What’s the Difference Between the Kingdom and the Church?
Listen to Colosians 1:13; “For He has delivered us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us into the kingdom of His beloved Son.”
This verse tells us that God Himself, “transfers” Christians into the kingdom of His Son. He takes Christians out of the world, and He puts them into His kingdom.
Now listen to Acts 2:41 & 47. Verse 41 says; “So then those who had received his word, were baptized, and there were added that day, about three thousand souls.” And verse 47 says; “And the Lord was adding to their number day by day, those who were being saved.”
These verses say that God “adds” souls to the number of the saved. So the question is; Is this “number of the saved” that God adds souls to, a different group or a different entity, than “the kingdom”, which God “transfers” souls into?
God “transfers” souls into the kingdom, and He “adds” souls to the number of the saved. Is the kingdom the same thing, as the number of the saved? If you say that those two are NOT the same thing, then what’s the difference between them? Please continue reading and see what God says in the bible.
Jesus said in Mathew 16:18; “..I will build My called out assembly”, in other words, “I will build My church”, to put it in more common terms. The Greek word “ekklesia”, that is commonly translated as “church” literally means, “to call out”, and it means “a called out assembly”.
In Acts 2:39 & 39, after Peter had told the people that they would receive the gift of the Holy Spirit, if they would repent and be baptized, He then told them, that the promise that God had just made, was for “as many as the Lord our God shall CALL to Himself.”
So then, those who the Lord our God “calls”, He adds to his “called out assembly” of the saved. That makes sense doesn’t it? And Jesus said that he was going to “build” that assembly, and the gates of hades would not prevail against it. And then in the next sentence, He said that he was going to give Peter the “keys” to the kingdom. What kingdom? Was anyone talking about a kingdom? Well, I would say that Jesus must have been talking about a kingdom. Was Jesus going to give Peter the keys to an entity that He had never said a word about?
Or was Jesus going to give Peter the keys to the kingdom of Israel? It couldn’t have been Israel, because Israel had already been around for thousands of years. Was Jesus going to give Peter the keys to some kingdom that would come thousands of years in the future? Peter wouldn’t be around in thousands of years. It wouldn’t do any good to give Peter the keys for that. Or was Jesus going to give Peter the keys to the kingdom, that He had just mentioned, when he said; “And I will build My called out assembly, (my church)” ?
The prophet Daniel, prophesied about a kingdom, in Daniel 2:44. Here’s what he said; “In the days of those kings, (Daniel had just prophesied about a series of kings that would rule in successive kingdoms) the God of heaven will set up a kingdom which will never be destroyed. And that kingdom will not be left for another people. It will crush and put an end to all these kingdoms, but itself will endure forever.”
Later on, Daniel was actually shown a vison from God, depicting the coming of this eternal kingdom. He wrote, in Daniel 7:13 & 14; “I kept looking in the night visions, and behold, with the clouds, one like a Son of Man was coming. And he came up to the Ancient of days, and was presented before Him. And to Him was given dominion, glory, and a kingdom, that all the peoples, nations, and tongues, might serve Him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion, and His kingdom is one which will not be destroyed.”
So, one like a Son of Man, ascended with the clouds, up to heaven, and was given a kingdom. And here’s the fulfillment of that very prophecy, as described in Acts 1:9 thru 11; “And after he had said these things, He was lifted up while they were looking on, and a cloud received Him out of their sight. And as they were gazing intently into the sky while He was departing, behold, two men in white clothing stood beside them, and they also said; Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into the sky? This Jesus, who has been taken up from you into heaven, will come, in just the same way as you have watched Him go into heaven.”
Jesus ascended ONCE into heaven, only once! And God says, through the prophet Daniel, that when Christ ascended, He was given a kingdom. Acts chapter 1, describes Christ’s ascension, as taking place forty days after His resurrection, and ten days before the day of Pentecost, in approximately 33 AD.
So, what do you think? Christ was given a kingdom. Is that kingdom the same as “the called out assembly”? Is it the same as “the kingdom of Heaven”, and “the kingdom of God”? God adds us to “the called out assembly”, and He transfers us into “the kingdom of God”. Does the Lord have two “bodies” of saved souls? One that He “adds” souls to, and another that he “transfers” souls to? Or is there just one “body”?
We’re told by God, in Ephesians 4:4 thru 6; “There is ONE body, and one Spirit, just as you are called in one hope of your calling. One Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father, who is over all, and through all, and in all.”
There’s one body, and that body is the body of the saved. And when we are added to the body, we are “transferred out of the domain of darkness (this world) and into the kingdom (the body, the called out assembly) of His beloved Son.” (Colossians 1:13).
I truly hope that this helps you to understand, that the kingdom and the church, are indeed, one and the same. It doesn’t take a lot of “figuring”, it simply takes “believing” what the bible says.
Thanks be to God, for the kingdom of His beloved Son, which he adds the saved unto.