(Kersten, The Heidelberg Catechism in 52 Sermons, Vol.2, Part 22) The Coming of the Kingdom of Heaven Lord's Day 48 Psalter No. 131 st. 1, 2 Read Daniel 2:27-49 Psalter No. 397 st. 6, 7, 8 Psalter No. 421 st. 2 Psalter No. 125 st. 5, 6, 7 Beloved, How clearly do we see in the portion of Scripture read to you, that in His Word the Lord would especially reveal Christ as the eternal King of Zion, given to His people for their complete redemption. The main purpose in Daniel's prophecy is not to show us Daniel and his friends, but to portray Him who as the Lion of the tribe of Judah wages war for His church and shall one day triumph. To give us that revelation the Lord caused Nebuchadnezzar to dream that well known dream which so troubled him that his sleep departed from him. He found no rest until the dream which had slipped away, and its interpretation were told him. He sent for the wise men of Babylon. Those wise men of the world had to instruct their king. Although Daniel was at the court of the king in Babylon and was famed for his wisdom, he was not among those who were called. The wise men whom the king had called were asked to declare to him the dream and its interpretation. It was an impossible demand against which all the wise men protested, especially as the king threatened to cut them in pieces and burn their houses if they did not comply. Yet there was something in the king's command that justified him. Did not the wise men say that they had communion with the gods? Let those gods instruct them and declare what was hidden for men. Finally they had to admit they could not tell the dream, nor interpret it. Hence commandment was given to execute the threatened judgment. When Arioch, who had to execute the order came to Daniel, Daniel was brought before the king. A delay was ordered, so that he and his friends could pray to Him Who is God alone and knows all things. It is this God Who showed Daniel the dream and its interpretation. He could tell it to the king, not because of his own knowledge but God had instructed him. Daniel could tell the king what he had dreamed, namely, that he saw a great image, an image that was terrible made of gold, silver, brass, and iron, resting upon feet made of iron and clay. Do we not know the meaning of it? The head of gold was the kingdom of the Chaldeans. Soon another kingdom would arise, not so great and glorious namely the Persian kingdom, of silver. After that the Macedonian empire would come, of brass. Finally the Roman empire would come, hard as iron. That too, shall be broken down. All this has happened as Daniel prophesied. Those mighty empires which suppressed all peoples are no more. They are gone. What was the cause of their downfall? The image rested upon feet made partly of iron and partly of clay. Iron and clay do not mix together. Men shall attempt by such a mixture to form world empires again, but they shall not stand. For, there was a stone, not cut, nor made by hands. It was the stone Christ, the King of Zion, Who has another kingdom not associated with the world empires, but opposes them. This stone rolled against the feet of the image, so that it was entirely broken and blown away like chaff from the threshing floor. What does it mean that Christ is King eternally? His kingdom shall endure, that He is at war with the powerful world forces, that one day He will judge them, and all nations shall be destroyed. His kingdom will then endure forever, and He will bring His subjects into that glorious Kingdom above. In the end Zion's anointed King will deliver this kingdom to the Father again. Should not the hearts of God's people then be fixed upon the coming of that Kingdom? Does not the Lord teach His children to pray: "Thy Kingdom come"? It is to that petition for the Kingdom of grace, that I would ask your attention as this petition is described to us in Lord's Pay forty-eight of our Heidelberg Catechism. Lord's Day 48 Q. 123. Which is the second petition? A. "Thy kingdom come"; that is, rule us so by thy Word and Spirit, that we may submit ourselves more and more to thee; preserve and increase thy church; destroy the works of the devil, and all violence which would exalt itself against thee; and also, all wicked counsels devised against thy holy Word; till the full perfection of thy kingdom take place, wherein thou shalt be all in all. There you have the delineation of the coming of the Kingdom of heaven. Let us notice further: I. the spiritual nature, II. the safe state, III. the sure victory, and IV. the perfect glory of that Kingdom. I I wish first to say something about the spiritual nature of that Kingdom whose coming we ask for in this second petition. When we speak of the Kingdom of God and of the Kingdom of heaven, we must make a clear distinction. We must distinguish between the Kingdom in a general sense and the Kingdom in a special sense. In a general sense God is King. God is King by virtue of creation. He not only created things, but also subjected them to Himself and to His divine government. Thus the authority rests upon Him by virtue of creation. As King He has the original and absolute authority. No one gave or delegated it to Him. He possesses it by virtue of His Godhead and as Creator. The Father exercises this authority in His divine providence and governs all things. All things in heaven and on earth are subjected to Him. He even governs the devil according to the purpose He has determined, so that according to His good pleasure His Name shall be glorified eternally. Thus everything that lives and has a being is a subject of that Kingdom. When we speak of the Kingdom of heaven, we are in an entirely different realm. The Lord Jesus Himself said, "Verily, verily, I say unto you, except a man be born again, he cannot see the Kingdom of God." Here an entirely different kingdom is spoken of, a kingdom in which Christ is anointed to be King because through the depth of the fall and the agitations of Satan, the world and sin, it has pleased God to prepare a people for Himself according to His mercy, and on the basis of the satisfaction of Christ in whom He will be eternally glorified. Since it is stated very emphatically in Psalm 2, "Yet have I set My King upon My holy hill of Zion", we are to understand that this King in the Kingdom of grace has received power. This is not the original authority of the Triune God; this is a given authority. The Lord Jesus says, "All power is given unto Me in heaven and in earth." One of the purposes for which the Father chose Him was that He should be King of His church, and it is He Whose subjects are in His church. It is the kingdom of grace that will one day terminate in the Kingdom of eternal glory. Therefore the Lord Himself makes that distinction when in the gospel of John He says, "My Kingdom is not of this world." His coming was heralded by the prophets. For example, by Isaiah, "Unto us a child is born, unto us a Son is given, and the government shall be upon His shoulder." There the Messiah, as the anointed King who had received power from the Father, is foreshadowed by the prophets as He actually appeared in the fulness of time. It is that Kingdom that we now discuss. Immediately the distinction becomes apparent that only those who are born of God are its subjects. The Lord Jesus says in Matthew 7:21: "Not every one that saith unto Me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the Kingdom of heaven; but he that does the will of My Father which is in heaven." To Christ, as King of Zion, all power is given - all power in heaven and on earth - so that all things are placed under His dominion, including worldly people and the devils, so they shall not harm God's church or destroy it. All creatures are not the subjects of this Kingdom of heaven: only they who are born of God, who do the will of the Father. Further doing the will of the Father does not mean keeping His law only outwardly. Consider the rich young man. It is being saved by grace through faith and that through the blood of the Lamb. In this Kingdom, entirely different laws are in force. We witness here the way that speaks of grace and truth according to the word of the Lord Jehovah. The subjects are not only upheld in the way of God's providence to receive what they need in this life, but they also receive spiritual benefits out of the Kingdom of heaven, so that godliness is great gain in this life as in the life to come. They are blessed with spiritual blessings that are in Christ Jesus. This is not all. The chastisements that come upon the people of God in the difficult ways through which they must pass, are given them in this Kingdom as the Catechism says and we soon shall hear, so they may submit themselves more and more to their eternal King, and that He may extend dominion more in their hearts. We see then that this Kingdom is one that is distinct from that kingdom of God which is general. Therefore the weapons used in this Kingdom are not carnal. When the Pope of Rome wanted to establish his principality, he resorted to temporal power. He subdued nations by force. This is not the teaching of God's Word. Spiritual weapons must be used here. The subjects are armed with the armor of God which is described in Ephesians 6. When we ask, "Thy Kingdom come", it means that the Kingdom of Christ is always coming. The petition asks that it may come throughout the world so the King may gather His elect more and more, may build His church and glorify Himself as having obtained the full dominion. Thus it may be evident, even in the darkest times, that Satan does not hold the reins; but this King who is above all temporal power and might, is the King Who shall extend His scepter over Zion eternally to protect and deliver it. It is He that was dead and is alive forever more. In the Revelations to John, he calls to His church from heaven, "I have the keys of hell and of death." How safe then, is the state of that Kingdom. I now come to this point in the second place. II The instructor says, "Rule us so by Thy Word and Spirit, that we may submit ourselves more and more to Thee." The safe state of God's kingdom lies in the rule of its King. He fights the battle alone, and goes before His people. Through Him Zion obtains the victory. If He alone reigns in His church, all enemies will flee, all rebellion cast down and all opposition broken. To come to the point: I have stated before that the true subjects of this Kingdom are those who are born of God. When in this question it is asked by those who have found their salvation in Christ by faith, "Rule us more and more", the meaning is, so direct Thy Word by Thy Holy Spirit that we may be broken off from all grounds which we have outside of the King. Is it not true that we lean upon much that is outside of Him, Who is the only ground of salvation? Beside Him there is none other name under heaven, given among men whereby we must be saved. O, how many exercises of faith, how many rebukes from that King are necessary to take away all our grounds, causing us to lean upon Him alone, to seek and find our salvation in Him and through Him as His subjects, to rejoice in God. "Rule us more and more by Thy Word and Spirit." This means that Christ must occupy the highest place, the throne of our hearts, and that all self-love must be mortified. There are many other kings sitting upon the throne of our hearts. In Psalm 72 (Psalter No. 194), the church sings, "Yea, all the kings shall bow to Him." In this petition we ask that this may take place in our hearts and that all the kings which are enthroned in our hearts may bow before that eternal King of Zion. Take for instance, all self-love, all self-exaltation, all spiritual pride and all glorying because of the blessings which God has given. The petition is that Christ may rule within us and that we may renounce our own will and desire, in order that we may submit to God's will, according to which He rules and Christ rules; so that He may display His majesty and glory in our hearts. The more the rule of this King is embraced in our hearts and the mightier the rule of Christ is in the souls of His people, the more they are privileged, as a result of that rule, to live and walk in God's commandments. You realize, of course, that I am stressing the spiritual significance that lies in this petition. When we ask here that Christ may rule in us more and more, we ask that He may bring His spiritual dominion in us more clearly. This does not exclude praying for the preservation of His church in its visible form, for we read also, "Preserve and increase Thy church." It is this church, which His kingdom reveals itself, here in the world. This church is invisible but it receives a visible manifestation. It was already in existence in the beginning. In the New Testament it came to such a glory that it is written, "The Kingdom of heaven is at hand." This church needs preservation and growth. God's people need the continuous protection of that King in their internal conflicts with a triple-headed enemy. The church in its visible manifestation also needs the rule of that King, His protection and the glorification of His grace in the heart. The safe state of the church lies in the promise of this King, "Lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world." That includes even the darkest times. Read the history of the church of old, also in our country, and think how in those dark days the Word of Christ retained its power, and how He reigned as King over His church. He does so internally in the hearts of His people, but also externally in His inheritance, so that His church may not be lost but remain visible, in spite of all the attacks which are made upon her. Why is the state of the church so safe? Because this King has fought the battle alone, and He alone is the Conqueror; because He makes His people and His church victorious; and He will be their defense, for "upon all the glory shall be a defense". Thus the church is safe in the hand of the King, yes, even when one would say, "What will become of the church of God?" The church lies safe in His hands. Therefore it shall triumph over all the enemies that rise up against it. For we read: "Destroy the works of the devil, and all violence which would exalt itself against Thee, and also, all wicked counsels devised against Thy holy Word." The church shall obtain the victory over the enemies. We speak of this in the third place. III The Lord shall destroy the works of the devil as well as all violence and all wicked counsels, especially the works of the devil; for the devil is the prince of darkness. He hates God's Kingdom and cannot endure the light of the Kingdom of Christ. Therefore He always resists the dominion of King Jesus. The devil found his kingdom upon an imitation of Christ. Luther called him the imitator of Christ. He does what he sees in the Kingdom of Zion. He has an army with which he intends to wage war against this spiritual and eternal Kingdom. He goes about, not only as a roaring lion, but also as an angel of light. In this warfare the church of God in itself is powerless. What then lies in this petition, "Thy Kingdom come"? That the King Himself shall destroy the works of the devil. He has already fought the battle; He has bruised the head of Satan; as a victor He arose from the dead, and He triumphs eternally at the right hand of the Father. He alone can destroy the works of the devil, preventing them from doing any real harm to His church. We read further, "Destroy all violence which would exalt itself against Thee." It speaks of violence against the church of God. Did I not speak in the introduction of the kingdoms of the world that set themselves against Christ and of the stone that was seen, cut out without hands? This Kingdom set itself against the kingdoms of the world and broke them to pieces so that they were carried away as chaff by the wind. The world, in the service of Satan, has done violence to the church of God. Satan is the prince of the world. From age to age violence has been committed, even from the days of the apostles. Think of the persecutions under the Roman Popes and of the violence revealed against God's heritage from age to age. This violence of the powers of the world is described in the rising of the beast that came up out of the sea and the earth, and finally in the eventual rise of the Antichrist. Oh what times of distress are still awaiting the church of God, through the violence that shall be committed against it by the power of Satan. Nevertheless, Zion's King shall triumph. He alone protects His church and defends it against the violence expressed in this portion of the Catechism, which is said to exalt itself against the Head of the church. When war is waged against the church, the main object is to cast the King Himself from the throne, if possible, to destroy His kingdom. This war which must be fought by God's church is actually waged against Christ. Could we but see a little of this, how encouraged we would be. The Lord shall one day settle the accounts of all His enemies. This is the war which He Himself wages, and He will not allow His people to lose. What will all this lead to? It will lead to the triumph of the church because the King Himself is at the head in this battle. "The Lord is at the head of those who would help me", says one. "Destroy also all wicked counsels devised against Thy holy Word." For as mentioned before, the enemy also goes about as an angel of light to blind their eyes and draw them away from the Word of God, to destroy the doctrine of truth and introduce the error. You can find many examples from the beginning already in the days of the apostles, which show the wicked counsels devised against the Word of God. You can see in the history of our country what has been devised against the Word of God, and you will often ask: "How was it possible that the church fell so far from its firm foundation?" So it is still. Those wicked devices against the Word of God are woven so carefully that you can hardly detect them, but their purpose is to set aside the old doctrine of truth. Therefore I have said so often, "By all means, read the old Reformed theologian writings, so that you can defend the true doctrine when a falling away shall come. Search these old writings and use them to try all that is published in our days. Then you will turn away from them, for they are the wicked counsels of the devil devised against the Word of God and the true doctrine. Upon this the church shall stand firm so that "the gates of hell shall not prevail against it." How many blasphemies and false representations arise; all of them are counsels devised against the Word of God to make the preaching ineffectual. Paul also writes that men sought to make him contemptible, to lessen the power of his testimony. But the Lord has assured us in His Word, "No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment shalt thou condemn." God already grants this in the establishment of His Kingdom and in the preservation of His church. He causes it to stand firm and preserves it that it be not moved. How fully will this be seen in the perfect glory which this Kingdom shall receive one day. Of this the last part of our Lord's Day speaks: "Till the full perfection of Thy Kingdom take place, wherein Thou shalt be all in all." That is our fourth main thought. IV Here on earth the Kingdom of heaven is the church militant. Soon it shall obtain the full victory. Now that Kingdom is imperfect. It is imperfect, not only because the church in its visible manifestation is composed of wheat and tares together, but also because it is imperfect in the hearts of God's children. There are always wrestlings with sin and the old man. But one day that will change. Christ has taken a part of His Kingdom into heaven already; a part is still on earth. One day He will gather His church, that is to say, all His elect together and set up His Kingdom in perfect glory. That will be at the end of days. That will be on the great judgment day which the Father has appointed. Of that day and hour knoweth no one but the Father only. Then Christ will deliver that Kingdom to His Father. The church will no longer need His Mediatorial offices of prophet, priest and king. Then the kingdom of grace will become the kingdom of glory, and its subjects will no longer be faced by any enemies. They will be destroyed with an eternal destruction when the King says, "Those, My enemies, which would not that I should reign over them, bring hither, and slay them before Me." Christ will then deliver the Kingdom to His Father and sit in the midst of the throne, to receive glory and honour and thanksgiving for ever. The great King will then be worshipped perfectly, for not only will the souls of God's people inherit glory, but also the church of God, His chosen multitude. They will enter into heaven with soul and body where they will shine forever and ever in the light of that King to display their beauty. They will rejoice perfectly in the presence of God. This is reserved for God's people. There the Kingdom will be perfect, for Satan will not be there and no enemy; for they shall gnaw their tongues with everlasting pain. There the Kingdom is perfect and in such glory as eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor has it entered into the heart of man to conceive. However severe the conflict may be here below, at the end of the course the Lord has the crown laid away for His people, and He will adorn them with that incorruptible and undefiled crown that fadeth not away; and He will exalt and glorify Himself in them perfectly. However insignificant God's people are in themselves, there they will rejoice forever. Here below they have already by grace received a place in that Kingdom through faith, and taken refuge under the protection of that King. Soon they shall enter into His glory forever. This is it that encourages, comforts and strengthens the church and makes it sing with the Psalmist in Psalter No. 421 st. 2, The sparrow finds a house to rest, The swallow deftly builds her nest, And broods her young hard by Thy altar. O Lord of hosts, my God, my King, With all my soul to Thee I cling! Hold Thou my hand, lest I should falter. How blest are they that dwell with Thee! They praise Thy Name continually. The Kingdom of heaven reveals itself within the visible church. As to the outward condition of the visible church, the Lord Jesus spoke several parables which tell us clearly there are not only wise virgins but also foolish virgins; that the Kingdom of heaven is as a net containing good fish and bad; and that it is as a field in which tares also grow. With these parables the Lord Jesus alludes to the manifestation of the Kingdom of heaven here on earth. At the same time they tell us that we are not only under the universal government of God the Father as Creator, but that He Himself in the way of His divine providence, brings us within the boundaries of that Kingdom. Nevertheless it remains true, that no man can enter that Kingdom except He is born again. It is written so emphatically in John 3 that no man need doubt it, "Verily, verily I say unto you" and that "verily" has the strength of an oath, as if the Lord would say, "I confirm it in the most solemn manner", "no man can see or enter the Kingdom of God except He be born again." Let us therefore hold fast to this rule: the true subjects of that Kingdom are those who are born of God, who are regenerated by His Word. For His elect, the Lord opens His Word and the free administration of the Gospel, in which He earnestly invites sinners to salvation. By reason of your bringing up, you may answer me, "Yes, but God's Word can only bear fruit when God Himself accompanies it." Indeed, so it is. We cannot give each other the grace of regeneration. God's servants cannot give you grace. Neither are they responsible for the fruit of the Word. The Lord holds this in His own hands. But tell me, since you by your presence have been a part of the revelation of that Kingdom, what advantage have you taken of the Word of the Kingdom? What are you doing with the Word of God? Tell me, did you ever seek to partake of the salvation of Zion's eternal King in the deliverance, by which He delivers His church out of the state of misery and eternal perdition to which it has subjected itself with all men? Let us be honest. We have many thoughts and seasonings, sometimes objections against the Word of God and against the simple doctrine of the truth. Let us honestly examine ourselves. Is it not true that man works out his own destruction? Is it not found to be true that we do not want to be converted in the way that God converts His people? Let me say it in the words of the King Himself: "Ye will not come to Me, that ye might have life in My Name." Do not you and I do the same? Here is the revelation of God's Word. Here Zion's eternal King is busy gathering His church and protecting His inheritance. Does not the fault then lie with us - as we are told so clearly in the Canons of Dort - that when the Word bears no fruit, "it is not the fault of the gospel, nor of Christ, offered therein, nor of God," but only of ourselves (Canons of Dort, Head III & IV, Art. 9). Now I say this for a reason: Sometimes an unconverted listener says, "Give us a little comfort, too." Well, I do give you comfort and encouragement when I tell you it is our own fault. I do so in order that, as you consider the Word of truth, you may come to yourself by grace, and learn to see and confess, "It is my own fault if I am lost." Would you want me to plaster you with untempered morter and say, "People, pray much, believe a little, call, and then God will come?" Shall I say, "Because of your exercises you may take courage?" That will not help you because ultimately you will be deceived eternally by such words. This is one of the wicked counsels devised against the Word of God to build each other up as presumed citizens of heaven. That is a false comfort. The case appears entirely different when by the light of the Spirit we ourselves bear the responsibility for the labor which God has bestowed on our souls. Then we cry out, "It is our own fault." Then you do not blame God's servants, for they have made themselves free from your blood. You yourself become the guilty one so that by regeneration you might be led into that Kingdom of grace. The Lord has promised, "My Word shall not return unto Me void." For as the rain watereth the earth and maketh it bring forth and bud, so the Lord shall bless His Word. When that happens we become subjects of that Kingdom and not just followers. Then indeed we become true subjects because Christ enters our hearts as king. Therefore we need so much to preserve the old doctrine, especially in our days, for the church is being allured from its foundations. Consider how insistent our fathers were to save the doctrine of free grace. Remember what has happened. Our fathers were called Protestants and were bitterly persecuted. They bore it steadfastly and retained the true doctrine. Although they were driven from their pulpits, they did not yield an inch. Should we then surrender the truth and be carried about by every wind of doctrine? If we do, the church will be ruined. The Word of God must run its course among us. It is the Word which tells us that Christ was anointed King of Zion which is founded on the holy mountains. It pleased God the Father to make His own Son to be His servant, but He also anointed Him to be Zion's eternal King. He, who with the Father is the eternal, almighty God, received power as the Mediator of His people, when He came in the likeness of men. He exercises that power by making His Word effective, by placing the light of that testimony upon the candlestick. I would say, boys and girls, make it your chief concern. We have our young men's societies; insist upon the pure doctrine; search the old writers, so that you will have a good foundation to make war against the errors that arise. Above all, may God work effectually in your hearts. Remember, you will never amount to anything spiritually with what you fancy to possess when you have much historical knowledge; you must become a lost sinner, and for that purpose there is great need for the ministration of the Spirit and the power of that King, Who visibly defends His church and invisibly governs His people. This is what happens in regeneration when by His royal power, He delivers a sinner out of the power of darkness and incorporates him into His spiritual and heavenly kingdom. Then he becomes a subject of King Jesus. God knows the work of His own hands. However hidden this work may be in the beginning for the soul itself, this King also upholds that work of His hands. If it is true that there is something of that work of His Spirit in our hearts, that King will uphold it; He will never forsake His inheritance, and those that are purchased by His precious blood He will never forsake. Where do the encouragements lie for a sorely assaulted and oppressed people? They lie in the fact that this King will lead them to the eternal victory, not because they have weapons in this battle, but because He is the King of Zion who not only fought the battle, but also finished it, and then ascended triumphantly into His eternal victory. It is the prayer of the true supplicant that this King may reign in his heart more and more, swaying His royal scepter. By the light of the Spirit he learns that there is much within him that rebels against this King. Let God's people tell you how much they seek rest outside of Christ. Consider the whole church together if you will. One must lose his life to find it in that King. May the Lord grant this to us. May He work continually so that He alone may be exalted in our hearts. What a privilege it would be if we would forget ourselves just for once. Yes, God's people should keep on praying, "Thy kingdom come", for that Kingdom shall come. Oh, what an encouragement it is that He will never forsake His inheritance. He protects it against all the violence of Satan and all counsels that are devised against it, as well as against all the devices of our own hearts. People of God, remember the church in your prayers, not forgetting what concerns its outward revelation. Think it no small matter to remember the needs of God's church in prayer, the needs of God's Kingdom which He shall extend unto the ends of the earth. Remember each other also in your personal needs, so that you may deny your own will and desires, because that King sometimes leads His subjects through very deep ways. There are divine chastisements and strokes of His love which His people receive so that He may become their all, for then alone will they say with Isaiah, "O Lord, I will praise Thee, though Thou wast angry with me." Are these not the deeds of love of Zion's eternal King, so that He alone may have the highest place in their hearts, and that His subjects may walk in His laws, agreeing with His will and government? He chastises them so that they may be strengthened in faith to walk in the path of His commandments, and have exercises in sanctification as a people entirely powerless in themselves. What will the fruit be? A longing for the full perfection of that Kingdom. At times God's children may view it from afar. The Bible tells us what will happen. Anyone can read how sad the state of the church will become, and what is in store for God's church in the future. Therefore I say, if you seek an external glory, you will seek in vain. Who knows how near the end of time is? Through the midst of the terrible woes, the King leads His church to the sure victory, for in Him we are more than conquerors. People of God, the entire church on earth is certain to obtain eternal victory. Let come what will, God will keep His church standing. Is it not a strong consolation that the oppression will not last forever, and that the warfare will soon be over, when one day we shall inherit the perfect glory to praise our King perfectly? God's children have a beginning of this already in their hearts here in this life when they extol the greatness of their King in these words, "O King divine, supremely fair Thou art." Sometimes they would like to call heaven and earth together to help them praise their God and King. But such praise is imperfect. The more we enjoy of it, the less we can express it; but soon our souls and one day both soul and body shall do so perfectly in eternal glory. Should not our high regard for Zion's great King be more in exercise, so that we may count ourselves to be strangers and sojourners on earth and thus show that we are seeking another country? Soon the Lord will bring us forth with honour out of our earthly abode unto the King in raiment of needlework. This is true of the entire church. For not one shall be missing; not one out of all nations, and kindreds and people and tongues. The King will gather them together and say, "Behold, I and the children which Thou hast given me." Then shall the Kingdom be delivered to the Father, because the protection of this King will no longer be needed, but He will then receive all thanksgiving and honour. Then the atonement will not be needed any longer, for nothing that is unclean shall enter there. Neither will they need Him as a Prophet to instruct them, for there they will see God face to face. May the Lord comfort and encourage us. May He grant a life of dependence on Him with the constant desire that His Kingdom may come, so that He may rule over us more and more as King. May He guide us with His counsel and cause us to walk in His ways, so that His great name may be glorified at all times to our comfort and encouragement. Amen. Kersten, Heidelberg Catechism in 52 Sermons, Vol.2 (continued in part 23...) ---------------------------------------------------- file: /pub/resources/text/ipb-e/epl-02: krhc2-22.txt .