Church as a shop window

The church is a present-day sign of the kingdom of God.

We are signs of the kingdom in our confession and repentance, demonstrating our need for Christ, showing that God’s acceptance of us is based not on what we do for him but on what our Lord Jesus has done on our behalf.

We are signs of the kingdom in our humility as we live together in dependence upon him for our daily needs, as we defer to one another instead of seeking to be recognised or to make a name for ourselves, as we welcome outsiders into our midst as full partners and partakers of the gospel.

We are signs of the kingdom when we show and tell others that Christ is sufficient for us during the varied and invariable sufferings of life, that his kingdom is a place where difficult circumstances may intrude but can never overwhelm.

We are signs of the kingdom as seen in the Godward journey of our lives, despite the fact that there are moments when we are far less faithful and godly than we mean to be. We aren’t perfect, as both we and the world agree. But our King is perfect, and his kingdom keeps drawing out the best in us.

In living together as God’s people under his reign and lordship, our churches provide to the world the closest resemblance of the kingdom of God on this side of eternity. We are the invisible kingdom made visible through the people of God and their shared lives on earth.

As Ed Stetzer puts it:

“We are the church. We are where the world comes to window shop. To see if they’re “buying it.”

We are God’s “store window” on earth where he shows off his kingdom. German author Wolfgang Simson said:

Jesus has given us the commission to go and make disciples of all nations. It is the growing conviction of many Christians around the world that this will only be achieved by having a church [God’s shop window] within walking distance of every person on the globe.

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