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Thread: Am I the only one thinking "Where next?"

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    Am I the only one thinking "Where next?"

    It is commonly held that there has been something of a resurgence of interest and belief in the Doctrines of Grace, so-called “Calvinism” and the sovereignty of God in the last few decades. If anything this interest would appear to be increasing even more in the last few years as use of the Internet, offering excellent resources to the earnest enquirer, has, at least in ‘western’ countries, become almost ubiquitous. Never before in history has such a wealth of information (both good and bad) been available to ordinary folk to aid us in our studies. I believe Discussion Forums such as this one have also played a key role. Christians are more likely to encounter views which differ from their own via the internet than in their local church and this can lead people to look again at what they have previously accepted without question. I think there is growing recognition of the need to examine both historical dogma and the teaching of modern leaders rather than simply accepting all that we are fed: to be better ‘Bereans’ examining the scriptures for ourselves to see if things be true. This can surely only be a good thing which we would hope leads to greater light, understanding and unity amongst God's people. Of course, exciting though this may be, it must be set against a backdrop of three concurrent trends:
    1. A decline in the traditional denominations or the traditional way of doing things replaced by a rise in the ‘Charismatic’ movement which in many ways effectively discourages and suppresses the ‘Berean’ attitude and drives ever onward towards universalism, self-gratification (through both its synergism and experience-seeking), acceptance of ‘alternate’ lifestyles and other politically-correct worldly nonsense.
    2. A world degenerating ever further into a cess pool of its own making with its mantras of tolerance, greed and lust. As the predominant Charismatic/Arminian church has sought ways to make the gospel more palatable to the ‘post-modern’ world, that world seems only to be heading in a direction which those 'churches' think requires them to make ever more compromises away from the true gospel. I hope for a day when those amongst God’s Elect who have been deceived by all this will awaken from their slumber! Sadly, I fear things will degenerate further before this would happen. I see increasing persecution coming for those who will not compromise but hopefully this will lead to people being forced to get off the fence upon which they have comfortably sat for so long. Am I alone in thinking this way or is this a view shared by others?
    3. Perhaps stranger still (in the ‘curious’ rather than the ‘weird’ sense), is that, new heresies and old ones in new ‘skins’ have gained much ground in ‘reformed’ circles of late such as the "new perspective" on Paul and particularly the all-too-common mix of what could be described as neo-Amyraldianism and neo-Barthianism pushed by the BoT with its paradox theology, well meant offer, denial of the doctrine of reprobation, etc which surely must ultimately lead to free-willism?

    Is this just how it is - “there’s nothing new under the Sun” - or is it all leading somewhere? Of course its all part of God’s mysterious plan serving His purposes but is that it? Do we, His servants, have no sense of Him revealing to us how He will act? Am I alone in looking ahead like this and I’d be better off applying for a job on TBN? Or does anyone else wonder about these things?

    One or two notable posters here, in speaking of the preparation of the bride for the wedding feast, have expressed the view that we are so far off the necessary unity in the bride that it could be thousands of years away. But surely God could just as easily choose to act rapidly? Did not great things happen in the space of a few years in the original reformation? Could there not be a new reformation? Surely we stand in need of one? Certainly, we who call ourselves ‘reformed’ and believe ourselves to be the only ones upholding the true Gospel, stand in need of reconciliation over the many doctrines that unnecessarily divide. But will this ever happen? Must it really take thousands of years? Perhaps a time of widespread persecution might hasten such a day. If persecution be appointed by the Lord for His people then so be it but O that we could have reformation and great things wrought by God amongst us in our day and a harvest of the Elect from amongst this sin-captivated world - even in our day!

    For the glory of God and of Jesus Christ! Amen!

    Martin

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    Re: Am I the only one thinking "Where next?"

    I greatly enjoy the amount of information that is now available on the internet. But it also brings in the problem that some think it is unnecessary to go to church because they can go to an on-line church service. This is also destructive to the body. They stand outside criticizing everything the church is doing but not doing anything positive to correct the situation. Meanwhile they deteriorate spiritually, often coming to bizarre interpretations and have nobody else around to correct them.
    For whatever strength of arm he may have who swims in the open sea, yet in time he is carried away and sunk, mastered by the greatness of its waves. Need then there is that we be in the ship, that is, that we be carried in the wood, that we may be able to cross this sea. Now this Wood in which our weakness is carried is the Cross of the Lord, by which we are signed, and delivered from the dangerous tempests of this world.--St. Augustine

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    Re: Am I the only one thinking "Where next?"

    Although if any reformation happens it will only by God’s grace and not because of external events I believe that we could be heading rapidly toward a new reformation we might even already be in it. All the ingredients are there. More knowledge available to the common man the feeling that we have been lied to and that the old wine skins are about to burst. The fact that business as usual just doesn’t satisfy like it used to.
    The time between Christ’s resurrection and Constantine’s “conversion” was very similar to today, the Roman Empire with its bandit free roadways and sea travel along with the invention of the codex book allowed for free exchange of ideas on an unheard of till then scale. New ideas were everywhere the old religions no longer worked something had to give.
    Also the Reformation with it’s printing press and newly stable nation states made it imposable for the powers that be to put the genie back in the bottle no matter how much they would have liked to. Change was coming it was only a question of when.
    The Puritan reformation was fore shadowed by a huge up tick in literacy and the availability of newly cheap Bibles so the common man could read it for himself and not rely on what the clergy told them. Can you see a repeating pattern?
    All the reformations that I know about included both the renewal of interest in the Gospel and the rise of heresies. Think about it with the Reformers came the Munster nuts with the Puritans came Quakers. With the Great Awakening you got Whitfield and Edwards but also Wesley. Again see a pattern?
    The thing that we in the west seem to be missing this time so far is real persecution. We get laughed at and cry foul. We are shocked when we hear of a Christian loosing his job for proclaiming the Gospel.
    I’m afraid we’ll see Christians in prison and dead before the new reformation takes root.
    Could it all happen rapidly? You bet. Another pattern you see in history is a long build up followed by a sudden drastic change. I believe the Bible predicts the last and greatest reformation will be both sudden and drastic.

    Rev16:17The seventh poured out his bowl into the air. A loud voice came forth out of the temple of heaven, from the throne, saying, "It is done!" 16:18There were lightnings, sounds, and thunders; and there was a great earthquake, such as was not since there were men on the earth, so great an earthquake, so mighty. 16:19The great city was divided into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell. Babylon the great was remembered in the sight of God, to give to her the cup of the wine of the fierceness of his wrath. 16:20Every island fled away, and the mountains were not found. 16:21Great hailstones, about the weight of a talent, came down out of the sky on people. People blasphemed God because of the plague of the hail, for this plague is exceedingly severe.

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