17 January 2017
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Regarding dogma, it was precisely the dogmatic who persecuted the Prophets and killed Jesus. As Jesus said, you cannot put new wine into old wineskins, so he chose the non-dogmatic to be His disciples. There is a world of difference between Truth, and dogma. Dogma does not equal sound doctrine either. Truth is alive beyond our ability to grasp or imagine and to receive the Divine and living Word, we have to be flexible, pliable, able to be side-lined so He that is greater can move into central place. Old wineskins cannot stretch or move.
Just to get back to the point, perhaps there are two different discussions here:
2) Harvest of Souls
The falling away referred to by St Paul, Jesus and possibly Daniel, is something that will happen (and is happening) to the Church. I think we can expect to see believers dropping like flies around us, leaving us alone and feeling very weak. And no denomination will be exempt. This kind of thing happened to a smaller extent even in the early days of the Church but I think it will be huge in the Last Days. I do not think it refers to Society getting worse and worse, even though it is.
Revival usually means God infusing new life into those who are already born again. He wakes us up and gives us a shake. This in turn, normally results in the conversion of souls outside the Church (souls being “harvested” for God) because we are moving in the Spirit again so God can work through us.
Two bible passages seem relevant to me: Judges 7 and Luke 14: 16. In Judges, (and a lot of the life of Gideon is relevant) Gideon is raised by God to deliver Israel from a much bigger enemy, but we see that rather amusing passage starting with: “The Lord said to Gideon, “You have too many men..” and God pares down the numbers of fighters to just a few, and it is with those few that God delivers Israel. (see references in other comments to the “remnant”.
In Luke we have those who were originally invited to the feast “falling away” and finally the Master says “Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled”. (For me personally, this last line is the most convincing basis for the belief in a great end time harvest of souls)
I think God will do wonders in the last days (and probably is already doing that in China, India, Korea, and many Muslim countries) but He will do it not through a visibly strong and confident Church. I believe His Work will be so utterly sovereign that we will be almost unable to believe our eyes on Judgement Day. We will say it was impossible. I think He will work and it will be through a small ragamuffin brigade like Gideons army. In fact, I think the Great Apostasy may all be part of the plan.
I am now pretty convinced I should be praying that God will “thrust forth labourers” into His harvest.
This all started because a distant cousin wrote me a letter, ending something like: “I’m sure you will be praying with us for an end time harvest”. I had not been of course.
So it is very wrong to be dogmatic about the Atonement...is it???
So, Mini's analogy doesn't hold water?-Sorry wine!
No Guest, absolutely it doesn't. But, all I would say in this regard is that she has confused dogmatism with "the traditions of men" Mark 7.8. If they (Scribes and Pharisees)were at all dogmatic, it was not with the written word of God, but with their own man made traditions. In the following verse He clearly says "ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition." The Lord Jesus in His discourse with the Scribes and the Pharisees scolded them on this in the aforementioned chapter and in other places throughout the gospels.
As this thread is primarily about "END TIMES REVIVAL/HARVEST OF SOULS", I would like to return to the subject matter.
As a sparrow "shall not fall on the ground without your Father" (Matthew 10.29) predestining it to happen, likewise the end times harvest will be no greater or lesser than the precise number that God has chosen/elected to salvation (those names WRITTEN in the "Lambs book of life").
Nevertheless we are still His instruments, and He uses the best of us (or worst of us!) to witness as per the great commission. So I certainly would agree with Mini in regard to her desire to witness and evangelise to the lost, as opposed to those devoid of such a spirit as many hyper Calvinists are.
I realise many cannot accept predestination/election. Spurgeon, to quote him again, said of this doctrine that "many are more scared of it, than if they were to come face to face with a lion!
Checking to see if there were any more comments on this debate.
I have nothing to add, but thought I would take this advert off CT's lead in page.
Dear Guest this is more puerile than prurient. I haven't found this on CT's lead in page, so either Google is showing ads based on your personal preferences or you are trying to use this site to market questionable goods!
Just to reply to JL: The Atonement isn't dogma. Not all dogma is wrong, but one should always make a distinction between it and truth. I consider the three creeds - Apostle's, Nicean and Athanasian - incredibly helpful and even necessary for making things clear, but they are dogma not absolute truth. You cannot live by the creeds but you can live by absolute truth. One is a jam jar with a lid, and you think to catch truth in it, put on the lid and put it on your windowsill. But it's not in your jam jar! The other is the Word that God speaks; "the sound of many waters"; life itself.
"The Atonement isn't dogma"? Quite frankly; it is woeful statements such as these that bear witness to the pitiful state of the church in the days in which we now find ourselves in.
A more liberal and universal statement you will not find. Totally contrary to God's word.
Any good dictionary will tell you the definition of the word "dogma".
It's definition is:"Article of belief", without the Atonement there is NO salvation-I repeat NO salvation-if we cannot be dogmatic about this then we could become Buddhists, Shintoists or even atheists!
Sometimes, misunderstanding is a deliberate choice.
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