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].

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