PMW 2019-037 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.
Our Lord Jesus Christ ministered for over three years proclaiming the coming of the kingdom of God. But after initially drawing a “great multitude” of followers (Jn 6:2), John records with disappointment that “many of His disciples went back and walked with Him no more” (Jn 6:66). In fact, toward the end of his ministry one of his own twelve disciples turned against him, literally selling him out to the authorities (Jn 13:18; Ac 1:18-19). And even his remaining faithful disciples forsook him in cowardly fear as he was on trial for his life (Mt 26:31, 56; Lk 22:31-34), locking themselves away from opponents (Jn 20:19).
With such a shaky start, what might we expect to become of the kingdom of God, which Christ initially proclaimed as near (Mk 1:15; Mt 4:17) and eventually established as present (Mt 12:28; Lk 17:20-21)? In other words, what is the outlook for the Christian faith in the historical long run? How should we answer a query such as Christ poses: “When the Son of Man comes, will he really find faith on the earth” (Lk 18:8)? Continue reading
PMT 2016-083 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.
The biblical faith is inherently eschatological. God creates the world and has a plan for it. The goal of that plan is necessarily eschatological, for eschatology deals with “the last things.” Consequently, the very beginning of creation has within it the seeds of eschatology. Protology entails eschatology.
In this study I will focus on the sin of Adam in failing God’s test (Gen 2:15-17) which was established on the sixth day of creation (Gen 2 expands on the activities of the sixth day, which is recorded more succinctly in Gen 1:26-30). It is actually in Genesis 3:15 that we have the first genuinely eschatological statement in Scripture (though the creation account involves principles impacting eschatology). Continue reading
PMT 2014-104 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.
In my last blog post (PMT 2014-103) I began a consideration of the question: “How can we have hope today?” Is hope hopeless. And if it is, what is to become of the postmillennial hope. This is the second and concluding article on that question. I hope you will read the previous article first (see there is hope!).
Earthly Hope in History
The early ante-Nicene church struggled mightily in their task. Initially, they were but a “little flock” (Luke 12:32) who humbly committed their lives to a despised, rejected, and crucified Lord (1 Cor. 2:8). Initially, they were hunted down by the mightiest empire of the world, to be thrown to the beasts for refusing to worship Caesar, to be burned in the fires for affirming Christ’s lordship. Surely their times were fraught with unspeakable terror such as we have not known in modern America. Yet by the grace of God, a little over 200 years after the Apostles left the scene the emperor Constantine professed faith in Christ, lifting the earthly burden from our spiritual forefathers. Christ’s little flock was witnessing His kingdom coming with power, His gospel exercising a growing influence in the world. Continue reading
PMT 2014-103 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.
In his letter to the troubled Corinthian church, Paul lists three Christians virtues while exhorting them to a closer walk with Christ: faith, hope, and love (1 Cor. 13:13). This three-fold cord of holy values provides a strong bond of commitment for the Christian, and has tied the Church of Jesus Christ together throughout the ages.
Faith and love are not only beautiful threads knitting together the fabric of the Christian life, but are easily recognized as such. They weave a strong carpet for the Christian walk; they serve as dual strands tugging us forward in our holy calling. And though hope is certainly not a detached thread from the Christian garment, it has been snagged loose and at best is only partially visible to the eye of faith today.
Certainly all Christians are united in recognizing our ultimate, glorious resurrection hope in our heavenly home. We know that the present fallen order is not all that we may expect in our experience of God’s grace. The beatific vision in Scripture encourages us to keep a hopeful eye on heaven above even as we watch our steps in the earth below. And though eternal life in the presence of God is the ultimate hope of the Christian and the abiding consequence of the gospel, it does not exhaust the full significance of biblical hope. Continue reading