Vol. 6, No. 6
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[Hugo McCord passed away at 8:04 a.m., May 14, 2004, in Vancouver, Washington at the home of Charles and LaVera McCord. Brother McCord was 92-years-old. He was a prolific writer and stalwart soldier of Christ, who by his own admission, had made adequate preparation and was desirous to be with God which is far better. This issue of Gospel Gazette Online is dedicated to Hugo McCord with numerous of his articles gracing its pages. Hugo's article on this page certainly fits him and his life of service to the Lord Jesus. ~ Editor]
In several ways the church and the kingdom are similar, and in several ways they are different:
The king of the kingdom is the head of the church (Colossians 1:13, 18).
Only one kingdom (basileia, Revelation 1:6) was established, and only one church was built ("one body," which is the "church" (Matthew 16:18; 1 Corinthians 12:20; Ephesians 4:4; Colossians 1:18).
One set of keys opens the door both to the kingdom and to the church (Matthew 16:19; Acts 2:1-47; 5:11).
One seed, "the word of God," produces both the kingdom and the church (Luke 8:11; Acts 2:41, 47; 5:11).
Baptism, a birth "of water and Spirit" (John 3:5; 1 Corinthians 12:13) puts a sinner into the kingdom (Colossians 1:13; 2:12) and into the church (1 Corinthians 12:13, 20).
The Lord's Supper is in both the kingdom and in the church (Luke 22:29-30; 1 Corinthians 10:16; 11:20-26).
Both the church and the kingdom are indestructible (Matthew 16:18; Hebrews 12:28).
That which is "born again," entering the kingdom, through the teaching of the Spirit, is an invisible human spirit (John 3:3, 6). That which is "born again" of "water," entering the church, through the teaching of the Spirit, is a visible human body.
The kingdom "comes not with observation" (Luke 17:20), but the church is observable people (Acts 18:8).
The kingdom is "within" (entos, Luke 17:21) human bodies, but not the church.
When a person is "poor in spirit" (Matthew 5:3), recognizing his utter helplessness to save himself (John 3:17; 1 Timothy 1:15-16), then he is rich, possessing "the kingdom of heaven" (Matthew 5:3), but he does not own the church. Sadly, there are people who have been baptized, and may have become church leaders (as Diotrephes (3 John 9-11), who are proud in spirit, but theirs is not "the kingdom of heaven." "Pride leads to calamity, and a haughty spirit to a fall" (Proverbs 16:18).
When a person has been "persecuted for being righteous" (Matthew 5:10), as Polycarp (burned to death at the stake in Smyrna in 155 A.D.), as William Tyndale (strangled and burned to death in Antwerp, Belgium, in 1536), his is "the kingdom of heaven" (Matthew 5:10), but he does not own the church.
The kingdom is internal ("righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit"), while the church is both internal ("righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit") and external "eating and drinking" (Romans 14:17).
The kingdom deals with "the inward man" (2 Corinthians 4:16; 1 Peter 1:16), while the church deals with both "the inward man" and the "outward man" (1 Corinthians 6:20; Philippians 4:8).