BEING THE MORE DILIGENT TO MAKE
THE CALLING AND SELECTION FIRM
We come to 2 Peter 1:10: "Therefore, brothers, be the more diligent to make your calling and selection firm, for doing these things you shall by no means ever stumble." If one does not know the truth about selection, he will not see that this refers to the hope of the kingdom being firm. Here it says that a person’s selection and calling is not necessarily firm. Does this mean that a person will become unsaved again? No, it does not, because Romans 11 clearly tells us that the calling of God is irrevocable (11:29). Here it is not talking only about calling, but selection as well. Peter put calling and selection together. The Bible says many times that many are called, but few are chosen. Except for one place which I am not absolutely sure about, all the other places refer to many being saved and few obtaining a reward. Hence, the selection here refers to the position in the kingdom.
Peter said, "For doing these things you shall by no means ever stumble." These are the things mentioned in verses 5-7, such as faith, virtue, knowledge, self-control, endurance, godliness, and love. If we do these things, we will never stumble. This is the same as saying that if we are the more diligent, our calling and selection will be firm. These are parallel expressions. The first of these parallel expressions says that we should be diligent to make our calling and selection firm. The second of these parallel expressions says that by doing these, we will never stumble.
Verse 11 says, "For in this way the entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ will be richly and bountifully supplied to you." The Bible shows us that the kingdom of Christ is eternal. But some will enter it only in eternity future, whereas others will enter it during the millennium. The ruling of Christ begins with the millennial kingdom. Therefore, Revelation 11:15 says, "And the seventh angel trumpeted; and there were loud voices in heaven, saying, The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ, and He will reign forever and ever." This verse shows us that the kingdom of Christ is linked to eternity future; it lasts forever and ever. However, it begins at the trumpeting of the seventh angel, that is, at the beginning of the tribulation. When Christ begins His reign, some will enter the kingdom. They will not only enter in, but will be richly and bountifully supplied an entrance. Therefore, to make our calling and selection firm is to be richly and bountifully supplied with an entrance into this eternal kingdom.
One can see that salvation has been settled, but that the entrance into the kingdom has not yet been settled. Once a Christian believes in the Lord Jesus, he can immediately praise the Lord because he knows that the question of eternal life or death is settled. However, after one believes, there are experiences ahead of him; he still has the kingdom before him and a future glory waiting for him. Some will obtain these things: the kingdom, the crown, the glory, and the reward; whereas others will not obtain them. Some will enter into the kingdom of Christ; others will not be able to enter in. Some will not only enter in, but will be richly and bountifully supplied an entrance into the kingdom of Christ. This does not mean that those who cannot enter the kingdom of Christ are not saved. But it does mean that their reward and glory are taken away. Hence, we need to run and strive. Our being able to reign with Jesus the Nazarene in the future depends on how we strive today.
ENTERING THE KINGDOM
TO SHARE IN CHRIST’S GLORY
I wonder if you have ever thought of the kind of glory with which God will reward Christ in the millennium for what He suffered nineteen hundred years ago. A reward must match a suffering. If a man is brought to the lowest position, his reward must be the greatest. Suppose your house is burned or you have encountered a grave danger, and a servant in your house risked everything and nearly lost his life trying to save you. How would you reward him? Would you say, "I reward you with twenty cents"? No one would do this. The reward has to match the suffering. Christ has glorified God in such a way and has died such a death on the cross. How shall God reward Christ in the future? And how shall He glorify Christ?
The kingdom is the time when Christ and the Christians will receive glory together. The kingdom is the time when God will reward Christ. At that time, we will have a portion there as well. Whether or not we would be counted worthy to receive the Lord’s glory depends absolutely on the results of our personal walk and work. There is no question of worthiness in the new heaven and new earth. But in the kingdom only those who are worthy will receive the glory. The Lord has suffered persecution, difficulties, and shame. If we suffer persecution, difficulties, and shame today in the same way, we will share a portion with Him in the coming kingdom.
(Gospel of God, The (2 volume set), Chapter 21, by Watchman Nee)