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GLORY IN GOD’S COMING KINGDOM!

by Timothy Lin, Ph.D.,
Former Pastor, Professor and Seminary President.
Introduction by Eugene Merrill, Ph.D.,
Distinguished Professor of Old Testament,
Dallas Theological Seminary.

A sermon preached by Dr. R. L. Hymers, Jr., Pastor Emeritus
at the Baptist Tabernacle of Los Angeles
Lord’s Day Afternoon, July 5, 2020


Hymn Sung Before the Sermon: “Am I a Soldier of the Cross?” (by Dr. Isaac Watts, 1674-1748).

Chorus Sung During the Sermon: “O That Will Be Glory” (by Charles H. Gabriel, 1856-1932).

Please turn in the Bible to Genesis 1:26 (p. 5 Scofield). Stand as I read it.

“And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth” (Genesis 1:26).

You may be seated.

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Dr. Timothy Lin said, “This verse tells us how God made man and why God made man – to rule over all that [God] created…to show that man was made to rule over everything which God had made (see Hebrews 2:7-8).”

That man was made to rule over everything which God had made concerns mainly the future Kingdom that will be realized when [Christ] comes again with power and great glory. But if the Kingdom is future, then why did Jesus say, “The Kingdom of God is in your midst” (Luke 17:21)?

This reveals the two time periods of the Kingdom. When Jesus said, “The Kingdom of Heaven is in your midst” (Luke 17:21) He spoke of the Kingdom of preparation, which presently exists to give all Christians the opportunity to be trained to be personnel of the Kingdom which Christ went away to prepare for us (John 14:3). In other words, God’s Kingdom has a preparation time and a realization time. The Kingdom of God has two time periods: the present Kingdom is for our preparation, and the future Kingdom will be for our inheritance when Christ returns! Jesus revealed that the coming eternal Kingdom is not now of this world (John 18:33-36), and the Church has been praying for about 2,000 years for the eternal Kingdom to come. Turn to Matthew 6:10 (p. 1002).

“Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven” (Matthew 6:10).

Surely the time of that glorious event is drawing ever closer.

TWO KINGDOMS PRESENTLY EXIST SIDE BY SIDE:
GOD’S AND SATAN’S

Turn to Isaiah 14:12 (p. 726) and stand while I read it. Describing the King of Babylon Isaiah said,

“How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations! For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High. Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit” (Isaiah 14:12-15).

You may be seated. Clearly Isaiah is comparing the proud Babylonian monarch to the fall of Satan (Luke 10:18; Revelation 9:1, 11; 12:4).

Satan’s name means “adversary” (primarily to God, and secondarily to the church). Scripture warns us that we should not be ignorant of Satan’s schemes, and should take care lest he take advantage of us (II Corinthians 2:11). Being ignorant of this Bible truth, Kreighton ensnared weak and gullible people with the heresy of Antinomianism – you can do whatever you feel if you come with me! Dr. Cagan and I know this by studying Kreighton’s sermons. He portrays Dr. Hymers and Dr. Cagan as terrible men, whom he has come to liberate them from! This is, of course, Satanic!

Satan does not work alone. He has other morally fallen angels who work with him. Ephesians 6:12 reveals that Satan has many demons under his leadership. Turn to Ephesians 6:12 (p. 1255). Stand as I read it.

“For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places” (Ephesians 6:12)

You may be seated.

Satan’s agents also affect religion. Satan especially likes to have in the pulpit men disguised as a “servant of righteousness” (II Corinthians 11:15). Just because a “pastor” has a degree in religion does not mean that he has been “born again” or that he is a servant of Jesus Christ. Dr. A. W. Tozer said,

“A man need not be godly to learn theology. Indeed I wonder whether there is anything to be taught in any seminary on earth that could not be learned by a [pirate] or a swindler as well as by a conservative Christian” (“That Incredible Christian,” p. 56).

THE PRESENT KINGDOM IN PREPARATION

In order to establish a strong kingdom, a time of preparation is needed. God took several years to prepare and establish David’s kingdom. God’s own Kingdom is no different. When God created man, He desired for us to rule over everything He had created. But our first parents were deceived by Satan and lost their reigning authority. Yet God was not defeated, and continued to prepare us to reign over His coming Kingdom, which Jesus said was “prepared for you from the foundation of the world” (Matthew 25:34). We have as our examples Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, who were first trained and then chosen by God to be personnel of His Kingdom. We also have hope that one day we will recline at the table in the Kingdom of God with them (see Matthew 8:11).

To establish a kingdom on earth requires land, authority and people. Which of these three is left for the church to prepare? It is the people, the Kingdom personnel, the overcomers who are qualified to reign with Christ in His coming Kingdom. As the Scriptures say, “He who overcomes, I will grant to sit down with me in my throne” (Revelation 3:21).

In these last days church members do not have a clear concept of the church or the Kingdom. God’s goal for the church is the task of training overcomers [Kingdom personnel]. This is forgotten or totally unknown. No wonder the vast majority of churches today are like Israel of old – wandering around in circles in the wilderness, unable to enter the promised land of Canaan. But the church should be God’s school, the training center for preparing overcomers [the Kingdom personnel]. If the churches had understood this through the years, church members would already be trained and tested, and the Kingdom of Inheritance would have arrived long ago.

WHY THE KINGDOM IS IMPORTANT

One of the main reasons churches do not grow is because the members lack hope for future glorification. Because they have no hope, many church members’ love for the Lord Jesus is shallow and their service to Him is unenthusiastic. Hope, the expectation of a bright future, encourages people to press on. It also enables them to strive toward their goal with endurance and joy. Because of hope for future glory.

God intends that our desire to inherit the Kingdom will motivate us to live obedient, sacrificial lives now, in order to possess the future reality! Scripture says, “He who overcomes, I will grant to sit down with me on my throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne” (Revelation 3:21).

[This emphasis of Dr. Lin’s caused me to become an overcomer for the first ten years in his church. My plan was to suffer through 16-hour days, seven days a week, and then become a missionary to the Chinese from my home church. But later I found out that they would never send me as their missionary because I was not Chinese. This left me with no immediate goal, and so I floundered for years, until now I am finally able to fulfill my calling to be a missionary to the Chinese and to the “Third World” through our website.]

Dr. Lin’s teaching was good for the many Chinese pastors he produced. And it taught me perseverance, though not as their missionary. Some people think I learned to persevere from Churchill. But that is only partly true. The full source of my “never give up” attitude was originally from Dr. Lin’s teachings on being an overcomer! I never give up because I was taught to be an overcomer by my beloved pastor, Dr. Timothy Lin. Only now do I see this as God’s mercy in calling me to be a missionary!

An emphasis on the significance of Christ’s eternal Kingdom is needed to enlighten believers to the tremendous importance for us to live our daily lives to the glory of God – not to obtain salvation, but to obtain a reigning place in Christ’s coming Kingdom, and our future in it as overcomers.

THE KINGDOM IS GOD’S PURPOSE FOR CREATING MAN

After God created the earth with all its creatures, Scripture tells us that God said, “Let us make man in our image, according to our likeness, and let them rule” (Genesis 1:26). That verse teaches us two things: first, how God created man, and second, why He created man. When God created everything else, “He commanded and they were created” (Psalm 148:5).

God’s creation of man, however, was much more complex. “Let us make man” refers to the Trinity. Martin Luther said that “us” refers to the Trinity. The Bible teaches that man is created in the image and likeness of One Person in the Trinity. Thus, Adam and Eve were made according to [Christ’s] outward revealed form. Adam and Eve were created quite handsome because the Bible says, “God saw that it was good.” The Hebrew word for “good” means “beautiful” as describing Rebekah (Genesis 24:16) and the baby Moses (Exodus 2:2).

Today mankind and the earth have become ugly in appearance and revolting in behaviour because they are damaged goods, having been corrupted by sin. Man’s weak and sin-scarred body will be restored when “the Lord Jesus Christ…shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body” (Philippians 3:20-21; p. 1260).

That is good news for me! In the coming Kingdom I will be like Jesus – I will be about 33 years old, with a strong body, a good head of dark brown hair, and a full set of my own teeth. I will be a strong young man like Jesus. The Bible says, “When he shall appear, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is” (I John 3:2; p. 1323).

Furthermore, I will not be in the church militant anymore. I will be in the church triumphant in the Kingdom of God! No more need to fight, praise His name! And Christ promised us overcomers a great promise, in Revelation 3:11-13 (p. 1334). Stand as I read it (p. 1334).

“Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown. Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God: and I will write upon him my new name. He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches” (Revelation 3:11-13).

Now turn to Revelation 5:9-10 (p. 1335),

“And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation; And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth” (Revelation 5:9-10).

“We shall reign on the earth” (Revelation 5:10). That is the Kingdom we shall rule over – “on the earth.” Here is another promise in Revelation 2:26 (p. 1333). Look at it.

“And he that overcometh, and keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations: And he shall rule them with a rod of iron; as the vessels of a potter shall they be broken to shivers: even as I received of my Father. And I will give him the morning star. He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches” (Revelation 2:26-29).

All overcomers will be there in the coming Kingdom of Christ! Now turn to Revelation 20:6 (p. 1350).

“Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection [the rapture]: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years” (Revelation 20:6).

Overcomers shall reign with Christ in God’s Kingdom for 1,000 years!

Turn to II Timothy 4:7-8 (p. 1281). The Apostle Paul said,

“I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing” (II Timothy 4:7-8).

One more – I Corinthians 15:51-58 (p. 1227).

“Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord” (I Corinthians 15:51-58).

Amen! You may be seated!

I will close with a quotation from Dr. A. W. Tozer, which was chosen by Dr. Lin to appear on the front page of his book, “The Kingdom of God.” Dr. Tozer said,

“God wants to prepare you in your daily Christian life so you will be ready indeed [to reign with Christ in His coming Kingdom]. Many of us have been [saved] for a long time. Remember that God has been trying to do something special within our beings day after day, year after year. Why? Because [God’s] purpose is to bring many sons – and daughters too – unto glory! (Dr. A. W. Tozer, from his sermon “Bringing Us to Glory”).

In closing, please turn to Acts 14:22 (p. 1169). This is what Paul and Barnabas taught the new Christians at Derbe, Lystra and Iconium:

“Confirming the souls of the disciples, and exhorting them to continue in the faith, and that we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God” (Acts 14:22).

The Greek word translated “tribulation” is “thlipsis” – it means “pressure.” So we may say, “We must through much [pressure] enter into the Kingdom of God.”

Dr. Tozer said, “To accept Christ is to…accept His friends as our friends, His enemies as our enemies, His rejection as our rejection, His Cross as our Cross, His future as our future…To accept Christ is to reject whatever is contrary to Him.” Doing this requires that you must go through much pressure to enter into the Kingdom of God! Those who refuse to go through “pressure” cannot enter the Kingdom of God! Only by going through pressure will you be able to sing our chorus.

Stand and sing our chorus,

O that will be glory for me,
Glory for me, glory for me.
When by His grace I shall look on His face,
That will be glory, be glory for me.
(“O That Will Be Glory” by Charles H. Gabriel, 1856-1932).

Sing it again!

O that will be glory for me,
Glory for me, glory for me.
When by His grace I shall look on His face,
That will be glory, be glory for me.

Amen!

This message was taken from Timothy Lin, Ph.D., The Kingdom of God, Biblical Studies Ministries International, Inc., www.bsmi.org, 820 Bennett Court, Carmel, IN 46032, copyright 1998, revised edition, October 2002.

Other books by Dr. Lin:
Genesis – A Biblical Theology,
The Holy Spirit,
The Secret of Church Growth.