Bible Notes on “The Protestant Reformation Fell Short”

     – Acts 20:15-38 gives Paul’s parting words to the leaders of the church at Ephesus.  In verses 29 and 30 he describes how the leadership of the church will eventually turn toward their own interests and away from God’s.  He gives a similar admonition in 1 Thessalonians 2:1-5 and again in 2 Timothy 3:1-5.  The church of the New Testament would eventually lose its purity and become institutionalized, but God’s purpose was not thwarted because His invisible kingdom came.  The institutional church was left to its own devices.  (See Seeking the Kingdom of God Instead of Church and The Kingdom of God Is Here and Now.)

     – When the Lord decided to moved the headquarters of His kingdom from Jerusalem, He did not choose another city on earth.  He chose heaven, and for this reason the Scripture speaks of the “heavenly Jerusalem” (Hebrews 12:22-29) and “the Jerusalem above” (Galatians 4:26).

     – Long ago the apostle John warned about those who would go beyond the teaching of Christ (2 John 1:9).  And the apostle Paul spoke for all the apostles when he wrote 2 Corinthians 4:5.  The leaders of the church of the New Testament served Jesus Christ; the leaders of the church ever since have served themselves and disregarded the kingdom of God.

     – In the Old Testament, God had instructed Israel to celebrate a Feast of Booths in which they would live in temporary shelters after the harvest (Leviticus 23:34 is the first place it is mentioned, but it is mentioned in other places as well).  This feast of “temporary shelters” was a type (or foreshadowing) of the New Testament church that attended the harvest of souls to be brought in to the kingdom of God.  This is why the apostles gave no instructions for the institutionalization of the church.  It would be unnecessary because the kingdom of God would come before the apostles’ generation had fully expired – just as Jesus had promised (Matthew 16:28 and 24:34).

     – 2 Corinthians 5:7 speaks succinctly of the essential character of faith (that is, trusting what you know to be true even though your physical senses cannot detect it).

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