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The Church in the New Year: Called to Work

The Church in the New Year: Called to Work

Note: Though this editorial was written twenty-five years ago, it is still an applicable word for the church in the year of our Lord, 2019. The year 1994 has been changed to read 2019 in this article.

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What 2019 will mean for the true church in North America is not our concern. We may not speculate. This belongs to the secret things of the counsel of God that are exclusively for him. It is comfort to the Reformed church, as it is to the believer personally, that the new year will be the unfolding of the eternal plan of the sovereign God in the exalted Lord Jesus Christ. 

Our concern is the revealed will of God for the church. His will is that the church work. The reason for the continuation of history in this new year is the church. God has a church that must be gathered and saved. Since the Son of God gathers, defends, and preserves this church "by his Spirit and word" (Heidelberg Catechism, Q. 54) and since he does this through the instrumentality of the true church, the true church has a calling to work. 

It is the true church that has a sacred, solemn mandate from the Lord. 

The true church is the instituted congregation that is sound in doctrine, pure in the administration of the sacraments, and faithful in the exercise of discipline (Belgic Confession, Art. 29). 

There is also a false church, characterized by rejection of the authority of Holy Scripture and corruption of the gospel of grace. She too has a work. Her work is to hate and oppose the true church. She has her mandate from the devil. 

The departing church has one calling from the Lord, and one only: Repent! It belongs to the work of the true church that she bring this calling from the Lord to the church that is in the process of falling away from the truth. 

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