1. That it was the eternal purpose of God.
The Holy Spirit stated through the apostle Paul that, even before the foundation of the world, God had ordained that “His manifold wisdom” would be made known to all the world “through the church” (Eph. 3:10). This, the apostle affirmed with unmistakeable certainty and conviction, was “according to the eternal purpose that he has realized in Christ Jesus our Lord” (11).
This means that the New Testament church—the exclusive body that exists in Christ Jesus (cf. Acts 2:41-47; 1 Cor. 12:27; Eph. 2:11-23; Col. 1:22-24; et al.)—was not an afterthought; nor is the church some temporary “gap-bridger” or cardboard kingdom to last until the real kingdom arrives upon the return of Jesus. The Scriptures neither know nor speak of any such event, or any such kingdom.
The church that was established on Pentecost, A.D. 30 was that wondrous reality which God had eternally purposed to accomplish on the earth—for all people, in all places, for all time. The NT church is the true, ultimate, and only Messianic kingdom in the plan of God, over which Jesus Christ is already reigning from David’s throne (cf. Acts 2:29-36; 1 Cor. 15:24,25). No other kingdom will God ever establish, and over no other kingdom will Jesus ever reign. Are you a part of this kingdom—His kingdom? God, through His Son and inspired apostles has told you how—and it is recorded in the New Testament (cf. Rom. 10:10,17; Mark 16:15,16; John 3:3-5; Acts 2:38; 22:16; Rom. 6:3,4; Gal. 3:26,27; 1 Pet. 3:21).