The Church’s Closing Ceremonies

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Last night, I watched the closing ceremonies of the Rio Olympics. I always hate to see the Olympics close. I love the Summer Olympics—swimming, basketball, track and field, and, even rowing. But, as they say, all good things must come to an end.

I love the church of my Lord. Yes, she is an imperfect people, but Jesus shed his blood for her. Yes, she often falls short, but God planned the church from eternity. Yes, she is composed of sinners, but God will save her. Yes, the people of God often grumble and complain, but Jesus built her.

I love so much about the church—her worship, her purity, her Scriptures, her leaders, and her Lord. Yet, just like the Olympics, the church has a closing ceremony. One day, the church shall come to an end and have a closing ceremony which will far surpass any Olympic ceremony, any time, anywhere.

Throughout the New Testament, the church is called the kingdom. Jesus promised the kingdom would come in the lifetime of the Apostles: “Truly, I say to you, there are some standing here who will not taste death until they see the kingdom of God after it has come with power” (Mark 9:1). The Apostles spoke of the kingdom as existing in their lifetime. Paul: “He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son” (Colossians 1:13). John: “I, John, your brother and partner in the tribulation and the kingdom and the patient endurance that are in Jesus, was on the island called Patmos on account of the word of God and the testimony of Jesus” (Revelation 1:9). Since the kingdom is spoken of as future before Pentecost and as present after Pentecost, the only conclusion is that the kingdom began on Pentecost, which as I wrote the other day was the “Church’s Opening Ceremony.”

Jesus, on the day of Pentecost, became King of his new kingdom. Jesus said to Pilate, “You say that I am a king. For this purpose I was born and for this purpose I have come into the world—to bear witness to the truth” (John 18:37). Jesus “is Lord of lords and King of kings” (Revelation 17:14). Jesus “must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet” (1 Corinthians 15:15). The fact that Jesus reigns until he has put all enemies under his feet greatly implies there will come a time when he will put all enemies under his feet and cease to rule.

In fact, one day Jesus shall cease to rule. When he has put an end to death, the last enemy, “then comes the end, when he delivers the kingdom to God the Father after destroying every rule and every authority and power” (1 Corinthians 15:14). On that day, the day when death has been conquered to hurt no more, the kingdom of Christ—the church of our Lord—shall be no more, but the saints of all the ages shall be united with their God and his Christ in the heavenly city.

Just think about witnessing the church’s closing ceremonies:

  • Hearing the Lord come with trumpet sound.

  • Seeing the Lord descend in the clouds.

  • Seeing death vanquished once and for all.

  • Hearing the angelic praise.

  • Seeing the Lord enthroned on the praise of his people.

  • Hearing the Lord say, “Well done, good and faithful servant.”

  • Seeing the saints of all the ages.

  • Seeing the splendor of the Paradise of God.

  • Hearing the voice of all souls declare that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father.

  • Seeing Jesus’ nail-scarred hand place the crown of life on your brow.

  • Seeing all of God’s enemies vanquished forever.

  • Hearing your name called from the Lamb’s Book of Life.

What a day, glorious day that will be!

God bless!

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