“The Kingdom Which Will Never Be Destroyed”

By Frank Vondracek

This statement was made by the Holy Spirit inspired Daniel about 600 years before Jesus Christ began to build His church (Mt 16:18; Acts 2). There is sufficient evidence given in the Bible to know for sure that the church and the kingdom are one and the same with each of the words indicating some aspect of what Jesus has built. For instance, Paul said of both himself and the Christians at Colosse that God "has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love," (Col 1:13). In identifying the Son of God, Paul said of Him, "In whom we have redemption through His blood, even the forgiveness of sin" (Col 1:14). In the book of Acts, Luke tells us that those who were saved from their sins, that is the redeemed, were added to the church by the Lord (Acts 2:47). It appears from these few scriptures that the church is the kingdom and the kingdom is the church. It is precisely this body that Daniel proclaimed "would never be destroyed" (Dan 2:44).

What Christians everywhere must come to realize is that, while the church-kingdom will never be destroyed, one's identification with that body could very well lapse into non-existence. This point is easily seen by a review of the letters to the seven churches of Asia in the book of Revelation. The warning by the Lord given to our brethren is all too clear to miss. At the time of the writing of these epistles, five of those congregations were involved in sin and were in danger of losing fellowship, and thus identity with the Lord. Even Smyrna and Philadelphia were cautioned to continue in faithful, enduring and overcoming faith and service to avoid a similar end. To Ephesus the Lord said, "Remember therefore from where you have fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come to you quickly and remove your lampstand from its place - unless you repent" (Rev 2:5). So the conclusion to this is that, while the body of Christ will never be destroyed as per Daniel's prophecy, it is possible for groups of Christians (congregations) to lose their identity as the people of God because of their unrepented of sins. I suggest that if this was the case in the first century, it is also the case today!

Because of an air of indifference, and often ignorance, which currently seems to pervade the church-kingdom, many Christians appear to be satisfied that what was on the verge of happening to Ephesus and the others could not happen to us today. This is a dangerous mistake! Sometimes it seems as if we think that the existence of the kingdom depends upon it existing in America. Who said? Did it have its beginning in America? Has the church ever existed apart from America? Could it exist apart from America today?

The kingdom of God exists WHEREVER the gospel has been preached and obeyed by penitent believers. If every congregation in America lost its identity with Christ, the church would still exist WHEREVER ELSE the gospel had been preached and obeyed by penitent believers.

Brethren, there is the danger that the church in America is dwindling and dying. The words of the apostle Paul need NOW to ring in our ears, "...knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep; for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed" (Rom 13:11). It is time to once again become acquainted with or return again to our "first love", and to get busy doing our "first works". What do YOU think? Will the kingdom grow where we are, or will we be spectators of its death throes? I think it's up to us. Don't you agree?

Frank Vondracek is a former engineer who started preaching full time in mid-1983. He has preached with churches in Ohio, Illinois, Iowa and Kentucky. He served as one of the elders with the Kimberly Road church in Davenport, Iowa. He presently preaches for the church in Tompkinsville, KY. He also has been involved in preaching the gospel in Kenya, East Africa since 1996. He can be contacted at frankv832@alltel.net.

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