PMT 2017-097 by the Chalcedon Foundation
“In the world of sin and death, problems and troubles concern men most. In the world of the resurrection of Jesus Christ, it is opportunities, duties, service, faith, and obedience which concern Christ’s people above all else, not death and troubles.” (R. J. Rushdoony)
To look at the news headlines, one can see that the nation is being rocked by scandal, abuse, strife, disaster, protest, criminality, and the like. The changes are happening much faster than in times past, and with everyone plugged into social media channels, the national mood can shift within minutes. A weak nation is reeling from the constant blows.
However, that’s not the only nation. There’s another. In the midst of all the turmoil there exists another nation—a holy nation:
But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light. (1 Peter 2:9)
We are that nation, and the apostle’s description is a great one. We are chosen. We are peculiar. We are called out of darkness into God’s light. We are even a royal priesthood. Yet, Peter’s description oddly changes in verse eleven:
Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims…
Which is it? Are we a royal priesthood, or are we strangers and pilgrims? Maybe it depends upon which vantage point one is looking. To the world, we might be strangers and pilgrims. To God and ourselves, we are that holy nation.
Convert and Become Peculiar!
This is what Rushdoony means by living in “the world of the resurrection of Jesus Christ,” and it is always a world of life—the God kind of life. For that other nation—the one displayed on the news and social media—it is a “world of sin and death,” and therefore, “problems and troubles concern men most.” For the holy nation—living in the world of the resurrection of Jesus Christ—our concern should be “opportunities, duties, service, faith, and obedience.” We are not of this world and we should not carry it’s worries and troubles.
They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. (John 17:16)
So, while the world stumbles as its house of cards crumbles, let us speak, plan, and work in terms of the opportunities and duties we have as the new creation in Christ (2 Cor. 5:17; Gal. 6:15). For we live now in terms of His resurrection (Rom. 6:4-5, 11, 13), and therefore we are “peculiar.” While the world fears, we rejoice. While the world worries, we exercise our faith. While the world devours one another, we advance His Kingdom. They can either continue down their path, or they can convert and become peculiar!
Abandoned Posts by a Church in Retreat
“The situation today is what it is not because we have social problems, nor because we have evil in our midst. The problem is that the godly are in retreat, retreat from action and therefore from godliness. The problem is us.” (Rushdoony)
When we retreat from action, we are in full retreat, and godly action must mean more than theological study or building big churches. Both can easily occupy our time, but they do little in terms of advancing the Kingdom of God. If Christians are not tirelessly involved in the work of reconstruction, the world suffers for it. As Rushdoony said, “The problem is us,” but that also means the solution is us as well.
“We have been called in Christ to victory (1 John 5:4), and we dare not shirk that calling. The whole world must know Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. His dominion must begin with us. We must be fully commanded by Him, in total obedience to Him, and in all things faithful to Him.” (Rushdoony)
We are called in Christ to victory! Let that sink in, and then take a look at the world. Can you see the work that needs to be done? As a nation living within a nation, we are here as Christ’s beachhead delivered from darkness into His marvelous light, and all that we’ll do shall not be done in our own strength. It will be the Lord working in us.
“Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the Lord of Hosts.” (Zechariah 4:6)
If God is working in us, then the work is sure to be done. The only questions are, “Where are we, and in whom do we believe?” When God asked Adam, “Where art thou?” (Gen. 3:9), that may have meant positionally as much as it did geographically. In other words, “Adam, where are you hiding? Why have you abandoned your post?”
Where are we? Have we abandoned our posts? Are we hiding amongst the trees in retreat when we should be in the position of dominion to which God has called us? Is it that we question the victorious future God promised? Are we believing another lie by the serpent who incites us to wonder, “Hath God said?”
Calvin and Culture: Exploring a Worldview
Ed. by David Hall
No other Christian teachings in the past five hundred years have affected our Western culture as deeply as the worldview of John Calvin. It extends far beyond the theological disciplines.
See more study materials at: www.KennethGentry.com
The Concerns of a Holy Nation
“The world must be conquered for Christ. There is no power too great for Him, no evil He cannot conquer, nor any barrier too high for Him to scale.” (Rushdoony)
There is no excuse for doubt, and there is every reason for faith, because our faith is founded upon an infallible God speaking in an infallible Word. Added to that is the indwelling power of the Holy Spirit, and in that sense, this is not even a fair fight.
“Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.” (1 John 4:4)
Postmillennialism Made Easy (by Ken Gentry)
Basic introduction to postmillennialism. Presents the essence of the postmillennial argument and answers the leading objections. And all in a succinct, introductory fashion.
See more study materials at: www.KennethGentry.com
The ungodly do not live in the world of the resurrection of Jesus Christ, so death, worries, and troubles are the burdens they must carry. We, on the other hand, are “married to another, even to him who is raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit unto God” (Rom. 7:4), and His yoke is easy and His burden light (Matt. 11:30).
If we do carry any burden, and if we do have any concerns, let them be for “opportunities, duties, service, faith, and obedience.” It seems they are the more appropriate concerns of a . . . .
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Tagged: resurrection victory
Dr. Gentry, thank you for your work. You now hold that Daniel’s resurrection occurred in 70 CE/AD. Are you saying that there is a second resurrection at the end of the church age? Trying to understand you on this.
Thanks for reading my blog, and contacting me. Unfortunately, your supposition that I now hold to a resurrection in AD 70 is mistaken. You are confusing Daniel’s metaphorical statement on resurrection with an actual physical resurrection. I do not hold that a literal resurrection occurred in AD 70. See my study on Daniel 12
Ok. I see this, but the upshot is you have Paul coming up with a new prophecy do you not? If all the OT prophecies were fulfilled in AD 70, you have Paul coming up with new prophecies which he based on the OT prophetic texts that you say have been fulfilled in 70 AD! You are in the minority on this. I know Albert Barnes held that Paul came up with revelation supposedly from the lord, but very few others.
I appreciate your responses. I am an elder FPCH in LA, CA.
I have three problems with your interaction. (1) ALL OT prophecies have not been fulfilled (though most have been). (2) Paul is an apostle possessing the authority of Christ. IF he promoted something not already recorded in the OT, that would be acceptable to orthodox Christians who hold that ALL Scripture is inspired of God. (3) The resurrection is, in fact, recorded in the OT, which Jesus himself built on in Matt. 22:31-32: “regarding the resurrection of the dead, have you not read what was spoken to you by God: I AM THE GOD OF ABRAHAM, AND THE GOD OF ISAAC, AND THE GOD OF JACOB? He is not the God of the dead but of the living.”
The historic, corporate, public, universal, systematic Christian faith has not been mistaken about this matter for 2000 years. In fact, according to 1 Cor. 15, it is an absolutely essential doctrine.
My last reply. Thank you again for your tireless work!
I suppose the difference I have is that
1. I don’t see two types of resurrections in scripture only Daniel’s ch 12 metaphorical rising of Israel in 70 CE.
2. The phrase used by Jesus “this age and the age to come” as guiding principles on how we are to understand the resurrection motif. This age is the covenant as administered during the first dispensation i.e. law, temple rituals, sacrifices etc…the age to come was the New Covenant which came with the destruction of Jerusalem and temple. Hence, there is no end of history. The end in scripture was used in reference to Israel after the flesh and the Old Covenant. The resurrection was to occur at the end of the first age in 70 CE. Even Paul’s 1 Cor 15 resurrection was to occur at the end, mirroring Daniel.
Thank you again, I won’t bother you again. Great blog and I’ll continue learning from it.
I am afraid you have some serious problems with your views, even heretical. (1) In John 5:25-29, Jesus speaks of two resurrections for the believer: coming to new life in Christ at conversion; coming out of the tombs with our bodies in a physical resurrection (which the unbeliever will also experience, so that he can experience the wrath of God in his human [resurrected] body). Elsewhere (Dan. 12:2) we see a metaphorical resurrection of Israel, which is built on the fact of the future resurrection. (2) “This age and the age to come” refers to the earthly age, then the final age (eternity), for in the final age we no longer marry but are like the angels in heaven (Matt. 22:30). We live in the overlap of the two ages, experiencing some features of both (e.g., spiritual resurrection which anticipates the physical resurrection). In Paul’s day (before AD 70) Christians were experiencing the spiritual resurrection, just as we do still today (e.g., Eph. 2:6).