Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: MISSION (01/30/20)
TITLE: Our Part In The Mission
By Doug Laird
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In the dispensation of the Church Age each individual born again believer is like a brick, with the Church being like the wall.
However, the Church that God designed is not a physical structure. The Church that God designed is the collective body of the intangible souls of born again believers. The only tangible part of the Church here on Earth are the physical bodies (1Cor. 3: 16) of the born again believers.
The majority of the Church is already in Heaven (2Cor. 5: 8) temporarily indwelling interim bodies (2Cor. 5: 1). There are no souls in cemeteries or urns. The dust (Gen. 3: 19) or decaying remains of born again believers will be raised up in the form of a resurrected body and reunited with the departed soul when the Rapture (1Thess. 4: 16) takes place.
The departed members of the Church Age are presently (2Cor. 5: 8) in Heaven are resting in peace, having had the opportunity to identify and to execute the post salvation spiritual life here on Earth. Some will have succeeded and will receive the corresponding (1Cor. 3: 14) rewards and (Rev. 2/Rev. 3) privileges for having done so, whereas others will not (1Cor. 3: 15).
With or without reward, the integrity of the salvation of all believers remains eternally secure (Romans 8: 1).
The “rest” being spoken of here is not “soul sleep.” Believers in Heaven are conscious and actively (e.g. Rev. 6: 9-11) experiencing the general environment of Heaven. They are resting in the sense that they have ceased from their labor here on Earth.
The type of labor depends on which dispensation (period of time) any given soul is placed in by God (John 3: 6).
As of the Feast of Pentecost in Jerusalem around 33 AD (Acts 2), the dispensation of the Church Age began. The dispensation of the Church Age will continue to run concurrently with human history until The Rapture takes place (1Thess 4: 16, 17).
The Rapture is NOT the end of human history. It is the end of the dispensation of Church Age, as the true Church will have then completed its mission (Matt. 24: 14).
There is an upcoming period of time following the Rapture (1Thess. 4: 16, 17) when the Church will not be present on planet Earth.
Some Bible scholars, as do I, interpret Scripture to reveal that this period will last seven years, whereas others teach it will last three and one half years.
Scripture describes the period of time when the Church is away as being so horrific that if it were not cut short (by the manifestation of the Second Advent) no life on the planet would survive (Matt. 24: 22).
This hardly describes a world in which good has overcome evil in preparation for the Lord’s return, as many have understood the mission of the Church to be.
Nowhere in Scripture does it say that Christianity was to dominate or rule this world on a global level collaborating with any political system prior to the future dispensation with the 1,000 year kingdom and reign of Christ (Rev. 20: 6). Such alliances have brought the Christian Community to and through its darkest periods of history.
The end of the Church Age will come when the Gospel has been preached to the world (Matt. 24: 14), not when it has been accepted by a majority of the world’s population (Matt.7: 14).
The Great Commission (Matt. 28: 19, 20) clearly outlines the mission that the Lord has given to the Church that He designed.
The Church that God designed was commissioned (Matt. 28: 19) to preserve and proclaim the unadulterated Gospel Message to unbelievers, affording them the opportunity to be saved. After being saved, the Church has been commissioned (Matt. 28: 20) to then make disciples (students (2Pet. 3:18) and appliers (James 1:22) of the Word of God) out of the born again believers. Once trained and equipped (Eph.4: 12), advancing disciples are to serve as Christ's ambassadors
(2 Cor. 5:20) for the spiritual benefit of others (1Cor.12: 7).
Each and every born again believer has an assigned place and area of service in the mission that God gave to His Church.
The opinions expressed by authors may not necessarily reflect the opinion of FaithWriters.com.
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