But once we understand that the local church is the witness to and manifestation ofthe kingdom the Bible makes more practical sense. In the kingdom, possessions are shared so that no one has to suffer want. That’s why the needs of the covenant community are met through the deacons. In the kingdom, unrepentant sinners are barred from entering. That’s why we have membership and church discipline. In the kingdom there is relational harmony and everyone is accepted by God and delights in God through his Son Jesus Christ. This is not only the goal of the church, but only in the church could we ever expect to see these realities.
So yes, we desire to bring the heavenly kingdom down to earth. But the kingdom that comes, the one we are looking for and living in, shows up in the church."