Wednesday, January 31, 2007
1 Peter 3:15
but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence; and keep a good conscience so that in the thing in which you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ will be put to shame. Jesus will return.
Orthodoxy depends upon the Biblical fact of the return of Jesus Christ in judgment.
When is another question. Brilliant theologians have differed in their opinions of either when that judgment will take place, (or did take place in some tenuous positions) or how the specifics will be in the, in my friend John Lowe's vernacular, "time to come". Personally, I prefer the numb headed eschatological position. It consists of two principles:
1) Lotsa people die.
2) God wins.
(credit Greg Koukl, who is not a numbhead)
If my eschatology rested on what I like, I would prefer to take a pre-wrath rapture, thus avoiding the really nasty judgment. I've never held too tightly to the eschatology of the typical Southern Baptist dispensational pre-tribulation rapture position due to the effect upon the Gospel. Some pretrib holders also motivate the unbeliever to make a profession of faith to get out of hell with the least cost, what Dr. John MacArthur rightly calls "easy believism".
If you have not read Hard to Believe by Dr. John MacArthur you are missing one of the finest diagnosis of the modern day church as it misleads and still-borns "bELIEVERS'. (remember, little first letters mean the opposite of the normal definition within context in my ~writing~). To use a dispensational metaphor, the Laodicean church age is certainly producing "bELIEVERS" who are metaphorically still-born, Born Again Believers. Dead in their trespasses and sin and not regenerated by the power of the Holy Spirit.
So, I thought that the cartoon was inspiring: There are two positions that I truly believe to be major distractions for human beings:
1) Christians looking for a "Beady eyed, yallow skinned, red horn, now hooo duz 'at remind yun'z ofh?" AntiChrist and are ignoring the lost in their midst, who need the Good News from the Scriptures.
2) Atheist and Agnostics who have established their Autonomy and suppress the truth in unrighteousness, suffering the penalty of judgment for their sin without the "great exchange" of The Righteousness of Jesus Christ swapped for their filthy rags of Autonomous Self Righteous Secular Humanist worldview.
Atheists: Repent and beg for the grace of God by Salvation in Jesus Christ.
Christians: Put down the Left Behind series and read your Bible.