As in other revealed truths there exists also much confusion in the minds of Christians as to the prophecies in the Bible relating to the future. The Word of God contains a complete forecast of future history, but so many theories have been invented that the simplicity of this forecast has been quite obscured. As our Fundamentalist brethren have formulated declarations of faith, so, it seems to the writer the time has come when a simple declaration of a Biblical-Prophetic belief might be published to which all premillennialist can subscribe. We hope the following statements, which cover prophetic truths, will be acceptable to the premillennial household of faith.
"1. I believe that the world will never be completely converted to Christianity by any existing agency, before the age ends. In spite of all that can be done by ministers, churches, schools and missions, the wheat and the tares will grow together until the harvest; and when the age ends, it will find the earth in much the same state that it was when the flood came in the days of Noah (Matt. 13:24-30, 24:37-39).
"2. I believe that the widespread unbelief, indifference, formalism and wickedness which are to be seen throughout Christendom, are only what we are taught to expect in God's Word. Troublous times, departures from the faith, evil men waxing worse and worse, love waxing cold, are things distinctly predicted. So far from making me doubt the truth of Christianity they help to confirm my faith. Melancholy and sorrowful as the sight is, if I did not see it I should think the Bible was not true (Matt. 24:12; 1 Tim. 4:1; 2 Tim. 3:1-5, 13).
"3. I believe that the grand purpose of the present dispensation is to gather out of the world an elect people (the Church) and not to convert all mankind. It does not surprise me at all that the heathen are not all converted when the missionaries preach, and that believers are but a little flock in any congregation in my own land. It is precisely the state of things I expect to find (Acts 15:14).
"4. I believe that the second coming of our Lord Jesus Christ is the great event which will wind up the present dispensation for which we ought daily to long and to pray. 'Come Lord Jesus'—'Thy Kingdom come'—should be our daily prayer. We look backward to Christ having died on the cross, and we should look forward no less, if we have hope, to Christ coming again (John 14:3; 2 Tim. 4:8).
"5. I believe that the second coming of our Lord Jesus Christ will be a real, literal, personal, bodily coming; and that as He went away in the clouds of heaven with His body, before the eyes of men, so in like manner He will return (Acts 1:11).
"6. I believe that after our Lord Jesus Christ comes again, the earth shall be renewed, and the curse removed; the devil shall be bound, the godly shall be rewarded, the wicked shall be punished; and that before He comes there shall be neither resurrection, judgment, nor millennium, and not till after He comes shall the earth be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord (Acts 3:21; Isa. 25:6-9; 1 Thess. 4:14-18; Rev. 20:1).
"7. I believe that Israel shall ultimately be gathered again as a separate nation restored to their own land, and converted to the faith of Christ (Jer. 30:10,11, 31:10; Rom. 11:25,26).
"8. I believe that the literal sense of Old Testament prophecy has been far too much neglected by the churches, and is far too much neglected at the present day, and that under the mistaken system of spiritualizing and accommodating Bible language, Christians have too often completely missed its meaning.
"9. Finally, I believe that it is for the safety, happiness and comfort of all true Christians, to expect as little as possible from churches or governments in the present dispensation—to hold themselves ready for tremendous convulsions and changes of all established things, and to expect their good things only from Christ's second coming."
It will be noticed that these statements, all founded on Scripture, do not enter into detail. Nothing is said about the coming of the Lord for His Saints and with His Saints, about the restoration of the Roman Empire, about Antichrist, the great tribulation and other predicted events. The great Biblical facts as to the character of this age, the Lord's personal and visible return and what will follow His return are emphasized. These foundation facts must be restated in our days; they are the real starting point for a true understanding of Bible prophecy!
From Meat in Due Season: Sermons, Discourses and Expositions of the Word of Prophecy by Arno C. Gaebelein. New York: Arno C. Gaebelein, Inc., [19--?].
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