The Kingdom Now

The Kingdom Now

The above question has been asked by me hundreds of times. Usually, I have asked this question in the context of making a call on a visitor to one of the churches I have served during the last five plus decades. I wish I would have known better questions to ask. After you read this, you may have your understanding of the church broadened a bit and you may never ask this question of anyone again.    Let’s see what I am talking about….

Monday…There exists a belief that God instituted the church as sort of an afterthought since man went into sin and He (God) did not expect that. Absolute nonsense, of course. God knew precisely what man would do, but He loved mankind and knew that millions upon millions would obey Him, love Him and want to serve Him. Revelation 13:8 and Isaiah 53 teach us that the Christ was ordained to die even before the world was formed. Do you see the incredible significance of that fact? The church, made up of those who accepted the sacrifice of Christ, was in the mind of God before man was created. Do you see the importance of the church? And belonging to the church?

Tuesday…The question, “Do you go to church?” begs this question, “Are you saved?” There will be terrible shocks on Judgment Day: one shock will come to those who attended church now and then and thought themselves among the elect (see Matthew 23); the other group who will be shocked will be those who never darkened the door of the church and yet thought themselves good enough for Heaven. Read on…

Wednesday…Do those of us who are ‘church members’ realize what is meant by that term? Not only are we ‘the Bride of Christ’ (John 3:29), but we are also ‘in Christ’ (see John 17). It does not end there. We are also in the ‘body of Christ’ (I Corinthians 12:13). I hope you are seeing that, “Do you go to church?” is more than a little inadequate when it comes to understanding the church and membership therein.

Thursday…An interesting term is the word, ‘ecclesia’ or ‘ekklesia’…this word is found in Matthew 16:18, Acts 20:28, Ephesians 1:22,23, etc. and is usually translated, ‘church.’ It is much more than that, though. The word refers basically to a political gathering at which someone has taken a particular stand and invited others to join him/her and come out from the crowd to do so. Those in the church have heard someone call to them. The call is to leave the crowd and stand with the one offering the invitation. The one asking us to leave the crowd and join Him is Jesus. Isn’t that interesting?

Friday…I love the church and have spent my life since age 19 working in the church. I was taken to church as a baby and was baptized into Christ on June 6, 1958 when I was eleven years old. Have I always behaved as I should have? No. Have I always done my best? No. Have I some regrets concerning myself? Yes. No Christian, no real church member would ever say that they are deserving. Here is what we all can say, however: “We are forgiven.” Yes, indeed…forgiven.

by Dale Holzbauer