Usurps The Family and Kingdom Of God
Many don't realize it, but the Universal theory usurps the Family of God, and the Kingdom of God as set forth in the Bible. There just isn't any place for the Family and Kingdom of God, if the Universal theory is true. But the Scriptures make a very clear distinction between the three. Let us get some exact distinctions, based thoroughly on the Scriptures.
1 - WHAT IS THE FAMILY OF GOD? The Family of God includes all of the children of God in heaven and on earth.
Proof: Ephesians 3:15, where Paul speaks of the "whole Family in heaven and on earth." The Family includes all believers, for we are told in Galatians 3 :26 - "Ye are all the children of God through faith in Jesus Christ." All believers are God's children regardless of time or age. Since the Old Testament saints were saved by faith in the Christ to come (Acts 10:43; Romans 4:16) they are all members of God's Family. And note that God's Family is much larger than the Kingdom or Church of God, for it now contains all of the saved from Abel to the last person saved today. 'God has only one Family. All believers are children and heirs of God.
2 - WHAT IS THE KINGDOM OF GOD? The Kingdom of God includes all the saved on earth at any given time. In the parables in Matthew 13: the kingdom is used to include all professors. But inJohn 3:3-5; Matthew 16:19; 11:11; Luke 16:16; Romans 14:17; Colossians 1:13; John 18:36, the Kingdom is composed of all born again on the earth. This is not the kingdom of Daniel 2:44; Acts 1:6 and kindred passages. Those relate to the Millennial Kingdom yet future. What is often spoken of as "the spiritual kingdom" is composed only of the truly born again, and who have been "translated out of darkness into light and into the Kingdom of God's dear Son." In John 3 he plainly says that except one be born again, he cannot see - he cannot enter, the Kingdom of God.
Recapitulating, the Family of God includes all of the saved of all ages, whether in heaven or on earth. The Kingdom of God includes that part of the Family of God who are on the earth NOW.
3 - WHAT IS THE 'CHURCH OF GOD? The church of God is never used of any institution, except of an assembly or congregation of baptized believers in some given locality. For example, "The church of God at Corinth." (1 Corinthians 1:12).
As H. Boyce Taylor once expressed it:
"The local individual church is the only kind of church that God has on this earth today. There is only the Family of God composed of all of the redeemed of all ages in heaven and on earth. There is only one Kingdom of God, composed of all the born again on the earth now. There are thousands of churches of God on earth. Every individual Baptist Church is a church of God. When a man is born again, he is born into God's Family, and he is a member of G'od's Family forever. The relationship does not change. Whether in heaven or in earth, he is in God's Family. When he is born again, he also enters God's kingdom. This relationship is for life. When he dies he passes out of God's kingdom on earth, and enters "his heavenly kingdom." (See 2 Timothy 4:18). After he is born again, he is NOT YET IN THE CHURCH OF GOD, but is now a scriptural subject for admission into a church of God. Note Acts 2:47 - "The Lord added to the church daily the saved." Church membership is not something that one gets with salvation, but a subsequent blessing he gets after salvation by being added to the church. Baptism is not essential for entrance into either the Family of God or the Kingdom of God, but Baptism IS ESSENTIAL to admission into a church of God. Men are born anew into the Family of God and Kingdom of God, but they are baptized into a church of God (water baptism) I Corinthians 12:13. The one body referred to by Paul in I Corinthians 12:13 was the church of God at Corinth. The local church at Corinth was the body of Christ at that place. The members of the church at Corinth belonged to only "ONE BODY" of Christ. That body of Christ probably did not contain all of the saved at Corinth (I Corinthians 1:2) and none of the saved anywhere else except at Corinth. Since they belonged to only "one body" and that was the local church at Corinth, Christ has no other kind of church or body except a local church. If they had belonged to the local church at Corinth, which Paul said was a body of Christ, and then to the kind of church that some believe in, composed of all the saved everywhere, they would have belonged to two churches or bodies of Christ - one local and visible, the other universal and invisible. The New Testament knows nothing of any such confusion as this. The church which Paul called "the House of God" was a local church. The church which Paul said was "the pillar and ground of the truth" was a local church. The church to which Christ promised perpetuity (Matthew 16:18) was a local church, for He never spoke of any other kind. The meaning of ecclesia permits of no other kind."
The statements just made will bear any sort of investigation, and the more investigation is made, the deeper will be come the conviction that Satan has palmed off a tremendous hoax with his Universal Invisible theory.
Why do the Scriptures speak of the Kingdom of God and the Family of God, if there is no distinction to be made between these and the church of God? The Universal theory certainly engulfs the Family and Kingdom, and along with this likewise swallows up a lot of truth.