Those who know me best know that I have little patience for eschatological fads: premillenial-dispensationalism a la Schofield (from Darby) who has brought us the majority report regarding the end of the world. Left Behind, Late Great Planet Earth, etc., all take our minds away from the ministry of Christ here, were we must be faithful, and transport us to a neverland of false hope and expectations.
It makes Christians look stupid, naive, and gullible.
One question I have for End-Times junkies is this: Is our passion for the end of the world based upon our perception that Christianity is doing poorly in our locale? Christianity is indeed being further marginalised culturally and politically in what was once terra firma for Christians: North America and Europe. But it is doing quite well elsewhere, and it is a pitiful arrogance that leads us to think that because things are not as they were, we are at the end of time.
The Gospel is doing well. The harvest is not finished. Our world is shaken, but it is not the end of the world.
Now, after this introduction, I recommend this article. Let us suppose that the Ark of the Covenant is known and revealed. In light of Christ, the New Testament, especially the Gospels, Romans, Galatians, and Hebrews, how can this matter at all?
Sad thing is, it will matter much to the likes of Grant Jeffrey and other pop media stars in the Christian galaxy.
It's all bad, but it's not all bad.
Someone is probably thinking that, “Scott needs to cheer up a little and not write/post so much negative stuff.” If you’re such a person, I beat you to it–but not for simply the reason of cheer. I have, for the past few years, been reading writings of the English Puritans (mainly the 16th & 17th centuries). Now these people get a lot of bad press, so before you take a shot at me for caring what they think, make sure you know enough about them to converse about them.
Their concern for the Glory of God is amazing, and they are not the witch-hunters or anti-intellectuals that they are made out to be.
But something more important, and more cheerful: They knew their times were evil, horrible, and completely set against the Gospel. They really were persecuted, and even when they weren’t being hounded from town to town by Roman Catholics or Anglicans, they knew that the times were evil.
But they had hope. They knew that the Gospel was of God, and He is greater than their circumstances. In their time they wrote of contentment, hope, joy, patience, encouragement–all while wisely and truthfully assessing the world in which they lived. They simply did not trust humankind, but trusted God. This trust was the source of their contentment.
Someone commented that “Christianity loves a crumbling empire.” Perhaps. Whether we love it or not, these are times to thrive. That’s cheering.