What is God up to? (Part 3)

<— Click here for Part 2 Click here for Part 4 —>
The World God's heart missions John 3:16 What is God up to?

Is God pulling strings or is He a passive observer? Click image to enlarge.

Before rushing into the field to reap the harvest (Jn 4:35) it’d be prudent for us to first contemplate the role that God Himself wishes to play in this work; if only to ensure that our wills are aligned to His.

Matthew 16:18 – 19 gives us valuable insight into God’s part in this process. After a run in with the Pharisees and Sadducees (Mt 16:1 – 4) Jesus asks of His disciples, “Whom do men say that I the Son of man am?” (Mt 16:15). Peter responds in faith and acknowledges Jesus as “the Christ, the Son of the living God.” (Mt 16:16). While commending Peter’s response Jesus states the following, “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.” [emphasis added] (Mt 16:18 – 19)

Firstly, God takes responsibility for building the church. Jesus says, “I will build…” [emphasis added] As we look back through history it is abundantly evident that God’s hand has always guided His people; Israel in the Old Testament (Deut 3:24; 26:8) and the Church in the New (Jn 16:13).

Secondly, the church is God’s possession. Jesus says, “I will build my church…” [emphasis added] You can’t visit Israel without being struck by the proliferation of church buildings. There’s one on every street corner and they all belong to someone, either to the Roman Catholic Church or to the Greek Orthodox Church or to this or to that. God is clear that the church belongs to no man, it is His alone (Acts 20:28; 2 Cor 6:16; Eph 5:25b – 27)!

Thirdly, God will preserve the church. Jesus says, “…and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” [emphasis added] It’s a no brainer really. God, who upholds all things by the power of His Word (Heb 1:3), will preserve that which He cherishes; that which He loves. (Woolley 1999)

So there you have it. God takes responsibility for the building, possession and preservation of the church.

<— Click here for Part 2 Click here for Part 4 —>

That of course leaves the question, “What should you and I be up to?”


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