Reviving Gospel Hope for the 21st Century

Reviving Gospel Hope

By Pete Coker

In the 16th and 17th centuries, the English and American Puritan Postmillennialists developed a positive, hopeful outlook for the gospel of Jesus Christ and its future. Their vision of a world-conquering gospel looked forward to the worldwide spreading of the gospel and the ultimate conversion of the Jewish people just prior to the visible return of Jesus Christ. Their positive postmillennial views were rooted in Scriptures, such as; Ps. Chap. 67, 68: 1; Ps. Chap. 18; Mal. 1:11; Rom 10: 1, 11: 25-26; Rev. 12: 10-11.

“You delivered me from strife with the people; you made me head of nations; people who I had not known served me. As soon as they heard me they obeyed me; foreigners lost heart and came trembling out of their fortresses. The Lord lives and blessed be my rock, and exalted be the God of my salvation – the God who gave me vengeance and subdued peoples under me, who delivered me from my enemies; yes, you exalted me above those who rose against me; you rescued me from the man of violence. For this I will praise you, O Lord, among the nations and sing to your name.” (Psalm 18: 43-49)

This future hope was not only held by Puritans, it was held throughout the early reformation period by the various protestant sects. The early reformers taught about a new era of optimism, an era of growth, purity, unity for the church, the fullness of the Gentiles, and conversion of the Jews. The reformation period, though tumultuous, was also a time of future optimism, looking forward to greater more glorious days ahead for the church. A hope for greater unity of the church and for a decline of evil. In the 1500’s this hope was expressed in the writings of people like; Theodor Bibliander, Martin Bucer, Peter Martyr, David Paraeus, Theodore Beza, and many others. Early reformation theology held to a postmillennial perspective that believed the Scriptures taught that Christ would eventually subdue the whole world through His gospel. This future hope was not thought to be the salvation of every individual on earth, but a general worldwide acknowledgment of recognizing Christ’s authority.

“May we never grow weary, but learn to overcome the whole world…” (John Calvin)

Postmillennialism was developed more completely by the Puritans, and adhered to by Congregationalists, Presbyterians, and other protestant sects as well. It was the most prevalent view throughout England, Scotland, and the New England colonies in America. In fact, it was the optimism of postmillennial thought that helped inspire the ‘spirit of hope’ that led to the colonial settlements to the new-world (American colonies). It was, in part, this optimistic view of the Gospel of Jesus Christ which motivated the reformers to believe they were fulfilling God’s commands, to take the gospel to new frontiers, to develop a growing missionary calling, and expand the boundaries of the kingdom of God.

The view of postmillennial hope was carried on with other notable figures such as; Henry Finch, Richard Sibbes, William Strong, George Gillespie, Robert Baillie, John Owen, Thomas Manton, John Flavel, Moses Wall, Dickson Hutcheson, John Cotton and others. English reformer, John Cotton, came to the American New England colonies in 1642 where he published millennial studies of Revelation that expressed the reformation’s postmillennial hope via the fall of Antichrist (Roman Catholicism), the down fall of (Muslim) Turkey, and the widespread “rising of men from spiritual death to spiritual life.”  (In an era of Protestant and Roman Catholic conflict, Roman Catholicism was viewed by reformers as the Antichrist). For reformers like John Calvin, the future of the gospel was the eventual restoration of the world to spiritual life and a renewal of God’s Creation order.

[The late] Dr. Greg L. Bahnsen has shown that the postmillennial perspective was also expressed in; the Westminster Assembly, the Westminster Standards, in the ‘Directory for the Publick Worship of God,’ The Confession of Faith, and The Larger Catechism. According to Bahnsen, these all expressed; an age of blessing on the Church, the visible prosperity of the gospel through the rule of Christ, the future accomplishment of the great commission, the overthrow of the (Roman) Antichrist, the fullness of the Gentiles, and the conversion of the Jews. This view provided a future paradigm that reflected a history of growth for the Church and a future that would eventually define the kingdom of Christ as the prevailing belief system on earth as foretold in the Scriptures. (Ps. 2: 8, 22:7, 86:9; Dan. 2: 35, 7: 26-27, 44: 45; Zech. 14: 9).

The reformers optimistic attitude towards the gospel of Jesus Christ is far removed from today’s pessimistic, self-defeating faith of today’s dispensational-premillennial heresies. Instead of carrying the idea that Christ’s gospel eventually overcomes and overwhelms the world, today’s ‘dispensational’ Christianity has basically retreated from this view by holding to a ‘limited’ gospel. This pietistic retreat does not make a stronger, more spiritual Church, it reduces the Church to a basic fear of overcoming the outside world, by maintaining an inward private faith. It has thus become a Church that is afraid to confront the world’s values by hiding behind its own walls, or worse, by conforming to worldly values. Yes, it is still committed to converting individuals, but it no longer adheres to the full scope of the great commission of teaching all nations the ways of Christ, proclaiming God’s commands for righteous Christian living, and for bringing ‘justice’ under the government of Christ. (Is. 9: 6-7).

The 20th century brought us a dispensational retreatist-faith, much like the 18th century Church facing the Enlightenment era. The Church in that era also retreated into pietism for a time and turned inward to a large degree. This is once again, the same tactic embraced by much of today’s Church under the influence of dispensational-premillennialism. This inwardness is the same sort of pietism practiced by the Pharisees of Jesus’ day. Their pietism was in prayer, fasting, and almsgiving. But, Jesus exposed this ‘limited’ holiness as man-centered and self-righteous. Rather than serving the overall kingdom of God, they were more concerned with appearing to be ‘spiritual.’ Just as almsgiving may be self-serving or for social-recognition, so too, a Church of ‘little faith’ becomes unhealthy and impotent in influencing its surrounding cultural environment. In like fashion, today’s pietistic ‘Phariseeism’ has refocused the New Testament ‘sign of tongues’ at Pentecost, into a self-aggrandizing ‘personal experience,’ instead of its original prophetic vision of taking the gospel of Jesus Christ to all nations and tongues.  Today’s unhealthy ‘dispensational’ attitude does not encourage the Church to challenge its surrounding cultural environment because it believes it is in the ‘last days,’ so why bother with reforming politics, economics, justice, the legal system, law enforcement, schools, etc. Overall, its pessimistic outlook continually grants victory to an antichristian world order.

The alternate outlook of ‘postmillennial hope’ promotes a far more robust view of the future of the gospel of Jesus Christ, which is, in the long run, a more complete gospel message that ultimately overcomes the world. It reflects a gospel that influences and builds up all areas of our lives and communities. Although Christianity may be stagnant today in much of the Western World, it is rapidly expanding in the southern hemispheres and many other parts of the world. May that motivate 21st century Christianity in the western world to recover and revive its ‘gospel hope’ and move forward again in reestablishing an everlasting gospel paradigm that reflects an all-encompassing robust faith.

“For unto us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon His shoulder, and His name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of His government and peace there will be no end, on the throne of David and over His kingdom, to establish it and uphold it with justice and righteousness from this time forth and forevermore.” (Is. 9: 6-7)


Article derived from the Journal of Christian Reconstruction Vol.III, No. 2, 1976-77; with a contributing chapter by Greg L. Bahnsen, titled; The Prima Facie Acceptability of Postmillennialism. See and

Also, ‘Church History in Plain Language’ by Bruce L. Shelley.

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Tribulation, Justice, and Victory

Tribulation, Justice, and Victory

By Pete Coker

In my previous article ‘End Times, Last Days, Worldwide Tribulation,’ (or, Are We Facing the End-Times…Again) I noted that within the theory of dispensational eschatology, the ‘nation of Israel’ is the foundational key to God’s timeline in history and the return of Jesus Christ. Yet, their timeline, timeframes, and past predictions have imploded since 1988. Their popular theory is not only a pessimistic outlook for the gospel of Jesus Christ, it ignores a more active and effective outlook about Christ’s death, resurrection, and the power of the Holy Spirit working through the church from generation to generation. In my second ‘end times’ article, ‘Another Friendly Challenge to Pop-Eschatology,’ I noted a couple of interpretation tricks (or fallacies) used by dispensationalists. With this article, I would like to explore the Biblical outlook, or worldview, from the view of a victorious gospel kingdom.

For historians and philosophers, the history of the world has revealed different ‘eras’ of human thought. For example, Auguste Comte in The Positive Philosophy described what he called “the law of three stages.” Comte had a completely materialistic mindset that denied God as mythological; his worldview therefore was humanistic. Comte labeled the law of three stages as: The Theological (or fictitious); the Metaphysical (or abstract); and the Scientific (or positive). The labels – fictitious, abstract, and positive — reveal Comte’s obvious anti-theistic humanistic worldview.

Contrary to this philosophical view is the view postulated by Rev. Rousas John Rushdoony — from a Biblical worldview. Rushdoony notes that the development of human thought from a Judeo-Christian Biblical perspective is divided quite differently from Comte’s humanistic view. As Rushdoony described it, the first stage of human thought reflected is, a ‘politico-magical’ worldview. According to Rushdoony, this perspective, apart from the Hebrews, governed all of ‘antiquity.’ Furthermore, it also governed the Roman Empire in the Christian era and the non-Christian world thereafter.

The second stage of human thought, according to Rushdoony, has been the Religious or Christian one. The religious stage was first realized, in part, by the Hebrews before Christ. It was then more fully realized with the coming of Jesus Christ, which dramatically began to transform human thought. Although the Roman Empire tried very savagely to eliminate the spread of Christianity, it ultimately failed. The result was the spread of Christianity as it moved out to change the world via the gospel of Jesus Christ. The Christian worldview has continued to spread, having a profound effect on developing western civilization and moving away from the humanistic ‘politico-magical’ worldview. Christianity’s struggles throughout its history have been against this ancient worldview in various forms and manifestations. Much of today’s supposed enlightened views come from an ancient pagan-thought paradigm. As G.K. Chesterton has observed; “A new philosophy generally means in practice the praise of some old vice.”

Jesus, in His parables, left a very different paradigm than the one expressed by dispensational ‘end-times,’ last days’ prophecy theorists of today. Jesus parables of The Sower (Matthew 13: 3-8; Mark 4: 4-8; Luke 8: 5-8), The Mustard Seed (Matthew 13: 31-32; Mark 4: 3-32; Luke 13: 18-19), The Parable of the Leaven (Matthew 13: 33; Luke 13: 20-21), and The Parable of the Tares (Matthew 13: 36-43), all depict the nature, development, and impact of God’s growing kingdom on earth. The worldview of the victorious Christ in these parables appears to be a continuously growing gospel kingdom that surpasses and outgrows the ungodly! This is truly a ‘victorious gospel,’ that eventually spreads throughout the world and sustains it as well. Far from describing a failing church that cannot overcome ‘the world’ (…be of good cheer, I have overcome the world!) Jesus described a Spirit-empowered Church that overcomes evil, and presses on to fulfill the great commission.

The first century church faced the great tribulation and the last days just prior to the judgment on Jerusalem and the destruction of the Jewish Temple. 1 John 2: 18 warned fellow believers; “Little children, it is the last hour; and as you have heard that Antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have come, by which we know that it is the last hour. In 2 John 2: 7, John said; “For many deceivers have gone out into the world who do not confess Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist.” Regarding the first century ‘great tribulation’ and destruction of the Jewish Temple, Jesus said, “…there will be a great tribulation such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be” (Matt. 24: 21). The first century church faced the greatest tribulation in history and nothing like it will be repeated again. They faced it and they overcame it, empowered by the Holy Spirit.

Believers in Jesus Christ are empowered by the Holy Spirit to overcome evil as well as their own sinful behaviors. The believer’s victory over the world is also expressed in 1 John 5: 4; “For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world – your faith.” And, just as the prophet Isaiah (42: 1-4) prophesied; Jesus would come and declare justice to the Gentiles and send forth ‘justice to victory.’

In the Parable of the Mustard Seed, Jesus indicates a kingdom that grows to be greater than all previous ‘earthly’ kingdoms. The kingdom that Jesus describes is one that grows not only in size, but also in stature, disposition, knowledge, strength, and faith. A kingdom that sustains the lives of believers and unbelievers alike. This kingdom is a co-mingled culture (wheat and tares) which grows together until Christ returns at His final return to earth. Until then, the ungodly, either knowingly or unknowingly live and thrive on the strength, growth, and security of a growing gospel culture.

Jesus said, “To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne. He who has an ear, let Him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.” (Revelation 3: 21)

“And they overcame him by the blood of the lamb and by the word of their testimony and they did not love their lives to the death.” (Revelation 12: 11)

“And the God of peace will crush Satan under your feet shortly. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. Amen.” (Romans 16: 20)

“Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.” (Romans 12: 21)

May the Church, God’s people, press on from victory to victory — continue to grow God’s kingdom – and teach all nations!


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Communion: Killing Hostility

Killing Hostility

By Pete Coker

“This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is shed for you” (Luke 22: 20).

A frequently over-looked aspect of Communion, the Lord’s Supper, is the reconciliation of Jews and Gentiles. In Christ, the hostility between Jew and Gentile has been broken down. Prior to the sacrifice of Christ, Gentiles were strangers to the covenants God possessed with the Jews. But now in Christ Jesus, Gentiles are brought to the promise, by Christ’s shed blood (wine). Christ, who made both Jew and Gentile, has broken down the wall of hostility through the sacrifice of His own body (bread).

The ancient Jewish people became God’s chosen people; the people through whom God chose to make salvation available to all people. Therefore, the Scriptures inform us, God divided all mankind into two main groups, Jew and Gentile. Greeks and all other non-Israelites were considered ‘Gentiles’ by God.

After the coming of God’s law, the separation between Jews and Gentiles began to grow and became increasingly broadened over the years. By the time of Jesus Christ’s visitation, it had grown into a full-blown complete hostility. By his suffering and death, Jesus abolished this enmity, thus bringing peace to Jews and Gentiles, reconciling them to God. This was to reconcile them to each other as well as to God; as explained in the Book of Ephesians:

14“For He himself is our peace, who has made us both one and broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility 15by abolishing the law of the commandments and ordinances, that He might create in Himself one new man in place of the two, so making peace, 16and might reconcile us both to God in one body through the cross, thereby killing the hostility. 17And He came and preached peace to you who were far-off (Gentiles) and peace to those who were near (Jews). 18For through Him we both have access in one spirit to the Father. 19So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, 20built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Himself being the cornerstone, 21in whom the whole structure, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord. 22In Him, you are also being built together into a dwelling place for God by the Holy Spirit.” (Eph. 2: 14-22)

Christ, in His suffering and death, broke down the dividing wall of separation between Jew and Gentile. This partition-wall represented the ceremonial-law, the commandments contained in ordinances (not the moral law). Jesus death removed these particular laws and reconciled Jews and Gentiles; thus, making one new man in Christ. This was supernaturally signified at the time of Christ’s death by the Temple’s torn veil, the partition in the Temple which separated the Court of the Gentiles from the place of the Jews:

51“And behold, the veil of the Temple was torn in two from top to bottom; and the earth quaked, and the rocks were split, 52and the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised; 53and coming out of the graves after His resurrection, they went into the holy city and appeared to many.” (Matthew 27: 51-53)

Christ’s blood-sacrifice is also referred to as the Atonement, which means to reconcile, or the bringing together of two who are opposed. This reconciliation between Jews and Gentiles was also reaffirmed with Peter’s vision of the ‘sheet’ descending from heaven full of all kinds of four-footed animals, wild beasts, creeping things, and birds of the air. Peter later learned this vision was a call for him to preach the Gospel to the Gentiles. When Peter preached to some Gentiles in Caesarea, the Holy Spirit was poured out on them, and they began to speak in tongues and glorify God. Peter and those with him realized that God had granted ‘repentance to life’ to the Gentiles.

The uniting of Jews and Gentiles as fellow-heirs is what is also revealed to Paul by the Spirit as The Mystery of Christ, which had not been understood in previous generations. The Mystery of Christ was revealed, so that, through ‘the Church,’ the diversely united wisdom of God might be made known to the principalities and powers in the heavenly places (Eph. 3: 10). There is therefore, in Christ, communion between God and all His people, Jew and Gentile alike. The church, God’s people, are a united ‘living temple’ where the Spirit of God moves and has His being. In light of what the Apostle Paul reveals in The Mystery of Christ, he exhorts all believers to “walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility, gentleness, and patience…in love.

Believers are commanded by Jesus to re-enact the Lord’s Supper in remembrance of Him and His sacrifice. In communion, believers partake of ‘the cup’ (communion wine) in part to examine one’s self, to reflect and self-judge. The alcohol content in the communion wine signifies to the believer, the power of the blood of Christ, and the church’s unity in one Holy Spirit. The spirit of unity, is to be reflected by believers in ‘the same mind and judgment’ — by the power and wisdom of the Holy Spirit.

As the Apostle Paul confirmed; “The cup of blessing, which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not the communion of the body of Christ? For we being many are one bread and one body: for we are all partakers of that one body, for we partake of that one bread.” (1Cor. 10: 16-17) And again Paul says; “For in ‘one Spirit’ we were all baptized into ‘one body’ –Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free – and all were made to drink of ‘one Spirit’ (I Cor. 12: 13).

Communion, for believers, is also a call for the unified fellowship of all believers, and to maintain that unity by adhering to a unified ministry that honors, reflects, and glorifies the unified ministry of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Through Christ, all believers have been reconciled together as one body, and made to drink of one Spirit. Let us therefore be transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit. (2 Cor. 3:18b)

“For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup you proclaim the Lord’s death until He comes.” (I Cor. 11: 26)






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Liberals, Conservatives, and Charity

Exposed! Liberals and Charity

By Pete Coker

Well, the unhinged Democratic Party is at it again. They’re puttin’-on a show that would make carnival barkers blush! (no offense to carnival barkers) With a whole host of side-show freaks, the Democrats spew out a plethora of deviant Marxist inspired propaganda drawn from the lips of those earthbound angels who were kicked out of heaven. Their rhetoric shows a sacred allegiance with ‘statism’ and an unwavering faith in the almighty, all-powerful secularized state; their ‘autonomous’ temple of worship. Like Satan demanding that Jesus ‘turn stones into bread,’ Democrats demand that Republicans to turn healthcare into a government redistribution program (that punishes lower and middle-class citizens with healthcare premiums that rival their mortgage payments) in order to provide for those who previously remained uninsured.

As if government hadn’t already screwed up the healthcare system to begin with, they now want to be even more involved in order to monkey-around (no offense to monkeys) with something they know nothing about – a system that is sure to fail! How many times must we watch government fail with things they have no business running. Their misguided altruistic ‘war on poverty’ after 50-years cost taxpayers upwards of $22-Trillion dollars, while poverty rates ultimately remained about the same.

But, of course, they keep on screaming that they are the compassionate ones, the ones who really care about their fellow man, the environment, the poor, the disenfranchised, blah, blah, blah. Well, let’s look at some facts regarding this self-righteous rhetoric coming from Democrats.

First of all, it is Religious people who are far more charitable than secularists, regardless of their politics. Yes, religious people donate more money than non-religious people — even to secular causes.

The relationship between faith and charity is also connected to American politics; Religious people are far more charitable than secularists; and religious people are disproportionately politically conservative. This goes against the conventional wisdom that has been constantly repeated by democrats for many decades. But, the data, facts, and evidence shows; Conservatives are not only charitable, they are far more charitable and compassionate than their Liberal counterparts, who are always claiming to be the most caring, giving, and charitable.

Although secular liberals have the highest average income in America, they are generally poor givers and less likely to give than the general population. They are even less likely to give to secular charities than religious conservatives. This certainly does not fit the liberal-democrat’s self-serving benevolent narrative!

Studies show liberal families in America earned an average of 6 percent more per year than conservative families. In spite of the liberal family’s advantage in earnings, conservative families still gave more than liberal families within every single income class, from poor to middle class to rich.

It is religious people overall, both republican and democrat who are the most charitable in every measurable non-religious way: including; secular donations, informal giving, and even acts of kindness and honesty. Religious people are far more likely to donate blood than secularists; to give food or money to a homeless person, to return change mistakenly given them by a cashier, and express empathy for less fortunate people. Religious liberals are nearly as charitable as religious conservatives, there is just a slight difference — but, religious liberals’ make-up a much smaller percentage of the Democratic Party than religious conservatives’ make-up of the Republican Party.

People living in conservative states (red states) volunteer much more than people in liberal states (blue states), even for secular causes. Studies prove a very different reality from the usual rhetoric we hear from Democrat politicians, political activists, and implied by various media sources. The media seems to go out of its way to show us a different reality from what the facts actually show. The media show is basically, a Democratic Party show.

Liberal secularists are just as influential in molding the Democratic Party’s platform as Christian conservatives are for the Republican Party. This is especially true of the Democrats party-faithful, the delegates to the Democratic National Convention who selects the party’s presidential nominee. Democratic Party activists were more than twice as likely as the general population to reject traditional religious practices, freedoms, and liberties.

Not surprisingly, rich liberals who favor forced income redistribution give less frequently than poor people who do not favor income leveling. Young self-described liberals under 30 are one of the least generous demographic groups in American culture, yet these are the ones demanding free education, social justice, and other typical liberal policies. On a positive note; studies also reveal that religious-Democrats are three-and-one-half times more likely to change party than are secular Republicans.

Poor conservatives are found to be less likely than poor liberals to request welfare assistance. Further, a poor working conservative making the same wages as a poor liberal receiving welfare assistance, is much more likely to be charitable overall. The ‘charitable’ working poor are disproportionately politically conservative, but the relatively uncharitable nonworking poor are much more liberal.

Economists confirm that government intervention into economic life tends to have a negative impact on charity. A careful study of data evidence indicates it is not poverty per se that makes people uncharitable – but rather the government’s conventional policies for eradicating it.

An environment of government policies that allow for voluntary charity to thrive in America stimulates prosperity, happiness, health, and good citizenship. [Contrarily] Secularism, forced income redistribution, expanding welfare programs, and family-breakdown are all phenomena implicated in depressing the levels of capitalization, charity, volunteering, and informal acts of kindness and generosity.

If the stingy, secular driven Democratic Party ever decides to step-up to the plate and become as charitable as Republicans, things will begin to change dramatically in America; from alleviating public displays of hate and revenge — to changing combative attitudes — to a more cooperative spirit among its citizenry.


Source: Who Really Cares: America’s Charity Divide; Who Gives, Who Doesn’t, and Why It Matters, by Arthur C. Brooks.

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Are We Facing the ‘End-Times’ — Again?

End-Times, Last Days, Worldwide Tribulation!

By Pete Coker

 Well, the wild-eyed end-times prophecy pundits and their blind devotees are at again! Those who believe that Satan eventually defeats the glorious Gospel of Jesus Christ in history, are again all-wound-up, stirring-up a new wave of self-defeatist eschatology. (To get more people in the pews? — To sell more books?)

Part of their falsely derived narrative in “dispensational eschatology,” is that in the ‘last days’ or ‘end-times,’ Satan eventually outsmarts and defeats; God’s Gospel of Jesus Christ — the Holy Spirit — and God’s Spirit-empowered people. Apparently, in the complex twisted prophetic outlook of dispensationalism; God’s plan of salvation — Jesus Christ’s conquering death on the cross — and Christ Jesus sending the Holy Spirit to empower believers — is insufficient to the wiles, cleverness, and power of Satan and his hell-bound band of fallen-angels.

When the end-times Church, is about to be faced with entering an all-encompassing Satan-inspired ‘tribulation period’ — Christ, in a last-minute intervention, suddenly snatches believers off the face of the earth in a “secret rapture.” Later, after a seven-year period of ‘hell-on-earth,’ called “The Tribulation,” Jesus Christ returns again (the Second Coming) to rescue a ‘remnant band of defeated believers’ – who, have come to believe the Gospel after the secret-rapture incident, and realizing the true identity of the Anti-Christ.

This contrived scenario sounds very exciting, but does it make any sense, Biblically? Does this really sound like a Christ-conquering gospel message? Didn’t the Christian era begin with Jesus Christ’s death, conquering Satan on the cross? So, Christ conquers Satan on the cross but then a couple of thousand years (or so) later, Satan defeats the Holy-Spirit Gospel-Empowered Church, with some chump the Devil empowers called the Antichrist? Did Christ really set-up and empower His Church (His Bride) to be defeated by Satan? Was this actually God’s supernatural plan from the beginning of the world?

It sounds a bit pitiful for believers to go-forth, spread the gospel and teach all nations; just to prepare for ultimate defeat? If that is the future outcome of the Church, why should believers bother teaching nations the ways of God? There seems to be some conflicting messages here in how we perceive the work and power of Christ: what He expects to accomplish through His new covenant Church; and how God’s “will” is going to be accomplished for the future of mankind.

This ill-conceived error-ridden Dispensational view of eschatology captured the minds of certain Christians just prior to the 20th century, and began to take hold with the publication of the Scofield Bible early in the 20th century (1909 & 1917). By the 1960s and 70s the dispensational view had become the most popular view of eschatology in America, especially with the publication of Hal Lindsey’s, The Late Great Planet Earth (1970-1).

The dispensational ‘futurist’ view in eschatology has a somewhat nefarious history. It was initially created by Catholic Jesuits during the counter-reformation period. For Two hundred thirty years, it was not taught outside of the Catholic church.

In early Victorian England, it was not likely that a protestant would even bother to read a prophecy book written by a Catholic Jesuit. The ‘Jesuit Order,’ in particular, was held in wide contempt at that time in Europe. In 1773 ‘the Order’ had been disbanded by the Pope himself for its treachery. The term ‘Jesuit’ became synonymous with terms like deceit, chicanery, infiltration and intrigue.

The Jesuits managed to get a foothold for their counter-interpretation in England by having a Jesuit named Lacunza publish an interpretation of The Book of Revelation under the name of a Jewish rabbi, Ben-Ezra. After that, Edward Irving, and then, John Nelson Darby initially got the Jesuit teaching brought into Protestantism.

Dispensational futurism was popularized through a network of Jesuits and Rabbi’s, using C.I. Scofield, as a front. Scofield credits Dr. Fenton John Anthony Hort and Bishop Brook Foss Westcott on the second page of the introduction of his Bible for their influence. A little historical research indicates these men (Hort and Westcott) were not only Jesuit plants within the Church of England but also members of various occult and séance movements of the day. This was the protestant beginnings of dispensational eschatology.

More recently, in the last several decades, many Christians have viewed certain world-wide events as the prophetic ‘end-times’ scenario and the anticipated return of Jesus Christ. Historically, nearly every generation of believers since the time of the apostles believed they were at the cusp of the’ last days.’ In recent times, many popular Bible expositors have identified the last-days ‘one-world government’ as: The United Nations, the European Union, and even the North American union between America, Canada, and Mexico. As we see alliances formed and reformed on different continents we will likely hear more re-adjusted prophecies predicted.

In dispensational pop-eschatology, the nation of Israel is the foundational key for God’s timeline and the return of Jesus Christ. As a result, many prophecy pundits have stated that the ‘generation’ which sees the return and rebirth of the nation of Israel, would be the same generation to experience the ‘rapture’ of the church, just prior to the ‘Great Tribulation.’ (Some others believe the rapture occurs mid-way in the Tribulation and some believe at the end).

However, there is a problem with the whole dispensational view. A ‘generation’ in Biblical terms is said to be either 25 years, or some say 40 years. Israel became a nation in 1948. So, the Rapture/Tribulation should have happened in 1973 or 1988 respectively. But, 1988 came and went and prophetic Bible predictions went out the window. In order to try and save face, dispensational prophecy pundits then postulated that the year 1967 was the true birth of the nation of Israel, as it acquired more land in the 1967 six-day war. If that newly adjusted time frame was correct, that means the Rapture/Tribulation prophecy prediction should have materialized around 1993 or 2007.

That was ‘ten’ years ago and there seems to be no sign of a ‘Great Tribulation,’ or an ‘Anti-Christ’ world leader. Yes, we have many troubles around the world, but we have always had troubles throughout Christianity’s history. Many, far worse than what we experience today.

Although the Dispensational version of eschatology has been theologically debunked many times over, it remains the most prominent and popular view of biblical eschatology in the minds of most Americans. America, however, was born under the Puritan ‘Postmillennial’ view of eschatology and in recent years, that view is beginning to get another serious look. The Postmillennial view reflects a ‘victorious Gospel of Christ.’ As some believers are beginning to recognize; the errors, false predictions, incorrect projections, and the ultimate ‘implosion’ of Premillennial Dispensational eschatology, is happening before their eyes. They are therefore rethinking their presuppositions and what they previously thought, or were taught about Biblical eschatology.


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The Idea of America and Why it Matters

The American Idea:

What It Is, Why It Matters, and Why It Is in Jeopardy

By Ben Sasse, Ph.D.

We face great challenges at this moment in history. We face cyber threats. We face a resurgent Russia under Vladimir Putin. We face a jihadi threat. We face the growing threat of non-state actors, who now can carry out massive attacks and are as able to play on the global stage as state actors. We face the exploding costs of our entitlement programs.

All these challenges are acute, but another dangerous trend is attracting less notice: the crisis of confidence in, and the growing unawareness of, the American idea.

What is the American idea? The American Founding made the bold claim that most peoples and most governments in the history of the world had been wrong about the nature of power and the nature of freedom. Sure, there had been moments in history when certain city-states advanced some conception of liberty. But most people in human history had said that might makes right: if you have a monopoly on power, you can do what you want. Everyone else in those societies was not a citizen but a dependent subject. If you lived in such a society, you needed the king to give you rights. The passive assumption was prohibition. The passive assumption was that if I want to start a business, I need a charter, because it’s illegal to run that business unless the king has sanctioned it. So, I go and supplicate before the king in his court, and he decides whether to give me the right to start that business.

Today we would say that’s bizarre. The voluntary transaction between two people is the very nature of freedom. The American Founders saw that denying people their freedom is fundamentally wrong because it doesn’t comport with the dignity of people who are created in the image of God. People have been endowed with certain inalienable rights. God gives us those rights; government does not.

Government is merely a tool. It provides a framework for ordered liberty so that free people can live fully flowering lives.

This is why Ronald Reagan said that the American Founders “brought about the only true revolution that has ever taken place in man’s history.” Previous revolutions “simply exchanged one set of rulers for another set of rulers,” Reagan said. But America’s Founders did something different: they developed and fought for “the idea that you and I have within ourselves the God-given right and the ability to determine our own destiny.”

Think about how the framers of the Constitution wrestled with whether to enumerate any rights. What’s the danger in enumerating rights? Your list will never be long enough. The Constitution actually doesn’t define any rights because the Constitution is the way that we give the government limited authority. All the powers that we don’t give to the government are rights that we still retain. Even when the framers came up with the first ten amendments to the Constitution as a Bill of Rights, they couldn’t decide on any one individual right to list first. They had to list five things in the First Amendment: religious liberty, freedom of speech, freedom of the press, freedom of assembly, and the right to redress grievances. Those five freedoms are all listed as first freedoms because there’s no way you can get the list complete.

And that is a crucial point to understand whenever you hear discussions of “limited government.” We talk about limited government not because we’re obsessed with government; we talk about it because we’re obsessed with the maximal nature of human freedom and human dignity and human potential. The American experience with limited government is not about government. It’s about people—about the dignity and the full lives that God envisioned for people created in his image. Limited government is just a means to that end.

That’s the American idea. And it has had unbelievable results.

America’s Civil Society

Even after the United States won independence from Great Britain, Europeans were too distracted by their own issues—the French Revolution, the Napoleonic Wars, and so on—to take much notice of the Americans. In fact, not until the conclusion of the War of 1812 did it become clear to Europe that the Americans would retain their freedom.

Then, beginning in the 1820s, America embarked on a market revolution as well as transportation and engineering revolutions. This is when Europeans really began to take notice: Who are these people, and how is all this economic flowering happening over there?

Alexis de Tocqueville comes to the new world in 1831 to try to answer such questions, to explain American dynamism to Europeans. What does he do? He goes to Washington, D.C., because if you have a vibrant society, it must be because you have greater bureaucrats than anyone else.

But when Tocqueville arrives in Washington, he finds a swamp. So he realizes he must go elsewhere to find the source of American innovation. He spends nine months traveling up and down the United States. Finally he writes back to Europe and says, I found the meaning of America. It is . . . the Rotary Club.

What Tocqueville found was America’s communal life. Americans had discovered new ways to associate with one another. Europeans wondered, how can you ever take on shared projects if the government isn’t in charge? Tocqueville saw that Americans had found the answer by building a robust civil society—intermediating institutions that struck the balance between the extremes of collectivism, which means that the government is in charge, and isolated individualism.

That’s what Democracy in America is about: the volunteer spirit of Americans who came together to create communal life. The American dynamism of the 1830s was just a working out of an idea that was clear to those who were drafting the Constitution a half century earlier, and that should still be our idea today.

The American Idea in Peril

But now that idea, the American idea, is in peril. Ronald Reagan recognized the importance—and the fragility—of the American idea when he said: “Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed down for them to do the same.”

Today we’re not doing a good job of fighting for or handing down the American idea. Think of President Barack Obama’s response when asked whether he believed in American exceptionalism: “I believe in American exceptionalism, just as I suspect that the Brits believe in British exceptionalism and the Greeks believe in Greek exceptionalism.” This is exactly the opposite of what American exceptionalism means.

Obama’s misunderstanding of American exceptionalism was deeply wedded with the philosophy that the Democratic National Committee followed throughout the 2012 election. The videos used to introduce the president on the campaign trail and celebrate his first term featured a troubling line from then-congressman Barney Frank: “Government is simply the name we give to the things we choose to do together.” That is an abandonment of the core American understanding of what government is. Remember, government is the tool by which we create a framework for ordered liberty; it guards the natural liberties of the people so they can go out and build flourishing lives.

That flourishing rests, of course, on individual rights, but as Tocqueville saw, individualism alone is not the answer. The American idea of freedom centers on civil society and mediating institutions, all those ways that we form real communities—communities of the heart and communities of the soul; communities of voluntarism, not of compulsory institutions.

We often hear that politics has become too polarized, and that characterization is a fair one when it comes to political elites and the nationally attentive. But I think our more fundamental crisis is a crisis of disengagement. We have so many people who have little understanding of what it means to transmit republican ideals to the next generation that we now see a drift toward the assumption that it is the government’s job is to solve every problem. The framers of the Constitution were quite clear about what governments do and don’t do, and about what powers and responsibilities reside at the federal level versus the state and local levels. But as a people we have lost that clarity.

Government is not “the name we give to the things we choose to do together.” No, as the Founders and Alexis de Tocqueville would have recognized, it is in coming together in voluntary communities outside the sphere of government—in civil society—that we get things done together.

We have big battles to fight to persuade people that the American idea is in crisis, because so many of our fellow citizens have never even heard what it is. To say that the solution to virtually every problem is a government solution, and especially a federal government solution, represents a regression from the American idea. The true greatness of America is the ability of people to build institutions together and to fully flower.

In the economy, in higher education, and in so many other fields, what we need at this moment is more innovation. We need more entrepreneurs. We need more civil society. We need more striving for independence, not more homogenization and standardization. We need to preserve and enhance the communities that have made America great, not seek to become more European in the way we embrace the future.

The full flowering of America has always depended on the private sector. The private sector isn’t just for-profit entities; the private sector includes all of civil society, all those mediating institutions that have defined Tocquevillian American greatness for two centuries.


Ben Sasse is a United States Senator representing Nebraska. Before his election to the Senate in 2014, he served as president of Midland University, where he turned around a failing institution and made it one of the fastest-growing colleges in America. Senator Sasse holds a bachelor’s degree from Harvard, a master’s degree from St. John’s College in Annapolis, and a PhD from Yale.

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What if Trump and Clinton Traded Places?

Academics Surprised by Restaged Clinton/Trump Debate

by John Sexton

Edited by Gospelbbq

This is fascinating. A professor of economics named Maria Guadalupe was watching the presidential debates last year and had a thought. What if Trump were a woman and Hillary were a man? How would that change people’s perceptions of the exchanges in the debates?

With the help of Joe Salvatore, a professor who specializes in something called ethno-drama, Guadalupe set up a recreation of sections of the original debates using actors to play the roles of Trump, Clinton and the moderator. All the words the actors spoke were taken from transcripts. The candidates’ body language and delivery were studied and the actors did their best to match it moment-to-moment to video feeds from the actual debates. The only difference was that Donald Trump was now a woman renamed Brenda King while Hillary was now a man dubbed Jonathan Gordon. A third actor played the moderator in the debates.” So they weren’t named Hillary and Trump. They were given totally different names, but the words uttered were identical — they were verbatim — except a woman played Trump and uttered what he had said and a man played Hillary and uttered what she said. And what they hoped to demonstrate was that the outrageousness and the folly and the stupidity of the things Trump said, those things, as spoken by a woman, would have seen him lose.  They wanted to establish that the reason Hillary lost was that she was a woman. “Gender bias.”  And so they actually hired actors who studied the debate, the exact lines, even the mannerisms, and then they reenacted the debates.

Initially, both Guadalupe and Salvatore had little doubt what the experiment would reveal, i.e. Trump’s behavior would never be tolerated coming from a woman while Clinton’s competence would be even more obvious coming from a man. But as rehearsals for the performance of the reimagined debates went on, Guadalupe and Salvatore were surprised by what they were feeling about the two candidates. It turned out the woman version of Trump seemed more likable than they had imagined. Salvatore told Guadalupe during rehearsals, “I kind of want to have a beer with her!”

As Rush noted, “They expected to demonstrate that the only reason Hillary lost was because of sexism. They wanted to demonstrate that, if a man had said what Hillary Clinton said, he would have won in a landslide. That a woman was uttering what Trump said was probably irrelevant to their experiment but they had to do it in order to complete the project. But the focus obviously was on trying to demonstrate (’cause it’s called “Her Opponent”) that what did-Hillary-in was this archaic, patriarchal, corrupt American society that values men and denigrates women.”

They wanted to prove it by having what Hillary said — which they thought was brilliant and relevant and sensitive. If a man said those things, he would have won in a landslide. And it turned out that they were as wrong as they could have been. They expected the audience — and the audience, by the way, was made up of people from the West Village in New York City. You can’t get more hardcore liberal than that. I mean, not even if you go to the Upper West Side.”  (Comment from

When the debate was actually performed, for a crowd of mostly academics, the audience was somewhat bewildered. From NYU News:

The two sold-out performances of Her Opponent took place on the night of Saturday, January 28, just a week after President Trump’s inauguration and the ensuing Women’s March on Washington…

Many were shocked to find that they couldn’t seem to find in Jonathan Gordon what they had admired in Hillary Clinton—or that Brenda King’s clever tactics seemed to shine in moments where they’d remembered Donald Trump flailing or lashing out. For those Clinton voters trying to make sense of the loss, it was by turns bewildering and instructive, raising as many questions about gender performance and effects of sexism as it answered.

In an interview with NYU News, Joe Salvatore described some of the specific reactions he heard from the audience:

We heard a lot of “now I understand how this happened”—meaning how Trump won the election. People got upset. There was a guy two rows in front of me who was literally holding his head in his hands, and the person with him was rubbing his back. The simplicity of Trump’s message became easier for people to hear when it was coming from a woman—that was a theme. One person said, “I’m just so struck by how precise Trump’s technique is.” Another—a musical theater composer, actually—said that Trump created “hummable lyrics,” while Clinton talked a lot, and everything she said was true and factual, but there was no “hook” to it.

Another theme was about not liking either candidate—you know, “I wouldn’t vote for either one.” Someone said that Jonathan Gordon [the male Hillary Clinton] was “really punchable” because of all the smiling. And a lot of people were just very surprised by the way it upended their expectations about what they thought they would feel or experience. There was someone who described Brenda King [the female Donald Trump] as his Jewish aunt who would take care of him, even though he might not like his aunt. Someone else described her as the middle school principal who you don’t like, but you know is doing good things for you.

Salvatore says it was personally an education for him as many members of his extended family had voted for Trump. “I developed empathy for people who voted for him by doing this project, which is not what I was expecting,” he told NYU News. He added, “I expected it to make me more angry at them, but it gave me an understanding of what they might have heard or experienced when he spoke.”


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