“How could Peter say to the Jews that their inheritance is reserved for them in heaven (I Pet. 1:4) if their hope is earthly?”
When the disciples thought “that the kingdom of God should immediately appear (Luke 19:11), the Lord told a parable. The “certain nobleman” (v. 12) represents the Lord Himself, who went to the “far country” of heaven at His ascension (Acts 1:9) “to receive for himself a kingdom, and to return.” This means that the kingdom that will eventually be established for Israel on earth was reserved for them in heaven at that time.
Before leaving, the nobleman charged his servants with conducting his business while he was gone (v. 13), a picture of how the Lord left His disciples in charge of His ministry after He left. But after the “citizens” of Israel killed the Lord, they “sent a message after Him” (v. 14) by killing Stephen, a message that said, “We will not have this man to reign over us.”
When the nobleman “was returned, having received the kingdom” (v. 15), he gathered his servants to reward them according to their faithfulness (vv. 15-27). This speaks of how, when the Lord returns to the earth, He will return with the kingdom that is currently “reserved in heaven” for Israel, and He will award positions in the government of the kingdom to faithful Jews at that time.
To the Reader:
Some of our Two Minutes articles were written many years ago by Pastor C. R. Stam for publication in newspapers. When many of these articles were later compiled in book form, Pastor Stam wrote this word of explanation in the Preface:
"It should be borne in mind that the newspaper column, Two Minutes With the Bible, has now been published for many years, so that local, national and international events are discussed as if they occurred only recently. Rather than rewrite or date such articles, we have left them just as they were when first published. This, we felt, would add to the interest, especially since our readers understand that they first appeared as newspaper articles."
To this we would add that the same is true for the articles written by others that we continue to add, on a regular basis, to the Two Minutes library. We hope that you'll agree that while some of the references in these articles are dated, the spiritual truths taught therein are timeless.