As a reminder to the Church of today, I feel moved to say here that the Church IS NOT the Kingdom, in that the Church (those who have been called out of the world and its ways to serve God) is comprised of forgiven sinners, but the Kingdom of God is made up of NEW CREATURES. This means that the Church consists of all unto whom the righteousness of Christ has been imputed by faith, but the Kingdom of God is INHERITED by those who actually OVERCOME the fallen adamic nature. These “overcomers” are they who can then continually and consistently DO the will of the Father. Beloved, Jesus said that it is not every one who says “Lord, Lord” who shall enter INTO the Kingdom of God, but it will be the ones who come to the place of actually DOING the will of the Father (who no longer exercise self-will) who shall enter.
Let’s look at it this way…
Our experience in the Church is a PREREQUISITE for our INHERITANCE in the Kingdom. This, of course, is the very reason why the Holy Spirit testified to each of the seven Churches in the book of Revelation, “To him (in the Church) THAT OVERCOMES will I give power over the nations … to him (in the Church) THAT OVERCOMES shall I grant to sit with me in my throne, etc.”
This, beloved, is showing us that it is THE PROCESSING IN THE CHURCH REALM that qualifies us for a place of REIGNING in the Kingdom of God. This is saying that reigning in the Kingdom of God is the OUTCOME of a Church that has followed on to KNOW THE LORD in the power of His resurrection, through the fellowship of Christ’s sufferings, being conformed unto HIS DEATH. Paul said that THIS IS THE WAY (the only way) of ATTAINING TO the out-resurrection (Gk – exanastasis), what I believe to be a welcoming INTO THE KINGDOM OF MT. ZION and the heavenly Jerusalem, a welcoming INTO THE CHURCH OF THE FIRSTBORN (the fully-raised) from the dead, a welcoming unto THE THRONE OF GOD and a welcoming TO SIT WITH THE JUDGE OF ALL IN THAT THRONE, a “sitting” which bespeaks of REIGNING AUTHORITY, of SONSHIP.