The Church is a glorious institution because the Head of The Church is glorious.
Many people have many things to say about The Church as an institution, and many of those things are derogatory, and many of those things are misleading.
But knowing The Church is God’s chosen institution in the world to be the launch-pad of life in Christ on earth and eternal glory in heaven makes it critics foolish in one sense, and ignorant in another.
God always has His eye on His Church, and He always has His eye on those He has called into it. (Even those who don’t know it yet.)
Those who populate and will populate His Church are precious to God, and He sees fit to protect each one, and to guide each one into eternal salvation in Christ – even if they know nothing about it presently, and even if they are currently mired in sin or opposed to His Church. (Some even violently so – as in the case of Saul of Tarsus, who became the apostle Paul.)
The doctrine of being predestined to be a part of His glorious Church is both mystical and practical at the same time. That it confuses so many and has led to division in His Church springs mostly from simple-minded temporal man seeking to comprehend the greatness and eternality of God.
Man’s mind struggles to comprehend God knows the end from the beginning because time proceeds in linear fashion. Eternity does not. In fact, we don’t even know how eternity proceeds – or if it even does – because in this life we have not experienced eternity at all. All we can really know about eternity is it is. Eternally.
To then attempt to come to grips with how God operates in the eternal realm pertaining to how He ‘predestines’ those who will be part of His eternal Church is therefore a bit foolish. Only the greatest minds of men even attempt the challenge of it. Many of those great minds have made themselves fools in doing so.
These are those who seek and have sought to quantify exactly what God’s predestination means for mortal man by their great intellectual capacity. They have conjured up the idea of a ‘limited atonement’ since IF man is predestined to be part of God’s Church and God’s glory – and since obviously not ALL men are predestined to be part of God’s Church and God’s glory – then it therefore must be some men are predestined for hell, and have been created by God specifically for that purpose. (To inhabit hell that is.)
The great problem is this understanding of God’s atonement being limited carries with it many other conjurings of man that do real harm to God’s Word, and the presentation of God’s love for all men, making God out to be something He is not and never has been according to His Word.
This idea of predestination has been a stumbling block for many because of our collective inability to comprehend the concept of the fullness of what eternity even means.
Fortunately, for those who take up the simplicity of God’s Word and are willing to rest in the greatness of God, being predestined to be a part of His glorious Church is one of the most satisfying and exciting doctrines present in God’s Word. To be able to simply rest – by faith, according to God’s Word – that God knows the end from the beginning is enough. That He knows the end from the beginning about me is thrilling!