They will reign forever and ever.
Besides worshipping God and working in Heaven, some people will also be ruling and reigning with God.
Some people are created to rule over God’s creation. That was God’s plan for Adam and Eve. In Genesis 1:26, God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” Adam and Eve were created to be co-regents with God on planet earth. Because of sin they had to abdicate their rule, but in the New Heaven and Earth, you and I will be co-rulers with God. Revelation 22:5 says we will “reign forever and ever.”
That brings up two questions. First of all, who will be reigning with God? Obviously, everybody is not going to be reigning, or there would be nobody to reign over. So who will be reigning with God? To be one of those who rule and reign with Christ involves three criteria.
First, you need to have the desire to rule. For some people, the idea of being in charge makes you break out in a cold sweat. Don’t worry. If you do not enjoy ruling, you are not going to be ruling in Heaven. There has to be a desire. Second, you need to be able to rule. Romans 12 says one of the spiritual gifts is the gift of leadership, to be able to organize. Third, and this is important, faithfulness is a criterion for leadership in God’s kingdom. You can have the desire and even the ability to rule, but you also have to have a track record of faithfulness to God. In Luke 19, Jesus told the parable of the minas to show that how we handle the time, treasure, and opportunities God has given us here on earth will determine what responsibility we have in eternity.
The second question besides who will reign is: What does reigning involve? There are two aspects of ruling with Christ. The first aspect is judging. In 1 Corinthians 6, the Corinthians were fussing and fighting with one another; they could not come to an agreement. Paul said it should not be this way. He explained in verse 2, “Do you not know that the saints will judge the world?” One day Christians will judge the world. That word “judge” means “to render a verdict.” While there is no evidence that you and I will be judging other people in the New Heaven and Earth, the Bible is clear we are going to judge angels: “Do you not know that we will judge angels?” (6:3). A second aspect of ruling is governing. There will be parts of God’s creation that some of us will govern. In 2 Timothy 2:12, Paul said, “If we endure, we will also reign with Him.” In the Old Testament, we see examples of God’s people reigning over certain territory. Joseph was prime minister over Egypt, Daniel over Babylon, Mordecai over Persia. We are going to be ruling over parts of God’s creation.
Today’s devotion is excerpted from “Who Will Be In Heaven?” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2016.
Scripture quotations are taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission. (www.lockman.org)