“To [him who conquers] I will give authority over the nations, and he will rule them with a rod of iron, as when earthen pots are broken in pieces, even as I myself have received authority from my Father.” –Revelation 2:26b-27
The awesome authority that has been promised to the Son of God (Psa 2:6-9), is promised to be shared with the sons of God (Luke 22:29-30; Gal 3:26; Rom 8:19). Does this not echo earlier promises by Jesus:
“I tell you the truth: In the age when all things are renewed, when the Son of Man sits on his glorious throne, you who have followed me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.” –Matthew 19:28
I have so many questions on this… but what I do know is that Christ said His kingdom was not of this world (John 18:36), and those before us who held assumptions to the conquering of earthly empires were called by Christ, “foolish” and “slow of heart” (Luk 24:25). I know that this authority is not taken by the sword (Mat 26:52) or won by bowing to wrong (Mat 4:8-10). In fact, every time the church has grasped at the world’s power, she has been disciplined by it.
“Make all allowance that you like for the vesture of symbolism, the reality that lies beneath is that Jesus Christ, the truth, has pledged Himself to this, that His servants shall be associated with Him in the activity of His royalty,… which we only spoil when we try to tear apart the petals which remain closed until the sun shall open them,” (McLaren’s Exposition).
In the mystery of this pronouncement to the future position of faithful followers of Christ, know this: “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him,” (1Co 2:9).
“No matter how we are suffering, no matter how we are persecuted, no matter how we are marginalized, our identity is not in whatever is happening to us right now. Our identity is seated at the Right Hand of God,” (Russell Moore).
How might knowing our future position change the way we manage mistreatment and persecution?