Are you thirsting for righteousness in the
kingdom of heaven? Many are. Many are
unsure. Many answer yes and no.
For example, if we were to ask this question
from the perspective of Matthew 5:6, how
would you answer?
Bless are those who hunger and thirst for
righteousness, for they shall be filled.
No doubt, many would say, yes, Christ brought us righteousness through his death, burial and resurrection and the
preaching of the gospel.
Now, let’s ask the question from a different text. According to the book of Revelation 7:16, you may read, “They shall neither hunger anymore nor thirst anymore; the sun shall not strike them, nor any heat.” According to that text, has your thirst been quenched?
What some are not aware of is this split concept of righteousness now and righteousness later, expressed in imagery of never having to thirst again. Isaiah prophesied, “Ho! Everyone who thirsts, Come to the waters!, (Isa. 55:1).
These are the waters of life, that flow from the river of life in the heavenly kingdom. Not many are ready to claim those waters as a reality for here and now. They are too caught up with H2O.
The Promise to the Samaritan Woman
The Lord promised waters that would spring up in a man as a fountain of everlasting life, (John 4:14–15) This living water proceeds from the throne of God and of the Lamb. It is from the kingdom. (Rev. 22:1)
Those who hungered and thirsted for righteousness desired the kingdom of God. Righteousness cannot be obtained apart from the kingdom. The beatitudes all pointed to the kingdom.
The pathway would lead through persecution of the church during the transitional change from Judaism to Christianity, from the Old Covenant to the New. The culture of ancient Judaism did not readily accept defectors from the faith, especially those who promoted what they deemed a sect, Acts 24:14.
The Hope of Righteousness
Righteousness properly belongs to the hope of the gospel. “For we through the Spirit eagerly wait for the hope of righteousness which is by faith, (Gal. 5:5). Futurists dare claim hope is realized. How then can righteousness, which is the hope be realized?, (Rom. 8:24–25).
Have they thought this through? Dry wells that leave one thirsty? Dispensationalism offers no present kingdom. Righteousness is not realized, but in the new heavens and new earth.
For we look for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells, (2 Pet. 3:13) You cannot be thirsty and be in the new world of righteousness. You cannot be filled and be in the old world in which it did not dwell.