Why does Jesus promise that "those who hold fast will rule with a rod of iron"?

27 "And he will rule them with a rod of iron, as when earthen pots are broken."

Revelation 2:26 - 27

ESV - 26 The one who conquers and who keeps my works until the end, to him I will give authority over the nations. 27 And he will rule them with a rod of iron, as when earthen pots are broken in pieces, even as I myself have received authority from my Father.

Clarify Share Report Asked May 19 2019 Mini Robin Baccanti

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Mini Tim Maas Retired Quality Assurance Specialist with the U.S. Army
This passage is using the same imagery as in Psalm 2:8-9, which (as noted in Acts 4:24-26) was written by David. The psalm (as was the case with multiple other psalms) also had significance as a messianic prophecy. It speaks of the nations of the earth opposing God and His people. God is recorded as having told David (as Israel's king) -- and (by extension) Jesus as the coming Messiah -- "Ask me, and I will make the nations your inheritance, the ends of the earth your possession. You will break them with a rod of iron; you will dash them to pieces like pottery."

When Jesus returns in glory (as prefigured in the book of Revelation), His appearance will be a source of endless joy and comfort to the redeemed, but also of everlasting punishment (as symbolized by Jesus granting His faithful followers the authority to rule with a rod of iron -- that is, to execute severe judgment in His name) to those who had not availed themselves of the salvation that God had made possible through Him, or (as in the message to the church at Thyatira that is cited in the question) who had unrepentantly fallen away from the faith.

May 19 2019 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

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