Harold S. Paisley
Question: Will those who have heard the gospel of the grace of God prior to the rapture of the church have further opportunity to be saved when the gospel of the kingdom is preached? (A young believer in Ontario).
Answer: It is evident from the plain words of the writer to the young believers in Thessalonica that all those who hear the gospel in this wonderful age of grace, who fail to accept Christ as their Savior and Lord, can have no opportunity to be saved following the rapture. For them, the door will be shut forever. The Holy Spirit states plainly that all such will be damned who believed not the truth, but took pleasure in unrighteousness. They will believe the lie of the Antichrist. The unbeliever of the gospel in this age will place faith in the deception of Satan in that future time. The parable of the Lord Jesus (Luke 14:15-24) is the answer also to the question. Those who were given an invitation to the Great Supper, but turned it down and made excuse for rejecting the offer, found out that no further opportunity would ever be given. The Lord said: "None of those men who were bidden shall ever taste of my supper" (vs. 24).
Question: Who is the throne-sitter in Revelation 4:2,3? How does this relate to the throne-sitter of Revelation 5:1?
Answer: The occupant of the throne in the first scripture "was to look upon as the jasper and the Sardine stone." These were precious jewels which adorned the breastplate of the High Priest of Israel. We would conclude that the one seen on the throne is the Son of God himself, our Great High Priest. The question is, how can this relate to the one who sits upon the throne in the next chapter, as the lamb is seen approaching the throne to take the book out of the right hand of the throne-sitter? This throne is occupied by God Himself. Many have speculated on this problem of identification. Various opinions and ideas have been given. We would suggest the fact that some understanding could be gained from the previous chapter. The Lord said "I am sat down with My father on His throne" (Rev. 3:21). Our blessed Lord is presently seated upon the throne with His father. He will remain there until He comes to sit upon His own throne. The Father and the Son are together now and in that time described in these chapters of Revelation. It would appear that in the first mention in chapter 4, Christ is the object of the attention of John and of those around the throne. In the second mention the object of the attention of all gathered is God the Father upon the throne. The challenge of the throne is announced: "Who in all the universe has the fitness and ability to rule the world?" This wonderful chapter introduces us to the only One, the Lion of Judah who is the Lamb of God.
Question: Please explain the expression "the kingdom of the Father" (Matt. 13:43) and "the Kingdom of the Son" (1 Cor. 15:24,25). When will the Son deliver up the kingdom of God, even the Father?
Answer: The title of the kingdom as the kingdom of the Father is peculiar to Matthew. We believe it describes the heavenly side of the kingdom in the millennial reign of Christ. In prayer He said to the Father "Thy kingdom come." He was speaking of the Father's kingdom. Again "the righteous shall shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their father" (Matt. 13:43). In the upper room He also foretold of the joy of sharing communion with His people in His Father's kingdom (Matt. 26:29). We are therefore sure that in the one thousand years of His reign there will be the kingdom on earth, and the glorified saints will reign with the Lord Jesus over the earth. That glorious kingdom is thus understood as having a heavenly and earthly side, all under the rule of the King of kings.
Regarding the second part of the question, we learn from I Cor. 15:25 that Christ must reign until He has put all enemies under His feet. Then the Son, as Son of Man, delivers up the kingdom to God, even the Father, that God (Father, Son and Holy Spirit) may be all in all. This is after the millennial reign is closed and the eternal glory unending will continue in perfection undisturbed.