9th September 2015

Long to Reign Over Us 

“and He shall reign forever and ever”
Revelation 11:15 (NKJV)

Our congratulations go to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, who Wednesday becomes the UK’s longest reigning monarch. Like so many of her subjects both at home and abroad, we wish her well.

When John wrote Revelation, there was a lot of political uncertainty. There are two suggested contexts over which theologians and church historians debate. One is just after the death of maniacal Nero, who had persecuted Christians, and whose succession was fraught with difficulties. The other is the time of the Emperor Domitian, who was also famous for his persecution of those who followed Jesus.

John wanted to re-assure his readers that God’s Kingdom is more certain and more permanent than any human reign. Believers needed the comfort of knowing that God is forever, and not just for their moment in history.

My earliest memory of Queen Elizabeth is of her waving to me from her car. It was, I think, in 1957, and she and her entourage were travelling along the main route from Glasgow to Edinburgh, on which road we lived. My mother knew that the Queen would most likely pass near us. So we waited by the pavement and were the only people there at the time. As she passed, the Queen smiled and waved, and I waved back enthusiastically. Now, almost 60 year s later, she is still on the throne.

John’s desire was to comfort his readers by stressing that God is still on his throne. Therefore, we have hope. Many of John’s words were used by composers in order to inspire and uplift musicians, singers and listeners alike. Among the most well known is Handel’s Messiah:
And He shall reign forever and ever:
King of kings! and Lord of lords!
And He shall reign forever and ever,
King of kings! and Lord of lords!
Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah!

Jesus, Almighty King, Lord of Lords, thank you for the stability of your reign and thank you for the re-assurance that you shall reign for ever and ever.

Study by James Henderson


bible1About the Author:
James Henderson is the National Ministry Leader for Grace Communion International in the UK and Ireland.  You are welcome to attend any of our local congregations in the UK and Ireland.  For details of your nearest local congregation, check on our website, www.gracecom.org.uk under the ‘Churches’ tab, or ring +44 (0)1858 437099.

Email: admin@daybyday.org.uk

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