The Real Hope of the Reformed Believer: Christ’s Personal Return & Reign – D.J.Engelsma

StandardBearerAnother excellent article I read yesterday came from the June 2013 issue of The Standard Bearer, a Reformed periodical published by the RFPA (publisher of good books too!). As part of a lengthy series on “The Reformed (Amillennial) Critique of Postmillennialism” (I see another book coming!), Engelsma is contrasting the true hope of the Reformed believer from the false hope of the postmillennialist – at the very heart: the return of the Lord Jesus. Pointing out that the “postmills” “shove His coming into the distant future – so far into the future as to make that remote coming an unreality”, Engelsma then shows what is and must be the Christian’s real hope:

Quite different from the postmillennialists is the Reformed believer. With the saints of all ages, he lives in the eager anticipation of the second coming of King Jesus. Rather than contentedly to shove the second coming into the far distant future – perhaps a ‘million years’ – he prays daily, ‘Even so, come, Lord Jesus’ (Rev.22:20). And this prayer is his response to Jesus’ assurance to the church, ‘Surely I come quickly. Amen’ (Rev.22:20).

Radically different from the will of the postmillennialists that desires the glory of the reigning saints during the fulfillment of the Messianic kingdom is the will of God. God wills the glory of the personally ruling Messiah. During the ‘days’ that Messiah has ‘dominion also from sea to sea, and from the river unto the ends of the earth’, it will be He Himself who has this dominion. All will ‘fall down before him: all nations shall serve him.’ ‘To him shall be given of the gold of Sheba’ (Ps.72:8-15).

In the coming kingdom that Scripture proclaims, not the saints, much less the saints in the absence of Jesus, but Jesus Christ Himself will be the powerful, glorious king. And the saints would have it so. ‘When the Son of man shall come in his glory… then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory(Matt.25:31). ‘The Lord Jesus shall be revealed…[in] the glory of his power; when he shall come to be glorified in the saints, and to be admired in all them that believe’ (II Thess.1:7-10) [p.398].

July “Tabletalk”: “The Heart of Words” – Burk Parsons

The Heart of Words by Burk Parsons | Reformed Theology Articles at

TTJuly2013Even though the July issue of Tabletalk has been out for a week, in which time I have been using the daily devotions on Jeremiah, yesterday was the first day I looked at the theme and read some of the featured articles. So today we begin to introduce this issue. And, judging from what I have seen and read so far, once again it looks to be a fine issue.

The theme this month is on the use of our words, hence the theme of the issue (“Out of the Abundance of the Heart”) and the title of the editor’s article above (“The Heart of Words”). That makes this a very practical issue, and yet, in typical “TT” form, a solid Reformed and Biblical doctrinal foundation is also laid for this subject.

Editor Burk Parson’s introductory article is a case in point. I reference that today and encourage you to follow up and read the other main articles which are available online at this time. I also recommend Dr.R.C. Sproul’s leading article on “The Judgment of Charity”. Below is a start to Parson’s introduction; take the link above to read the rest.

Words are powerful. They transform lives and make history. They birth nations and topple empires. They make peace and fuel wars. They make covenants in marriage and wound those we most cherish. They change hearts and give news of eternal life by the power of the Holy Spirit. Words are foundational to everything we think, do, and say in all of life. Nevertheless, words are not ends in themselves. Words exist because God spoke them into existence that He might communicate with us. He spoke the world into existence and has graciously spoken to us in His sacred Word. When He created us in His image, He gave us the gift of speech in order that we might commune with Him in prayer, fellowship with one another, hear and preach the life-giving gospel, train our children in the way they should go, and open our lips that we might proclaim His praises.

However, we have abused God’s gift. Rather than praising God, we take His name in vain. Rather than building up one another, we flatter, gossip, and slander. Rather than speaking the truth in love, we hide the truth under a basket. Rather than patiently training our children, we yell at them. And as James says, with our tongue, “we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse people who are made in the likeness of God. From the same mouth come blessing and cursing” (James 3:9–10). We are called to love the Lord our God with all of our heart and to love our neighbor as ourselves. One way we practice such love is through our words, not only what we say, but what we don’t say. Nevertheless, what comes out of our mouths isn’t the real problem. Our fundamental problem isn’t a tongue problem, it’s a heart problem.