This transcript is taken from a Stand in the Gap Today program originally aired on 10/26/22. To listen to the program, please click HERE.
In the book of Matthew chapter 16 and verse 18, Jesus made an amazing statement, actually startling in His day, and still often misunderstood in both content and intent even in our day. Now, in this verse, Jesus said this. “And I say also unto you that you are Peter and on this rock I will build My church and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” Now, this reference by Jesus reflects the first usage of the word church in scripture. It’s followed by 77 other references in the New Testament. The word church does not appear one time in the Old Testament and reference to the church actually stops after Revelation 3 with Jesus’s evaluation of the seven churches, so there’s a logical question. Who is the church? What is God’s purpose for the church? Why did Jesus tell Peter that He, Jesus, would build the church? Is Israel of the Old Testament now the Church of the New Testament? What is the role of the church in our days and is there a future role of the church in God’s prophesied future events?
Well, these questions are just some of those that we’re going to discuss today with Dr. Carl Broggi, senior pastor of Community Bible Church in Beaufort, South Carolina. He’s also host of a radio ministry there, Search the Scriptures, with a website, which has lots of information on it at searchthescriptures.org. I would note that today’s program is also a third in a series of programs so far on prophecy with a focus on Israel and it’s part of our ongoing focus every other Wednesday that we’ve done almost for five years now on Israel, Prophecy, and the Middle East. This particular series on prophecy, though, is part of a current focus on God writing history before it happens.
Now, part one was this past August 23rd, where we focused on Comforting Words and Days of Confusion, as we called it. Then last month, September 28th, our theme then was Discerning the Signs of the Times. Today, our theme will involve a focus on the church. Today’s title is Prophecy and God’s Plan: The Church and the Church Age. It’s the intent in this series that if you or others would listen from the beginning, you would receive a condensed but yet comprehensive understanding of prophecy, what it is, why it is, the chronology of prophetical events from Genesis 3:15 to the end of the Book of Revelation and how it should impact our lives and all because God gave us this knowledge to help us fulfill the responsibilities He’s given us. And after all, since approximately 30% of scripture’s prophecy, it’s important to God and therefore, it should be important to us. With that, let me walk in right now and invite back in Pastor Carl Broggi. Carl, thank you for being back with me.
Pleasure to be with you today, Sam.
Carl, in the past we’ve identified four purposes for studying prophecy. We defined it, actually your definition. I’m using, God writing history before it happens, great definition. We talked about four motivations that knowing this should do, motivate us to live a holy life, give us a God perspective of life, give us hope for this life, and motivate us to be more passionate and personal witnesses of the great commission. So all of these things, I’m going to let out some of the other things I put together here, but I want to focus today, as I introduced, on the church in this period of time, between Christ’s ascension and before his second coming, often referred to, among other things, as the church age. Let’s start with a definition of terms. Please define and describe what is meant by the church as Jesus first identified it and where the term church age came from, and any other names of scripture that may be used as synonymous, for instance, with the church.
That’s a critical issue and it’s critical to Bible prophecy because the word of God makes a clear distinction between the church and Israel. The word church is from a Greek word ecclesia. It’s two Greek words blend together, ec, out of, colleo, the verb to call, so it’s literally referring to the called out ones and it can be used in different ways in scripture. There’s a few occasions where it’s used of a secular mob in Acts. One time it’s used to describe the people of Israel out in the wilderness, but virtually, in all the rest of the time, it’s used to refer to people who have met Jesus Christ in a saving way. There’s, I think, 15 or 16 instances, if I remember, where it’s used in a wholesale way, of the universal body of Christ, but most of the time it’s used of a local expression of that body of Christ.
And so we’re called out ones, the principle that Jesus taught in John 17. We’re not of the world, but we’re in this world, so we’re called out of the lifestyle of the world to a new lifestyle, to go back in as salt and light and to impact. So of course, the word church is never once used of a building. A church building didn’t come until some time later after the New Testament is written. We talk about going to church, and that’s important, in terms of gathering together, it’s commanded, but more the emphasis in scriptures is we are the church.
In terms of your second question, the church age, age, even in secular realms, refers to some historical timeframe or era. And so Sam, even secular historians will divide history into Middle Ages, Modern Age, Postmodern Age, and so forth. Well, even so, biblical history is divided into different ages or eras, where God in a focused way works with his people. Those administrations are called, from a Greek word that we translate, administration or dispensation. Now, there’s a group of theologians called Dispensationalists, but all Christians recognize that God works in a focused way at specific times in human history. And so right now, we are in the Church Age. The term Church Age is not found in the Bible as such, anymore than the word trinity is found in the Bible or eternal security or the word Bible is found in the Bible, but it’s a concept, a theological concept that describes that timeframe when Jesus started his church in the day of Pentecost until he removes his church at the rapture, and so he’s been building it now for a couple of thousand years.
Okay, that’s a great foundation. Let me come back and follow up by this and say, just for the sake of being clear, who comprises the members of the church?
No, it’s a great question. When the word church is used in the New Testament, it’s only use of people who have placed their faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, so not people who are even members of a particular local expression. A person could be a member of a local church but not be a member of the true church. And so ideally, if a church, a local assembly is doing its job, they should make sure first, as best they can tell from a human perspective, that an individual’s a member of the universal body of Christ, which is made up of all true believers across the planet. And if they are, then they potentially have the opportunity to be a part of a local church assembly. So it’s never used to denominations or buildings, but of the body of Christ, that group of people who’ve been regenerated.
All right. Excellent, excellent. Ladies and gentlemen, our theme today, Prophecy and God’s Plan: The Church and the Church Age, Dr. Carl Broggi is my guest, and this is the third in our series on prophecy. When we come back, we’re going to go and talk now further about this church, this group of called out people, and get into the why and why are we here.
Since Jesus first declared his lead role in building his church, the balance of the New Testament revolves around this church, referenced 18 times or so, almost 25% of the total New Testament references, where the church is then birthed, we find in the New Testament, and then Holy Spirit empowered. Well, then the apostle Paul instructs all New Testament believers who comprise the church about how to live and think as the church. In fact, the Apostle Paul used the word church, or ecclesia, as guest Carl Broggi just mentioned in the last segment. That’s the meaning of church, called out group. The apostle Paul referred to this in his letters to the early churches over 40 times, or nearly 55% of all the 78 references to the church in the New Testament.
But within the definition of prophecy, God writing history before it happens, the questions of why and wherefore become rather essential to understand. So Carl, if we could maybe just build off this Matthew 16:18, this first reference by Jesus, and perhaps expose some of the answers to the questions I’ve put up there relative to purpose and plan … For instance, in this verse, Jesus claimed ownership of what would become the church by referring to it as My church. He claimed responsibility, as I would say, for starting and growing His church when He said, “I will build My church.” So again, who is the church and why does Jesus claim ownership of the church?
Well, again, the church is us people, not a denomination, it’s not a building. It’s the called out ones who are regenerated by the spirit of God through their faith in the finished work of Christ and His death and resurrection. Jesus speaks in a future tense, “I will build My church,” because the church did not exist in the Old Testament. Now, it is true that in the Septuagint, which is the Greek translation of the Hebrew, which is what most Jews read in the New Testament era, which is why it’s typically quoted in the New Testament, you’ll find the word church to describe a gathering of people. But in terms of the body of Christ, a unique entity, that is something the apostle Paul tells us in Ephesians 2 and 3 was not revealed. He called it a mystery. A mystery is something that was once hidden but now revealed. What was hidden was the fact that God would comprise into one body Jew and Gentile alike. Because of Israel’s unbelief, God in this age has laid aside Israel. He’s working largely through a gentile church with a Jewish remnant in it, and one of these days it’s going to switch, and that the body of Christ will be caught up and God will go back to using Israel.
Jesus is the head of the church. He owns the church. Paul, when he gathered the Ephesian elders, he told them, “Be on your guard for all the flock and the Holy Spirit has made you shepherds overseers to shepherd God’s church,” which he then says, “He purchased with his own blood.” It’s not my church, it’s not your church, it’s not some denomination church. It’s Christ church. We’re just under shepherds. And throughout the New Testament, that picture where Christ is the head is seen. He’s called the head of the church, we’re call it His body. He’s described as the vine, we’re described as branches. He’s described by Peter and Paul both as the chief cornerstone. We’re living stones. He’s the bridegroom, we’re the bride. He’s the high priests, we’re a kingdom of priests. He’s the chief shepherd, we’re the sheep. So He’s the head and those different figures illustrate different aspects of Christ’s headship to us, the body of Christ.
Okay, that talks about ownership and that’s perfect, but why does He say, “I will build My church”? And maybe tie that into this aspect with this part of it, and that is He’s building the church, which you said. Without Him and the blood of Jesus Christ, there is no church, so He’s building the church, but for whose benefit? More of a theological thing, perhaps, but for whose benefit is Jesus building the church? For Himself? Is He doing it on bequest of God the Father, is that why He came, or is He doing it for the people, us, who are a part of the church or perhaps someone else? What’s the motivation of Jesus to say, “I will build My church?”
Well, I suppose in one respect, there’s aspects of all those truths that you just mentioned. The writer of Hebrews talks about how sacrifice and offering God had not desired, but a body that would be prepared, and so it’s really the Messiahs speaking. And then He said, “I’ve come to, in the scroll of the book that’s written of me, to come and offer Himself for His people.” And God did it because He loved us. God did it because He’s holy, He’s just, He’s loving. God’s justice must be satisfied. His holiness can’t be obliterated or obscured or ignored. And so at the cross, at the death of Christ, love and mercy and grace and holiness all met. God’s justice was satisfied through a substitute. And the Father, and again, it’s like every aspect of the Trinity. In one sense, I suppose you could emphasize a particular member of the Trinity, like the Spirit might be emphasized to give me a gift, but God the Father has said to give spiritual gifts in Romans 12, God the Son is in Ephesians 4. Well, who is it?
Well, the members of the Godhead are inseparable. And even when it comes to Christ, God is giving Him the Father, the name which is above every name because of His willingness and obedience and in submission to the Father’s will, and yet is a member of the Godhead. He laid aside the personal glory and all that He had and so He is going to be given the name above all names. But He is building it because while we participate, whoever will call upon the name of the Lord will be saved and therefore become a member of the church. And you can’t call up upon His name unless you’ve heard and you can’t hear it unless someone goes and tells. God doesn’t shout the gospel through the rocks or in the clouds. He does it through obedient believers who are willing to share the gospel. But still, Jesus said, “No one can come to the Father unless the father draws him. If there’s none who seeks God, no, not one,” as Paul echoes from the Old Testament in Romans 3, the initiative begins with God. We don’t draw ourselves to the Lord. So he builds the church, we participate with Him, but He is the one who’s building the church and He’s doing it for His own honor and glory.
Excellent. That is very good. Let me go beyond that now. In Jesus’ announcement there to build His church, we just talked about, He also went ahead and said that the gates of hell would not prevail against it. Can you briefly explain what that means because there are some people who interpret this verse to mean that we as people have the primary duty to grow the church, which you just commented on, but tie that back in again, and it’s our purpose to then take and move the church into civil society, in many cases through active political engagement. And I have been in office, so that is an important thing to do, but the movement of the church, some would say, it’s the responsibility of people to dominate all levels of authority. And if we work hard enough, ultimately the devil, the gates of hell, they would say, would not be able to stop it. Now, there may be a little bit of truth in that, but clarify that, if you could, because I think that’s a confusing thing to many people.
Well, Jesus [inaudible 00:15:51] at Caesaria, Philippi and there’s a cave there that people literally called The Gates of Hell and he keyed off of that cave, the gates of Hades or hell, and he’s reminding them of a truth. Sadly, there’s a group of people, theonomists, dominion theology, they’re post-tribulational in their review of the world, but they think that somehow we can usher in the kingdom of God through changing political structures and really, every structure in the world. But the gates of hell, it’s important, gates as Jesus speaks of them in ancient times, were for the defensive purposes. And so here, it’s not the gates of the church that Jesus speaks of, but the gates of hell that will not prevail because we’re on the offensive. He’s not saying that the church is a fortress and hell can’t get in. He’s saying that the church is an army and that hell can’t withstand it.
And so with that said, we’re on the offensive. We are to be obedient, but there is this balance between divine sovereignty and human responsibility. We have the human responsibility to carry the gospel, but God is building the church. Jesus says to Pilate, “My kingdom is not of this world.” There is a aspect of kingdom now. The kingdom of God is within you. Those who are born again have been transferred from the kingdom of darkness into the kingdom of God’s beloved son. But in the truest sense, there’s a coming kingdom that He taught us to pray about in the Lord’s prayer. Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. That’s future. That will happen at the second coming, so the church can’t bring in that kingdom.
That’s not to say we shouldn’t be salt and light. This election coming up is obviously important. We should vote, We should put feet to our prayers. We should be salt and light. And when we do that, we’re raising the law, the standards of God, which is like a school master to lead people to faith in Christ. But if we think for one moment our hope is in the political structures of this world, that that’s going to fundamentally change the world, when this nation is under the judgment of God, then we’ve been deceived. And so theonomists, post-tribulation, post-millennialist, theophonists, as they were called, they really have some false premises and it all comes back to the subject of the day, the church. They think the church has replaced Israel. We haven’t. God made unconditional covenants to Israel, unconditional promises that He will sum up human history through that nation. We’re a part of it right now because of Israel’s unbelief. We’re between a famous week in a prophecy Daniel made in the 9th chapter. We call it between the 69th and the 70th week, but God is going to pick back up with Israel and the true kingdom, where Christ will rule and reign and God will demonstrate what he intended for man to have before the fall, will be seen in the future.
And ladies and gentlemen, that sets us up the next segment. When we come back, we’re going to talk now more specifically about the church, Israel, we’ve already had some discussion about it, but further flesh that out, and the church as we move into the end days, which we’re in, and what God intends for the church, but now in the days ahead and even in the millennial kingdom.
Welcome back to the program. We’re at the midpoint now and our theme today is this, Prophecy and God’s plan: the Church and the Church Age. Now this is part three in a series that we have done and you can find them all on our website at standinthegapradio.com. They’re marked there and anyways, there’s transcripts that go with the previous two, which they will do that with this one upon completion and make that available for you.
But moving into the aspect of the church being the focus today, when it comes to understanding the prophetical purpose and timing for the church of Jesus Christ, which Jesus claimed both ownership and primary responsibility to build and to empower, a point of great misunderstanding has been in relationship to the church in Israel. We’ve had some discussion on that already. We’ll go further into detail in this segment. But in the Old Testament, God promised all of mankind in Genesis 3:15 that one day a redeemer would come. Later, God the Father covenanted with Abraham to build a nation whose name would become Israel and through whom all the nations of the world would be blessed. Now Yeshua, Jesus, the Messiah, prophesied throughout the Old Testament, then came right on time and then announced His covenant or His promise to build a body He called the church. That’s what we’re talking about today.
Now, while many of God’s promises to Israel have been fulfilled, perhaps the majority of them are still yet to happen. And while many of Jesus’ promises to the church have been fulfilled, there are also many yet to be fulfilled, so the question is simply this. Are God’s promises to Israel the same as Jesus promises to the church or in other words, are Israel and the church now the same as many would claim? It’s really important to understand this. So Carl, you’ve taken weeks to build out the answer to the questions that I’ve posed as you’re in your maybe 20th week of prophecy that you’re dealing with in your church community, Bible Church in Beaufort, South Carolina, but can you briefly answer the questions I just raised? Is God’s promise to Israel the same as Jesus’s promises to the church or as said, are Israel and the church now the same as many would claim? And if not, why not?
Well, it’s a great question. We certainly share some of the benefits and promises as Paul underscores in Romans 11 that God gave to the nation of Israel to believe in Israel and so we’ve been grafted in share in many the benefits, but the church is not Israel and Israel is not the church. There are two distinct entities. God made a unconditional covenant with Abraham in Genesis 15. He cut some animals apart. Typically two people would walk between the dead animals and you basically said, “You can do to me what we’ve done to these animals if I don’t keep my word,” but God puts Abraham to sleep. God alone walks through the animals. He makes a unilateral covenant that in spite of Israel’s obedience or disobedience, God is going to fulfill His promises concerning the land, the seed, and the blessing and so God uses the nation to bring about the first coming. He’s going to use the nation of Israel to bring about the second coming.
Well, as time progressed in the early church, a guy by the name of Eusebius comes along and of course, it’s dangerous to preach that Jesus is king, that someday He’s going to come back and rule and reign literally on the earth and all the kingdoms of this world would be subservient to them. If you valued your life, you didn’t preach that. But he began to change his teaching and he said, “Well, the church is the new Israel.” He spiritualized prophecy. John Chrysostom came after him, basically said the same thing. He said that the Jews were possessed by the devil. Augustine comes along and he really lays the groundwork and the seed bed for Roman Catholic theology. And he says some really hard things about the Jewish people that’s embarrassing when you go into Yad Vachem in Israel. But the Roman Catholics come along and they say, “No, God is done with the people of Israel. The Roman Catholic church, we are the new people of God. God is working uniquely through us.”
You’ve got men like Calvin and Luther who realize through the corruption there’s something wrong. They studied the scriptures, they’re converted, but they adopt a lot of Roman Catholic theology. They say, “Well, it’s not the Roman Catholic church that’s the new Israel, but the body of Christ made up of born again Christians.” And so Luther said some embarrassing things. He said their synagogues, their schools should be burned. The Jewish houses should be destroyed. Their writing should be confiscated. Their rabbis should never be able to teach. Their money should be taken away. The Jewish people should be compelled into forced labor. And of course, when Hitler stands up in the early ’20s, he said, “I’m announcing, I’m telling you what a great man by the name of Martin Luther taught.” And he had that preached in the churches, which helped to lead badly towards some of the great destruction of 6 million Jews. And during the Nuremberg trials, Julius Streicher said, “I never did anything or said anything that Martin Luther didn’t say.” John Calvin, it’s embarrassing. He said, “They’re a rotten, unbelieving, stiff-necked people who deserve to be oppressed and their synagogues destroyed and they should die in misery without the pity of anyone.”
And then in the modern church, Pius XXII compromised during the second World War, as did Pope Paul VI in the subsequent popes, basically affirming that the Roman Catholic church is the new Israel. There’s no future for National Israel. And even as recently as 2010 at the senate of Bishops in Rome, they reaffirmed what had been taught for centuries. And so sadly a lot of evangelicals who … Look, Luther and Calvin did some good things for us, but they did some very embarrassing things. And I’m sure when they met the Lord, they had some deep regrets, but the church does not replace Israel. God is building His church, He’s going to remove it, and it comes down to, how do you interpret prophecy? John Calvin wrote a commentary in every book of the Bible except the book of Revelation because he didn’t know how to deal with it. If you take it plainly and you interpret it the same way he interpreted the rest of the scripture, you would never come to the conclusion that the church is the new Israel, that the church has replaced Israel.
Okay, that’s fantastic. Ladies and gentlemen, you have to go back and listen to that. Too much information there to probably remember it all, but go back and you can find that here at standinthegapradio.com. But let’s move into this, Carl, because when it comes to the church, promises to the church made by Jesus himself, can you just quickly identify some of those that have already been fulfilled? Because again, we’re talking about prophecy, so we’re looking at that whole aspect, and those that are yet to be filled.
Well, obviously, the day we become a Christian, we experience a fulfillment of a promise that you, after listening the message of truth, the gospel, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise. So for the first time in human history, while the Spirit of God worked in the Old Testament, came upon Old Testament believers, He came to permanently indwell us for all of eternity. Those are promises fulfilled today.
In terms of the return of Jesus from heaven, He’s building His church. The rapture is a promise that has not yet happened. We shall not all sleep. We’ll be caught up in the twinkling of an eye. We’ll be changed. That’s a future promise. We’re looking forward to that day when God will take us to heaven. And then of course, the great tribulation period will begin on the earth. So there’s a lot of promises given to Christians in the New Testament, hundreds, some that are conditional, some that are unconditional.
An unconditional promise might be if you abide to Me, and My word abides in you, then you can ask whatever you wish and it will be done for you. Excuse me, that’s a conditional promise. It’s conditioned on our obedience and letting God’s word dwell richly in us. An unconditional promise is He’s coming for, He’s going to rapture us, He’s going to carry us to heaven. It has nothing to do with whether I’m faithful to share in my faith or earnest enough in prayer. He is going to pull it off no matter what. And so there’s a number of future unconditional promises that will unfold when Christ comes and catches up His church and He is setting the stage. There are no signs for the rapture. There never has been. God could have caught up the church in 500 AD or 1000 AD. There’s all kinds of prophecies for the second coming as they relate to Israel.
And so when we see God fulfilling promises as it relates to the people of Israel, we know that we’re in that season of time. We know, for instance, that at the end of the age, God would gather the Jews from the four corners of the earth. Moses predicted that they would be scattered across the planet, Jesus reaffirmed it in Luke 22, but God also said at the end of time He would put the Jewish people back into the land. We’ve witnessed that.
Much of the final prophecies are dependent on Israel, A, being in Israel and B, them having control of Jerusalem. And they won Jerusalem in 1967, they became a nation in 1948, and when you put together the moral climate that God said would be in place for the second coming, when you put in place the theological climate that would be in place for the second coming, we’re seeing prophecy fulfilled before our eyes and so God’s church should be alert and they should be awake. But sadly, replacement theology, also called supersessionism, that the church has replaced Israel, has put the church to sleep. People are blind, they’re looking for some coming revival, some political change, and everything’s going to turn around. Well, God can bring a revival, but we’re told that there’s not going to be a revival before the rapture, and I think we are approaching that time. Doesn’t change my responsibility to be faithful and share Christ and pray, but still.
Carl, that’s just excellent. And as you say, I know. I’ve been hearing you preach in my own life. Believing the things that we just talked about doesn’t make me become more paralyzed or fearful, but to the contrary, more passionate in witnessing and sharing the gospel for people and to people. So ladies and gentlemen, again, it does make a difference how we think about these things within the context of what God tells us in His word. And when we come back, I have a series of questions. I’m going to ask Carl, more of a rapid fire type of a setting, and we’ll try and summarize a lot, add a few more things in this rapid fire section.
The study of prophecy, theme of today’s program and what we do every other Wednesday to one aspect or another, but the study of prophecy is ultimately to bring glory to God for His unspeakable mercies, to have greater confidence in God, our creator and redeemer and soon coming king. All of what I just said is all prophecy. The understanding of prophecy should motivate us to greater holiness, a more robust God-focused life, a greater passion to share the gospel and to be saltier salt and brighter light as children of God and ambassadors of Jesus Christ, and last but not least, to manifest a hope that is strong, even during times of apparent hopelessness.
Now, living out the knowledge of prophecy, though, requires an intentional application of those principles, what we learn, and to do it with great wisdom, which we all know we all lack, but we know we can all receive if we just ask for it as spoken by the apostle James in James 1:5, where he says, “If any of you lack wisdom,” and the sense is since you all lack wisdom, but we all lack wisdom. He said, “Ask of God, who gives generously to all without reproach and it will be given him.”
So Carl, I’m going to ask you some quick questions here. You need wisdom to answer these and I’ve already prayed for you and prayed for all of our listeners so that they will take information like this and intentionally apply. Let’s just go right down through and we’ll go as far as we can here. First, what characteristics are the same and which are different between true believers, saints in the Old Testament, saints in the New Testament, saints in the tribulation period, and saints that are there during the millennium? Can you somehow put that together briefly?
Well, by definition the word saint, hagios, hagioi, plural, means holy one. And so when we receive Christ as our savior, we are imputed. We are gifted a righteousness. And I tell people all the time, unless you are as righteous and as holy as God, you’ll never see the inside of heaven. That’s not something we can earn or achieve. It’s given to us as a gift when we receive the one who secured that salvation for us. And saints in the Old Testament who were believers in the Lord, they were saved, of course, by Jesus. No one will be in heaven apart from the blood of Christ. They’re looking at the cross from a different perspective. They’re looking towards the promises that God will send a savior and redeem them. And when Christ died, His blood became effective for them.
Just as I live on this side of the cross in 2,000 years, God saw all my sin, it was all in the future. And once for all time, he died for sin. He bore our sin in his body on the cross. And so Christ took the sin of all time upon Himself. And Old Testament saints were saved by that work as church saints, as will be tribulation saints. When the church is raptured, God will raise up 144,000 Jewish missionaries and evangelists will preach the gospel along with two men on the temple mount, the two witnesses, along even with an angel for the first time in history, really, three angels are technically involved, and the gospel is going to go to every tribe, tongue, and nation. What we’ve been trying to do, it’s going to be accomplished during the tribulation. This gospel must be preached to the whole world and then the end shall come. That’s in the context of the tribulation. It will be fulfilled and so tribulation saints are saved by believing in Christ.
Millennial saints will be comprised of a couple different groups of people. Church saints will be in our resurrected body, Old Testament saints, who according to Daniel 12, they’re resurrected at the end of the tribulation. So the church goes up, made up of Jew and Gentile. We’re translated, we come back with Christ to rule and reign. When that happens, Old Testament saints, people like Abraham and Moses and Elijah and all these great men and women of God, they’ll be raised up in their resurrected bodies. Tribulation saints. They will enter into the millennial kingdom in their natural bodies, such that they’ll be able to have children and grandchildren and great-grandchildren over the course of a thousand years and some of their children will have to make decisions for Christ.
You’d think it’d be automatic, but it’s no more automatic than Christ when Christ literally physically walked on the earth and not everyone received him. Well, some of their children will not receive Jesus, which explains the rebellion at the end of the age when Satan has been bound, he’s set loose, he’s able to draw out the unbelieving nations of the world to go against God’s Christ, who’s been ruling and reigning for a thousand years. Which by the way, demands a pre-tribulational rapture if you’re going to have a kingdom because if we all go up at the end of the tribulation, we make a U-turn back in our resurrected bodies and we’re like Christ and we can’t sin, there’s no one left to rebel at the end of the thousand years, so they’re all set apart people on the basis of Christ’s blood.
All right. Well, we’ve taken up a lot of the time, but what you did is you answered a number of my questions. Just a quick one here, what will the church saints, those of us who know the Lord now been saved from the time of Christ ascension to the rapture, what will we be doing during the time of tribulation?
We meet Christ at what’s called the bema seat or maybe we could just call it the judgment of the just. It’s a judgment that Christians face. They’re in heaven, it’s not an issue whether or not they’re going to get in, but it’s a judgment not for sin, but for service and they’re rewarded accordingly and there’ll be implications of those rewards, among other things, when Christ comes back during the millennial reign. And then after the rewards are done, we’ll sit down with Christ at the marriage supper of the lamb and we’ll celebrate His great redemption for us.
All right. And then one final question, when Christ comes back, the second coming, the Church Age saints, what are they doing then and what do they actually do during the millennial kingdom?
Well, there are certainly various responsibilities that they are given based on their faithfulness. Our faithfulness now makes a difference not just during the millennial age, but through all of eternity. It would make no sense for Jesus to command us to store up treasure in heaven, not on earth, if there is no future reward, but there is. So all he asks us to do is to be yielded, available to the Spirit of God to carry out His purposes, and He rewards us for it in eternity. And so for instance in Luke 19, He talks about during the millennial reign, some who are ruling over 10 cities, over 5 cities, over 2 cities. Based on faithfulness during the Church Age, they’re given varying degrees of responsibilities. All the implications of rewards, we don’t know. We should lay up reward in heaven because Christ commands it and we should obey any command because He loved us first. We love him because He loved us first and the love of God is to keep His commandment.
All right, and I’m not going to go any further just because we’re about out of time, but I’m going to ask you to do this like I did on the last program, Carl, and that is if you would close this in prayer, that the Lord would take this information and allow our listeners to use it and to apply it and to live differently. Could you do that, please?
Father, you are so faithful to Your promises and to Your word. You told us as long as the sun and the moon and the stars are in the sky, You will be faithful to the people of Israel. And thank You that your love is an everlasting love. It’s not whimsical, it’s faithful, it’s eternal, it’s consistent. And we look forward to the blessed hope when the Lord Jesus will come and take us to glory. We pray that we’d be faithful in the interim. We pray for someone listening who never has received Jesus, who are not 100% certain if this were their last day on earth, they would go to heaven. Help them in simple childlike faith, knowing that Jesus died for all of their sin, to call upon Him, the one who is raised, proving His sinlessness and His ability to die. Help them to simply say, “Lord Jesus, save me,” and help us be faithful with that message. We ask it in Jesus’s name.
Amen, amen. Thank you, Dr. Carl Broggi. Ladies and gentlemen, he has a website with whole in-depth sermons on so many things you can find and other things there at searchthescriptures.org, searchthescriptures.org. And then our site, this program, and all of the others in this series plus so much more are available, you can find at standinthegapradio.com. Hope to hear from you this week. Partner with us in prayer, ladies and gentlemen, and finances so that this work can continue. May God use you for that purpose. Thanks for being with us and join me again tomorrow. We’ll be back, the Lord willing, just 23 hours from now.