St.-Gregory-NazianzenWhat greater destiny can befall man’s humility than that he should be intermingled with God, and by this intermingling should be deified (2 Peter 1:4),

and that we should be so visited by the Dayspring from on high (Luke 1:78) that even that Holy Thing that should be born should be called the Son of the Highest,

and that there should be bestowed upon Him a Name which is above every name (Phil. 2:9)? —and what else can this be than God? —

and that every knee should bow to Him That was made of no reputation for us,

and That mingled the Form of God with the form of a servant,

and that all the House of Israel should know that God hath made Him both Lord and Christ? (Acts 2:36).

For all this was done by the action of the Begotten, and by the good pleasure of Him That begat Him.

[…]  “He must reign” (1 Cor. 15:35) till such and such a time…and “be received by heaven until the time of restitution” (Acts 3:21) and “have the seat at the Right Hand until the overthrow of His enemies” (Psalm 109:1).

But after this?  Must He cease to be King, or be removed from Heaven?  Why, who shall make Him cease, or for what cause?

[…] You have heard that of His Kingdom there shall be no end (Luke 1:33).

You must understand that “until” is not always exclusive of that which comes after, but asserts up to that time, without denying what comes after it.

To take a single instance—how else would you understand “Lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world?” (Matt. 27:20).  Does it mean that He will no longer be so afterwards.

[…] He is said to reign in one sense as the Almighty King, both of the willing and the unwilling; but in another as producing in us submission, and placing us under His Kingship as willingly acknowledging His Sovereignty.

Of His Kingdom, considered in the former sense, there shall be no end.  But in the second sense, what end will there be?

His taking us as His servants, on our entrance into a state of salvation.

For what need is there to work submission in us when we have already submitted?  After which He arises to judge the earth, and to separate the saved from the lost.

After that He is to stand as God in the midst of gods (Psalm 81:1), that is, of the saved, distinguishing and deciding of what honour and of what mansion each is worthy.

Gregory Nazianzen (c.330-390): Oration 30, 3-4 (slightly adapted).

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