Summary: The Study Of The Coming Of The Church
Matthew 16:18 (KJV)
18 And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.
The church did not happen overnight. It was planned, prophesied, and established. The Bible shows all of this clearly.
• First, the church existed in the mind of God. Paul says this to the saints at Ephesus: "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, Just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love, having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, To the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He made us accepted in the beloved" (Ephesians 1:3-6). Please note that he is talking to the church at Ephesus. He says God had chosen them before the foundation of the world. That means that God was thinking about the church even before the world was created. That is, He was planning it at that time. It had its beginning in the mind of God. How terrible it is to say that God did not plan the church from the beginning!
• Second, the church was spoken of in prophecy several times. Isaiah said, "Now it shall come to pass in the latter days, that the mountain of the Lord’s house shall be established on the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow to it" (Isaiah 2:2-3). Joel stated, "And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out My Spirit on all flesh; your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions: And also on My menservants and on My maidservants I will pour out My Spirit in those days" (Joel 2:28-29). Then Daniel pointed out, "And in the days of these kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom which shall never be destroyed; and the kingdom shall not be left to other people; it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand forever" (Daniel 2:44). Now let us draw some conclusions:
1. The kingdom would be established in the last days.
2. It would be established in the mountains.
3. All nations would flow to it.
4. The Lord would pour out His spirit upon all flesh.
5. It would be established in the days of the fourth world empire.
6. It would consume all other kingdoms and stand forever.
Now, where is all of this fulfilled? Read Acts 2!
• Third, the church was promised. John said it was at hand (Matthew 3:2). That means it was nearby, or would soon be established. Christ promised, "And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it" (Matthew 16:18). "And he said to them, Assuredly, I say to you that there are some standing here, who will not taste of death till they see the kingdom of God present with power" (Mark 9:1). "Then He said to them, Thus it is written, and thus it was necessary for Christ to suffer and to rise from the dead the third day, And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. And you are witnesses of these things. Behold I send the promise of My Father upon you; but tarry in the city of Jerusalem until you are endued with power from on high" (Luke 24:46-49). Now observe these facts: