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The Postmillennial Enjoyment of the Present Reign of Christ: An Exercise in Psalm 100

December 30, 2006

I believe in the present reign on earth, from heaven, of the Lord Jesus Christ. I do not await the second coming of Christ for him to assert his kingship. I will likely have been in his presence in heaven for some time when the second coming occurs. I will be awaiting that event for the blessed hope of glory, and the restoration of the perfect physicality of all creation. But I believe that Christ has already asserted his kingship and is presently reigning.

Luke 22:16, 18 points to Christ’s statement that he will neither eat nor drink of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God shall come. While none of the gospels specifically mention Jesus drinking the fruit of the vine after his resurrection, they do mention fish, bread and honeycomb (Luke 24:42-43; John 21:13, 15). We might assume they drank something, but this detail simply is not specifically provided. The fact that he did eat should be dispositive, but Luke is a little confounding with his use of “thereof,” which seems to refer to the Passover. But eating the Passover after the Resurrection doesn’t make sense. So I think it likely that simply eating after the Resurrection fulfills the condition of Luke 22:16 that the Kingdom of God has arrived. And if the Kingdom is here, the King is here.

The Psalms undergird my belief in the present reign of Christ. Psalms 93, 97, and 99 open with “The Lord reigneth.” Psalm 96:10 invokes the people to “say among the heathen that the Lord reigneth.” Psalm 96 makes a clear temporal distinction between the time of the Lord’s reign (the present) and the time of judgment (the future). And Psalm 100, and many passages of Scripture, simply assumes the propriety of tribute to a reigning King in its invocation to worship the Lord.

Psalm 100

Make a joyful noise unto the Lord all ye lands.

God would not have us do this absent joyful circumstances. Circumstances among men vary. The presence of the Lord is a joyful circumstance. Therefore, the Lord is present and reigning now.

Serve the Lord with gladness: come before his presence with singing.

The Psalmist invokes people to serve the reigning King with joy and confidence. Service is a daily, fulltime duty, and I think it is meant to imply that we are called to more than formal timely worship. We are always in the presence of the Lord, though not materially, and should be glad and joyful in it, whatever our other duties and circumstances.

Know ye that the Lord he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.

Our relationship to God is that of subjects to a King, and much more: the works of a Creator to their Creator. Our lives are at his disposal at all times. This is an ongoing, present-time condition.

Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name.

Christ is the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. He is God and Creator. He is no earthly king. In addition to glad perpetual service, he is due worship. This is his law and we are his subjects. We owe him endless thanks and blessing and praise, for our existence and perpetuity are all within his providence.

For the Lord is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations.

We are called to serve a God who is good. He has shown everlasting mercy to his creation. His truth is his identity, and he never changes, has never changed, never will change. The God of Abraham is the God of Tom Lyon and the God of those of however many generations from now are on earth at the time Christ comes to end all things, judge the earth, raise the dead from all of time, and take his own to heaven to be with him in a new and inconceivable manifestation.

The Lord reigns.

3 comments:

Victorbravo said…
Amen.On the fruit of the vine passage, I recall someone of old stating that the Lord’s supper is when Jesus again drinks the wine. That fits with his kingdom having come.The King is indeed here. May his subjects rejoice and know it.

10:53 AM  
Laura said…
I can’t wait until we never forget it—never doubt it—for a moment.Jesus is Lord. Amen.
10:50 AM  
heidi said…
Oh. I’m keeping this too. Psalm 100 is one of my favorite Psalms, and this is the most beautiful reflection to take into the new year.Incidentally the references to drinking wine in the kingdom, and us doing this as Christ’s body reminded me of the old legends of Bacchus, which I have thought rather hideous. They are nothing (except perhaps a pale premonition) compared to this glory.
8:38 AM  
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