom abundantly."
Do you realize also the curse on the animal world is all going to be lifted? Hosea 2:18, "in that day will I make a covenant for them with the beasts of the field, and with the fowls of heaven, and with the creeping things of the ground: and I will make them to lie down safely." Animals will revert back to their original existence in Eden and become herbivores once again. God will lift that terror that they have of man stated in Genesis 9:2 when Noah departed from the ark. Isaiah 11:6, when the wolf will dwell with the lamb. This will happen during the kingdom. "The leopard shall lie down with the young goat, the calf and the young lion, and the fatling together and a little child shall lead them. The cow and the bear shall graze, their young ones shall lie down together, and the lion shall eat straw like the ox. The nursing child shall play by the cobra's hole and the weaned child shall put his hand in the viper's den."
Well, we're out of time but as we read in Scripture, all physical infirmities and deformities are going to be remedied, disease will be supernaturally healed and prevented, long life will prevail and so forth.
Oh, child of God, here's the point with all of this and your head is probably ready to explode with all of this Scripture, but I want to overwhelm you a bit with your dominion destiny. This is our hope in Christ. This is the destiny of that pale blue dot, and all of us little dots that live on this pale blue dot. These are the promises that await the redeemed because Christ was made to be like us, that we may be made like him. This was the message of the writer of the Hebrews. Yes, today we're a little lower than the angels, but a day is coming when we're going to be conformed into the likeness of the Lord Jesus Christ and reign with him in his glorious kingdom upon earth which will be the consummating bridge between human history and his eternal kingdom and the eternal state in heaven.
Now the great question for you is this: do you belong to Christ? Do you take his word seriously, what he has said about the Gospel? Or are you just drifting away imperceptively in the current of the world in your own sin towards the destruction of eternal hell? And for those of us who know and love Christ, do you take the truth of the word of God seriously? Do you really see yourself in light of how God sees us as his beloved child with this kind of destiny because of what Christ has done? Do you ever even think about these things? Does your life reflect the glorious destiny that is yours because of what Christ has done on your behalf or do you merely live for yourself? You just live for the here and now? How would those who know you best answer these questions? These are the things that you must ponder.
Oh, what a glorious future that awaits us, right? So, folks, let's learn to live in light of it and love the Lord our God with all our heart, mind, soul and strength, love our neighbor as ourselves. We need to be nourished and grow by his word. We need to present our body a living and holy sacrifice that's acceptable to him. And we need to celebrate his transforming and saving grace every day and live in such a way that other people look at us and say, "What on earth are you so excited about?" Oh, I'm so glad you asked. And then you can tell them your destiny because of Christ. Amen?
Let's pray together.
Father, thank you for these eternal truths. May they bear much fruit in our heart to the praise of your glory that in all things Christ might have preeminence. I ask in Jesus' name and for his sake. Amen.