Heaven (Part 21) - Will There Be Governments in Heaven?Submitted by Pastor Chad Wagner on Sunday, April 16, 2023.
Heaven (Part 21) - Will There be Governments in Heaven? In Heaven Can We Work to Improve Our Station? 30. Will there be governments in heaven? Will there be a hierarchy in heaven of people set in charge by God? (Austin) A. Yes, there will be. B. The new earth and heavens will be a restoration and glorification of the original earth and heavens (see Section IX - The nature of the new earth). i. God instituted rule, authority, and government on the earth prior to the fall of man (Gen 1:28). a. Subdue v. - 1. a. trans. To conquer (an army, an enemy, a country or its inhabitants) in fight and bring them into subjection. b. Dominion n. - 1. The power or right of governing and controlling; sovereign authority; lordship, sovereignty; rule, sway; control, influence. c. This means that government, authority, rule, and control are not a result of sin. d. "Others may perceive that the New Earth will need no government or that differing levels of authority (e.g., some ruling over ten cities while others rule over five or one or none) are inherently corrupt or unfair. But the need for government didn't come about as a result of sin. God governed the universe before Satan fell. Likewise, he created mankind as his image-bearers, with the capacity for ruling, and before Adam and Eve sinned, God specifically commanded them to rule the earth. Ruling isn't a bad thing, it's a good thing. God has called us to it and has equipped us for it―to rule the earth, rule it well, and find pleasure ruling it. Because we're sinners, power tends to corrupt us. But on the New Earth there will be no sin. Therefore, all ruling will be just and benevolent, devoid of abuse, corruption, or lust for power." (Randy Alcorn, Heaven, p. 222) ii. Dominion was given to Adam and Eve over the animals. a. There were no other people on earth to have rule over at that time. b. Nevertheless, the dominion mandate shows that God instituted the concepts of rule and authority prior to sin entering the creation. iii. When the creation is restored to its original when the new earth is created, it is thus reasonable to conclude that delegated authority will be given to men as it was in the beginning. C. God the Father and Jesus Christ are and will be the ultimate rulers in heaven (1Co 15:24-28). i. Jesus Christ is King of kings and has everlasting power (1Ti 6:15-16). ii. Jesus is above all principality, power, might, and dominion, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come (Eph 1:21). iii. This means that that there will be principalities, powers, and dominions in the world to come that Jesus will be head over. a. Principality n. - 1. The quality, condition, or fact of being principal; chief place or rank; pre-eminence. Now rare. 2. The position, dignity, or dominion of a prince or chief ruler; sovereignty; supreme authority. 3. The sovereignty, rule, or government of the prince of a small or dependent state. b. Power n. - II. As a person, body, or thing. 6. a. One who or that which is possessed of or exercises power, influence, or government; an influential or governing person, body, or thing; in early use, one in authority, a ruler, governor. c. Dominion n. - 1. The power or right of governing and controlling; sovereign authority; lordship, sovereignty; rule, sway; control, influence. iv. In the world to come we will be made equal to the angels (Luk 20:36). a. Although we will be made equal to them, we will also judge them (1Co 6:3). b. This means that we will have authority over them. c. They were made to be ministering spirits for us (Heb 1:14). v. This means that the principalities, powers, and dominions that Christ will be head of in the world to come will include resurrected and glorified men who will have authority over other men and the angels. vi. The saints are promised crowns when the get to heaven which implies ruling authority (Rev 2:10; Rev 2:26; Rev 3:11; Rev 3:21). D. There will be a hierarchy of authority in the new earth. i. There will be faithful Christians that have rule over cities on the new earth when Christ returns (Luk 19:12-19). a. Some will have authority over ten cities (v. 17) and some over five cities (v. 19). b. We can conclude from this that there will be a hierarchy of authority. ii. We will be made as, and equal to, the angels (Mat 22:30; Luk 20:36). a. The angels have an authority structure and are arranged in principalities and powers (Dan 10:13; Eph 3:10; Jud 1:9). b. There will be nations with kings over them who bring their glory into the New Jerusalem (Rev 21:24). c. It therefore follows that there will be human principalities and powers on the new earth. E. Where will we reign? i. We will reign on the new earth for ever (Rev 5:9-10; Rev 22:5). ii. Where will we reign on the new earth? iii. "Where on Earth? Likely with people of their own tribe, language, and nation―cultural distinctions that we're told still exist on the New Earth (Revelation 21:24, 26; 22:2)." (Randy Alcorn, Heaven, p. 218) F. There will be no sin, lies, and corruption in heaven, so therefore all government will be godly and virtuous, not corrupt and oppressive (Rev 21:8, 27; Rev 22:14-15). i. Governments in heaven will be comprised of sinless, godly men. ii. The laws that they will uphold will be God's righteous laws. iii. There will be neither corruption nor onerous taxes. iv. We will all be sinless, humble, obedient, and godly Christians and therefore we will willingly and joyfully submit ourselves to those who are in authority. v. There will never be any strife or animosity between the rulers and the subjects. G. Ruling and holding positions of authority will be enjoyable and wholesome. i. Randy Alcorn had some worthwhile thoughts on this. ii. "Imagine responsibility, service, and leadership that's pure joy. The responsibility that God will entrust to us as a reward can only be good for us, and we'll find delight in it. To rule on the New Earth will be to enable, equip, and guide, offering wisdom and encouragement to those under our authority. We've so often seen leadership twisted that we've lost a biblical view of what ruling, or exercising dominion, really means. God, ruler of the universe, is living proof that ruling can and should be good. "Some people have a deep fear of public speaking, and they imagine that ruling means they'll be miserable, having to be "up front" and speak to groups. But the fear, anxiety, dread, and turmoil we associate with certain activities on the present earth will be gone on the New Earth. If God wants us to do something, we'll be wired and equipped to do it. Our service will not only bring him glory but also bring us joy. "This applies to countless other questions about Heaven, such as, Will we have to sing even if we don't like to? The question assumes facts not in evidence―that whatever we dislike now we'll dislike then. But doesn't experience tell us otherwise? Aren't there foods we love that we hated as children? Aren't there books we love now that would've bored us when we were younger? Had we been able to decide as children everything we would do or not do as adults, wouldn't we have robbed ourselves of countless joys? We mustn't assume that everything we don't like doing now we still won't like doing in Heaven." (Randy Alcorn, Heaven, p. 220-221) iii. "Some of the most qualified people to lead in Heaven will be those who don't want to lead now. Some who are natural leaders here but have not been faithful will not be leaders in Heaven. Remember, it's not the proud and confident who will inherit the earth and rule it; its the meek (Matthew 5:5). And even the meek will be stripped of their wrong motives and the temptation to exploit others. We'll have no more skepticism and disillusionment about government. Why? Because we'll be governed by Christlike rulers, and all of us will be under the grand and gracious government of Christ himself." (Ibid, p. 221) 31. While we will all be happy in heaven, we won't all have equal positions there, right? Once there, can we work to improve our station? (Judy) A. We will not all have equal positions in heaven. i. Some will have authority over ten cities, some over five cities (Luk 19:16-19). a. If there are those that have authority over cities, that demands that there must be people in those cities who are under the authority of others. b. Therefore, everyone will not have an equal position. ii. Rewards will be given in heaven for faithfulness and obedience on earth (Mat 16:27). a. Those who were more faithful and obedient in this life will have greater rewards in the next life. b. Therefore, everyone will not have an equal position. B. Can we work to improve our station once in heaven? i. We will build houses and plant vineyards on the new earth (Isa 65:17, 21-22). ii. It seems reasonable that we will be able to choose how big of a house and vineyards we want to build and plant. iii. If we will be able to work to improve our material condition in heaven, it is reasonable to conclude that we could work to improve our station there as well. iv. If God is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him now (Heb 11:6), it would seem logical to conclude that that would continue in the new earth.
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