A Citizenship In Heaven
Are we already Citizens of Heaven?
And I say unto you, That many shall come from the east and west, and shall sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of heaven. But the children of the kingdom shall be cast out into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
The place; Capernaum. The occasion; A centurion came to the Lord asking that his servant might be healed. He asked that the Lord just speak the word so that the healing might take place.
The Lord remarked that He had not found such great faith, not in all Israel. He said this to those that were following Him. Then He said the words quoted above. There has been a question as to what was meant by these words.
Heretofore Gentiles could not have the hope of Israel apart from circumcision and obedience to the law. However Ezekiel prophesied concerning the kingdom and the inheritance of the 12 tribes. He added that strangers would also have a part in it. The Lord gave the keys of the kingdom to Peter. Peter opened the door of the kingdom to Israel at Pentecost. About 8 years later he opened the door of the kingdom to Gentiles at the house of another centurion, Cornelius. Or could it be that this is the same centurion? Who knows? But now we wonder if the centurion of Matt 8 lived till this time and heard the message and also was added to the kingdom by faith and became a child of Abraham ( Gal 3:29).
Note that the Gentiles that come into the kingdom come from the east and west, but not from the north and south. But the children of the kingdom, who are they? Surely not outsiders! Under the context, we have to assume that they are believers who are lacking in faith. They are uncertain.
They are cast out, banished, from the kingdom. They do not get an inheritance in the promised land as do some of the believing Gentiles such as this centurion was. So they will wander among the nations of the earth for the duration of the kingdom, the 1,000 years. They will be laughed at and ridiculed. Hence the weeping.
The darkness is mentioned in Isaiah 60:2 . In those days (time of the kingdom), darkness will cover the earth and gross darkness the peoples or nations. Light will come upon Israel and nations will come to that light. See next verse.
There is a similar punishment of the unprofitable servant in Matt 25:30, and of the man without the wedding garment in Matt 22:13. The wise virgins go in with the wedding procession, but the foolish ones had to wait till morning to get in. Of course the wedding was over and they missed the good time.
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