The church did not come into existence over night. It was planned, prophesied, promised, and then established. The Bible shows all of this clearly.
First, the church existed in the mind of God. Paul declares this unto the saints at Ephesus. He said,
- “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, Just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love, having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He made us accepted in the Beloved” (Ephesians 1:3-6).
Please note that he is talking to the church at Ephesus and he says God had chosen them before the foundation of the world. That means that God was thinking about the church even before the world was created. That is, he was planning it at that time, and so it originated in the mind of God. How absurd then to belittle and underrate that which God planned from the beginning.
Second, the church was spoken of in prophecy on numerous occasions. Isaiah said,
- “Now it shall come to pass in the latter days that the mountain of the Lord’s house shall be established on the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow to it. Many people shall come and say, come and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob; He will teach us His ways, and we shall walk in His paths. For out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem” (Isaiah 2:2,3).
- Joel stated, “And it shall come to pass afterward that I will pour out My Spirit on all flesh; your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions. And also on My menservants and on My maidservants I will pour out My Spirit in those days” (Joel 2:28,29).
- Then Daniel pointed out, “And in the days of these kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom which shall never be destroyed; and the kingdom shall not be left to other people; it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand forever” (Daniel 2:44).
Now let us draw some conclusions:
- The kingdom would be established in the last days.
- It would be established in the mountains.
- All nations would flow unto it.
- The Lord would pour out his Spirit upon all flesh.
- It would be established in the days of the fourth world empire.
- It would consume all other kingdoms and stand forever.
Now, where is all of this fulfilled? Read Acts 2.
Third, the church was promised. John said it was at hand (Matthew 3:2). That means it was near by or would soon be established.
- Christ promised, “And I say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it” (Matthew 16:18). “And He said to them, Assuredly, I say to you that there are some standing here who will not taste death till they see the kingdom of God present with power” (Mark 9:1). “Then He said to them, Thus it is written, and thus it was necessary for the Christ to suffer and to rise from the dead the third day, and that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. And you are witnesses of these things. Behold, I send the Promise of My Father upon you; but tarry in the city of Jerusalem until you are endued with power from on high ” (Luke 24:46-49).
Now observe these facts:
- The kingdom was near.
- Christ promised to build it in spite of death.
- Some of those who were with Christ would still be living at the time of its establishment.
- It would come with power.
- Repentance and remission of sins would be preached in his name among all nations.
- It would begin in Jerusalem.
- The apostles would be endued with power from on high in the city of Jerusalem.
Please keep all of these points in mind as we come finally to the establishment of the church and you will see all of this unfold.
Turn now to Acts 2. On doing so, read it carefully several times. All Bible scholars admit that the church was established at this time. Furthermore, the place was Jerusalem, the time was the last days, the days of the kings of the Roman Empire, the power came, repentance and remission of sins were preached to all the nations, and the church has been in existence ever since. So, the church that God had in his mind was established, the prophecies concerning it were fulfilled, and the promises regarding it were kept.
Please give the correct answer:
1. Where did the church first exist? .
When did God choose the church?
3. Name three prophets who spoke of the coming of the kingdom:
4. How long will the kingdom stand?
5. Who promised to build the church?
6. Whose church did he promise to build?
7. How many did he say he would build?
8. With what would the kingdom come?
9. What would be preached in Jerusalem?
10. Where can you read about the establishment of the church?
Please circle TRUE or FALSE
The church was planned, prophesied, promised, and then established.
The church originated in the mind of God.
John said the kingdom was near at hand.
The kingdom was to come with power.
Repentance and remission of sins would be preached in His name among all nations.
The church would begin at Jerusalem.
Acts 2 tells of the establishment of the church.
This was in the days of the Roman Empire
The last days had already begun.
The prophecies and promises about the establishment of God’s Kingdom were fulfilled and kept.
This article is from “The Church of the Bible” by J.C. Choate Publications
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