The people of God are the portion of humanity who have chosen to submit to his rule. They belong to him, confess his name, and obey his commands. Or so they should.
The generation of Israelites who came out of Egypt failed in this task. Although rescued from Egypt, their hearts remained there and they kept longing to go back. They had seen God’s works yet they did not trust him.
Eventually, God destroyed them and took their descendants instead into the new country. But they would also become like their parents by rejecting God and bowing to idols.
Thus continued a cycle of unfaithfulness, judgement, repentance, and deliverance which ran throughout the Old Testament.
Then the Messiah comes. Through his life, death, and resurrection, he fulfills God’s promised redemption and pours out the Holy Spirit to empower his people. Following this, the church spreads out to encompass all nations as the gospel is taken to the ends of the earth.
So the church has been growing – across the Roman empire, throughout Europe, during the Middle Ages, into Africa and Asia, over to America and the islands, in the modern era – to all the earth.
What will today’s church be? Will we walk in the steps of our Old Testament fathers? Will we bow to gods of money, power, and fame? Or will we be devoted to God our saviour and Redeemer?
The Spirit of God has been poured out and God’s word has been written on our hearts. (Ezekiel 36:26).
We have no excuse.