“His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself” (Rev. 19:12).
“Crown Him with many crowns, the Lamb upon His throne.
Hark! How the heavenly anthem drowns all music but its own.
Awake, my soul, and sing of Him who died for thee,
And hail Him as thy matchless King through all eternity.”
Matthew Bridges, 1874
Despite a vast number of passages of Scripture and spiritual hymns, there are many Christians who do not acknowledge Jesus Christ is King for they relegate both His kingdom, and His kingship, to a millennial future.
In contrast to this view is the lovely belief that the kingly reign of Christ is a present reality, and it is eternal. The Messiah was invited to ask for His inheritance based on His redemptive work at Calvary.
“Ask of me, and I shall give thee the heathen for thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession” (Psalm 2:8).
The Messiah did ask and He received His inheritance.
“And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. 19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: 20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen” (Matt. 28:18-20).
Let the word go forth, “from the rising of the sun even unto the going down of the same”, that the present royal reign of Christ is an eternal reign that will continue until all the nations bow before King Jesus. “And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end” (Luke 1:33).
“Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: 10 That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; 11 And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father” (Phil. 2:9).
The royal reign of Christ has been confirmed by His atoning work at Calvary. “Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high; 4 Being made so much better than the angels, as he hath by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they” (Heb. 1:3).
Those who insist on relegating the royal reign of Christ to the future, neglect the following truths.
On the night He was born, Jesus was worshipped as King. “Saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? For we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him” (Matt. 2:2).
The message Jesus preached from the beginning of his ministry was that the kingdom of heaven was at hand, and not in the far distant future. If the kingdom is present, so is the King of the kingdom. “From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand” (Matt. 4:17).
Jesus plainly stated that He was able to perform miracles by the Spirit of God because the kingdom of heaven had arrived. “But if I cast out devils by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God is come unto you. 29 Or else how can one enter into a strong man’s house, and spoil his goods, except he first bind the strong man? and then he will spoil his house” (Matt. 12:29-29).
The death and resurrection of Christ did not suspend, or stop, the royal reign of Christ. Jesus spoke about his death and resurrection to a crowd gathered around him, saying, “Truly, I say to you, there are some standing here who will not taste death until they see the kingdom of God after it has come with power” (Mark 9:1).
Even the thief on the cross recognized that the kingdom of Christ was a present reality. “And he said unto Jesus, Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom” (Luke 23:42).
The present reality of Jesus Christ as Lord, and Ruler, was proclaimed by the apostles.
It was a message proclaimed by Peter. “This Jesus hath God raised up, whereof we all are witnesses. 33 Therefore being by the right hand of God exalted, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Ghost, he hath shed forth this, which ye now see and hear. 34 For David is not ascended into the heavens: but he saith himself, The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand, 35 Until I make thy foes thy footstool. 36 Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ” (Acts 2:32-35).
It was a message preached by Paul. “And when they had appointed him a day, there came many to him into his lodging; to whom he expounded and testified the kingdom of God, persuading them concerning Jesus, both out of the law of Moses, and out of the prophets, from morning till evening” (Acts 28:23).
Those who believe that Christ is presently the King of His kingdom become fellow laborers with the apostles, to advance that kingdom on earth, on a daily basis.
“And Jesus, which is called Justus, who are of the circumcision. These only are my fellow workers unto the kingdom of God, which have been a comfort unto me” (Col. 4:11).
The present royal reign of Christ is both spiritual, and physical. We read of the spiritual reign of Christ in Hebrews 12:2 that Christ “is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.” The heart of the Christian believes this by faith.
“Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God” (Heb. 12:2).
The physical reign of Christ is manifested in that it is the Lord who rules the nations with a rod of iron according to prophesy.
“Thou shalt break them with a rod of iron; thou shalt dash them in pieces like a potter’s vessel” (Psalm 2:9).
In light of these gospel truths, sustained by Scripture, an honest heart must acknowledge an inaugurated eschatology is now in effect regarding the present royal reign of the King of all kings, and Lord of all lords.
“All hail King Jesus
All hail Emmanuel
King of Kings
Lord of Lords
Bright Morning Star.
And throughout eternity
I’ll sing Your Praises
And I’ll reign with You throughout eternity.”
“And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years” (Rev. 20:4).