7 Encouraging Words in Case 2016 Has Got You Down

So the best thing to do is assume that if you have any sense in your head at all, you are reluctant even to turn on the news anymore. “How could they possibly have made things worse?” seems like it ought to be a rhetorical question. But every single night they are up to the challenge, and they produce actual answers to that question. And you wonder to yourself . . . this somehow seems different than how postmillennialism came across in the books. So if any part of this applies to you, and 2016 has in some measure got you down, read on.cliffhanger

  1. Jesus Christ ascended to the right hand of the Father almost two thousand years ago. He was given universal dominion, was enthroned there and invited to remain seated until all His enemies were fashioned into His footstool. That process is inexorable and ongoing.
  1. Reality is not optional, and cannot be undone by any legislative device, court decision, or scribblings out of a regulatory agency. The way things are remain the way things are, and your great grandchildren will live in a world where things have remained the way things are. Particular men, specific nations, and named generations can lose their minds, but the world never does.
  1. Attempts to reverse or remake reality are necessarily suicidal, suicidal by definition. Those who undertake such a task are necessarily undertaking their own destruction. They are suicide bombers who blow themselves up in their own workshop.
  1. In the long run, stupidity never works.
  1. You are not the only one. There are at least 7,000 who have not bowed the knee to Baal. They remain for the same reason that you have remained, which is that God has reserved them to Himself. When God does things like this He does so for a purpose, which is the manifestation of His glorious grace.
  1. God loves cliffhangers. Abraham walked off the mountain with Isaac and with relieved tears in his eyes. Miriam danced beside a sea full of corpses. When the Lord releases us from our captivity, we will be like those who dream. God loves cliffhangers, and the history of the church is the process of Him teaching us how to love cliffhangers too. God is teaching us to understand eucatastrophe, and to love what we have come to understand.
  1. So what did the great Jehovah say when He saw Pharaoh and all his armed host. He said, “I will be get me honor upon Pharaoh, and the horse he rode in on.”

“And I, behold, I will harden the hearts of the Egyptians, and they shall follow them: and I will get me honour upon Pharaoh, and upon all his host, upon his chariots, and upon his horsemen” (Ex. 14:17).

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Ginny Yeager
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Ginny Yeager

As Dory says, “Just keep swimming, just keep swimming.”

Mariano Ifran
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Mariano Ifran

Not a postmill myself, but … great article!!!

Dan Kreider
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Dan Kreider

Ahhh, good word!

D.Paul.Beck
Guest

The seven stated points are indeed accurate, though one could argue that “the world” in point #2 has always had a “lost mind” since it is ruled by Satan (2 Cor 4:4, Eph 2:2) and that the Church, via the indwelling Holy Spirit, has served as a restraining force against that evil (2 Thes 2:7-8). That said, it is this sentence that is most telling within Douglas’ opening paragraph: “And you wonder to yourself . . . this somehow seems different than how postmillennialism came across in the books.” Between WWI, WWII, the largest number of martyrs in Church history… Read more »

Jon Swerens
Member

May I ask a question about your view? Are you saying that the Bible instructs us to believe that the world will get worse and worse until Christ returns? If so, at what point did this downward slope begin? Because the Church is certainly better off *currently* than it was in the second century. So I guess you are saying there was some sort of upward trend at the beginning and now we’re on the downward trend. Thanks for your help!

Farinata degli Uberti
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Farinata degli Uberti

Check your priors. In what respect is it better off? Certainly not more unified, nor, I daresay, more faithful.

Jon Swerens
Member

In relation to the Corinthian church? You mean it’s been *downhill* since Paul? An unending slope to failure since the canon closed?

Farinata degli Uberti
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Farinata degli Uberti

No. Strangely enough, that’s not what I said. If you wish to respond to my actual comment, I am happy to engage further with you.

PB
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PB

If I may I will attempt an answer to your question because I see some fault in how it is framed. I do not think it is necessary to define a tipping point where globally things changed from getting better to getting worse. If an acceptance, then rejection of the gospel leaves a population worse than it was before, cultures would gradually transition from bad, then better, then to worse. As the gospel swept the globe the wave would crest and be followed by a trough which ultimately leaves our world as one that rejected Christ. I haven’t specifically studied… Read more »

Andrew Kelly
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Andrew Kelly

Interesting theory, but the Bible tells us that every knee will bend to Christ, that the knowledge of the glory of the Lord will cover the earth as the waters cover the sea, and that every enemy is being submitted under the feet of Christ, a process that will culminate in his return when they have all been submitted. So the wave of faithfulness has certainly not crested – it has only receded. It will come back stronger than ever.

PB
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PB

I looked up your references as well as I could, but I don’t really see how those preclude non-postmillenial views. Doesn’t Romans place the bowed knee before the judgement sea? I haven’t yet formed conclusive opinions but the postmillenital view has thus far been the least convincing. What else do you find persuasive?

Andrew Kelly
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Andrew Kelly

Here are two things in particular that I think point us toward a postmil view: First, in 1 Cor. 15:20-26, Paul gives us an order of events. Part of this order involves Christ sitting on his throne, reigning, until every enemy is subjected to him. He has already ascended into Heaven and sits on his throne at the right hand of the Father now, so the Corinthians passage indicates that he will not leave that throne (to return to earth) until his enemies have been subjected under his feet. The last enemy to be destroyed, according to Paul is death.… Read more »

PB
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PB

I just don’t see that those necessarily require a postmil interpretation but my knowledge is admittedly weak in that area. Thanks for the Sproul reference, I’ll take a look at it. I’ve read a good number of his books but somehow I didn’t know he was post-mil. If he is, it doesn’t seem to infuse his teachings to the extent that it does with Pastor Wilson.

D.Paul.Beck
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Jon – thanks for your questions – I appreciate them. Let’s take them in order: Q: May I ask a question about your view? A: Premillennial, Pre-Tribulational, Futurist, literal hermeneutic Q: Are you saying that the Bible instructs us to believe that the world will get worse and worse until Christ returns? A: Absolutely – especially during the “End Times” Q: at what point did this downward slope begin? A: The day after the Church began at Pentecost in Acts 2. Christ stated that He would (future tense) build His Church in Mt 16:18. The Church did not exist in… Read more »

Jon Swerens
Member

OK, I heartily disagree, but thank you for explaining.

Billtownphysics
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Billtownphysics

Honestly, I think postmillenialism is the best eschatology for accomplishing the things you list here. If anything, a pre-mill or amill view would tend to make you pessimistic about the future, undermining the sanctifying works in your list. It is interesting that you really give no biblical argument for your eschatology, only a “current circumstances” argument. That says a lot.

D.Paul.Beck
Guest

Incorrect conclusions on many fronts. I fail to see how the Bible’s representation of Christ’s physical ruling and reigning for a literal 1,000 years on planet earth, headquartered from His throne in Jerusalem as he rules with a rod of iron, can be viewed as “pessimistic”… See Rev 20:1-7 and all of Psalm 2. The chronology of the Book of Revelation is explicit and the promises of the Old Testament concerning the Kingdom, the throne of David, and the city of Jerusalem are unconditional and unfulfilled. They talk about a real Kingdom. They talk about a time of refreshing, of… Read more »

Benjamin Bowman
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Doug,

Do you believe that this election could be one in which a Christian has a morally series reason to not vote?

Thanks,

Ben

ashv
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ashv

Voting makes so little difference, how could it be morally serious?

BdgrGrrl
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BdgrGrrl

Please explain why you feel this way. Although voting for President, U.S. Senator, or U.S. Representative to Congress may sometimes feel futile, what about state and local government offices? In my opinion, it matters a lot who your Governor, State Senator, and State Representative and other state-level office-holders are, much less your Mayor, City Council Rep, County office-holders, and state judges.

ashv
Guest
ashv

I’d be open to a conversation about that, but of course it’s hardly ever discussed. Scale matters, of course. I certainly grant that getting a city councilman or county sheriff elected that you have connections with can make a big difference.

Mark Griep
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Mark Griep

Thank you, Pastor Wilson for the Apples of Gold…

Capndweeb
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Capndweeb

“In the long run, stupidity never works.”
A fine point, good sir, but the long run is composed of an infinite series of very short runs all competing for the title of Stupid du Jour.

ashv
Guest
ashv

I can’t understand what would discourage people about 2016. Our enemies’ madness and weakness are on display like never before — people who would have been unassailable five years ago are showing themselves to be terrified of mean words on the internet. The Republican party is melting down and the Democrats don’t look to be in much better shape. New opportunities to work together to improve our communities and talk about our real problems are on the way and we should be fired up about taking advantage of them. If we hold fast to the truth and trust in God’s… Read more »

Jon Swerens
Member

Well, the story of Dagon is exciting until you’re living it. You know, like it’s a lot of fun reading a Wodehouse novel, but a horrendous drama being inside one.

ashv
Guest
ashv

Well yes, but that’s been my whole life. Some people are just afraid they might have to put forth some effort to actually start making a difference now.

adad0
Member

Wodehouse or Dagon?

ashv
Guest
ashv

Is that like “The Lady or the Tiger”?

Matt
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Matt

IT stands written…

mattghg
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mattghg

I found number 5 particularly encouraging

Rob Steele
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Rob Steele

God custom designs our problems for us and us for them. Makes you wonder, right? We must need more weirdness in our lives.

Dave Eagle
Guest
Dave Eagle

Thank you Doug.

Tony
Guest

God is still in control no matter which terrible candidate gets elected. That keeps me going.