Are We Saying to All, “Our Lord Reigns!”
Psalm 96 is a song of praise to God. In verse 10, the psalmist clearly speaks to the people to “Say among the nations, “The Lord reigns; The world also is firmly established, It shall not be moved;”” This statement was true when it was spoken during the times of King David, and its fulfillment certainly came to pass at the resurrection of Christ Jesus when Jesus was declared King and Lord over all. In fact, God the Father spoke to His resurrected son and said, as it is written, “Sit at my right hand until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet” in Hebrews 1:13, and in 1 Corinthians 15:25-26, “For He must reign till He has put all enemies under His feet. The last enemy that will be destroyed is death.” The Church has for 2000 years believed that Jesus’ Thousand Year Reign (the number 1000 is symbolic) began at His resurrection and will continue until the world is Christianized and Christ’s enemies are subdued. This symbolic thousand years could stretch for thousands of years into the future until the mission is DONE. Preaching in those first centuries were greatly unlike the dismal doomsday and defeatist preaching and teaching of the past 180 years of the world getting worse, the Church suffering defeat until she’s “raptured” out of a tribulation, the devil in control, and the Kingdom of God and the Gospel not having the power to transform both hearts and the world. Note that I said “the world,” not just salvation of souls, for God so loved the whole world and created it and wants its fallen state to be redeemed, too (Romans 8:19). Let me share with you, courtesy of David Chilton’s Paradise Restored, the immortal words of the fourth century Church Father Athanasius, who wrote in his On the Incarnation (paragraph 55) about 1630 years ago: “When the sun has come, darkness prevails no longer; any of it that may be left anywhere is driven away. So also, now that the Divine epiphany of the Word of God has taken place, the darkness of idols prevails no more, and all parts of the world in every direction are enlightened by His teaching.” The early Christians told the nations as they made disciples that Jesus Christ is King and Lord. And as the Sovereign of the Universe, He now commands men everywhere to repent and to believe the Good News of God’s salvation through faith in His name. The only thing to do as a result of that message is to, by the Spirit of God, repent, bow the knee in unconditional surrender to Christ, learn of His ways, and begin perfecting fruit in the fear of God. The Church, the New Jerusalem, is here as the Mountain of the Lord’s House, to provide grace that men may improve upon their baptism and perfect holiness in the fear of God. May the Lord grant grace and may the world believe and obey and bear the fruits of the powerful Kingdom of God.