The correct understanding of God’s ordained human families upon Earth is mandatory for the serious Bible student who desires to have a correct focus and picture of prophetic end times events that still yet await in the future. One of the foundations of this understanding is the realization of the three strands of human families: the Gentile, the Jew, and the Christian. It is from these three strands God calls out His members of His “Church”. This Church Age begins with the resurrection of Jesus Christ, and will continue until the Rapture of the Church from the Earth. This period of time will be the only time in history where Christians will be on the earth.
Prior to this Church Age, only Gentiles and Jews were on the Earth. There were no Christians. It is not until the Day of Pentecost in Acts, Chapter 2, that the Church comes on the scene¹ (Acts 2, KJV). Because of this, the point is clear that the people of Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, and Acts, Chapter 1, were not included in this new creation known as the “Church”, but were either Gentiles or Jews. After this introduction of the Church in Acts, Chapter 2, however, the door is now opened for all of mankind to have the opportunity to be included. From this point on, all who will receive Christ become “Christian” and in God’s eyes no longer hold the title of “Jew” or “Gentile”. In short, the Church is made up of Jews and Gentiles who have accepted Jesus Christ as their personal Lord and Savior, thereby becoming “Christians” and have been baptized spiritually into membership of God’s “Church” : “For by One Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free: and have been all made to drink into one Spirit” (I Corinthians 12:13, KJV). Because of this their now exists the three human strands on Earth at this time: Gentiles, Jews, and Christians.
There are many similarities between Christians and the Church. Both groups are comprised of individuals from all nations, races, and lineages who have accepted Jesus Christ as their personal Lord and Savior. Both are made in the “spiritual” realm, meaning that Christians are made so through the Holy Spirit, once a Jew or Gentile accepts Christ. There is no physical “birth certificate” that can be seen in the transformation of the Christian. It is a work done on the inside through the Holy Spirit. Likewise, the Church is a world wide spiritual body of believers of all nations, races, and lineages who have accepted Christ as their Lord and Savior. There is no physical address that exists on planet Earth where all of the Church in its entirety gathers. It is composed entirely of the professing Christians.
Another similarity seen of Christians and the Church is in its function. Just as each individual Christian has parts of the body with different duties, such as the legs, arms, feet, etc., so the Church also has these same features. While the Christian’s physical members fulfill the duties for which they were made, so the Church, made up of individual Christian “members” also functions as a whole through the talents, gifts, etc. of each individual Christian: “And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:” (Ephesians 4:11, KJV). Every Christian has a function in Christ’s Church! When Christians neglect their functions, the Church suffers.
Perhaps the most unique similarity of the Christian and the Church as seen in their relationship to Christ is the commands of each by Christ Himself. Jesus said, “I am the light of the world” (John 9:5, KJV). He would later proclaim to believers that “Ye are the light of the world” (Matthew 5:14, KJV). The command would continue “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen” (Matthew 28:19,20, KJV). While this command was given to the eleven disciples, there is no doubt that this was meant for all believers, and the church as a whole once it was established, as evidenced by “teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you” (Matthew 28:20, KJV). Christ meant for these eleven men to go out and make other followers of Christ and teach them to do the same. This is for certain the most important charge ever given to mankind- that of proclaiming the Gospel message to a lost world on behalf of its Risen Savior!
The Christian and the Church does indeed have a very special relationship with Christ. It is Christ who has bought the Christian with His blood, and has established a Spiritual collective body of these believers as the “Church”. While Gentiles, Jews, and Christians will continue together on this Earth through the Church Age, it is the Christians, in the body of the “Church”, who will one day soon Rapture out of this world to be with the One who loved them enough to give His life a ransom for many. Even so, come quickly Lord Jesus!
1All Scripture quotations are taken from the King James Bible version, Royal, 1971.