The Church is an end times family.
Our corporate identity lies in the future. What the church is, is determined by what the church is destined to become. And the church is destined to be nothing less than a new humanity, the glorious company of God's redeemed people who inhabit the renewed creation and enjoy the presence of the Triune God. ... Our task is to live according to the principles that characterize God's future goal for creation. Our purpose is to be a foretaste of the glorious eternity that God will one day graciously give us in its fullness. ... In short, the church is a sign of the kingdom. We are to point the way toward the future (Stanley Grenz, Created for Community, 213).Does that describe your understanding of "Church?" How about your experience of Church? Brothers and sisters our weekly gatherings, and our mid-week gathering for that matter, are shaped by the Spirit of God to whet our appetites for the age to come. Moreover, they are intended by the Spirit of God to reveal the quality of the age to come. My grandmother used to comment after the Sunday morning service, "I feel like I've been to Church." I always wondered what that feeling was like or was supposed to be like. 1 Peter helps me understand that feeling a little bit more. May the Spirit of God grant that after we have gathered, each of might say, "I feel like I've been to the future."
Listen here to our exposition of 1 Peter 5.1-5.