King's Business - 1920-03

Is a Pre-millennialist a Pessimist? Some Timely Thoughts in “ The London Christian” BY REV. W. S. HOOTON

T HAS sometimes been ob­ jected that it is very pessi­ mistic to point to the growth of evil and error of various kinds, in the Church and in the world, as indicat­ ing that there is every prob­

we are already within sight of a glori­ ous reversal. The prophecies of degen­ eracy, both in the Church and in the world, which occupy so formidable a place in Scripture, are for a limited pe­ riod. Equally plain are those which fore­ tell that the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea, and which show that His sway shall be owned from pole to pole till all His foes are made His footstool. And, moreover, this glorious triumph of the Kingdom of Christ is much more ex­ tensive and prolonged than any appar­ ent preliminary set-back. In one way or another, that Kingdom will become universal, and it will never end. We are passing through the period of de-' generacy and, decay. But that— though naturally depressing while it lasts— is actually in itself the greatest ground for optimistic expectation! The very fact that God’s, warnings are being so obviously fulfilled, is a powerful assur­ ance to faith that His promises also will not fail. And while there is every rea­ son to avoid the fixing of exact dates, yet it is right to observe the indications of Scripture that the culminating riot of sin and false teaching will not be too greatly prolonged; and that when it comes to pass (as at least it seems prob­ able it is already coming to pass) the day of deliverance and victory .is not far away. But we must not think alone of the answer to be given to, the objectors. There is a Special reason why all of us should ponder1these things. It is to be feared we sometimes give them ground for saying we are pessimistic. Too often we ourselves tell less than half the story! Perhaps we meet somebody

ability that such a state of things will in these days grow worse rather than better. Nor do those who make this charge appear to be moved from their view by the reminder that the predic­ tions of Scripture support such an ex­ pectation. “ Do you really think the world is growing worse? Why, that is a confession of unbelief in the trans­ forming power of Christianity itself! What benefit does the religion of Christ confer upon mankind, if we have to con­ fess that things are getting worse and worse, and the world is wandering ever farther from God?” Such questions are probably often asked still, in spite of accumulated evi­ dence as the years go by. And they are asked, not only by people who would desire to turn such a condition of af­ fairs to the discredit of the Gospel, but by sincere believers who are anxious not to discredit the Gospel by what appears to them a compromising confession. It is not difficult to show where their mistake lies. Clearly as Scripture does indicate a riot of apostasy and ungod­ liness in the latter days, and plain as the facts are which confirm such pre­ dictions under our very eyes, this is less than half the story. The Word of God never points to such a state of things as final, or even of too long con­ tinuance. That would indeed be a stumbling-block to faith. The trutn is that, when these things come to pass,

Made with FlippingBook - Online magazine maker