Notes on the Seven Churches (3)

“Searching the Seven Churches”

The way, the truth and the life!

False Security – (Revelation Chapter 1 Verse 1)

Then of course there is the testimony of Jesus, the Lord himself. When he speaks of the end of the age (Matthew 24) , we ask ourselves where is this Christianised world, this age of righteousness and peace? In fact on the contrary, he tells us the signs of his coming, the end of the age, are, an increase of war, not a decrease. Ethnic uprising, famine, pestilence and earthquakes. No wide spreading of the truth of the gospel, rather he says, lawlessness, false prophets and tribulation also. As for the church, for true religion, she will be almost extinct. Jesus asks, “nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth” (Luke 18:8)? But there is no resounding yes or no. It seems more akin to a quiet, hesitant, yes. Why, because we no from the rest of Scripture that God will indeed preserve his church in faithfulness. But. says Jesus, it will require a shortening of those days, for the elect sake. So this highlights a danger in this Postmillennial position that we need to be aware of. As we study Revelation and the rest of Scripture concerning these end-time issues, but not with the spectacles of private opinion, yours or mine. But allowing the Bible to be our guide, we see things differently from the Post millennial position.

We see an expectancy of an increase, an organic development of sin. A world that grows more and more godless, wicked until the revealing of the Antichrist, a world that is ripe for destruction, until the last of the elect be gathered in. The danger posed by the Post position for the church lies in her expectations being wrong, and not ready for the coming, severe persecution. For it seems that the signs of his coming are ever present in throughout the New Testament age, but they grow sharper towards the end. The danger is of us being lulled into a false sense of security, things are going to get better, the world will be Christianised. Pastors won’t prepare their flocks, parents their children. The danger to the professor of being found without oil in his lamp (Matthew 25:1ff). Many such professors claim to believe in the coming of the end of the age and of the Lord, but will have made the world their home, drunk with the pleasures of the age, satisfied with a world of sin. Jesus said, “truly, I say to you, I do not know you. Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour” (Matthew 25:12-13). Of course the issue is that they were never Christ’s at all, for at the stroke of midnight all the elect shall be saved. So the signs are ever there, but they are assuredly increasing. This is not pessimism, it is simply biblical reality. What we believe affects the way we live. If we do not believe at all, then we live without hope now and for the age to come. For those who do believe there will be tribulation, persecution, but the end will come, and the outcome glorious for the faithful (2Thessalonians 1:5f).

(© James R Hamilton, written Summer, 2011)

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