The Church —
and God's Ways with Israel and the Earth
C. H. Mackintosh
The Church forms no part of the ways of God with Israel and the
earth. The Church does not belong to time, but to eternity.
She is not earthly, but heavenly. She is called into existence
during an unnoticed interval — a break or parenthesis consequent
upon the cutting off of the Messiah. To speak after the manner
of men, if Israel had received the Messiah, then the seventy
weeks or four hundred and ninety years would have been
fulfilled; but Israel rejected her King, and God has retired to
His place until they acknowledge their iniquity. He has
suspended His public dealings with Israel and the earth, though
most surely controlling all things by His providence, and
keeping His eye upon the seed of Abraham, ever beloved for the
Meanwhile He is calling out from Jews and Gentiles that body
called the Church, to be the companion of His Son in heavenly
glory — to be thoroughly identified with Him in His present
rejection from this earth, and to wait in holy patience for His
All this marks off the Christian's position in the most definite
manner possible. His portion and his prospects, too, are thus
defined with equal clearness. It is vain to look into the
prophetic page in order to find the Church's position, her
calling, or her hope. They are not there. It is entirely out
of place for the Christian to be occupied with dates and
historic events, as though he were in anywise involved therein.
No doubt, all these things have their proper place and their
value, and their interest, as connected with God's dealings with
Israel and with the earth. But the Christian must never lose
sight of the fact that he belongs to Heaven, that he is
inseparably linked with an earth-rejected, Heaven-accepted
Christ — that his life is hid with Christ in God — that it is
his holy privilege to be looking out, daily and hourly, for the
coming of his Lord. There is nothing to hinder the realization
of that blissful hope at any moment. There is but one thing
that causes the delay, and that is, "the long-suffering of our
Lord, not willing that any should perish, but that all should
come to repentance" — precious words these for a lost and guilty
world! The salvation is ready to be revealed; and God is ready
to judge. There is nothing now to wait for but the gathering in
of the last elect one, and then — oh! most blessed thought — our
own dear and loving Saviour will come and receive us to Himself
to be with Him where He is, and to go no more out forever.
Then when the Church has gone to be with her Lord in the
heavenly home, God will resume His public actings with Israel.
They will be brought into great tribulation, during the week
already referred to. But at the close of that period of
unexampled pressure and trial, their long-rejected Messiah will
appear for their relief and deliverance. He will come forth as
the rider on the white horse, accompanied by the heavenly
saints. He will execute summary judgment upon His enemies, and
take to Himself His great power and reign. The kingdoms of this
world shall become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ.
Satan shall be bound for a thousand years; and the whole
universe shall repose beneath the blissful and benignant rule of
the Prince of peace.
Finally, at the close of the thousand years, Satan shall be
loosed, and permitted to make one more desperate effort — an
effort issuing in his eternal defeat and consignment to the lake
of fire, there to be tormented with the beast and the false
prophet throughout the everlasting ages.
Then follows the resurrection and judgment of the wicked dead,
and their consignment to the lake that burneth with fire and
brimstone — tremendous and appalling thought! No heart can
conceive — no tongue can tell — the horrors of that lake of fire.
But hardly is there a moment to dwell upon the dark and awful
picture, ere the unutterable glories of the new heavens and the
new earth burst upon the vision of the soul; the holy city is
seen descending from Heaven, and these seraphic sounds fall upon
the ear, "Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will
dwell with them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself
shall be with them, and be their God. And God shall wipe away
all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death,
neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more
pain; for the former things are passed away. And He that sat
upon the throne, said, Behold I make all things new".
O beloved Christian reader, what scenes are before us! What
grand realities! What brilliant moral glories! May we live in
the light and power of these things! May we cherish that blessed
hope of seeing the One who loved us and gave Himself for us —
who would not enjoy His glory alone, but endured the wrath of
God in order that He might link us with Himself, and share with
us all His love and glory for ever. Oh! to live for Christ and
wait for His appearing!
High in the Father's house above
My mansion is prepared;
There is the home, the rest I love,
And there my bright reward.
With Him I love, in spotless white,
In glory I shall shine;
His blissful presence my delight
His love and glory mine.
All taint of sin shall be removed,
All evil done away;
And I shall dwell with God's Beloved
Through God's eternal day.
From The Lord's Coming, by C. H. Mackintosh.
The Church — and God's Ways with Israel and the Earth