By Earl E. Robertson
The church of the Lord is not an after-thought of divinity, as premillennialists contend; but the church is the fulfillment of God’s eternal purpose (Eph. 3:10, 11). The prophets of the Old Testament foretold its coming. Isaiah said the mountain of the Lord’s house would be established in the last days (Isa. 2:2). Paul tells us the house of God is the church (1 Tim. 3:15). So, the house of the Lord and the church of the Lord are one and the same. Daniel says, “And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand forever” (Dan. 2:44). The Hebrew writer says we have received this kingdom (Heb. 12:28). This kingdom is the one into which all Christians have been translated (Col. 1:13). The kingdom of Christ and the church of Christ are one and the same. From the account of Luke 22:15-20, Jesus shows the Lord’s supper would be eaten “in the kingdom of God,” but not “until the kingdom of God shall come.” But Paul shows the Lord’s supper is in the Lord’s church (1 Cor. 11:18-30). We must, therefore, conclude that either the kingdom and church are one and the same, or the apostles and others were guilty of stealing the Lord’s supper from the kingdom and putting it into the Lord’s church! I would rather believe the church and the kingdom are the same.
“Except the Lord build the house, they labor in vain that build it” (Psa. 127:1). The Lord said, “I will build my church” (Matt. 16:18). The Lord built it and is the foundation of it (1 Cor. 3:10, 11); He is its only head (Eph. 1:22, 23; Col. 1:18, 24) and Savior (Eph. 5:23), having bought it with His own blood (Acts 20:28).
No person can enter this kingdom without being born again (John 3:3-5). This new birth is of “water and the Spirit.” The Spirit revealed the gospel through the preaching and writing of the apostles, and is the begetting agency in the new birth (1 Cor. 4:15). From the grave of baptism, the delivery is made to complete the figure here used by the Lord. A birth necessitates a begettal and a delivery. This is what Jesus demands in Mark 16:15, 16.
Guardian of Truth XXVI: 5, p. 72
February 4, 1982