17 January 2017
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Bible man (Guest)
I agree entirely with your understanding of God's sovereignty and need to pray according to the Scriptures that you quote-there is no conflict here whatsoever.
Any "revival" as you have said is only by "God's prerogative".
Nevertheless, historically in Church history three prevailing 'views' have been maintained since the Lord's First Advent; pre-millennialism, a-millennialism, and post-millennialism (if there are others, please let me know!)
However, respectfully, I disagree with your last sentence. The Christian's millennial belief IS unequivocally and inextricably linked to our understanding of 'revival', and is therefore the major issue as you put it. I perceive from your comments that you believe in salvation by God's free sovereign electing grace ALONE? This being the case, I would agree with you that our salvation is not dependant on our knowledge of eschatology! But His sovereign grace ALONE.
I would glean from your writings that you are post millennial?
As I have indicated before, I do not accept that millennialism has any significant influence upon the subject of Spiritual revivals during these days of the new covenant in Christ. Like the other issues you raised earlier - total depravity and election – these are separate issues and therefore I will not be drawn into a discussion of them under this topic.
The last correspondent talks of 'the new covenant of Christ', which Jeremiah 31 speaks of, yet he disregards what the prophet then goes on to say in verse 36 "the seed of Israel shall also cease from being a nation". The ordinances haven't departed! Israel is a nation, And Christ will yet be the head of that nation, in his coming 1000 year rule on earth-this is the new covenant.
(Differing) views on the Millennium may well shape opinions on how the Gospel will outwork itself prior to the return of Christ. However this thread is neither about the Millennium nor about the place of Israel in God's purposes.
Both of these subjects are covered elsewhere.
So let's stick to the question.
For what it's worth David Pawson outlines what he sees as five 'philosophies of history'
1. Optimist: things are getting better and better
2. Pessimist: things are getting worse and worse
3. Cyclic: what goes around comes around (repeating patterns)
4. Rythmic: Ups and downs but not recessary the same in form and substance
5. Biblical: Things will get much worse before they become better, and they will get much better after they have become worse.
View 5 is based on a belief in the Millennial Reign of Christ. But leaving that issue aside, the general thrust of Scripture is a great falling away rather then a world-wide revival. This of course does not preclude 'local' revivals here and there.
In other words, we are all coming up on the down train!
But seriously, I concur with your last paragraph. But believe that the 'local' revivals would be individuals, here and there throughout the nations, rather than was the case in Nineveh!
It does seem from a general survey of the Western world scene that there is presently a 'falling away' from the Christian faith with times of persecution ever increasing. Possibly this is a Biblical reference to the 'lawless one' who will rise in the last days. We should remember though that suffering often brings people to faith in Christ. I am reminded of this headline in the Telegraph newspaper about a year or two ago:
'China on course to become world's most Christian nation within 15 years
The number of Christians in Communist China is growing so steadily that it by 2030 it could have more churchgoers than America'
Also other countries in the Middle east such as Iran, Egypt and other Islamic countries are reporting a surge in the growth of the Church.
This is certainly not a world-wide revival but one cannot deny that such 'localised' revivals as these are most remarkable. Perhaps we should survey Christianity from a more global perspective rather than through our Western eyes.
J Robertson (Guest)
With respect its not-so-much a 'worldview' or a 'Western' view or a 'local' view we need, rather its a 'Biblical' view.
2 Timothy 3:1-5
But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God — having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with them.
"For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.
And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect's sake those days shall be shortened."
2 Thessalonians 2:1-4
Concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered to him, we ask you, brothers, not to become easily unsettled or alarmed by some prophecy, report or letter supposed to have come from us, saying that the day of the Lord has already come.
Don't let anyone deceive you in any way, for that day will not come until the rebellion occurs and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the man doomed to destruction.
He will oppose and will exalt himself over everything that is called God or is worshipped, so that he sets himself up in God's temple, proclaiming himself to be God.
Bible man (Guest)
Mr Robertson has put forward the "Biblical view". And indeed it is very pessimistic, as the Scriptures purport it clearly to be.
In the so-called revivals in recent history be it in the Hebrides, Wales or wherever, are we to believe that all were genuine converts? How many were "stony ground" believers as depicted in Mark 16-18?
Not only does this apply to our land, but also to China, Islamic nations and elsewhere.
Sorry, that should be Mark 4.16-18!
So, as regards any end times mass revival, I clearly believe the Bible teaches against it, in fact is diametrically opposed to it. The apostasy (falling away 2 Thess 2.3) will gather pace until Christ destroys Antichrist and sets up His kingdom on earth in juxtaposition with heaven.
I am having many thoughts on the subject, and the space is too limited for me to make full comment. But I believe Israel does in fact have some relevance here. In Revelation, we see the two witnesses killed by the beast, and their bodies lie, I assume, in Jerusalem, before being raised in broad daylight. There is an earthquake, and 7,000 people are killed: ….” and the remnant were affrighted, and gave glory to the God of heaven” Rev 11: 13. It looks like this could be the conversion of Israel referred to by Paul. So at the very least, “all Israel will be saved” Rom 11:26. At the moment, there are thought to be more than 16 million Jews in the world, so that in itself will be a truly great end time harvest. It is remarkable that it happens during the reign of antichrist, and possibly it is the testimony of the two witnesses that the Holy Spirit will be working through to achieve this.
I have to say I am pretty dismayed partly by some of the comments here, and partly by my own deadness on this subject. Through reading the bible I see we should definitely be praying for people to be saved. China seems to have the vision and is acting on it. I feel that something is terribly wrong, and we in Britain are somehow left like a stranded jellyfish on the beach, while the tide of God's purposes is flowing in a great flood without us.
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