The Royal Family

Recent news headlines have been dominated by facts concerning the sudden death of Princess Diana. This story bears all of the traits of a made-for-television drama. Romance, wealth, fashion, and tragedy have come together to produce a soap opera-like media circus. The sad life and death of this beautiful public figure has focused world attention on the British Royal Family. With this renewed interest in the affairs of the House of Windsor, one is compelled to wonder why no interest is paid to the true "royal family." Genuine royalty emanates from belonging to the royal family circle of "the King of Kings and Lord of Lords." (1 Tim. 6:15)

One joins this eminent family by trusting in Christ as Savior, thereby receiving placement in God's family as His child. (Jn.1:12; Eph.3:15; 1 Jn.3:1; etc.) So why are not more people pondering the exalted standing of the royal family? For the lost, the answer is simple: their minds are earth bound and do notconsider eternal things. Nevertheless, even Christians often fail to meditate on their privileged status in thefamily of God. Let us take a few moments to explore the destiny of the Lord's royal family.

Many passages of Scripture speak about the wonderful future reserved for those who are members of God's family. Buckingham Palace, the Taj Mahal, the Kremlin, and el Alcazar will be esteemed aspaltry, dilapidated toolsheds in comparison to the child of God's blessed home. This world's architects and artisans are utterly incapable of building elaborate dwellings to rival one trillionth of the splendor of Heaven. Various portions of Scripture affirm that the eternal domain is a place of rest, love, and glory.

It is most fitting that Heaven is a place of rest, for in the very first book of the Bible one finds God resting upon finishing His creatorial work. (Gen.2:2-3) Furthermore, the very Son of God Himself encouraged His disciples to separate themselves from the commotion of the world and rest for a time (Mk.6:31.) Likewise, throughout His ministry He invited the masses with these words: "Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest." (Mat. 11:28) Conversely, the Scriptures maintain that there is no rest or peace for the wicked. Those who spurn God's grace by refusing to rest through the finished work of Christ are doomed to spend a restless eternity in the excruciating torment of the Lake of Fire. These passages and many others clearly affirm that rest is a priority in the purposes of God.

No better exposition of the restful nature of Heaven can be found than in the Lord Jesus' classic words in John 14:1-3. The context of this treasured passage deals with Christ's words to His disciples concerning the suffering that He was about to endure. These followers were troubled at the prospect of having the Lord leave them. The Lord Jesus comforted them, however, by expounding upon the truth of the restful nature of Heaven by saying: "Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also."

The Master describes "the Father's house" as a place where there are many "mansions."  Today this word connotates an ornate or luxurious home. In contrast, the original Greek term meant "...a place to abide in, and was used of a station on a journey, a resting place, quarters for the night, and in later ecclesiastical Greek a monastery."1  This abode is a place of rest and fellowship with God. There God's children will accomplish the reason for their creation; they will know the Lord and enjoy Him forever. While believers currently reside in a tumultuous world of agony and unrest, one day they shall occupy the dwelling places that the King Himself has prepared for them.

The consistent testimony of the Bible is that the Creator of the Universe is a God of love; therefore, it should come as no surprise that His domain abounds with unrivaled affection. (1 Jn. 4:8,16)  Song of Songs 2:4 employs a beautiful metaphor to depict the blessedness of being in the King's presence. It says: "He hath brought me to the house of wine, And His banner over me is love." (Song of Songs 2:4, Darby) This verse clearly sets forth the loving atmosphere that pervades the halls of Heaven. The allurements of being in the Lord Jesus' presence are further evidenced by the words of the Psalmist: "Hearken, O daughter, and consider, and incline thine ear; forget also thine own people, and thy father's house; So shall the king greatly desire thy beauty: for he is thy Lord; and worship thou Him." (Ps.45:10-11) The redeemed ones will perpetually revel in the matchless love of Christ, who loved us and gave Himself for us in order to bring us to Himself. The world's attractions will pale and fade away as the bride of Christ beholds the King's beauty.

In addition to being a place of rest and love, the domain of God is also a glorious dwelling.Glory has been defined as "the outshining of inward excellence." It is the luminous demonstration of the outstanding character of the Lord. God is the Supreme Being, who is exalted above His Creation and all other powers. The Bible reveals that Heaven is a realm of glory, saying: "For it became Him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings." (Heb. 2:10) The excellency of the Lord is manifest in Heaven. There, God is seen in all of His unrivalled splendor-His attributes are entirely unveiled. It will indeed be a joy for the sons of theroyal family to behold and share in the glory of the Most High God.

Can the sanctified heart fail to beat quicker at the prospect of living eternally as part ofthe royal family in the King of Kings' presence? Without question, worship is the inevitable by-product of the Christian heart that muses upon the rest, love, and glory that characterize the Heavenly realm. As we ponder the future blessing that awaits us, we must remember that we can enjoy these things even now by meditating on Christ through prayerful reading of the Scriptures. Let us redouble our efforts in "considering Him," and turn our minds away from anything that mars our appreciation of ourplace in the royal family.

 1. Marcus Dods in the section on John.14 in The Expositer's Bible. Italics added..