THE KINGDOM OF GLORY

My beloved brothers and sisters in Christ God,

Christ is in our midst! He was, is, and ever shall be.

THE KINGDOM OF GLORY

With the end of this age and the transformation of the world INTO A NEW AND BETTER WORLD, there is revealed the Eternal Kingdom of God, THE KINGDOM OF GLORY.

Then will come to an end the Kingdom of Grace, the existence of the Church on earth, the MILITANT Church; it will enter in this Kingdom of Glory and WILL MERGE WITH THE HEAVENLY (TRIUMPHANT) Church. "Then comes the end, when He delivers the Kingdom of God the Father, hen He puts an end to all rule and all authority and power. For He must reign till He has put all enemies under His feet. The LAST ENEMY that will be DESTROYED IS DEATH… Now when all things are made subject to Him, then the Son Himself will also be subject to Him who put all things under Him, that God may be all in all" (I Corinthians 15:24-26, 28). These words concerning the end of the Kingdom of Christ must be understood as the FULFILLMENT OF THE SON’S MISSION, which He accepted from the Fathe, and which consists of the conducting of mankind to God through the Church. Then the Son will reign in the Kingdom of Glory through the Church. Then the Son will reign in the Kingdom of Glory together with the Father and the Holy Spirit, and "of His Kingdom, there shall be no end," as the Archangel announced to the Virgin Mary (Luke 1:33), and as read in the Symbol of Faith (Creed): "And His Kingdom will have no end." Saint Cyril of Jerusalem says of this: "For will not He who reigned before overthrowing his enemies, reign all the more after He has conquered them."

Death WILL HAVE NO POWER IN THE Kingdom of Glory. "The last enemy that shall be destroyed IS DEATH… Then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory" (I Corinthians 15:26, 54), "There shal be time no longer" (Revelation 10:6).

The ETERNAL BLESSED LIFE is presented vividly in the 21st chapter of Revelation: "And I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away: and there was no more sea" (Rev. 21:1). In the future Kingdom everything will be SPIRITUALIZED, IMMORTAL, AND HOLY.

But the chief thing is that those who attain the future blessed life and become "partakers of the Divine Nature" (2 Peter 1:4) will be participants in that most perfect life, whose source is in God alone. In particular, the future members of the Kingdom of God will be vouchsafed, like the Angels, to "see God" (Matthew5:8), to behold His Glory not as through a dark glass, not by means of conjectures, but FACE TO FACE. And not only will they behold this glory, but they themselves will be "PARTAKERS" of it, shining like "the sun in the Kingdom of their Father" (Matthew 13:43). being "fellow heirs" with Christ, sitting with Christ on a throne and sharing with Him the roayal grandeur" (Revelation 3:21, Romans 8:17, 2 Timothy 2:11-12).

Blessedness in God will be all teh more desirable in that it will be eternal, WITHOU END: "The righteous (shall go) into life eternal" (Matthew 25:46).

However, this glory in God, in the thought of the Holy Fathers of the Church, will have its degrees, corresponding to the moral deignity of each one. One may conclude this also from the words of Sacred Scripture: "In My Father’s house are many mansions (John 14:2); He shall reward every man according to his works (Matthew 16:27); every man shall receive his own reward according to his own labor (1 Corinthians 3:8); one star differeth from another star in glroy (I Corinthians 51:41).

Saint Ephraim the Syrian says: "Just as everyone takes enjoyment of the rays of the sensual sun according to the purity of his powerof seeing and of the impressions that are given, and just as in a single lamp which illumines a house each ray has its place, while the light is not divided into many lamps; so also in the future age all the righteous will dwell inseparably in a single joy, but each in his own degree will be illuminated by the single mental sun, and to the degree of his worth he will draw in joy and rejoicing as if in a single atmosphere and place, and no one will see the degrees that are higher and lower, lest looking on the surpassing Grace of another and upon his own deprivation, he will thereby have some cause in himself for sorrow and disturbance. May this not be there, where there is neither sorrow nor sighing, but everyone according to the Grace proper to him in his measure will rejoice, while outwardly all will have a single contemplation and a single joy" (Saint Ephraim the Syrian, "On the Heavenly Mansions").

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