In the previous series I shared about Jesus the Oriental King. Now I'm sharing a related topic, royals and non-royals in the kingdom of heaven.
We are royals in the kingdom of heaven
"You are a choice *race , a royal priesthood, a holy *nation , a people acquired..." I Peter 2:9
*The word 'race' here is the Greek word 'genos', for 'family', and where English gets 'generation' and 'genealogy' - family. The word 'nation' is the Greek word 'ethnos', where we get the word 'ethnic'.*
Ethnos doesn't mean a nation like we think of a nation with borders covering a specific geographic area, but rather 'ethnic' as a distinct ethnicity, a "subgroup within a population." It means being classed with others of a common background or origin. Ethnically in the kingdom of heaven, we are a unique class of being, royal priests.
I Peter 2:9 thus reads: "You are a chosen family, a royal priesthood, a holy (distinct) ethnic group within the population, a people acquired..."
Most Christians assume all people in all ages who get saved will be folded into 'the body of Christ' as one big happy heavenly family, but that is not what the Bible actually says.
Here is something to consider
As royalty we won't be the only ones in the kingdom. We are royalty, the others are not. We are the royal family. Was the royal family of King David the only citizens in Israel? Is the royal family of Great Britain the only citizens in the UK?
A kingdom has a king, in our case, Jesus. A kingdom has its own laws, customs and....a royal family who 'outranks' the rest of the citizens of the kingdom. Today the UK is an example everyone knows, so I'll use that. The first five royals in order to the throne are:
1, Prince Charles, the Prince of Wales. 2, Prince William, The Duke of Cambridge. 3, Prince George of Cambridge, eldest child of William and Kate. 4, Princess Charlotte of Cambridge, child 2 of William and Kate. 5, Prince Louis Arthur Charles, Prince of Cambridge, child 3 of William and Kate.
And so it goes. One site lists 53 in line for the throne, and their relatives are part of the extended royal family as well, depending on how different lists are compiled. As royals they have rank and privilege.
But the total population of the UK is over 66 million people. The royals are a very small percentage of the total population.
God's royals: Israel
Israel came out of Egypt, and on the 50th day, in Exodus 19:5-6, when Israel was camped at the bottom of the mountain, the Lord told Israel: "You are my own treasure above all the nations of the earth, for all the earth is mine. You will be a kingdom of priests, a holy nation."
Notice - a kingdom of priests ABOVE all the nations of the earth. The whole of Israel was to have been royal priests to God above the other nations, and therefore His representatives to the other nations of the earth. They were the royal nation over all the other nations of the earth. They had special rank with God that other nations did not.
All the earth - all the people - are His creation, but Israel was to be the top nation, the favored nation. God made covenant with them and no other nation. The knowledge of God was to have been dispersed to the nations through Israel.
They failed, and now we Gentiles have been given the opportunity to share God with the world. We are unique in that privilege. We are His royal children. All who believe in Jesus in this age are God the Father's own royal family, a unique ethnic group in this world, given the privilege of knowing Jesus and sharing that knowledge with the world.
You may be asking if we are the royal family, then who are the other citizens in the kingdom who are not royalty?
And that will require many verses for next week...so until then...blessings,
www.cwowi.org and email me at firstname.lastname@example.org