Reigning with Jesus is a fascinating thought for me. My imagination goes a little wild. I wonder if the new world in the millennium will be divided into regions, and I will be in charge of one? Or will I just get a little vine covered cottage and reign over my dogs and cats, which is about all I can manage just now. But, the verses around the reigning with Jesus part are very serious.
“Faithful is the saying: For if we died with him, we shall also live with him: if we endure, we shall also reign with him: if we shall deny him, he also will deny us: if we are faithless, he abideth faithful; for he cannot deny himself. Of these things put them in remembrance, charging [them] in the sight of the Lord, that they strive not about words, to no profit, to the subverting of them that hear.” 2 Timothy 2 :11-14
If we died with Him refers to being born again and the death of our old selves, and if you are born again you will live with Him. But, what must we do to reign with Him? We must endure – even through many trials, we must continue to have faith and to believe we are saved by grace through Jesus. My favorite verse on endurance is James 1:2-4. James wrote:
Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.
“Imagine that!” I said when I first read these verses with understanding. I really believe the Holy Spirit was guiding me to James’ letter that day. My shoulder (diagnosed as torn rotary cup plus many bone spurs) was not getting better regardless of my prayers and the prayers of others. But, here it was. I would see it as pure joy and know that this trial would increase my endurance. Then, enough endurance would make me perfect and complete. That must be a lot of endurance. I can only say Wow! But, if we get back to 2 Timothy, there Paul says if we endure we will reign with Christ, a wonderful promise. There is also the fact that if we turn our backs on God, he will deny us. This is throughout the Bible. If you have died to your old self, even if you slip and sin and have to ask for forgiveness, you should never deny God or God will deny you.
I copied the verses through 2:14 because I think an important idea is in there, too important not to mention. After telling Timothy about reigning with Jesus, Paul says Timothy should warn the Christians that they should not strive about words which he says would be of no profit and would lead to the subverting of them that hear. Subverting means “to pervert or corrupt by an undermining of morals, allegiance, or faith” according to the Merriam Webster Dictionary. So when we strive with words, argue, we can cause people who hear us, maybe not even those involved with the argument, to become immoral and possibly deny their faith. Discussing God’s word is one thing. Quoting the Bible as a way to defeat Satan is one thing. But when we strive with words, when we use words to fight, this doesn’t help anyone. Jews and some Christians consider Saturday as the sabbath, others say it is Sunday. Fighting with each other over this is not right. Striving with words is dangerous. Let’s remember that and keep our comments even if we disagree a discussion of our opposing views, but not an argument.