The Rapture & Resurrection
By Dr. Daniel E Woodhead
We must remember that:
The more literally we take the Bible, the more fundamental our theology becomes. The less literally we take the Bible, the more liberal our theology becomes.
If we go the liberal route God’s message to us is lost.
Defining the Church:
In Revelation Chapters two and three the “visible” church represents all church history. The Church has two general groupings. One is called the “visible” church and it encompasses all who call themselves “Christian”. It has different names, such as Roman Catholic, Protestant, Reformed, Episcopal, Methodist etc. It is comprised of both unbelievers and believers.
The other is called the “invisible” Church. It is solely comprised of all true believers on the Lord Jesus Christ. In Colossians 1:18 the Church is stated to be the Body of the Messiah.
Colossians 1:18 And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all [things] he might have the preeminence.
The composition of this Body, that is, the “invisible” Church, is given in Ephesians 2:11-16.
Ephesians 2:11-16 Wherefore remember, that ye [being] in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that which is called the Circumcision in the flesh made by hands; That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world: But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ. For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition [between us]; Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, [even] the law of commandments [contained] in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, [so] making peace; And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby:
The composition of the Church, the Body of Christ is a combination of Jews and Gentiles united together by faith in Jesus. As this passage shows there is no such thing as a Gentile Church or Jewish Church. Thus the Gentiles are fellow-heirs, fellow-members of the body, and fellow-partakers of the promise of Christ Jesus through the gospel. (Ephesians 3:6) The Gentiles are fellow-partakers. A major purpose of the Church Age is a calling out from among the Gentiles by the gospel according to Acts 15:14:
Act 15:14 Simeon hath declared how God at the first did visit the Gentiles, to take out of them a people for his name
According to Romans 11:25-27, this calling out of the Gentiles will continue until the full number of Gentiles that God has ordained for the Church has been reached:
Romans 11:25-27 For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in. And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob: For this [is] my covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins.