27. Christ was their corner stone (Matt. 16:18; Eph. 2:20).
This is indeed a unique proof of the New Testament church, but the usage of Matthew 16:18 is out of sequence for reasons previously stated. In Matthew 21:42-43 the Lord Jesus Christ specifically states:
Jesus saith unto them, Did ye never read in the scriptures, The stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner: this is the Lord’s doing, and it is marvellous in our eyes? Therefore say I unto you, The kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof. (Matthew 21:42-43)
Thus, at the time of Matthew 16:18, the Lord had not yet taken the kingdom of God away from Israel. However, by the time of chapter 21 we find the New Testament church almost completely built, and the Lord warning of the impending removal of the covenant and its empowerment from Israel and the giving of it to a nation (the New Testament church) that would bring forth the fruits thereof. To be clear, it must be noted that the reference to “a nation” does not necessarily dictate that the nation referenced is in existence as yet. The grammar and construction of the statement do allow for a nation that will exist in the future — regardless of how close that future time is. In short, any time that is not yet, is future, and any time that has passed, regardless of how recently, is in the past.