As the Old Testament saints looked forward into the future, as Abraham did, rejoicing to see the day of Christ, they were looking forward to the times of refreshing, the times of the regeneration. But we must not think of this regeneration simply as an event, or the arrival of an era. There is a sense in which that is true, but there is another element to it all. We need more than just a line of regeneration, descending from Heaven to cross the line of history.
We need an axis of regeneration. From the perspective of the older covenant, there was a time coming when God’s intervention was going to close off the times of unregeneration, and inaugurate the times of the regeneration. This is true. A time was coming when all the bodies in Ezekiel’s boneyard were going to come to life, and were going to stand and live, in accordance with the sovereign Word of the sovereign God. Israel was going to be born again.
But there was always another line, and always will be, equally established in the will of God, a line that ran down the middle of human history, including the middle of the historical church, the covenant people of God. This also was a line of regeneration, separating the sons of Belial from the sons of Abraham.
Now when you come to this Table, you are called to come in true faith. And when you come in true evangelical faith, this Table is, for you, the point of intersection on this axis of regeneration. On the one hand, God’s purpose for all history is slicing clean through it, from top to bottom. Christ is present, here. This Table is life in the regeneration. On the other hand, the fact that you are partaking sincerely separates you from all false and hypocritical professors. The fact that we are in the regeneration does not make being a son of Belial impossible. Far from it.
So come, and welcome, to Jesus Christ.