Here is the last post of this series.
- In Part 1, we introduced the Subject Of The Debate.
- In Part 2, we considered What The “Wise” Say About The Connection Between Socialism and Christianity.
- In Part 3, we took up the task of Defining the Kingdom of God.
- In Part 4, we asked our first question: Would A Socialist Utopia Be Compatible With The Kingdom Of God?.
- In Part 5, we asked our second question: What Is The Role Of Government In The Kingdom Of God?
In the last post in this series, we ask one more question, one that takes the focus off of government.
What Is The Role Of The Church In The Kingdom Of God?
The beginning of that which we know as the Christian Church is described in Acts 2. That chapter describes the Day of Pentecost, the day when the Holy Spirit came upon the Apostles, the day when the Apostles first began to preach God’s Word.
How did the members of that first church spend their time?
Acts 2:42 Good News Translation (GNT)
They spent their time in learning from the apostles, taking part in the fellowship, and sharing in the fellowship meals and the prayers.
When asked what to look for in a church, J. Vernon McGee cited Acts 2:42 (Listen here). Because they feared the Second Coming would be soon, these church members strove to prepare their souls, and the Apostles taught them what to do.
We often focus on later verses in Acts 2, verses that describes the charity of that first church.
Acts 2:44-45 Good News Translation (GNT)
All the believers continued together in close fellowship and shared their belongings with one another. They would sell their property and possessions, and distribute the money among all, according to what each one needed.
We forget that this charity allowed the new disciples to concentrate on the Gospel. Without knowing it, they prepared for the day when the church would be scattered from Jerusalem (See Acts 8). When the day came, each disciple had become a Christian soldier.
How do we prepare soldiers? We organize, train, and equip them (See FM 1). So it is that Jesus prepares us. Before He ascended, Jesus organized His church, choosing the twelve Apostles (with Paul) to lead it. For three years, he taught the Apostles the art of spiritual warfare. And so that these Christian soldiers would be properly equipped, on the Day of Pentecost he sent them — and us — the Holy Spirit.
Ephesians 6:10-17 Good News Translation (GNT)
The Whole Armor of God
Finally, build up your strength in union with the Lord and by means of his mighty power. Put on all the armor that God gives you, so that you will be able to stand up against the Devil’s evil tricks. For we are not fighting against human beings but against the wicked spiritual forces in the heavenly world, the rulers, authorities, and cosmic powers of this dark age. So put on God’s armor now! Then when the evil day comes, you will be able to resist the enemy’s attacks; and after fighting to the end, you will still hold your ground.
So stand ready, with truth as a belt tight around your waist, with righteousness as your breastplate, and as your shoes the readiness to announce the Good News of peace. At all times carry faith as a shield; for with it you will be able to put out all the burning arrows shot by the Evil One. And accept salvation as a helmet, and the word of God as the sword which the Spirit gives you.
As Jesus told Pontius Pilate (John 18:36), his kingdom is not of this world. Thus, we cannot found His kingdom in this world. We must go to Him. He is the way (John 14:6). We must seek His kingdom by learning His teachings, sharing Christian fellowship, remembering His sacrifice, and worshiping Him in our prayers.
Matthew 6:31-34 Good News Translation (GNT)
So do not start worrying:
Where will my food come from? or my drink? or my clothes? (These are the things the pagans are always concerned about.) Your Father in heaven knows that you need all these things. Instead, be concerned above everything else with the Kingdom of God and with what he requires of you, and he will provide you with all these other things. So do not worry about tomorrow; it will have enough worries of its own. There is no need to add to the troubles each day brings.