WHEN the Saviour was about to be received up into heaven, having finished his mission upon earth, he said to his disciples, “All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore and teach all nations … all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.” Matthew 28:18, 20.
Thus the followers of Christ were given the assurance that he would be with them even to the end of the world, having all power in heaven and in earth.
But now, it seems, the Church has met an impassable barrier to her progress. So we are told by Rev. C. N. Donaldson, in the Christian Statesman, of February 1. “What,” he says, “stands as a mountain barrier to the Church’s enlargement is the nation’s rebellion against God.” The Church has irresistible power, but has met an immovable obstacle! The nation must cease its “rebellion”—the barrier must take itself out of the way—before she can advance!
When the Saviour spoke these words of assurance to the little company whom he had led out from Jerusalem, on the day of his ascension, the nation of which they were subjects was the empire of Rome. It was an idolatrous nation, neither knowing nor caring about the God of the Christians. It was in rebellion against him, if ever a nation could be. Yet the gospel spread with marvelous rapidity throughout the empire, and thousands were converted to Christ in a single day. There was no “mountain barrier” to the Church then in “the nation’s rebellion against God.”
What is the trouble to-day? Has the promise of Christ failed? Is the fault with Christ, or with “the Church”? Has the power of the gospel ceased, or has “the Church” separated from Christ until she has lsot it?
Christ has a Church to-day, of which he is the head; but his Church is not the church that seeks to an earthly government for power.
Are not the sins of “the Church” the real barrier that stands like a mountain in her path? Isaiah 59:1, 2.