“Who is this who looks down like the dawn, beautiful as the moon, bright as the sun, awesome as an army with banners?”
-Song of Songs 6:10
Too often the Church is viewed as merely spiritual, with no real power or purpose on earth other than to save souls. The idea of the church just hanging on in this mad, mad, mad, mad world, just watching the world burn as we wait for Christ to come back is defeatist at best. Jesus Christ, the Lord of lords, who is even now seated at the right hand of God the Father Almighty, is bringing the nations into submission to himself and is making all his enemies his footstool. He sends forth his mighty scepter. He rules in the midst of his enemies.
We cannot accept a pessimistic outlook for the Church or the world. Our view of the Church and her mission affects everything we do. A view that says the world is ending soon, that God is just waiting in heaven to burn it all up, that the Church is just going to be snatched up at the last minute, leads to an ultimately pessimistic handling of all of life. How are we going to raise our children (or why have them)? should I buy a house? are politics important? why should I read the bible? how should we treat the environment? why should we try to save those wicked sinners, or liberals, or our neighbor? They’ll get theirs.
C.S. Lewis, in his Screwtape Letters, views the Church from the point of view of a devil,
One of our greatest allies at present is the Church itself. Do not misunderstand me. I do not mean the Church as we see her spread out through all time and space and rooted in eternity, terrible as an army with banners. That, I confess, is a spectacle which makes our boldest tempters uneasy. But fortunately it is quite invisible to these humans.
We must regain a biblical understanding and working of the Church. Who is she? what is her purpose? her end? The Church is the glorious, triumphant bride, a bride that reflects the awesome and terrible beauty of the Son of God. Christ, with all authority, has given us a mission to disciple the nations, teaching them (whole nations) to observe all the he has commanded, and to proclaim the lordship of Jesus Christ over every area of life, including the “sacred” and the “secular”. He will soon crush Satan under our feet.
The Church wins.