“I wish I had sufficient vocabulary to describe it!”

How will the future kingdom of God actually be? In response to this question, the Chief Apostle simply stated that he was at a loss for words. But it might be helpful to read what the Bible has to say on the subject.

“God desires to share His glory with us”—this was the clear message that Chief Apostle Jean-Luc Schneider addressed to the congregation in Natal, Brazil during a divine service he conducted there on 6 August 2017. To this end he interpreted a Bible text taken from Isaiah 62: 10-11: “Go through, go through the gates! Prepare the way for the people; build up, build up the highway! Take out the stones, lift up a banner for the peoples! Indeed the Lord has proclaimed to the end of the world: ‘Say to the daughter of Zion, “Surely your salvation is coming; behold, His reward is with Him, and His work before Him.”’”

Jerusalem, an image for the kingdom of God

“Today we understand this text in view of Jesus Christ,” said the Chief Apostle as he began his sermon. Jerusalem is an image for the church. It is a reference to the heavenly Jerusalem, the community of the believers. “And it is to this community that God says: “I will free you from the evil one! And I will also lead many people to Jerusalem.”

  • Jesus has conquered hell and death: “He will share this victory with us. He will definitively free us from evil and death. We will never again have anything to do with the evil one. When Jesus comes, we will partake in His victory.”
  • Jesus has received the resurrection body: “With this resurrection body He was the first to enter the kingdom of God. There He is the firstborn among many brethren, and He will share it with us.”
  • We will enter into the glory of God: “I wish I had sufficient vocabulary to describe this. But there are no words for this. There is one thought that might help us envision it: this glory will be so great and magnificent that we will have a new reason to give thanks and praise to God with each passing day in eternity!”

Not only tomorrow, but already today

“However,” said the Chief Apostle, “we do not necessarily have to wait until the Lord comes. We can already experience a foretaste of this today. In the divine service we can experience that God grants us grace. Today already we can benefit from the merit of Jesus Christ.” And this, he admonished, is something that the people around us should actually notice.

Our future — our present — our task

After all, Jesus has died for all human beings, and for this reason, His sacrifice is also valid for all. He will still lead many people to His city. That is why the following words apply to those who already have a place there: “Go out to them, show them the way, move the stones out of their way.” This, he said, is our task, namely to show them the way through our conduct, our testimony, our words and our deeds.

Chief Apostle Schneider concluded by saying: “We are to guide people and show them the way. That is our future—that is our present—that is our task.”

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Peter Johanning
Brazil, Divine service