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§  4. The Kingdom of Glory.

The Scriptures teach that when Christ shall come again, He will gather his people into the kingdom prepared for them from the foundation of the world. Concerning that kingdom it is taught, —

1. That it shall consist only of the redeemed. None but the regenerate or converted can enter that kingdom. The tares are to be separated from the wheat. The evil, we are told (Gal. v. 21), “shall not inherit the kingdom of God.” Nothing that defiles or is untrue can enter there.

2. Those counted worthy of that kingdom shall not only be elevated to the perfection of their nature, but shall also be exalted to great dignity, power, and glory. They shall be kings and priests unto God. They are to sit on thrones. They are to judge angels. They are to reign with Christ, sharing his dominion and glory.

3. This kingdom is to be everlasting.

4. The bodies of the saints, now natural, must be rendered spiritual. This mortal must put on immortality, and this corruptible must put on incorruption; for “flesh and blood (the body as now organized) cannot inherit the kingdom of God.” (1 Cor. xv. 50.)

5. The seat of this kingdom is not clearly revealed. Some suppose that it is to be on this earth regenerated and fitted for this new order of things. Others understand the Scriptures to teach that heaven as indicating an entirely different locality, is to be the final home of the redeemed.

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6. Diversity of opinion exists as to the time when this kingdom shall be inaugurated. Chiliasts have commonly held that Christ is to come a thousand years (or a protracted period) before the general resurrection and final judgment, and reign visibly on earth, and that this is the kingdom to which the prophecies and promises of Scripture especially refer. This doctrine of necessity greatly modifies the view taken of the nature of this kingdom. It must be an earthly kingdom, as distinguished from that which is spiritual and heavenly. It must be a kingdom which flesh and blood can inherit. The common doctrine of the Church on the subject is that the general resurrection, the final judgment, the end of the world, and the inauguration of Christ’s kingdom of glory are synchronous events.

These are topics which belong to the head of Eschatology.

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