Law And Grace In The Millennial Kingdom -- By: Zane C. Hodges

Journal: Journal of the Grace Evangelical Society
Volume: JOTGES 20:38 (Spring 2007)
Article: Law And Grace In The Millennial Kingdom
Author: Zane C. Hodges


Law And Grace In The Millennial Kingdom

Zane C. Hodges

President
Kerugma Ministries
Mesquite, Texas

I. Introduction

The apostle Paul wrote, “You are not under law but under grace” (Rom 6:14). When Jesus reigns, He will fully enforce the Law. Does this fact contradict Paul’s statement? If not, how do both these truths fit together?

II. Law in the Millennial Kingdom

Someone may wish to question the statement that the Lord Jesus Christ will fully enforce the Law in His kingdom. But this is what Jesus said so very plainly in the Sermon on the Mount. Matt 5:17–19 reads:

Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill. For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one title will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled. Whoever therefore breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever does and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.

Jesus is saying that if there is someone in the kingdom of heaven who breaks a very small command of the Law and teaches others to do it, that person will have the lowest possible standing in the kingdom. This is certainly the most natural and straightforward way to read this passage.

Jesus’ large audience would have understood Him to be referring to the future messianic kingdom which the nation expected. They would not be likely to theologize this statement in some way, as modern readers are tempted to do. The obvious idea is that this is how it will be in the kingdom.

Furthermore, the reference to heaven and earth not passing away until the Law and Prophets are fulfilled supports this understanding. According to the Book of Revelation, heaven and earth do not pass away until the first thousand years have run their course. Jesus is therefore thinking of the end of the first thousand years of His kingdom as being the terminal point for this fulfillment. The Law will have been fulfilled when the old heaven and earth are burned up.

We know that before heaven and earth pass away, there will be law-breaking in the kingdom. For example, an uncountable multitude of people alive on the earth will participate in the rebellion of Gog and Magog (Rev 20:7–10). Zechariah 14:16–19 tells us a lot about the status of the Jewish...

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