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A Living Mission: Kingdom Work has Neither Failed nor Stalled

"God's promises are true and His mission is alive and well."
A forest in the Missouri Ozarks is a peculiar place to build a castle. Nevertheless, that was the mission of millionaire Robert Snyder at the turn of the 20th century.

Snyder meticulously planned the medieval-style, 60-room dwelling, which was to include stables, greenhouses, and a water tower.

Construction began in 1905, but it soon hit a major snag. In October 1906, Snyder rashly instructed his chauffeur to race another vehicle along the streets of Kansas City, Missouri.

Meanwhile, a child pedaled a bicycle onto the road. The chauffeur swerved, throwing Snyder from the car. Snyder fractured his skull on a trolley pole and died, becoming one of the state’s first automobile fatalities.

Snyder’s heirs tried to finish the castle and grounds, but the work bogged down. In 1942, the structure caught fire and burned. Today, the gutted stone frame remains a ghostly reminder of this strange and tragic tale.

A dead man and a dead mission. That seems to have been the mood of Jesus’ disciples in the hours following His crucifixion. Jesus had proclaimed, “I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it” (Matthew 16:18). Now a pall of despair hung heavily over the grand project.

There had been reports of Jesus appearing to some. But what were the disciples to make of these incredible stories?

Into this sorrow, hopelessness, and confusion walked Jesus, saying, “Peace be with you” (Luke 24:36).

To assure the disciples of His resurrection, Jesus showed them His hands and feet, which bore the scars of crucifixion. He pointed them to Scripture, emphasizing, “This is what I told you while I was still with you: Everything must be fulfilled that is written about me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms” (verse 44).

At the start of His public ministry, Jesus had framed His mission with the words of Isaiah: “The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news” (Luke 4:18).

This gospel is good news to the poor, the bound, the blind, and the oppressed (Luke 4:18–19). Jesus offers hope to the brokenhearted, doubtful, and disillusioned. He ministers peace to the anxious, sorrowful, and tormented.

The disciples needed good news, and so do we.

Easter is behind us, but the message is ever before us. It brings the power and plan of God into clear focus. Despite lagging church attendance, growing skepticism, and other discouraging developments in today’s world, the work of the Kingdom has neither failed nor stalled.

The risen Savior assures us God’s promises are true and His mission is alive and well.

Jesus is building His Church, and you get to be a part of it. Peace be with you as you continue declaring Christ’s resurrection hope to a world in need.

This article appears in the Spring 2024 issue of
Influence magazine.

Christina Quick

Christina Quick is a former Pentecostal Evangel staff writer who attends James River Church (Assemblies of God) in Ozark, Missouri.