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Divinity of Christ, book by H. H. Pope Shenouda III
40- The Kingdom Belongs to Christ
Because the Kingdom Belongs to Him
(1) The kingdom is God's kingdom, and in the Lord's Prayer we pray to the Heavenly Father, saying: "Your kingdom come" (Matt. 6:10). The Apostle says: "God who calls you into His own kingdom and glory" (I Thess. 2:12); (Jas. 2:5). The Lord Jesus Christ says: "My Father's kingdom" (Matt. 26:29); (Matt. 13:43), and the term "kingdom of God' appears in various verses, among which are: St. Luke's Gospel, chapter 13, verses 18, 20, 28 and 29.
(2) Nevertheless, the Lord Jesus Christ declares that the kingdom belongs to Him, saying: "Assuredly, I say to you, there are some standing here who shall not taste death till they see the Son of Man coming in His kingdom" (Matt. 16:28). This is concerning the spread of His kingdom on earth. And concerning the end of this age, He says: "The Son of Man will send out His angels, and they will gather out of His kingdom all things that offend, and those who practice lawlessness, and will cast them into the furnace of fire" (Matt. 13:40-42).
(3) Regarding the kingdom of heaven of Christ, the Apostle says: "I charge you therefore before God and the Lord Jesus Christ, who will judge the living and the dead at His appearing and His kingdom" (2 Tim. 4: 1). About this heavenly kingdom, the Penitent Thief said: "Lord, remember me when You come into Your kingdom" (Lk. 23:43).
(4) Daniel the Prophet was most probably referring to the kingdom of heaven when he spoke about Christ, saying: "His dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and His kingdom the one which shall not be destroyed' (Dan. 7:14). These terms were only used for God, the God who lives forever, the Most High and steadfast God forever (Dan. 4:3,34); (Dan. 6:26).
Therefore, the kingdom is God the Father's kingdom and Christ's kingdom. What, then, is the conclusion? Who, except God alone, can talk of His kingdom like this: A spiritual kingdom on earth, an everlasting kingdom in heaven, a kingdom which will not pass away, a kingdom which will not be destroyed, a kingdom in which the angels and the elect are His (Matt. 24:31)?
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