St. Paul observed, “They are not all Israel, which are of Israel” (Rom. 9:6). As a Jew and a former Pharisee, it was painful to relate that many Jews were not part of the covenant faith. Earlier, Jesus had wept over unbelieving Jerusalem.
Much the same could be said about any number of groups in history. Once they represented a vibrant faith and furthered, even if imperfectly, the Kingdom of God. We have all known denominations, churches, schools, or organizations that have drifted away from orthodoxy and, in some cases, the faith itself. One cannot read Scripture without noting that many of the churches that figured prominently in the New Testament disappeared centuries ago, and those areas are now controlled by another faith.
Despite these apostasies and apparent setbacks, however, the Kingdom of God is now larger than ever. It influences a larger area, it has more members, and it is targeted by every other ideology and faith as the force that must be neutralized. In this respect, our situation is similar to that of the early church confronting the dualistic philosophy and statism of Rome. Rome lost that battle and ended up in the trash-heap of history, as will the humanistic naturalism of our day.
The more I study Scripture the more I am convinced of the importance of eschatology. Many avoid it as a source of disagreement, but the result is a self-imposed blindness, a spiritual existentialism that only sees the individual’s religious duty and understanding as significant. Without an eschatology of the future of God’s kingdom, the faith can only be reduced to its personal implications.
Chalcedon is dedicated to focusing on the big picture of how the ecclesia sees and serves the Kingdom of God and His Christ, Who is now on His throne. We see the victory of Jesus Christ in time and history despite the failures of those who once sought to serve. There are no setbacks to the Kingdom, though its course to victory is hidden to us. The only failure that should concern us is our own lack of faithfulness to our profession. Christ’s will be the victory with or without us. It is our privilege to be workers in the Kingdom.