Sunday, 19 August 2018
For He has not put the world to come, of which we speak, in subjection to angels. Hebrews 2:5
The word “For” here is given as an explanatory marker. The author has shown that the salvation provided by Jesus, and which pertains to men, is much greater than the “word spoken through angels.” What had previously been enacted was temporary, but the salvation which comes through Christ Jesus (the Son) is forever. Thus, His rule is also forever (as is explicitly stated in verse 1:8). In this new order or things, verse 1:14 said that the angels are “ministering spirits sent forth to minister for those who will inherit salvation.”
With this understanding, he continues with, “He has not put the world to come.” A similar phrase is seen in Hebrews 6:5. Some translations actually make it the same by saying “the world to come.” Others more rightly translate it as, “the ages to come.” The reason is that two different words are used. Here, in verse 2:5, it is speaking of the inhabited world. There, it is speaking of the ages of time reaching into the future. The author says that the “world” to come, meaning the inhabited earth, is that “of which we speak.” He is conveying his thoughts while using the plural to include his audience. He is ensuring that all are on the same page concerning the issue at hand.
It is this world to come which “He has not put … in subjection to angels.” This returns to the thought of verse 1:14 (as noted above). The idea here is that he first cited verse 1:14. Then he showed the supremacy of what Christ brought about in His work related to salvation, being greater than that of which the angels spoke out; and then he has said that the world to come, which is based on His work of salvation, will not be in subjection to angels. Instead, it will be in subjection to Him, and the angels will minister to man on His behalf. This “world to come” certainly speaks of the millennium. The author is speaking to a Jewish audience about what has been promised to them in their own Scriptures. The distinction to be made is between the current arrangement and that which will be realized in Christ’s second coming.
This must speak of the time of the millennium, because in verse 2:8, he will note that all things will be in subjection to Him. The same idea is stated in 1 Corinthians 15:24-27. This includes death itself. However, death is not said to be cast into the lake of fire until after the millennium. Therefore, the “world to come” is referring to the millennium, and it then extends beyond that when death is finally gone forever.
Life application: It is hard to imagine how replacement theologians can ignore a literal millennial period of reign by Messiah, but they do. However, the author of Hebrews is addressing a Jewish audience who were (and who are) expecting a dispensation where Messiah will rule on earth. They expect this because this is what their Scriptures proclaim, and it is what the author of Hebrews clearly indicates is coming. Don’t be misled into accepting the idea that the church has replaced Israel. The Bible never proclaims this, in either testament.
Lord God, it is a remarkable day which lies ahead when Christ Jesus will rule for a thousand years among Israel. They shall be the head of the nations, and the promises to them will all be fulfilled in the most remarkable way. We must be close! Israel is back in her land, the church is quickly falling away from sound doctrine, and the world is about to receive its just due for its perverse conduct. As You have spoken, so it is coming to pass. Thank You that we have full assurance of our faith because of the prophetic word! Praises to You, O God. Amen.