The culmination of God’s plan for the redemption of man is the church of Christ. We might well assert that God’s plan for man’s salvation is the church of Christ. Paul said in Ephesians 3:1-12:
For this cause I Paul, the prisoner of Jesus Christ for you Gentiles, If ye have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which is given me to you-ward: How that by revelation he made known unto me the mystery; as I wrote afore in few words; Whereby when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ.) Which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit; That the Gentiles should be fellow heirs, and of the same body, and partakers of his promise in Christ by the gospel: Whereof I was made a minister, according to the gift of the grace of God given unto me by the effectual working of his power. Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints, is this grace given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ; And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ: To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God, According to the eternal purpose which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord: In whom we have boldness and access with confidence by the faith of Him.
It is evident that the final “Age” of human existence before God is the age where the church of Christ (the Kingdom of God) would exist. Because this church is Christ’s, it is called the “Christian Age.” Under the jurisdiction of Jesus Christ, the head of the church (Colossians 1:18), the fulfillment of God’s eternal plan for man’s redemption is effected.
This does not mean that God in His wisdom failed to do what He wanted to do during the Patriarchal Age. This does not mean that He failed to do what He intended to do during the Mosaic Age. The fruition of this “mystery” which had been hidden (unrevealed) from the beginning of the world is seen in its splendid beauty in the Christian age.
Whereas there was always the promised hope of God’s final deliverance of His people from sin and death, during the Patriarchal and Mosaic Age, the reality of this is seen in the Christian age. For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ (John 1:17). Obviously, God had the church in mind from the beginning. The church of Christ is to make known the manifold wisdom of God. It is in the church that we are to give glory to God throughout all ages, world without end (Eph. 3:21).
This Christian Age is the age wherein the kingdom (church of Christ) which cannot be moved (Heb. 12:28), exists with Jesus reigning as the King from the throne of heaven. When the kingdom of Christ is mentioned it refers to the church of Christ. It is called a kingdom because of its government feature.
The prophecies of the Old Testament are clear. In Daniel 2:44 it is said, “And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but is shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever.”
“In the days of these kings” is fulfilled in Mark 1:14-15. “Coming to Ancient of Days” is fulfilled in Acts 1:9. “Kingdom shall stand forever” is fulfilled in Hebrews 12:28.
The Kingdom of God (church of Christ) will stand until it is delivered up to Jesus’ Father. I Corinthians 15:24 says, “Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power.” This will be at the end of all things.
What a wonderful privilege we have today to be able to be a part of that spiritual body, the church of Christ, the Kingdom of God! One becomes a citizen of the Kingdom of God by obeying the law of Christ, the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords! Jesus requires that we believe in Him, that we repent of our sins and that we live our lives faithfully in His Kingdom (John 8:24; Mark 16:16; Acts 2:38; Acts 17:30-31; Luke 13:3; Matt. 10:32-33; Rom. 10:9-10; I Pet. 3:21; Col. 2:11-12; Rom. 6:1-5; Rev. 2:10).
All the “Ages” of religion are temporary. The Patriarchal Age lasted for about 2500 years. The Mosaic Age lasted for about 1500 years. The Christian Age has lasted almost 2000 years to this point. Yet the Christian Age will cease when the Lord comes to receive His own and to administer judgment to all men of all ages.
What is our responsibility in view of these great truths? Mark 13:37 records Jesus’ words, “And what I say unto you I say unto all, Watch.” The admonition of Jesus is to look for the coming of the Lord in a “prepared state.” Are you prepared to meet the Lord? If you are not prepared, then you cannot “watch” as Jesus admonishes. Won’t you obey the Gospel and be able to “watch” with all the saints for the Lord’s return?
-Glenn B. Ramsey