The period of time between the resurrection and Second Coming of Christ is marked by at least two realities – the wrath of God against sin (Rom. 1) and the grace of God in the gospel of Jesus Christ. It is a mixed epoch of history where two worlds exist at the same time – the old world, in which men are born in sin with souls and bodies that are mangled, twisted, and distorted and the new world, headed up by Christ in his new world human body and soul in heaven, along with the spirits of the righteous made perfect (Heb. 12:23), and with the spirits of the righteous not yet made perfect on the earth. It is a period of time in which two ages overlap – this age and the age to come. It is a period of time in which the gospel extends to the four corners of the earth, sinners are reborn (i.e., spiritual resurrection) by the Spirit of Christ, formed into visible congregations who are described as temples of God and dwelling places of God in the Spirit (Eph. 2:20-22), in which they function as priests and kings (1 Pet. 2:5-10). And it is to these temples that the commission to make disciples of all the nations comes in order that God might have more sons on the earth and that he might be glorified by his eternal Son who is in the business of bringing many sons to glory (Heb. 2:10).
Dr. Richard Barcellos is associate professor of New Testament Studies. He received a B.S. from California State University, Fresno, an M.Div. from The Master’s Seminary, and a Th.M. and Ph.D. from Whitefield Theological Seminary. Dr. Barcellos is pastor of Grace Reformed Baptist Church, Palmdale, CA. He is author of Trinity & Creation, The Covenant of Works, and Getting the Garden Right. He has contributed articles to various journals and is a member of ETS.