The church of God is the only institution on earth that is of heavenly origin. It is the only institution on the shores of time that will continue to exist in eternity. All else will pass away with the closing of time. The glory of empires, the magnificence of civilization, the grandeur of monarchies of time will have no reflection amid the glories of heaven. The splendor of earth’s fortunes, the pomp and show of earth’s glories, the renown of eloquence and oratory, the fame of schools of learning, the enchantments of beautiful forms and ceremonies of creeds will find no imprint, will have no representation in that land beyond the grave. Only the church of God will shine there. It came down from heaven, and will return to heaven.
The church of God is God’s body, not only on earth, but also through all eternity. The church is God’s habitation now and forever. God will dwell in His people and His people in Him while the cycles of eternity roll on unending. The church of God on earth is God’s incarnation among men. As men read the history of the true church they will read the biography of God. The life of the church is His life. The world is God’s creation as a Creator, the church is His creation as a Life-Giver. It is His own life. It lives in Him and He in it. The church is a creation in Christ. The church is not created in Christ by a mere creative act, but by being born of God. The church is born of God in Christ and is the offspring of God. God loves the world as His creation. He loves the church as the life of His life.
The church of God on earth contains heavenly elements and nothing that is not heavenly. The church bears God’s image. God views His own likeness in His church. The church is a mirror which reflects all the Divine perfections. The church of God is a living thing. It lives upon the life of God. God’s life flows through its veins. The life of Jesus circulates freely through His church, as freely as the blood circulates through the human body–the church is His body. It feeds on heavenly food. It breathes the atmosphere of heaven.
God and man united in Christ is the church. In the church of God is the uniting of all men with God and with each other. The manifold wisdom of God, the mysteries of God, the character of God is revealed through His church. God in His beauty shines out of the church. She is all fair; there is no spot in her. God made the sun, moon, and all the shining stars, but He does not make them His dwelling place. When He built His church He said, “This is my rest; here I will dwell and multiply myself; here I have found such beauty and worth as to call out the fullest capacity of my love; here I find the fullest complacency of my being, here I see of the travail of my soul and I am satisfied.”
The church of God is attended by the ministry of angels. It is the only institution on earth that angels desire to look into. They pass every other thing by, but stop at the church to admire her beauty and to bestow their ministry. It is the only institution on earth that affords joy to the angels. It is the only institution over which they sing, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.” All of the conquests of the church on earth bring joy to the angels.
The church of God is the only institution on earth that can worship God. God, to be worshipped, must be worshipped in Spirit and truth, and nothing but the church has the Spirit and the truth.
The church is full of heavenly instincts. God gives instinct to the bird and this instinct teaches it to do things. Heavenly instincts fill the church, teaching it to do heavenly things. Its life is heavenly life. It lives by heavenly things, and divine things are wrought out by her activities. The church is Holy Spirit-filled and Holy-Spirit governed.
The church is in the world, but the world is not in the church. There is no room for the world in the church. It is filled with divine things. The fish is in the salty ocean, but the fish is not salty. If you die in the church you do not go out of it, if you die out of it you can never get in it. There is no sin in the church. Her law is the law of holiness. All honor in the church is given to the Holy Trinity.
Some day the church of God is going to be caught up to heaven and receive a faultless presentation into the immediate presence of God’s glory and the joys of heaven will be full and complete and be undiminished while eternity rolls on forever.