THE CHURCH AGE

The church age is that portion of time that is allotted to the Lord’s church to accomplish its task while here on the earth. I believe that the church age started when Jesus was on the earth almost two thousand years ago. God sent His son into the world to seek and to save the lost sinners of the entire age.

Jesus was able to speak to only a few people during His brief three and one half year earthly ministry. Christ knew He could not do the work all by Himself so He developed a plan that could successfully reach that enormous goal. The concept of the plan to evangelize the entire world was very simple in its design and origin. Jesus established His local church with the ability to accomplish this tremendous task.

The last words Christ spoke to His church just before He was caught up into the clouds were a brief review of the urgency of His command. Jesus came to His church and gave them the great commission which was recorded in Matthew 28:18-20.

He first of all identified His authority as, “all authority is given to me in heaven and in the earth”. The Lord Jesus Christ stipulates that God the Father had given to Him all authority. He now calls His church together to accomplish this great work.

The literal command is, “As you go, make disciples or evangelize all nations”. After they become believers in Christ the church was commanded to baptize them in the name, or by the authority, of the Father and the Son and the Holy Ghost (Spirit).

The Lord goes on to lay down the pattern that would be great enough in its scope to evangelize, baptize and teach every convert throughout the entire world. After that Jesus makes His great promise that He would be with His church from that day until He returns again in the rapture. This great plan shows us the scope of God’s enormous love for the entire human race.

The command to go could not have been solely to those disciples that were with Him at that time. There is no way possible for those few people to completely encompass the entire world with the gospel. Jesus had to be speaking to His church as an institution. Jesus knew that some of these believers would die shortly and that all of them would follow the natural span of life and die according to their life span.

The church was an institution that could continually replenish itself with new believers. Each succeeding generation could fill its place until the end of the age. The perpetuity of the Lord’s church is a tremendous doctrine.

As we have looked at the seven churches of Asia in the book of the Revelation we have observed a historical review of the facts of history. The Lord made a promise to His church that they would remain in existence on this earth doing their job until He comes back for them at a time we call the Rapture of the Believers.

There is a little book written by a Baptist preacher names B. H. Carroll. The title of this book is called the Trail of Blood. Brother Carroll takes the historical record of many different men throughout the entire period of time known as the church age from the days of the apostles until the late nineteenth century. He proves this statement “That there has never been a single year or month or day that the churches of the Lord did not exist on the earth” (since the church was instituted in Christ’s time).

There is a glorious hope for the future for all who obey the teaching of Christ. We as Christians living in these last days can receive encouragement from the testimonies of those of the past. We can steadfastly endure and work for the Lord while it is still day. We can earnestly look toward the future when we are permitted to rule and reign with Christ throughout eternity.


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