And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the LORD’s house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it.
And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.
And he shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people: and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.
My father and four of my mom’s brothers were in the Navy right after I was born, at least one during the Korean Conflict.
Now my grandson Nick Beaty is in the Army, having already served in Afghanistan. His experience and that of his family is so much closer to us, and we are so much more aware these days of the feelings of our soldiers and their families.
There is the ever present wondering if they will make it back home, or in what condition, and even the grief we share with them and other families over the loss of their buddies while overseas.
While we are so proud of our grandson and the many who volunteered to make these sacrifices for all of us, it still makes me a bit angry that all of this is even necessary. But I believe there is ONE who is the Prince of Peace, and that it is better to call out to Him, Jesus Christ, the Savior of the world, to continue to bring His Kingdom reign to the earth until ALL of the prophecies of the Word of God are fulfilled.
“And he shall judge among many people, and rebuke strong nations afar off; and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up a sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.”
The Universal Church is the body of Jesus Christ. Every person who has been baptized into Christ by the Holy Spirit is a member of that body. (1 Corinthians 12:12-14).
When the members of His body gather together to celebrate and worship Him, that is a meeting of the local church and it is an important aspect of the Kingdom of God in the earth.
It is also true that the Kingdom of God is manifested everywhere it’s citizens are, whether in their homes, schools, places of employment, or the marketplace. The power of His grace at work in them testifies to the reality of His reign!
We all need close relationships in Christ to thrive and to encourage others. At the same time, nowhere in the scripture do we find any indication that an individual can only be a member of one local congregation. In fact, the closest relationships are often outside the regular place of meeting, along with some of the greatest opportunities to serve.
These days I am thinking about how wonderful it is to be a part of the world-wide community of God’s family. We are greatly diversified in our patterns of worship and thinking, and yet one in Him. I do not have to reject one part of His family in favor of another. I do need to find the areas of service that Christ has prepared for me. It is His pleasure that I live for!