Gods Now

Have you ever wondered just how God now looks upon our current status? We know we received at baptism a small down-payment, as it were, of God’s Holy Spirit, and we have a responsibility to grow in grace and knowledge and to remain faithful to our calling until Christ returns or we die, ensuring our future in the Kingdom of God as the Father’s sons and daughters.

In God’s mind we are already in His Kingdom. Only we can prevent ourselves from entering  the Kingdom. Christ said He would never forsake us; that is, He would always be there for us through thick and thin. We are called upon to do what is necessary to “make it” into God’s Kingdom and His Family.  When the Kingdom is established on earth, we bear full responsibility if we are not in it.

Those of us who are fathers knew that when our spouse was pregnant, a child would be born into this world unless there was a miscarriage. Barring this, there was no question in our minds that our baby would be born.

A baby is protected in the womb. It is also nourished with a rich supply of blood which carries the oxygen required for cell growth and nourishment through the umbilical cord until the baby is full-term and born.  At that time the cord is cut and the baby is on its own, being separate from the mother, even though it still requires care and nourishment.

The Church is similar to a mother’s womb in that the members are protected, nourished and cared for. The Church’s responsibilities were laid out for us by Christ, when He admonished Peter in the book of John to “Feed my sheep” (John 21:17). This is a way for the Church to demonstrate love for God and neighbor.

We also read in John 21:15: “So when they had eaten breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, ‘Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me more than these?’ He said to Him, ‘Yes, Lord; You know that I love You.’ He said to him, ‘Feed My lambs.’” This would include younger and newer Church members of the flock.

Peter was also told to tend the sheep, which involves caring for and protecting the sheep: “He said to him again a second time, ‘Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me?’ He said to Him, ‘Yes, Lord; You know that I love You.’ He said to him, ‘Tend My sheep’” (John 21:16).

The ministerial responsibility towards God’s sheep and His lambs–the members of God’s Church–is plainly laid out for us in 2 Timothy 4:1-2:

“I charge you therefore before God and the Lord Jesus Christ, who will judge the living and the dead at His appearing and His kingdom: Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching.”

This admonition was to Timothy, an Evangelist in God’s Church, and it must also be applied to the entire Church ministry today. Notice, Timothy was to “convince” by using the Scriptures to prove a biblical point. He was to “rebuke” when necessary—not that the sheep should be browbeaten, but on occasion, they would need correction just as a loving father would correct his children. He was to “exhort”; that is, encourage the members to stand firm and not compromise.

How was he to do this? With “all longsuffering”; that is, with Godly patience and love, and with continued “teaching” without wavering.

This is admonition to the ministry to help Church members in their growth and edification. Those who think they no longer need a true minister to teach them because they are spiritually mature and can just stay home and listen to a mixed bag of messages are making a grave mistake, which could lead to their disqualification from entering the Kingdom of God.

How long do you think a baby would survive if it would decide after four months in the womb that it does not need the mother anymore? And if it were to leave the womb and cut off the umbilical cord–the source of its food and nourishment? It would not survive for long. There is a lesson here for any of those independent Christians who have rejected true Church authority and feel they are perfectly fine in their “self-sufficiency” and that they no longer need God’s true and dedicated ministry.

The fact is: God works through His ministers to feed and take care of the Church members. Rejection of this fact is rejection of God’s government here on earth. If one cannot be subject to the Church now, how can God use one in His Kingdom?

As I mentioned earlier, in God’s mind we are already in the Kingdom, and failure to be there in the future would be totally our fault–not God’s. Let’s appreciate what God has established in regards to the Church which is to care for and feed the members, to ensure that they will be ready to meet Christ when He returns. We must individually fight against becoming a spiritual miscarriage, which could occur when we reject Church government which was established by Christ in the Church for the benefit of the flock.

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