Heirs of the Kingdom (Part 2)

(Thomas Watson on the Second Petition of The Lord’s Prayer ~ Thy Kingdom Come.)

(5) Let the saints long to be in that blessed kingdom. Does not a prince that travels in foreign parts long to be in his own nation, that he may be crowned? The bride desires the marriage day. ‘The Spirit and the bride say, Come: even so, come, Lord Jesus.’ Rev 22: 17, 20. Sure our unwillingness to go hence, shows either the weakness of our faith in the belief of the heavenly kingdom, or the strength of our doubts whether we have an interest in it. Were our title to heaven more clear, we should need patience to be content to stay here any longer.

Again, our unwillingness to go hence, declares we love the world too much, and Christ too little. Love, as Aristotle says, desires union. Did we love Christ as we should, we should desire to be united to him in glory, when we might take our fill of love. Be humbled that ye are so unwilling to go hence. Let us labour to arrive at that divine temper of soul which Paul had:Cupio dissolvi, ‘Having a desire to depart and to be with Christ.’ Phil 1: 23. We are compassed with a body of sin: should we not long to shake off this viper? We are in Mesech, and the tents of Cedar, in a place where we see God dishonoured. Should we not desire to have our pass to be gone? We are in a valley of tears. Is it not better to be in a kingdom? Here we are combating with Satan. Should we not desire to be called out of the bloody field, where the bullets of temptation fly so fast, that we may receive a victorious crown? O ye saints, breathe after the heavenly kingdom. Though we should be willing to stay to do service, yet we should ambitiously desire to be always sunning ourselves in the light of God’s countenance. Think what it will be to be ever with the Lord! Are there any sweeter smiles or embraces than his? Is there any bed so soft as Christ’s bosom? Is there any such joy as to have the golden banner of Christ’s love displayed over us? Is there any such honour as to sit upon the throne with Christ? Rev 3: 21. O, then, long for the celestial kingdom!

(6) Wait for this kingdom of glory. It is not incongruous or improper to long for heaven, yet wait for it. Long for it because it is a kingdom, yet wait your Father’s good pleasure. God could bestow this kingdom at once, but he sees it good that we should wait awhile.

[1] Had we the kingdom of heaven as soon as ever grace is infused, then God would lose much of his glory. Where would be our living by faith, which is the grace that brings in the chief revenues of glory to God? Rom 5: 20. Where would be our suffering for God, which is a way of honouring him which the angels in heaven are not capable of? Where would be the active service we are to do for God? Would we have God give us a kingdom, and we do nothing for him before we come there? Would we have rest before labour, a crown before victory? This were disingenuous. Paul was content to stay out of heaven awhile that he might be a means of bringing others thither. Phil 1: 24.

[2] While we wait for the kingdom, our grace is increasing. Every duty religiously performed, adds a jewel to our crown. Do we desire to have our robes of glory shine brighter? Let us wait and work. The longer we stay for the principal, the greater will the interest be. As the husband man waits till the seed spring up, wait for the harvest of glory. Some have their waiting weeks at court; this is your waiting time. Christ says, men ought to pray, and not to faint. Luke 18: 1. So, wait, and faint not. Be not weary, the kingdom of heaven will make amends for waiting. ‘I have waited for thy salvation, O Lord,’ said the dying patriarch. Gen 49: 18.

Use 7. For comfort to the people of God.

(1) In all their sufferings. The true saint, as Luther says, is haeres crucis, heir to the cross. Affliction is his diet-drink, but this keeps him from fainting, that his sufferings bring a kingdom. The hope of the kingdom of heaven, says Basil, should indulcerate and sweeten all our troubles. ‘If we suffer, we shall also reign with him.’ 2 Tim 2: 12. It is but a short fight, but an eternal triumph. This light suffering produces an ‘eternal weight of glory.’ 2 Cor 4: 17. The more weighty precious things are, the more they are worth, as the more weight in a crown of gold, the more it is worth. Did this glory last for awhile only, it would much abate and embitter the joys of heaven; but it runs parallel with eternity. God will be a deep sea of blessedness, and the glorified saints shall for ever bathe themselves in the ocean. One day’s wearing the crown will abundantly pay for all the saints’ sufferings; how much more when ‘they shall reign for ever and ever!’ Rev 22: 5. O let this be our support under all the calamities and sufferings in this life. What a vast difference is there between a believer’s sufferings and his reward! ‘The sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.’ Rom 8: 18. For a few tears, rivers of pleasure; for mourning, white robes. This made the primitive Christians laugh at imprisonments, and snatch up torments as so many crowns. Though now we drink in a wormwood-cup, there is sugar in the bottom to sweeten it. ‘It is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.’

(2) Comfort in death. That which takes away from God’s children the terror of death, is that they are entering into the kingdom. No wonder if wicked men be appalled and terrified at the approach of death, for they die unpardoned. Death carries them to the jail, where they must lie for ever, without bail or deliverance; but why should any of God’s children be scared and half dead with the thoughts of death? What hurt can death do to them, but lead them to a glorious kingdom? Faith gives a title to heaven, death a possession. Let this be a gospel antidote to expel the fear of death. Hilarion, that blessed man, cried out, Egredere, anima, egredere, quid times? Go forth, my soul, go forth, what fearest thou? Let them fear death who do not fear sin; but let not God’s children be over much troubled at the grim face of that messenger, which brings them to the end of their sorrow, and the beginning of their joy. Death is yours, it is a part of the believer’s inventory. 1 Cor 3: 22. Is a prince afraid to cross a narrow sea, who shall be crowned when he comes to shore? Death to the saints shall be an usher to bring them into the presence of the King of glory. This thought puts lilies and roses into the ghastly face of death, and makes it look amiable. Death brings us to a crown of glory which fades not away. The day of death is better to a believer than the day of his birth. Death is aditus ad gloriam, an entrance into a blessed eternity. Fear not death, but rather let your hearts revive when you think these rattling wheels of death’s chariot are but to carry you home to an everlasting kingdom.

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2 thoughts on “Heirs of the Kingdom (Part 2)

  1. Pingback: Prayer – Part 2 | Journey with God

  2. Pingback: God is Compassionate | Quality of Life Ministries

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