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it of Christ's kingdom on earth, all is plain and easy of comprehension. Again, it is likened unto a net which was cast into the sea, and gathered fishes of every kind, both good and bad. Matt. 13: 47, 48. But who believes that both good and bad men, as such, are to be gathered into God's kingdom in another world? It is also likened to a householder, who went to hire laborers in his vineyard, Matt. 20: 1; to a king which made a marriage for his son, Matt. 22: 2, 3, and to ten virgins, five of whom were wise and five foolish, Matt. 25: 1. But, certainly, we are not to suppose that anything like vineyards, or laborers in vineyards, will exist in the immortal world! Nor that weddings will take place there, nor that one-half of the inhabitants of heaven will be wise, and the other half fools!
14. It is said of Christ, that he should gather out of his kingdom all things that offended, and those that did iniquity, Matt. 13: 41. But who believes that offences will be committed, or that iniquity will be practised in the spiritual kingdom on high?
15. Christ assured his disciples that some of them would live to see the kingdom of God come with power: Mark 9: 1; Luke 21: 31. We here remark that the kingdom of God commenced when John and Christ commenced their ministry; but it existed only in its incipient stages. It was not fully and permanently established in the world until the power of the holy people was scattered, and the city and temple of Jerusalem was destroyed. Like the grain of mustard seed, it was to spring forth and grow until it should extend itself so as to afford protection and shelter to all who became its subjects. And it is to continue to increase and extend, until, like the leaven which a woman hid in three measures of meal, the whole mass of mankind are to be leavened by its influence.
16. This kingdom is never defined, by the inspired writers, to signify the kingdom of immortal glory. It will not be disputed that Jesus Christ and Paul understood all about this kingdom. Let us see, then, how they define it. In Luke 17: 20, 21, we read as follows," And when he [Christ] was demanded of the Pharisees when the kingdom of God should come, he answered them and said, The kingdom of God cometh" [here we see it was something which was coming to the people, not something which they were going to]. "The kingdom of God cometh not with observation" [that is, it cannot be seen, it is spiritual]; neither shall they say,
Lo here, or Lo there" [that is, it is not located in any particular place], "for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you." In Romans 14: 17, Paul says, "For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost." Here the apostle tells us what it is not, and also what it is. It is not anything which can be ate or drank; but it is righteousness, peace and joy. It matters not, then, whether it is above or below, east, west, north or south; in this world, or another; in time, or in eternity; wherever you find righteousness, peace and joy, there is the kingdom of God.
17. This kingdom cannot be inherited nor enjoyed by the unrighteous, nor by fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners. 1 Cor. 6: 9, 10. None of these characters, as such, can possibly enjoy this kingdom; for they are destitute of righteousness, and this kingdom is a kingdom of righteousness. They are destitute of peace, and this kingdom is a kingdom of peace. They are destitute of joy, and this kingdom is a kingdom of joy. But thousands of these characters have been cleansed from their filthiness, and have entered into the enjoyment of this kingdom. In verse 11, the apostle says, And such were some of you: but ye are washed, ye are sanctified," &c.
18. No man can enjoy this kingdom until he is made acquainted with, and believes understandingly, the truths of the Gospel. Jesus says, John 3: 3, "Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God." The phrase, "born again," was one in common use, among the Jews, to signify conversion from error to truth. It was used in the same sense by our Lord. Unless, therefore, those who are in error are converted from their errors, both of belief and practice, they cannot enter into the enjoyment of this kingdom, for it is a kingdom of truth.
19. This kingdom, or reign of Christ, is finally to end. But not until Christ has brought all intelligent creatures to bow the knee to him, and to confess him Lord. Not until he has subdued and recon. ciled all things to God. Eph. 1: 9, 10; Phil. 2: 9-11; Col 1: 19, 20. And in 1 Cor. 15: 24, Paul says, "Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father." If the reader will consult the whole of the fifteenth
chapter of 1st Corinthians, he will see that this delivering up of the kingdom is not to take place until after the resurrection of all the dead from corruption, weakness and dishonor, to incorruption, power and glory, and the change of all the living from mortal to immortality. Death is to be annihilated and swallowed up in victory; and his sting, which is sin, is to be destroyed. Christ himself is to become subject to God, and God is to become all in all.
THE SCRIPTURE USAGE OF THE
he passages in the BIBLE wherein the phrase ETERNAL LIFE occurs
Matt. 19: 16. And behold, one came and said unto him, Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life?
Mark 10: 17. And, when he was gone forth into the way, there came one running, and kneeled to him, and asked him, Good Master, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life?
Luke 10: 25. And, behold, a certain lawyer stood up, and tempted him, saying, Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life? Luke 18: 18. And a certain ruler asked him, saying, Good Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?
Matt. 25: 46. And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal. Mark 10: 30. But he [that hath left father, mother, wife, children, &c.] shall receive an hundred-fold now in this time, houses, and brethren, and sisters, and mothers, and children, and lands, with persecutions; and in the world to come, eternal life.
John 3: 15. That whosoever believeth in him [the Son of Man], should not perish, but have eternal life.
John 4: 36. And he that reapeth receiveth wages, and gathereth fruit unto eternal life; that both he that soweth and he that reapeth may reioice together.
John 5: 39. Search the Scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life and they are they which testify of me.
John 6: 54. Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day.
Verse 68. Then Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life.
John 10: 28. And I give unto them [Christ's sheep] eternal life, and they shall never perish, neither shall any pluck them out of my hand.
John 12: 25. He that loveth his life shall lose it; and he that hateth his life in this world, shall keep it unto life eternal.
John 17: 2, 3. As thou hast given him [Christ] power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him. And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.
Acts 13: 48. And when the Gentiles heard this, they were glad, and glorified the word of the Lord and as many as were ordained to eternal life, believed.
Rom. 2: 7. To them who, by patient continuance in well-doing, seek for glory, and honor, and immortality; eternal life.
Rom 5: 21. That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life, by Jesus Christ our Lord.
Rom. 6: 23. For the wages of sin is death: but the gift of God is eternal life, through Jesus Christ our Lord.
1 Tim. 6: 12. Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses.
Titus 1 2. In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began.
Titus 3: 7. That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.
1 John 1: 2.
For the life was manifested, and we have seen it, and bear witness, and show unto you that eternal life which was with the Father,
and was manifested unto us.
1 John 2: 25. eternal life.
1 John 3: 15. Whosoever hateth his brother, is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him.
And this is the promise that he hath promised us, even
1 John 5: 11. And this is the record that God hath given to us eternal life; and this life is in his Son.
Verse 13. These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal iife, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.
Verse 20. And we know that the Son of God is come, and hath given us an understanding, that we may know him that is true; and we are in him that is true, even in his Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God, and eternal life.
Jude 1: 21. Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.
All the passages in the BIBLE in which the phrase EVERLASTING LIFE
Dan. 12: 2. And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt.
Matt. 19: 29. And every one that hath forsaken. houses, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my name's sake, shall receive an hundred-fold, and shall inherit everlasting life.