When a person receives salvation they become a member of the Church which is also the Body of Christ. As an individual member of the Body of Christ, they are given a place (1 Corinthians 12:18), gifts (Romans 12:6-8), and a function (Ephesians 4:16). As every member supplies what they’ve been given the Body matures, the work of the ministry is accomplished, and the Body of Christ is built up.
Missing in action is a casualty classification assigned to soldiers and prisoners of war who are reported missing during times of war or after a ceasefire. This classification can also be applied to those missing in action from the work of the ministry and work of the Lord. It is the plan of God for ALL Believers to be equipped for the work of the ministry to build up the Body of Christ (Ephesians 4:11, 12). That is why every Believer has been given gifts of grace (Romans 12:6; Ephesians 4:7).
Failure to exercise that gift weakens the whole Body, leaves it incomplete, and postpones/delays the mission of the Church in the Earth being fulfilled. Many Local Churches are functioning with skeleton crews most of the time because:
- Gifts that are needed can be missing for a whole host of reasons.
- Gifts can be present but non-functioning or inactive. Some are new to the idea that God wants to use them with their gifts while others need trained and equipped.
- Gifts can be present but hidden due to the person not living an honorable life 2 Timothy 2:20-22.
- Gifts can be in attendance but directing their strength to outside focuses and interests (people are committed but not to the things of God or as the Apostle Paul said, “For all seek their own, but not the things which are Jesus’ Christ’s Philippians 2:21)
- Gifts can be prisoners to bondage from the enemy, family problems, financial struggles, or physical health issues to where their life has been reduced to survival mode or trying to just live above the pain.
- Gifts can be in captivity to the world system.
Their gifts are in use building up the world system but not the Kingdom of God or work of God in the Earth. There is an example of gifts being in captivity being mentioned twice in Old Testament times. Firstly, Solomon put the treasures in the Lord’s house 1 Kings 7:51. Shishak, a Pharaoh of Egypt plundered the treasure 1 Kings 14:26; Secondly, Nebuchadnezzar plundered vessels out of the temple in Jerusalem. His policy was to resettle conquered people and relocate and transport them to other provinces of his empire, providing him with slave labor to build his worldly projects (Ezra 6:1, 5).
The Prophet Daniel in describing this plundering of vessels from God’s house adds that Nebuchadnezzar carried them away to the land of Shinar (Daniel 1:2; Genesis 11:2, 3) which is where the symbol of worldly power, the Tower of Babel, was built. In Second Chronicles 36:6, 7, 18-20 it is called Babylon. Another reference to Shinar is mentioned in Zechariah 5:9-11 in connection with the woman and the ephod in the vision Zechariah had symbolizing the spirit of godless commercialism originating in Babylon; so being in captivity in Shinar would mean being in captivity in the godless commercial world system. I am believing that there are those who are the redeemed of the Lord, in captivity to the godless world system in our day that God can cause to return to His House to function in their place in the Body of Christ in the Last Days.