TWO REIGNS CONTRASTED.
It may help some, to grasp the scriptural teaching relative to the coming reign of Christ and the present reign of Satan--the prince of this world--to contrast them as below.
God placed man in dominion of earth; Satan beguiled him and made him his willing slave, and thus become ruler of earth--"the prince of this world" (John 12:31). His power and dominion is to cease in due time, and though so long as it continues he seeks to oppose the will and law of God on earth, yet, under the guidance of our all-wise God, even the rule of evil is made to work out an ultimate blessing.
EFFECTS ON SINNERS.
"And now we call the proud happy--yea, they that work wickedness are set up; yea, they that tempt God are even delivered." (Mal. 3:15.)
"And judgment is turned away backward, and justice standeth afar off, for truth is fallen in the street and equity cannot enter." (Isaiah 59:12.)
"I have seen the wicked in great power and spreading himself like a green bay tree." (Psa. 37:35.)
"But as for me, my feet were almost gone, my steps had well nigh slipped: For I was envious at the foolish when I saw the prosperity of the wicked.
"They are not in trouble as other men; neither are they plagued like other men. Their eyes stand out with fatness; they have more than heart could wish.
"Behold, these are the ungodly who prosper in the world; they increase in riches." (Psa. 73:2,3,5,7,12.)
EFFECTS ON SAINTS.
"Men shall say all manner of evil against you falsely for my sake; rejoice and be exceeding glad, for great is your reward in heaven; for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you." (Matt. 5:11,12.)
"He that departeth from evil maketh himself a prey." (Isa. 59:15.)
"Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution." (2 Tim. 3:12.)
"The disciple is not above his Master." (Matt. 10:24.)
"In the world ye shall have tribulation." (Jno. 16:33.)
"If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you....If they have persecuted me they will persecute you." (John 15:18-20.)
"If we suffer with him, we may also be glorified together." (Rom. 8:17.)
"We fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ." (Col. 1:24.)
"If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable." (1 Cor. 15:19.)
Would that all of God's children appreciated the teaching of His Word relative to what constitutes marks of his friendship and favor--during this present age. They might then realize that earthly prosperity and wealth are not marks of divine approval and favor --that whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth often, and that the wealth of the saints in this age consists of our abundance of grace and knowledge of God.
But now contrast this treatment of the righteous with their favor and exaltation under the incoming reign of the Prince of Peace who will make wars to cease unto the ends of the earth. (Psa. 46:9.)
THE REIGN OF CHRIST.
EFFECT ON EVIL DOERS.
"In those days they shall say no more, The fathers have eaten a sour grape and the children's teeth are set on edge. [The Adamic sin and curse being cancelled by the Redeemer, men will be freed from that condemnation.] But every one [who dies--the second death] shall die for his own iniquity: every man that eateth the sour grape, his teeth shall be set on edge." (Jer. 31:29,30; Ezek. 18:2-9.)
"The workers of iniquity ...shall soon be cut down like the grass and wither as the green herb;...for evil doers [those who persistently sin against the high and helpful influences of the Millennial Day] shall be cut off." (Psa. 37:1,2,7,9.)
"For yet a little while, and the wicked shall not be." (Psa. 37:10.)
EFFECT ON RIGHT DOERS.
"Then shall ye return [turn around--everything will be turned around] and [ye shall then] discern between the righteous and the wicked, between him that serveth God and him that serveth him not." (Mal. 3:18.)
"To you that fear my name shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in his wings." (Mal. 4:2.)
"In his days shall the righteous flourish."
"The righteous shall flourish like the palm tree; he shall grow like a cedar in Lebanon." (Psa. 72:7; 92:12.)
"Those that wait upon the Lord shall inherit the earth." (Psa. 37:11.)
"The meek shall inherit the earth, and shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace." (Psa. 37:11.)
Amen. Thy kingdom come thy will be done on earth, as in heaven. The whole earth shall be filled with thy glory--and all nations which thou hast made shall come and worship thee-- when the kingdom is the Lord's and He is the governor among the nations. (Matt. 6:10; Psa. 72:19and 22:27,28; Rev. 15:4.)