Greetings everybody from Milan, Italy. My name is Mike Brown and I am really pleased to be with you, even virtually over this time. I’m a Pastor in the United Reformed Churches in North America (URCNA).
I served for 15 years as the Pastor of Christ United Reformed Church in Santee, California, the San Diego area, and for the past two years, I’ve been a missionary here in Milan, Italy and I pastor a church called Chiesa Riformata Philadelphia, an Italian-speaking reformed congregation that confesses the Three Forms of Unity. And it’s wonderful to participate in your conference. I miss all of you.
It was wonderful visiting several years ago, and there in manila, and being able to participate in a conference on Covenant Theology, and wonderful experience. And seeing how the gospel is strengthening Christ’s people there in Manila, and how your churches are growing, and I hope to come back someday. I didn’t like eating “balut” but aside from that one experience from which i think i still have PTSD (laughing), it was wonderful being with you, and hope to visit again someday.
I’ve been assigned the topic of “Every Square Inch”. Every square inch, and the way in which Christ’s power, status, and reign relate to our world today. Now that is an enormous topic, and we really can’t explore all of that in 45 minutes. We would really need a semester’s worth of lectures to really begin to understand all of the ways in which Christ’s power, status, and reign relate to our world today. But what I hope to do in the next 45 minutes or so is help you understand the most important thing, the primary way in which Christ’s power, status and reign, relate to our world today and how that affects us as believers, as Christians. What is most important? What does the Bible say?
It does, first of all, confirm and declare that Christ is sovereign over all. All of us as Christians agree and believe that Christ, because of his life, death, resurrection, and ascension into heaven, is seated at the right hand of the father, and is the cosmic ruler of this universe. And it’s really because of that I believe Abraham Kuyper in the 19th century gave his famous lecture, the inaugural lecture at the Free University of Amsterdam, and said that line that has become so well known, particularly in the reformed world (You know over the last century or so). That there is not one square inch that Christ does not rule over. The actual quote is this: He said, “No single piece of our mental world is to be hermeneutically sealed off from the rest, and there is not a square inch in the whole domain of our human existence over which Christ, who is sovereign over all does not cry mine!”
Now that’s a wonderful quote, and it’s true because Christ is Lord overall. He’s Lord over our lives. He’s Lord over the way we live. Everything we do as believers must be done to his glory whether we eat, drink, work, play, rest. Everything is done in the name of Christ, into the glory of Jesus Christ. On that there should be no dispute amongst Christians. On the fact that He is Lord of lords and King of kings, there should be no controversy. Where things tend to get a bit controversial within the body of Christ and amongst Christians is the way in which we apply those things in our daily living. And so for some who have followed Kuyper, or want to be known as Kuyperians or Neo-Kuyperians, you know there’s there’s a whole spectrum of shades on different theological approaches.
And we’re not going to get into all of that today. That’s not my objective. But many would understand that well, all cultural kingdom work (or all cultural work rather) is kingdom work. Since every square inch is under the domain of Christ. And so everything we do should aim to the full realization of the kingdom on earth and and even going so far as some would say to redeem culture. And to claim culture back and to make it almost the manifestation of the new creation and all things that we do. There may be some, there is some disagreement, and there is some controversy. Certainly, the kingdom of Christ is here. And now as Jesus has even said when in his earthly ministry (if he was casting) he says, “if I cast out demons by the Spirit of God then you know the kingdom of God has come upon you (Luke 11:20 paraphrased)”.
But we still wait for that day in which as the book of Revelation speaks about “…the kingdom of this world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ, and he shall reign forever and ever (Revelation 11:15)”. So there is this tension between what is now and what is not yet. And how do we understand that. On the one hand, we are citizens of Christ’s kingdom (there’s no dispute about) that we have citizenship in an eternal kingdom in which the king is sovereign over all. On the other hand, we are also called by the New Testament sojourners and pilgrims, and even exiles, and for many Christians (particularly in the west and particularly in America) that always doesn’t sit well the idea the notion that we are exiles.
As an American, I’m still an American citizen even though I live in Milan, Italy and lived most of my life in the United States, it is definitely fair to say that as Christians in 21st century America, we we tend to resist that idea the notion that we are sojourners and exiles away from our homeland. There’s a tendency, at least in American Christianity, perhaps through throughout the West, to think of America as our true homeland, as if it’s the promised land. We have a tendency to assume that the country belongs to us by right. If it is true that Every Square Inch is under the domain of Christ, then should it also be true that Christianity should enjoy some favored status in the land. After all Christianity has enjoyed a kind of favored status in the West pretty much since the time of Constantine in the early fourth century with the Edict of Milan. Something that was signed right here in the city, not if in fact not very far from my home where I’m sitting right now. An event that changed the way in which Christianity was viewed in culture at least in the West. It went from being an underdog, and a persecuted religion for much of the time of three centuries to enjoying acceptance, and eventually some favored status in the Roman Empire. And ever since that time, Christianity has really enjoyed some sort of favored status within Western civilization. And yet there’s been some radical changes as we know in the last several centuries that has affected that view.
And as many sociologists and many historians point out, it seems as if Western civilization is on the decline for many reasons. For example the Enlightenment of the late 17th and 18th centuries emphasized individualism over tradition, and human reason over God’s revelation. There was this reversal in a world view and that changed the way that most Westerners viewed the authority of God’s Word and the necessity of the church. And then in the late 19th century as we know came the rise of Darwinism which gradually changed the way most Westerners viewed the origins of the universe and the nature of human life.
And those are just two examples that I’m just mentioning. You know we could mention all kinds of others there have been devastating consequences because of those ideas. Basically, we now live in a society where human autonomy is worshipped and belief in the supernatural is generally considered to be ridiculous. And viewing the Bible as the authoritative Word of God is considered to be radically superstitious even dangerous. So as a result, society’s ethics have changed. As we know now cohabitation, divorce, abortion, homosexuality, transgender issues, those are all considered to be culturally acceptable. And to identify any one of those things as sinful will immediately earn you the label of a hateful, judgmental, intolerant religious nut.
So how do we understand those things as we live in Christ’s kingdom. “Every Square inch” is his and yet we see Western civilization beginning to decline radically, and society’s ethics aren’t the only thing that have changed. Evangelical Christians also in America, and in many parts of the West no longer see the importance of being a member of a local church, where one is held accountable for what he believes and how he lives for his doctrine and his life. That idea goes against the grain of American autonomy. And practices like catechism, or keeping the Lord’s Day Family Worship, and more even corporate worship, seem to be viewed as archaic and outmoded.
The bottom line is that biblical Christianity in this day, and age in the West is moving into a form of exile, not geographically but culturally. The public square, is more and more not a place of comfort for Christians today. For Christianity is is being pushed to the margins of society even in a world where “Every Square Inch” belongs to Jesus. As Carl Truman said many years ago in an excellent article: “Christianity is in an exile of cultural irrelevance”. So how do we view Christ’s reign, authority, and status and its relation to the world today in such a time. And if Western civilization collapses, especially in the name of progress and revolution, how will Christianity survive? How will the kingdom of Christ continue? We want to think about those things.
My argument today is (this my argument) this: the primary way in which Christ’s power, status, and reign relate to our world today is not through cultural political economic or military advancement, but through the Great Commission. And that might not be so interesting to us (right off the bat). But it’s more biblical and in the end, it’s far more encouraging. So we want to think about that.
What is the Great Commission? First of all (well), we turn to Matthew 28. The very end of Matthew’s gospel in verses 16 through 20. Matthew says this: “Now the eleven disciples went to galilee to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them, and when they saw him they worshiped him but some doubted. And Jesus came and said to them: ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you, and Behold, I am with you always to the end of the age'”.
Now as we think about how the primary way in which Christ’s, power, status, and reign relate to the world today is through the Great Commission. There are four things that we want to observe here (four things). First of all, the basis for missions, being the kingdom of Christ, has been inaugurated. Okay ,that’s the first thing we want to think about. Then we’re going to think about the goal of missions, the means of missions, and the promise for missions. And we’ll see how all of these things relate to the way in which Christ’s power, status, and reign relate to the world today.
Basis of Missions
So in the first place, we want to consider the basis for missions namely that Christ’s kingdom has been inaugurated. So verse 18, we we see our Lord giving us the very basis. He says all authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Before he commanded his apostles to go, you know we usually think of the Great Commission as “Go, therefore…”. And we sort of lope off the the first part of the Great Commission, which in some ways is the most important part. There has to be a basis for going. And the basis is that something has happened: “The kingdom of God has been inaugurated!” All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to Jesus Christ. To put it in grammatical terms, before Christ gave the imperative “Go!”, he stated the indicative. This is true, this has happened.
Before Jesus gave his command “Go!”, he makes an announcement, he states a fact, he gives the reason for going in the first place. This is the first part of the Great Commission, the church’s mission to make disciples, to make citizens of Christ’s kingdom in this world is grounded in what God has accomplished in his mission. Because you know in many ways, (the) God is the original missionary. And the Bible is in one sense a mission document. It reveals how the Father sent the Son to accomplish the redemption of the elect.
The entire Old Testament, for example, is about this mission of God to send his Son into the world as the Second Adam (the Last Adam) to do that which the First Adam failed to do when God exiled our first parents from the garden, and cursed them because of their rebellion. He promised that he would send a champion to crush the serpent’s head, that he would open up the the new and living way to the tree of life to glorified life, to that goal that Adam never reached. And this champion would bring salvation to the ends of the earth through his commissioned work, through his life, death, and resurrection. That was God’s mission from the beginning. That was the way in which he would bring his kingdom his reign into this world.
And we get a fuller picture of that mission later in redemptive history when God promised Abraham that he would give him a people, and a land, and that he would be “…a light to the nations”. You know that promise took on even greater clarity in God’s covenant promises to King David, to whom God said, “I will raise up your offspring after you who shall come from your body, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever (2 Samuel 7:12)”. Then the prophets after David, who followed David, they continued to proclaim this coming Messiah. through the prophet Isaiah, for example, we learned that God the Father said to the Son, “I will make you as a light for the nations that my salvation may reach to the ends of the earth (Isaiah 49:6)”.
And then as we know, in the fullness of time, this King came, this descendant of David, this offspring of Abraham, the Second Adam, the true Israel, Christ came and he accomplished the redemption through his obedient life, through his atoning death, through his glorious resurrection. He lived the perfect life of obedience that none of us ever have. He was actively obedient to the Father, earning the righteousness that sinners like us need so that we can be acceptable in the sight of a holy God. And then he graciously went to the cross as our substitute, suffering the penalty that we deserved of God’s wrath, against our own sin. And then he was raised again from the dead gloriously, and seen by more than 500 eyewitnesses. And he ascended into heaven where he has sat down at the right hand of the Father. He is as I mentioned the cosmic ruler of the whole universe.
And so to put this in terms of the kingdom, we see in the way in which this unfolds. I like to use the acrostic O.P.T.I.C. The kingdom was first (O)ffered to Adam in the Covenant of Works. It was then (P)romised to Adam in the Covenant of Grace (Genesis 3:15). It was then (T)ypified in the nation of Israel during the Mosaic Covenant, and then it was (I)naugurated by Christ in the New Covenant, and one day it will be (C)onsummated by Christ at his return (O.P.T.I.C.).
But here in the Great Commission, because of that inauguration, we see the reason for going into the world. This is the reason we do missions. This is the reason we plant churches and send missionaries. This is the reason we do evangelism. This is why we do discipleship. The reason we do missions is because something has happened. Christ has inaugurated his kingdom. God the Father sent the Son into the world, and the Son, having accomplished the work that the Father gave him to do, has ascended into heaven, and has sent his Spirit, upon the church, who in turn sends the church throughout the world. Jesus says: “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me”, and that brings us tremendous encouragement. You know as we engage in mission work and seek to plant churches on domestic and foreign soil.
And it also helps us overcome our fear of man. We have opportunities to tell people about Jesus and what he has accomplished. And you know this is so important. This is so practical for us as we as we think about how Christ’s authority, and reign, and status relate to the world. You know what we need is not a hypothetical arguments and discussions about whether or not our coffee shop is kingdom work. You know that’s irrelevant. What we need rather is the encouragement that because Christ is King, because he has inaugurated his kingdom on earth, there is no place on earth where the mention of Jesus, the proclamation of his gospel is inappropriate, because “Every Square Inch” belongs to him.
That is what we need to talk about. Because let’s be honest, talking with unbelievers about the gospel can be a little scary at times. You know life is is usually more comfortable, if we keep our beliefs to ourselves especially in a society that’s growing increasingly intolerant of the exclusive truth claims of Christianity. You know we find ourselves feeling a little nervous sometimes what others might think of us what will people think if they find out that I’m a Christian and I believe that Jesus Christ is God and the only Savior from our sins. What will my classmates think, or my co-workers my neighbors, or perfect strangers think, if they find out that I actually believe the Bible is the authoritative and inspired Word of God?
You know we’re afraid of being labeled and judged by others. We’re afraid of rejection and ridicule. We just want to fit in and not draw too much attention to ourselves. We don’t want to be thought of as superstitious religious nuts. But here’s the thing: if all authority in heaven and on earth has been given to the risen Jesus the glorified Christ, and his kingdom has been inaugurated, and “Every Square Inch” belongs to him, then there is no place where Jesus and the announcement of his good news is inappropriate in this world.
Goal of Missions
So now we want to consider the goal of missions. The goal of missions is to make disciples, mature citizens of the kingdom of Christ. The basis for doing missions is that the kingdom of Christ has been inaugurated. The goal is to make disciples and this is important. The goal is stated in verse 19, “…go therefore and make disciples of all nations…” The main verb in this sentence is not go but make disciples (that’s the goal).
The goal is not to redeem culture. Christ did not give a commission to his church to institute a state, a political party, or a school. He didn’t even commission them to engage in the arts, or the sciences, or anything like that in any kind of distinctive Christian way. He didn’t commission his church here to go and redeem all things but rather to announce the good news about what Christ has done and to make disciples. So it’s really important that we recognize the difference between this which is called the Great Commission.
As we know, what the king of the universe has commissioned his church to do and what we call the Cultural mandate that which in Genesis 1, we find God telling all human beings, or rather announcing what all human beings were to do. That they are to reflect him as those who are created in his image. In the beginning, we see how God rules over all things, how God worked. And what are described as six days to create the heavens and the earth and then rest. And [it] has that rhythm of work and rest. We, as image bearers, are called to do the same thing: to rule over creation. That’s why you walk your dog, and your dog doesn’t walk you. We’re to be good stewards of all things that God has made. We’re to work also in our vocations. Dr. Horton will be talking more about that. And we’re also to rest and to worship, and reflect him in these ways. But we’re not bringing in the new creation by our cultural activities. That’s very important to point out.
You know something that has struck me as a Protestant living in Roman Catholic Italy is that i live in a country, that probably more than any other country on the globe, is totally immersed culturally and externally in Christianity. I mean everywhere you go there are huge cathedrals in every city. Every tiny town has multiple Roman Catholic churches. You hear bells every hour everywhere you go (summoning people to mass). There’s Christian art. There’s Christian schools, universities, hospitals, orphanages everything. But where’s the gospel in all of this?
The reason I’m here as a missionary is because there’s less than 1% of the country is Protestant, and there is very little understanding of the Bible. (There is) It’s sad (in which) in that you can live in a country in which you see cultural Christian activity everywhere, and yet we have really missed the goal in in terms of being the church and and the kingdom of Christ where are the disciples are disciples really being made. This is something that we really need to think about here.
The goal is to make disciples. The goal is not just to merely make converts. Jesus didn’t say go out and make converts but to make disciples, and making disciples is a long-term slow process. [It’s] kind of like making fine wine: you have to plant a vineyard in a field, you have to tend it .There’s a long process. It takes years and it’s a lifelong process making disciples. And we need to continue in that process. And as we know part of that process is the preaching of the gospel, not just to the unconverted to make converts, but also to the converted to cause us to grow in our faith. Evangelism is just one component of disciple-making. The church needs to continue to proclaim the gospel. That’s very key, very critical.
And we can see here in Italy (for example), how that goal has crept away, how there’s been mission creep, how it’s been lost. And so the necessity of the local church proclaiming the gospel for the making of disciples can hardly be overemphasized. Because that’s our Lord’s chosen means for gathering his redeemed people: feeding us with his word, receiving our worship, nurturing our faith, and bonding us together as a community rooted and established in love.
The local church that proclaims the gospel is a manifestation of the people who belong to Christ, and also the place where Christ meets them through the means he has ordained. That makes the local church essential to church planting, and the goal of missions which is to make disciples in the kingdom of Christ. This brings us to the third thing that we want to consider the means, the means of missions.
Means of Missions
So the basis of missions is that Christ’s kingdom has been inaugurated. The goal of missions is to make disciples mature citizens within the kingdom of Christ. Now the means of missions is really something that appears very weak in this world. The kingdom of Christ our king who is sovereign over all (rules over), the cosmic ruler of the universe has a kingdom that appears weak in this age. Christ’s disciples are made through the Ministry of (his) Word and Sacraments, not through the advances that we make in the Arts and Sciences, and/or in Politics or Economics. No, Jesus commissioned his church to baptize, and to preach, and teach. He says “…go therefore and make disciples of all nations; baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and the Holy Spirit; teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you…”
Ultimately, it is his Word about his victory that we are called as the church, as the kingdom of Christ, to announce to the world. And we’re subsequently to baptize those who received that announcement (those and their children) and to nourish believers with the Lord’s Supper, and the continual proclamation of the Gospel. And so it’s through the ordinary Ministry of Word and Sacrament that disciples are made. It’s through the ordinary Ministry of Word and Sacrament that primarily we see the kingdom of Christ manifested in this world. That’s the primary way.
That isn’t to say that there won’t be influences, or a byproduct in a place where there are many disciples made. That can certainly be the case. You get a lot of disciples, a lot of mature believers living out their faith in the world, and hopefully there will be an influence on society. But we don’t want to lose sight of the primary way in which these disciples are made. And it’s through the Ministry of Word and Sacrament. They are spiritually nurtured, and equipped for good works there. And that is clear from the way in which the apostles carried out the Great Commission.
You know it’s so important not just to look at the Great Commission in Matthew 28 but then to read the book of Acts, and see how the apostles applied this. What did they do? They did not institute a government a political party. They didn’t build coffee shops and call them Christian. No what did they do, they went out after receiving the power of the Spirit. In Acts 2, they then preached Christ, and baptized believers with their children, and they began meeting regularly with those who “…devoted themselves to the apostles teaching, fellowship the breaking of bread, and the prayers (Acts 2:42).”
And so the first New Covenant church was established there. And then the whole book of Acts goes on to document this pattern of planting churches that were committed to the ordinary means of grace, following Jesus’ prophecy that the apostles would be his witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all of Judea, and all of Samaria, and to the ends of the earth. The apostles went throughout the world preaching the gospel, baptizing believers in their households, planting congregations where they appointed elders to oversee the new disciples.
And so the local church in that way is the visible manifestation of the kingdom of Christ. Every other institution the family, the school, the state is secondary in the practice of the Christian religion. The the family is the primary building block of society absolutely, but the local church, and it’s the Ministry of Word and Sacrament is the primary building block of the kingdom of God. It is the one and only institution on earth that has authority, and responsibility to open the doors to the kingdom through the preaching of the gospel.
You know while God rules and preserves creation, you know all the time, and he does so through his providence, and through the Noahic covenant over with all of creation, he offers reconciliation and redemption through the Covenant of Grace. And ultimately through the ministry of his church the kingdom of Christ manifested there in the local setting. and so while the the kingdom of God was subsumed under the geopolitical nation of Israel during the Old covenant during the Mosaic covenant, it now includes people from every tongue, nation, tribe throughout the world. It’s manifest in that local church which is primary for the Christian life.
And it’s because of God’s promise to to Abraham originally that Christians today are not just Jewish, but black, white, Asian, Hispanic [and] more. The Christian faith is not a northern European faith nor a Semitic faith but an international global faith, in which “…there is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus (Galatians 3:28). It’s because of that ministry (those means) that you and I, as as people who live in the Philippines, as an American who lives in Europe and Italy are brothers and sisters in Jesus Christ. These means have brought us in to the kingdom of Christ.
And so in a world that you know is so segregated by our cultural identities, our consumer preferences, our political affiliations, what do we see? The Abrahamic covenant fulfilled in the New Covenant, in the inauguration of Christ’s kingdom, and now through the proclamation of his Word is a church. We find a church that is gathered throughout the world as a chosen race a royal priesthood, a holy nation a people for his own possession (1 Peter 2:9). Nothing but the gospel can create a community like that. And so to that end, true churches must continue to be planted especially where few or none exist.
The local church is that manifestation of people who belong to Christ, and the place where he meets us through the means he has ordained: Word, water, bread and wine. And we need to continue going through the world so that the kingdom of Christ will be manifest. It’s not manifest in all these external cultural things that we can see here clearly in Italy. But rather through these means that appear so weak in the world. there’s nothing particularly exciting or novel about a Ministry of Preaching, Baptism, [and] the Lord’s Supper.
You know it’s the same routine every week, we hear the scriptures proclaimed, we come to the table, we sing, we pray, we enjoy fellowship, then we go home. There’s no halftime shows. There’s no rock concerts, no celebrity personalities. It’s pretty plain ordinary even a little boring at times (truth be told). It’s about as exciting as watching a tree grow sometimes. But then Jesus said that the coming of his kingdom is like the growing of a tree in in his parable in Luke 13.
And a tree doesn’t grow by big and marvelous events, but through the slow steady diet of sun and rain year after year. It’s the same with the kingdom of God. More often than not, it doesn’t grow by what the world considers a mark of success: big budgets, big names, big events. Instead, it grows in simple and often small services where the gospel is proclaimed. It grows where believers and their children are baptized into the covenant community. It grows where repentant sinners come to a holy meal that appears tiny and insignificant. It grows in those late night unglamorous meetings of the elders as they seek to attend faithfully to Christ’s sheep.
The fact is in the kingdom of Christ we don’t need the next big thing. The next big thing is his return [giggle]. What we need in the meantime are more churches committed to the way disciples have been made since the apostles planted a church in Jerusalem 2000 years ago. The slow-going, unspectacular, ordinary Ministry of Word and Sacrament where God is supernaturally raising dead sinners, and creating a living community of saints by God’s power and grace. We’re growing together into a tree whose glory will not appear fully until the end of the age when Jesus returns. Until then the extraordinary is God’s business. Our task is to be faithful in the ministry that Christ has given us as his church, and as his kingdom. Those are the means.
Promise of Missions
Finally, there’s the promise. [It’s] briefly, the promise for missions is that the kingdom of Christ will not fail, it will not pass away. The basis for missions is the inauguration of Christ’s kingdom. The goal of missions is making of disciples, mature believers, mature citizens of the kingdom of Christ. The means of missions is Word and Sacrament, things the kingdom of Christ appears weak in this world, and finally the promise for missions is that the kingdom of Christ will not pass away. So just as his great commission begins with an encouraging indicative so also it ends with one. Jesus says, “…and Behold, I am with you always to the end of the age (Matthew 28:20)”. (last part).
Now that too should fill us with confidence as we evangelize our neighbors, as we send out missionaries, as we plant churches, and as we seek to live out our faith in daily life. It should cause us to be unashamed of the gospel, and to have an urgency for the evangelization of the lost. Christ has promised to be with his church, in all of his authority until the great day of his return. He’s already been victorious in his conquest. Our task is to be faithful in announcing his victory throughout the world, and instructing those who receive it.
And that means (guys) that we’re not merely living just day to day, month to month, year to year in some sort of plotless, pointless age. Instead, we’re living in a time, in which Christ has already come into history, completed all the work of redemption, and is ascended into heaven, and is the ruler over all. We’re living in light of his return. And until he returns, it’s the Day of Salvation, and Christ is still bringing the gospel to the nations, and making disciples throughout the world, making citizens of his kingdom. And he continues to use ordinary local churches like yours in this great task. And he will build his church, and “…the gates of hell, he says, will not prevail against it (Matthew 16:18)”.
You know our our mission is to claim the prize which Christ has already won (It’s already his). The spirit sends us out to plant and water in the field that belongs to Christ. And Christ will ensure the increase “…for all authority in heaven and on earth has been given to him…” And loved-ones, herein lies the answer to how the kingdom of Christ will survive in the world.
If Western civilization collapses in the name of progress and revolution, how will Christianity survive?
The same way it did during those first three centuries before the Edict of Milan. It will survive through Word and Sacrament, and our love for one another. Christianity is not dependent on Western civilization, or the United States of America, or cultural progress. Rather its power is found in the Word of God, and in the means that he has promised to bless. That means this is an exciting time to be alive, and by God’s grace bring the gospel to the world. And having received so much, it’s an enormous privilege for us to participate in the planting of churches where there are few. The making of disciples and living out our faith as citizens of Christ’s kingdom because truly “Every Square Inch” belongs to him.