Section 4: Jesus
Week 4: Jesus Rose from the Dead, Returned to Heaven, and Will Come Again
Day 5: Until He Returns, Jesus Gave Us a Job to Do
Before Jesus returned to heaven, he issued a command: “Go and make disciples of nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded” (Matt. 28:19-20).
Why did he leave us with that mission? Obviously, he wants us to spread the gospel so people will put their faith in him and be saved. But there’s more to it than that. Remember we said earlier that our salvation is a subset of God’s larger plan to bring all things under Christ. And the Church represents the first step in that plan. One day all things will be brought together under Christ. That has already begun to happen as people come to faith and are brought into the Church, which has Christ as its head. And that’s a bad sign for Satan.
When we leave the house, we put our dogs in the kitchen because they have a tendency to get into things if we give them the run of the house. And the last thing we do before we corral them is turn off the TV. Our old TV used to make an annoying high-pitched beeping noise when you turned the power off. Whenever the dogs heard that sound, they weren’t happy because they knew what was coming next.
It’s similar with Satan. When he sees the Church, he knows it’s the first step toward everything being brought together under Christ. And he’s not excited about what comes next because it’s not good news for him.
We tend to see the Church as a building or place we go to on Sundays. In reality, it’s much more than that. It’s the body of believers throughout the world, and it stretches back in time and forward into the future. And that body of believers plays an integral role in God’s eternal plan. We are a sign that God intends to restore this broken world by bringing all things together under Christ again. Satan knows the Church is much more than a building. So should we.
When you think of the Church, what is the first image that comes to mind? From today’s reading, what do you think that image should be? When you see the Church as the first step toward the completion of God’s victory, does that change how you see it? All churches have problems. How should a proper view of the Church affect how we deal with those problems together?
When you walk into church this Sunday, intentionally remind yourself of what the Church really is. Specifically think about the message the Church sends to the world that God has brought this body of believers together.