Little Outpost of Glory

Even though the church is in a mess, fallen world, yet when gathered as a congregation, it is a little outpost of glory. It is a foretaste of eternity; a tiny glimpse of what heaven is like.—Ligon Duncan.

I read this in my Worship Class today, and it resonated something within me. Perhaps it’s the longing to see the little community separate from the corrupted world today as we see, somewhere else out there. And that little community of God in Christ is captured so well in the term, “A little Outpost of Glory”.

First, it’s an outpost.

It’s not in the mainstream of society where so much twitter bombs, corruption fire breathing down from the Biden administration pushing for codifying abortion laws at the eve of what could be the overturn of Roe V Wade in Supreme Court. All these begin to make your heads spin on what’s going on, in a Christianized country in so many ways, the president of such is actually not just pushing abortion, but also wanting to codify it, meaning putting into laws. Apparently there are only 4 countries in the world today who practice such extreme abortion legislations, and they are, it may shock you, N Korea, China. ..and some extreme nation. Just to see the supposedly the crown jewel of the beacon of liberty nation, USA, being lumped into the same category with N Korea, is something just revolting, nauseating. Okay, there are much more going on. Biden administration will fund all kinds of abortion, sexual transgenderism for people and even young kids with tax dollars, something of an abomination to the God of the Bible. If that doesn’t incur the wrath of God, I don’t know what will. That’s why running away from all these corruption for the mind and soul looks very refreshing and energizing and promising. It’s what Augustine called semi monastic living. He withdrew with some of his friends from the corrupted world at that time, and began to dedicate themselves to God, praying, and worshipping God, and also reading and writing theology books that eventually changed the world. A recent book that came out few years ago called “The Benedict Option” also sounds very appealing along this line. Benedict is essentially the monk in the AD 480 who was disillusioned with life . The Benedictine Order is named after its founder, St Benedict, who was born in Nursia, near Spoleto, in Italy, around 480 AD. While in his late teens he was sent to study in Rome, but dissatisfied by the life he found there, he decided to turn away from a worldly existence to seek and serve God. Instead of seeking worshipping God in solitude, many came and joined him and he taught them to live in community to worship and serve God. [1]

Second, it’s an outpost of glory.

Not just being tucked away from the hustle and bustle of life with the currents of corruption and sin’s deceitfulness, it’s an outpost far away from all these, and it’s a community or outpost of glory. Its glorious. Its only glorious because it connected with the God of heaven and heaven. Like Peter and John and James witnessed the transfiguration of Jesus , when Jesus was transfigured.

Matthew 17:1–3 (NIV) After six days Jesus took with him Peter, James and John the brother of James, and led them up a high mountain by themselves. There he was transfigured before them. His face shone like the sun, and his clothes became as white as the light. Just then there appeared before them Moses and Elijah, talking with Jesus.

Peter, James and John saw with their eyes the face of Jesus shone like the sun and his clothing was white as the light. Jesus’ face shone like the sun…that would have blinded anyone looking into that! That shows how much glory is Jesus when he is transformed or transfigured to His original divine form. At that time, Jesus was appearing and talking with the disciples as a man with his divinity tucked at the back, and within those moments, He revealed his glory on his face. Wow! That’s the glory of God. Compare that with the corruption of the world today. 2 Peter 2:17–19 (NIV)

17 These people are springs without water and mists driven by a storm. Blackest darkness is reserved for them. 18 For they mouth empty, boastful words and, by appealing to the lustful desires of the flesh, they entice people who are just escaping from those who live in error. 19 They promise them freedom, while they themselves are slaves of depravity—for “people are slaves to whatever has mastered them.”

The glory of Jesus! The corruption of the world.

Its glorious because we saw the glory of God. Henceforth we are transformed by the glory of Christ! Real transformation happens when we behold the glory and beauty of Christ in our souls and spirits. Nothing will be comparable to such glorious moments and revelations of Christ.

That outpost of glory can only happen, when Acts 2 the outpouring of the Spirit of God happened, i.e. revival happens. When that happens, we will have the outpost of glory on earth.

Sooner than later, that outpost of glory will become the main city square of glory. We will have the city back.

Like Augustine calls it, “The City of God”.

Foretaste of Heaven

The little outpost, under the power of the power of the Holy Spirit, and the power of our Christ’s redemption, will become the highest mountain.

Isaiah 2:1–3 (NIV) This is what Isaiah son of Amoz saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem:  In the last days

the mountain of the Lord’s temple will be established as the highest of the mountains;

it will be exalted above the hills,and all nations will stream to it.Many peoples will come and say,

“Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the temple of the God of Jacob.He will teach us his ways, so that we may walk in his paths.”The law will go out from Zion, the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.

We are all looking to the day this promise of God will become reality, and doubtlessly,

this will be the time of consummation, i.e. Christ return. The promise is for us. We are tasting beforehand the beauty and glory of the heaven that’s coming. If the church can’t reflect that glory bit by it, surely we will fall short. But, praise the Lord, for He will bring us through to such perfection. We can’t wait for such to happen. It will over shine all powers of principalities, be it twitter, Facebook, political parties, believe or not, church will over shine them. Come Lord Jesus.

Amen.

Amen.


[1] The History of the Benedictine Order

https://www.durhamworldheritagesite.com/learn/history/benedictine-order/history