In the previous two ministudies we learned that we were born to rule. We are destined, if we overcome and grow in God's character, to rule this earth with Christ during the Millennium and afterward to rule the rest of the universe for eternity!
But some doubt that they could ever rule over people, while others have no desire to rule at all. Perhaps you have thought: I don't want to rule in the world tomorrow. I just want to serve God.
Jesus Christ was God incarnate — God made flesh (John 1:1-2, 14). Before Jesus became a human being He was the Creator of the universe and of mankind (Eph. 3:9). At His return to earth He will occupy the greatest position of rulership under God the Father in God's coming Kingdom (Rev. 19:16).
Yet while Jesus was on earth, He was a servant to His fellowmen. He came to serve, not to be served (Luke 22:27, Matt. 20:27-28). And even now, exalted again at the right hand of the Father, Jesus continues to serve us as our High Priest and Advocate (Heb. 4:15-16) and as Head of His Church (Col. 1:18).
Let's understand exactly how and why service to God actually entails rulership.
1. How can a Spirit-begotten Christian express service to God? Matt. 25:31-40.
We serve God when we serve our fellowman. Christ said, "Inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me" (verse 40).
This wretched world is filled with needy, sick and lonely people who desperately need help. Hundreds of millions in today's world would benefit from even basic instruction in how to improve the quality of their physical lives, including their basic nutrition and everyday hygiene. Above all, they need to know the truth of God — God's purpose and plan for mankind. This whole world desperately needs to understand God's Word.
A deeply converted Christian will want to help change this world and teach others God's wonderful way of life. This is, in fact, what the return of Christ and the establishment of His ruling government on earth are all about. All Spirit-begotten Christians are now in training for significant roles in helping to teach the world God's way and to administer the government of God for the good of all mankind.
2. What does the Bible say resurrected saints will be doing in the Kingdom of God during the Millennium? Rev. 3:21, 2:26, 5:10, 20:4-6.
We read of "thrones," "judgment" and "reigning." These scriptures clearly tell us that in the world tomorrow Christians will receive positions of rulership — opportunities to do great good in serving this world. All who are Spirit-begotten and overcoming now will become kings and priests (teachers), various administrators and administrative assistants in the Kingdom of God.
And so the Christian life today is one of overcoming, growing, preparing and developing spiritually for great service through rulership in tomorrow's world.
3. In the course of living their physical lives, are God's children to be learning to rule and judge? I Cor. 6:1-3.
Born-again Christians will be able to carry great responsibility with Jesus Christ in the Kingdom of God. That is because they will have learned a great deal about rightly applying the laws of God to many different situations during their mortal lives.
4. By what great principle can a person of ordinary ability and humble opportunity in this life qualify to take on far greater responsibility in the Kingdom of God? Luke 16:10. (Notice also verses 11-12.) What will Christ say to those who have been faithful over the little that He entrusted to their care? Matt. 25:21. (Read verses 14 through 30.)
We learn to rule by being faithful — conscientious — in whatever we do, living the principles and laws we learn from God's Word. Even the person who considers himself or herself as having only little ability and natural talent can qualify to rule — serve —in God's Kingdom.
5. Notice further the parable of the talents in Matthew 25. In what way did the rich man (Christ) divide up his goods? Verse 15.
Notice that the quantities were not equal. He gave responsibilities according to each servant's natural ability. (The word talent in the King James Version refers to a measure of weight having a certain value.) Similarly, not everyone has been given the same ability. God knows some have more education, greater innate aptitudes, more personality or more physical strength than others.
But the important lesson Christ intends to teach us by this parable is that God expects us to increase our talents and abilities, no matter how small we may think they are. God wants His Spirit-begotten children to grow, both in spiritual character and their inherent abilities. He knows that in order to fulfill our purpose for being called into His ruling Family, we need to be using and developing our aptitudes now.
We learn to rule and successfully carry responsibility for the good of ourselves and others in the world tomorrow by learning to better manage the affairs, responsibilities and powers in our control today, no matter how small they may be.
Unfortunately, all too often we overlook or fail to appreciate the opportunities to grow and develop right on the job, at school or in the home — in whatever circumstance we may find ourselves.
6. Does this parable reveal that each servant who is faithful "over a few things" — that is, over his or her limited talents and opportunities of this life — will be rewarded with "many things"? Verses 20-23. Isn't it clearly rulership that Christ promised? Verses 21, 23.
Notice how fair God is. In verses 21 and 23, even though each person was originally given responsibility based on his natural abilities, both of the first two servants grew 100 percent. Christ therefore puts both essentially on an equal level in rewarding them. The Bible here reveals the principle that God will judge and reward us according to how well we do with what we have to do with.
7. To whom has God promised rulership over the reunited nation of Israel? Ezek. 37:21-22, 24. What positions of rulership did Jesus promise to give each of His 12 apostles under David? Matt. 19:27-28. Has God alluded to others who will be in His Kingdom? Heb. 11:4-40.
Other overcomers have gone before us and are to be in God's Kingdom. Having lived and died in the faith, they have already qualified and will be rewarded with responsibilities in God's ruling Family, though God has not specifically revealed most of their positions to us in the Bible. But every individual will have a significant and rewarding job to do, for an entirely new civilization in harmony with God's law must be built on earth during the Millennium.
8. But will there really be enough opportunities to serve for all who will have overcome? John 14:1-3.
The phrase "My Father's house" refers to the same house spoken of by Jesus when He drove the money changers and the animals out of the Temple (Matt. 21:12-13).
By speaking of the Temple having many "mansions" ("rooms" in the Revised Standard Version and other translations), Jesus illustrated the concept that there would be places for many assistants in the government of the Kingdom of God on earth, when Jerusalem will be the millennial capital of the world. "I will come [back to earth] again and receive you to Myself; that where I am [headquartered in the Temple of God on earth], there you may be also" (John 14:3).
Christ assures us that there will be ample opportunities and challenging, interesting positions of responsibility for all who are born into God's ruling Family!