We have been considering consequences of the death of our Lord Jesus Christ, past and present, for those who have believed in Him. It has immense implications for our future also. In this article, we will quote a few Scriptures that directly link His death with our future.
Our Preservation through Him
In Romans 5:9 we read what we are preserved from because of His death: “Much more then, being now justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him.” The question has been asked: “Is this referring to the wrath that sinners will suffer eternally in the lake of fire, or the wrath of the Tribulation, here on earth?” In reply, the present writer believes that both are in view. The blessed truth is that we are assured of deliverance from the wrath of God in all its manifestations – wherever, whenever, however, and upon whomsoever it is poured out. And the basis of that preservation is that we have been “justified by His blood.”
Our Presentation before Him
If the previous reference shows us the negative side – what we are saved from through His death – the next, Colossians 1:21-22, gives the positive: “And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath He reconciled in the body of His flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in His sight.” What He has done “in the body of His flesh through death” is with a view to a glorious conclusion: “to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in His sight.” In many Scriptures, we are exhorted to live holy and irreproachable lives in the present, but that is not what is in view here. Rather, Paul is speaking of when we stand before the Lord, in glory, at His coming, when we will be presented to Himself, in sinless, glorified bodies, perfect, holy, and without blemish.
Our Presence with Him
Most would count it a privilege to be invited to a palace, to be presented to an earthly sovereign. However, such occasions are characterized by their brevity – in a matter of seconds the whole thing is over. It will not be so when we are presented to Him. That will be the beginning of being forever with Him, as Paul tells the Thessalonians, “Who died for us, that, whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with Him” (5:10). Much discussion has taken place on the words “wake” and “sleep” as used here. Are they a reference to our being alive, or dead, physically, when He comes, or do they refer to our spiritual alertness (or lack of it)? Whatever view is taken, the blessed reality is that both are true. For believers, being with the Lord forever does not depend on our staying alive until He comes, nor does it even depend on how alert we are. It rests on an infinitely more secure foundation – the fact that our faith is centered on Him “Who died for us.” There will be no “partial rapture.” All true believers of the present age will rise to meet Him when He comes – none will be left in the grave, and none will be left alive on earth. The glorious truth is He died for us, that we should live together with Him. What joy, to be in the presence of Him who died for us, never to be parted from Him.
Our Power with Him
“And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for Thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by Thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation; And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth” (Rev 5:9-10). Here we see many blessings, all flowing from the fact that He was “slain.” It is with the final one that we are concerned for now: “we shall reign on the earth.” Many pages could be (and, indeed, have been) written on what all this involves, which we cannot go into here, except to state that in this scene, between the Rapture and Tribulation, believers of the Church age (that is, ourselves) are in Heaven, and anticipating sharing with Christ in His Millennial reign. It will be wonderful to be presented before Him, and to be forever with Him. How amazing it is to think that we will be identified with Him, and share with Him, in His manifested glory and in His reign.
We are well aware that there is an alternative rendering of these verses, and that some believe that those singing are angelic beings, singing not about themselves, but about others. Even if this were true, it would not alter the message. Whether it is us singing about ourselves, or others singing about us, the truth is the same: because He was slain, we shall reign with Him. There are other NT Scriptures that also teach this, including in this book (20:6).
Our Possession in Him
The benefit to us of His death will not be confined to the period of His reign on earth, but will continue forever. “And for this cause He is the mediator of the new testament, that by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first testament, they which are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance” (Heb 9:15). We can scarcely begin to imagine all that is involved in this “eternal inheritance,” but we are assured of it. At conversion, each of us was “sealed with that Holy Spirit of promise, which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession” (Eph 1:13-14). It will never end, and it is all “by means of [His] death.”