Wednesday, January 31, 2007

We have turned our attention here on Semper Reformanda to the topic of the Second Advent of Christ. As we said last time, we are going to focus not on the sensational, the conspiracy or the conjecture…just the facts…which are deep and rich, exciting and frightening.

Frightening? Indeed. Startling, astonishing, surprising, shocking, astounding and upsetting are all words that can be used to describe the images set forth about this topic in the Bible. The Second Advent of Christ will be a day of wrath, violence, death and conquest. When read in context and really pondered upon the Second Advent of Christ is truly stunning in its scope.

The reason of course that we are so stunned by these images is because we generally lack an appreciation or understanding that God has hatred. God hates. Did you know that? It’s true.

“For I, the LORD, love justice; I hate robbery and iniquity.” Isaiah 61:8 niv

“You are not a God who takes pleasure in evil; with you the wicked cannot dwell. The arrogant cannot stand in your presence; you hate all who do wrong. You destroy those who tell lies; bloodthirsty and deceitful men the LORD abhors.” Psalm 5:4-6 niv


In 1741, the great reformed preacher Jonathan Edwards preached a message that sent shock waves across this country and ultimately the world. So thoroughly shaken was the congregation when he first preached this sermon that there broke out screaming and wailing…in a reformed church! The people began clinging to the building columns and chair rails…anything solid…because the congregation suddenly fell into a state of panic and paranoia…fearing that the floor they stood on would at any time open up and swallow them into the pits of hell! The sermon was titled: Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God. Here is an excerpt… “There is nothing that keeps wicked men at any moment out of hell, but the mere pleasure of God… Hell, the very expression of divine wrath, is prepared; the fire is made ready; the furnace is hot now; the flames do now rage and glow… unconverted men walk over the pit of hell on a rotten covering, and there are innumerable places in this covering so weak that they will not bear their weight, and these places are not seen.''

Needless to say…this kind of preaching is basically unheard of today. Do you want to know what else is unheard of today? Wide spread revival. And of those rare pockets where such proclamation is made…it will be seldom proclaimed in a culturally relevant way. In Edwards’s day, his message was both bold and delivered in a relevant way…and revival broke out….hmmm…a bold and confrontational message delivered in a relevant way…hmmm…

Obviously since we hear so little about the wrath of God upon the unconverted and unrepentant it is no real surprise that we have lost almost the entire concept that Christ is furious with “the nations” and that He is going to return to earth and destroy them, physically, utterly and violently.

Then I saw the beast and the kings of the earth and their armies gathered together to make war against the rider on the horse and his army. But the beast was captured, and with him the false prophet who had performed the miraculous signs on his behalf. With these signs he had deluded those who had received the mark of the beast and worshiped his image. The two of them were thrown alive into the fiery lake of burning sulfur. The rest of them were killed with the sword that came out of the mouth of the rider on the horse, and all the birds gorged themselves on their flesh. Revelation 19:19-21 niv

Let me attempt to tie all this together. Why is it that we water down our message and proclamation? So many preachers and teachers do all that they can do to remove the teeth from the message! How foolish it is of us to think that we can tweak the message and make it more palpable! How foolish! Look here in Revelation 19…when the kings of the earth and their armies see Christ, physically and with their own eyes…they will not fall down and repent, they will not call out for mercy…they will not see the error of their ways and suddenly realize that they have been wrong all along! No! They will raise their weapons skyward! They will, in one ultimate act of defiance and rebellion, attempt to “make war” against Christ and His kingdom! Ponder that! The world hates our message because the world hates Christ! Our manipulation of the message can not and will not change that my friend!

The nations hate Christ. The nations have always hated Christ. The nations will continue to hate Christ until the great and terrible day of the Lord…on that day…there will be no more unbelievers...just unbridled Christ haters.


Anonymous said...

You're comin' pretty close.

Keep up the good work. :0)

irreverend fox said...


I don't understand what you mean by "you're comin' pretty close"...I don't get it...but "thanks" I

Anonymous said...

you don't hold anything back is what I tell it like it is and the way it should be.