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Posts Tagged ‘Kingdom of God’

Amillennialism and The “Future” Kingdom of God

February 16, 2015 6 comments

Compiled by Aaron Orendorff

A common misunderstanding about amillennialism is that “covenant theologians regard the kingdom of God as a wholly invisible and wholly present reality with no future, earthly fulfillment.” It is argued that because amillennialists have no place in their eschatological scheme for Jesus reigning upon a earthly throne in Jerusalem, they therefore by necessity have no place for an earthly, consummated kingdom. Far to the contrary, the amillennial position on the nature of God’s kingdom is that it is both a present and future reality – i.e., that it is both already-and-not-yet, inaugurated but not consummated – and that both these present and future elements of the kingdom include spiritual as well as earthly dimensions. This fulfillment, however, will not take place during a future millennial period but rather at the end of the age when Christ returns and heaven and earth are renewed. To say that because amillennialists do not affirm Christ’s earthly reign “from a throne in Jerusalem” then they cannot affirm an earthly future for God’s kingdom is to confuse a particular (premillennial) understanding of what Christ’s reign will look like with the broader category of God’s kingdom. Such an assertion would be similar to an amillennialist saying that because premillennialists do not affirm that Satan is currently bound so they cannot affirm the current, spiritual presence of God’s kingdom.

The follow excepts conclusively show that the above position is the amillennial position.

 

 

 

 

Read the entire article here.

Why I’m Still a Baptist

November 26, 2013 3 comments

DeanGonzales-2008-e1315504931248Why I’m Still a Baptist

by Dr. Bob Gonzales

“Some of my best friends and my most admired heroes of the Christian faith believe in the practice of baptizing infants and bringing them into the membership of the church apart from any profession of faith. My love and respect for these dear brothers and venerable men of God has on more than one occasion inclined me to reconsider whether they’ve got it right and I’ve got it wrong.

But after “revisiting” the issue several times, I’m still a Baptist. I could offer several reasons. But one reason involves the teaching of a text that’s often overlooked in the Infant Baptism (Paedobaptism) vs Believer Baptism (Credobaptism) debate. That text is John 1:12-13. I’d like to make three observations on this text and explain why I believe it doesn’t support the idea of baptizing non-professing children of believers and bringing them into the membership of a New Covenant church.

Conferral of covenant sonship status under the New Covenant is limited no longer to the Jewish nation and is predicated no longer on natural descent but on supernatural descent, the fruit and evidence of which is saving faith in Jesus the Messiah. This is the point made by the apostle John when he writes, “But to as many as received him, He granted the legal warrant to become children of God, even to the ones who believe in His name, who were born not of bloods, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the decision of a husband, but of God (John 1:12-13; author’s translation). Consider the following three observations and their implication for infant baptism and church membership:”

 

Read the rest here.

Similarities between Israel and the Church Point 3

The Israelites went forth, not only by divine authority, but under a divine promise; and the same is true of Christian ministers. God spake unto Abraham, saying, I will give unto thee, and to thy seed after thee, the land wherein thou art a stranger, all the land of Canaan for an everlasting possession; and I will be their God. This, in substance, was often repeated to the patriarchs; so often, that the country was from thence denominated, The land of Caleb and Joshua. It was not in a dependence on their numbers, or their prowess, that they said, We are well able; but on the arm of Him who had spoken in his holiness. Nor do those who labour in the Lord’s service, in the present times, whether at home or abroad, (for I consider the work as one,) go forth with less encouragement. The Father has promised his Son, that he shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied; that he will divide him a portion with the great, and that he shall divide the spoil with the strong. Travail, in a figurative sense, commonly signifies, grievous affection issuing in a great and important good. Such was the suffering of our Lord, and such must be the effect rising out of it. A portion with the great, may refer to the territories of the great ones of this world; such as the Alexanders and the Caesars, who, in their day, grasped a large extent of empire: but the kingdom of Christ shall be greater than the greatest of them. The division of the spoil, implies a victory, and denotes, in this place, that Christ shall triumph over all the false religion and irreligion in the world. And, as the Father’s word is given to his Son, so the word of the Son is given unto us. He that said, Go, teach all nations, added, Lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. These declarations afford equal ground for confidence, as those which supported a Caleb and a Joshua.

Rev. Andrew Fuller-God’s Approbation of our Labours Necessary to the Hope of Success-PreachedMay 6, 1801

All of Grace—Regeneration and the Holy Spirit

Chapter Twelve

Regeneration and the Holy Spirit

YE MUST BE BORN AGAIN.” This word of our Lord Jesus has appeared to flame in the way of many, like the drawn sword of the cherub at the gate ofParadise. They have despaired, because this change is beyond their utmost effort. The new birth is from above, and therefore it is not in the creature’s power. Now, it is far from my mind to deny, or ever to conceal, a truth in order to create a false comfort. I freely admit that the new birth is supernatural, and that it cannot be wrought by the sinner’s own self. It would be a poor help to my reader if I were wicked enough to try to cheer him by persuading him to reject or forget what is unquestionably true.

But is it not remarkable that the very chapter in which our Lord makes this sweeping declaration also contains the most explicit statement as to salvation by faith? Read the third chapter of John’s Gospel and do not dwell alone upon its earlier sentences. It is true that the third verse says:

Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee,

Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.

But, then, the fourteenth and fifteenth verses speak:

And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.

The eighteenth verse repeats the same doctrine in the broadest terms:

He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

It is clear to every reader that these two statements must agree, since they came from the same lips, and are recorded on the same inspired page. Why should we make a difficulty where there can be none? If one statement assures us of the necessity to salvation of a something, which only God can give, and if another assures us that the Lord will save us upon our believing in Jesus, then we may safely conclude that the Lord will give to those who believe all that is declared to be necessary to salvation. The Lord does, in fact, produce the new birth in all who believe in Jesus; and their believing is the surest evidence that they are born again.

We trust in Jesus for what we cannot do ourselves: if it were in our own power, what need of looking to Him? It is ours to believe, it is the Lord’s to create us anew. He will not believe for us, neither are we to do regenerating work for Him. It is enough for us to obey the gracious command; it is for the Lord to work the new birth in us. He who could go so far as to die on the cross for us, can and will give us all things that are needful for our eternal safety.

But a saving change of heart is the work of the Holy Spirit.” This also is most true, and let it be far from us to question it, or to forget it. But the work of the Holy Spirit is secret and mysterious, and it can only be perceived by its results. There are mysteries about our natural birth into which it would be an unhallowed curiosity to pry: still more is this the case with the sacred operations of the Spirit of God. “The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, or whither it goeth; so is every one that is born of the Spirit.” This much, however, we do know — the mysterious work of the Holy Spirit cannot be a reason for refusing to believe in Jesus to whom that same Spirit beareth witness.

If a man were bidden to sow a field, he could not excuse his neglect by saying that it would be useless to sow unless God caused the seed to grow. He would not be justified in neglecting tillage because the secret energy of God alone can create a harvest. No one is hindered in the ordinary pursuits of life by the fact that unless the Lord build the house they labor in vain that build it. It is certain that no man who believes in Jesus will ever find that the Holy Spirit refuses to work in him: in fact, his believing is the proof that the Spirit is already at work in his heart.

God works in providence, but men do not therefore sit still. They could not move without the divine power giving them life and strength, and yet they proceed upon their way without question; the power being bestowed from day to day by Him in whose hand their breath is, and whose are all their ways. So is it in grace. We repent and believe, though we could do neither if the Lord did not enable us. We forsake sin and trust in Jesus, and then we perceive that the Lord has wrought in us to will and to do of His own good pleasure. It is idle to pretend that there is any real difficulty in the matter.

Some truths which it is hard to explain in words are simple enough in actual experience. There is no discrepancy between the truth that the sinner believes, and that his faith is wrought in him by the Holy Spirit. Only folly can lead men to puzzle themselves about plain matters while their souls are in danger. No man would refuse to enter a lifeboat because he did not know the specific gravity of bodies; neither would a starving man decline to eat till he understood the whole process of nutrition. If you, my reader, will not believe till you can understand all mysteries, you will never be saved at all; and if you allow self-invented difficulties to keep you from accepting pardon through your Lord and Savior, you will perish in a condemnation which will be richly deserved. Do not commit spiritual suicide through a passion for discussing metaphysical subtleties.

Charles H. Spurgeon—All of Grace

Follow along as we read this short but marvelous book. Download your copy here. Next chapter will go out Wednesday June 13 at 8:00 AM. Central Standard Time.

Who is pressing into the Kingdom?

Benjamin Cox Answered an Objection by a Pelagian to a Certain Passage

The Objection

The Law and the Prophets were until John, since that time the kingdom of God is preached and every man, &c. Luke 16:16

Answer

The words in this verse which you would have to be opened are thus commonly rendered: The kingdom of God is preached, and every man presses into it,” suppose this translation to be right and the meaning to be the same that our common expositions have held forth in this ensuing interpretation; Every man, that is to say, many men or every older and degree of men presseth into it,” that is, with willingness and forwardness receives the doctrine of the kingdom and so entering into the kingdom of God. Suppose I say that this were indeed the meaning of this place, yet it would be found to make nothing at all against us. For still it will remain true, that the Elect do this through God’s special grace. But the truth is, that this interpretation does not teach our Savior’s meaning in this place. The words should thus be rendered; “every man offereth violence unto it.” The meaning is this, “every man,” that is, the whole world of ungodly men, offered violence unto it, that is, makes a violent opposition against the kingdom of God and the preaching thereof, See Matthew 11:12, compared with verse 16-18, &c.

Benjamin Cox-Some Mistaken Scriptures Sincerely Explained, in Answer to One Infected With Some Pelagian Errors 1646.

Concerning Fellowship in Christ

February 15, 2011 Leave a comment

If I see a man who loves the Lord Jesus in sincerity, I am not very solicitous to what communion he belongs. The Kingdom of God, I think, does not consist in any such thing.

George Whitefield (1714-1770)