How can we rule and reign if we cannot do?
2 Timothy 2:12 If we suffer, we shall also reign with him: if we deny him, he also will deny us:
Much of what we know of Heaven is less from the Bible and more from popular media. The Western media holds an image of people strumming a harp and sitting on a cloud, and there are adages of how boring it will be sitting around like that.
I got the idea for this sermon while I was in India. You see, there is this issue with the castes there. No one is doing anything outside of their caste. Being from the USA, I changed a flat tire without a second thought. The Indians could not. The skills we accumulate matter on this earth, but they also might matter in Heaven.
The jumping off point for this idea is not to make it anti-Indian, but to consider our activities both on earth and in heaven, from all tribes, nations and peoples.
Value and worth
I know that some people put great worth in scholarly activities, while others put more worth in mechanical aptitude. Others around the world focus on being highly physically active.
Colossians 3:23 Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, Colossians 3:24 knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ.
If God created us and we assume it is for a purpose, then we must also assume that our individual pursuits matter. We are not automatons, we are not robots. We are unique individuals pursuing the will of God.
Most of us might think that a politician is more important than the chicken farmer, but if both are doing God’s will, then both get their reward. If I am God’s person, what I do matters inasmuch as God told me to do it, but we must be careful of the values we assign between spiritual and fleshly things.
Manual labor has a place. Scholarly labor has a place. We are not better because we value one more highly. If whatever we do is for the Lord, then certainly it will be part of our rule and reign with him.
Where will we do it?
Jehovah’s Witnesses and some other cults tend to say that Heaven is full because of Revelation 7:4. The verse itself says, “…144,000 were sealed of all of the tribes of Israel.” The 144,000 are also mentioned in Revelation 14. This is not a sermon about that specifically, but you can have one of two views about this. Either the phrase refers to only 144,000 being in Heaven or it doesn’t.
Revelation 7:9 After these things I looked, and here was an enormous crowd that no one could count, made up of persons from every nation, tribe, people, and language, standing before the throne and before the Lamb dressed in long white robes, and with palm branches in their hands.
My view is that the 144,000 in Revelation 7 is specific to the tribes of Israel. Revelation 14 gives further information about them. Regardless of the view, all Christians believe in an afterlife, and so we will all have access to eternity. The great multitude also mentioned are also around the throne which suggests they are in Heaven.
Regardless of my opinion on this aspect, if I make it then it is because I overcame by the blood of the Lamb and no other reasons. Therefore, whether I’m in Heaven or on the New Earth, I am sure there will be a task set aside for me to do to go with the rule and reign of Jesus.
Staying on track
Now we can move forward and begin on the subject of what we will be doing.
Matthew 25:23 His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.’
Hopefully we all long to hear this phrase said of us, now and in the future. The Christian life should be one of serving at the “joy of your master.”
I have been given tasks to do while working at jobs and thought “This is a waste of my time.” “My skill-sets, my abilities are not being used in this position.” Have you ever been there?
Maybe God is using that to teach you new skill-sets and new abilities.
Sometimes God needs to cure us of our pride. Sometimes it is a matter of time and circumstance. The work has to be done. I heard a preacher say once, that “the good CEO of a company is not going to leave trash on the floor. He will see it, he will do something about it.”
But I am not a CEO so it does not matter. That is a lousy attitude, isn’t it? How can you ever achieve better if you don’t see the need and make a difference?
You may think you are accomplishing nothing, and so nothing you are doing is noticed, and therefore nothing you are doing has value.
The things you are doing now may take you to greater places.
Joseph started in the bottom of a well. God guided his life. Where you are now does not have to be your final destination.
Attitude matters. Having good morals matters. Not giving up matters.
God cares about you. God has plans for your future, both in this world and the next. I cannot tell you what you will be doing, but if you ever read the words of Jesus, he always started with the natural to describe supernatural things.
If the natural can be used to explain the supernatural then I have a feeling, an intuition, that the natural we do here will be used in some manner in Heaven, but what that is cannot be described.
He went to prepare a place for us. We must prepare ourselves for him so that we are able to rule and reign with him.