The Church in Exile

Stephen Grabill


When God’s people repeatedly broke their covenant in the Old Testament they were finally relegated to captivity and removed from Israel and Judah to dwell in another land. This displacement, which happened in two major phases (first for the northern kingdom and then the southern kingdom), resulted in the loss of power, political leadership, and in a sense, an identity crisis. God’s people were ultimately restored to their land, although the fulfillment of complete restoration was to come in phases—first with a Messiah atoning for sin, and only later through ultimate judgment. In the meantime, the church now serves as God’s people and a testimony to his saving kingdom. But what happens when the church loses its platform and place of privilege in a culture?

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