Sunday, December 18, 2011
It's All So Confusing
The whole Bible prophecy thing. People in the Church appear to have argued over this for years. Particularly in the last hundred years.
At one point we read of worsening conditions on the planet as prophesied by Jesus. Then Paul encourages with a supernatural escape plan for the Church "into the clouds", evermore to be with the Lord. Then John the Revelator talks of a corporate return of the Church Triumphant to planet earth to set up a literal kingdom under Jesus. The Old Testament prophets were repeatedly describing inevitable blissful conditions for a renewed Israel following horrendous Divine Judgment of wickedness aligned against God's people. And finally some sort of new existence without time, night or sorrow is described in the New Jerusalem.
Through it all one cannot help but notice the obvious spiritual contrast between two cities, two spiritual destinations for mankind. It is either Zion or Babylon. It is either Isaiah 54 or Revelation 17. Contented peace and sense of belonging; or unrest and torment.
Godlessness pipes up, 'What sort of a loving God would provide the latter scenario?' A God who is sovereign and who will remove all threat of wickedness from ever again assaulting His family. Take Him or leave Him on these terms! The door is still open. You have been warned repeatedly in scripture, and by the undeniably worsening conditions of man-made community all around. Even the environment screams for a rescue which will not be forthcoming from us.
Some say that the Church has the responsibility to bring more and more light and love into the picture, and to realize the Kingdom of God now. Yes that is a noble target, and it does give rise to marching orders of redemptive purpose. But it will take more work on the part of Jesus at some undefined point in history to fully clean up his Bride, the Church. (Ezekiel 16; Ephesians 5: 25-27). The Kingdom of God has come, is coming and will come in greater measure.
So what is the point of addressing the whole "End Times" picture? Is it simply an exercise in futility? Does it dis-engage us from present day service? Is it really part of the fundamental Gospel? Is the Gospel really "foursquare"? (Jesus saves; Jesus heals; Jesus baptizes in the Holy Ghost; Jesus is coming again)
A worthy search, study and focus of prayer and dialogue with trusted, believing friends.
"Even so, come, Lord Jesus" (Revelation 22: 20b)
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