An Alphabetical Analysis
Volume 9 - Prophetic Truth - Page 179 of 223
suffering as opposed to living with Christ, and earlier in the chapter we
read, 'if a man also strive for masteries, yet is he not crowned, except he
strive lawfully' (2 Tim. 2:5).  Athleo, 'strive for mastery', is a word used
of Greek sports or 'athletics' and such a term is far removed from the
concept of Colossians 1:12,13.  In 2 Timothy 4:7,8, Paul uses athletic terms:
'I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the
faith: henceforth ... a crown'.
So in the context of the heavenly kingdom in 2 Timothy 4:18, we have
his being forsaken when he stood his trial, his being 'delivered out of the
mouth of the lion', and his being 'preserved unto His heavenly kingdom',
which brings this passage into line with the Overcomers of Revelation 20:4 -
6.  Parallels, however, are not identical.  Paul's sphere of reigning with
Christ will not necessarily be in the Millennial kingdom, his sphere either
in grace or in reward is 'far above all ... where Christ sits'.
When we examine the remaining references to the kingdom, apart from
those in Colossians and in 2 Timothy, we are immediately transferred from the
ground of grace alone, to the ground of merit and reward.  When the apostle
wrote to the Thessalonians 'that ye may be counted worthy of the kingdom of
God, for which ye also suffer' (2 Thess. 1:5), he had 'suffering and
reigning' in view.
Kataxioo, 'to count worthy', occurs elsewhere in Luke 20:35; 21:36 and
Acts 5:41 where there is a stress on conflict and endurance.  No one is, or
ever will be, 'counted worthy' of a place in the Church of the Mystery and no
amount of 'suffering' will ever make one a member of the One Body.  We are
obviously on other ground when we read 2 Thessalonians 1:5, the ground of the
race and the prize.  A number of most solemn passages in both sets of Paul's
epistles emphasize the fact that certain evil practices will bring about a
loss, although, as in 1 Corinthians 3:13 -15 we must never confuse 'being
lost' with a saved one though 'suffering loss', yet who will be 'saved so as
by fire'.  We now turn to those passages, found in epistles to believers in
Galatians, 1 Corinthians and in Ephesians, which are parallels with
Revelation 21:8.  Some of the Galatians were liable to spell 'liberty' as
'licence' and to such the apostle addressed the following warning:
'Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery,
fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred,
variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, envyings,
murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like ... they ... Shall not
Inherit the kingdom of God' (Gal. 5:19 -21).
A similar warning is given to the Corinthians, 'Know ye not that the
unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God' (1 Cor. 6:9) and lest we
should be inclined to hand this over to the unsaved, the apostle continues,
'be not deceived', and then comes a list similar to the dreadful catalogue
cited above from Galatians 5, a list that concludes as it opens with the
warning that such shall not inherit the kingdom of God.  It is possible that
some one will say such a condition might have obtained in Paul's early
ministry, but could find no place in his Prison ministry of the Church of the
One Body; alas, this is not so, and we must quote the passage in Ephesians
5:1 -6 in full, awful as the list may sound in close contact with the
exhortation 'to walk in love':