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All Articles For Editorial

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The apparent difficulty with Jesus’ words in Matthew 24:34 is that they seem to predict the end of the world in the lifetime of His disciples. He has been instructing the disciples concerning the destruction of Jerusalem and the end of the world (v. 3). He has just spoken of His visible, bodily coming in the clouds (v. 30). Then, in verse 34, He declares, “Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled.” In fact, of course, He did not return, nor did the world end, in the lifetime of the generation...

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The risk that an editor takes when he launches a series of editorials is that the series will be interrupted. Reasons for the interruption are varied — and sometimes compelling. The danger includes that the interruption will be extended for some time and several issues of the magazine.By the time the editor resumes the series, the reader has forgotten the earlier articles in the series. This danger with all its fullness has overtaken the editor of the Standard Bearer. In the January 15, 1995 SB appeared an editorial, “Jewish Dreams,” rejecting the earthly kingdom of postmillennialism as the hope of...

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Postmillennialism in the Reformed churches teaches the saints to expect an earthly victory in the future before the coming of Christ. The majority of the human race will be converted to Christ and added to the church. The world will be “Christianized.” Christians will govern all nations, controlling all aspects of national life. Christians will dominate whatever ungodly remain, punishing them for misbehavior and compelling them to obey the laws of God. There will be no great departure from the faith by Christian churches and professing Christians in the future. There will be no Antichrist and antichristian world-kingdom in the...

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It is the Reformed doctrine of the last things that the last days are a time of departure from the faith by many and a time of persecution of the true church by a wicked world. Apostasy and persecution characterize the entire age from Christ’s ascension to His second coming. They increase and intensify at the very end in connection with the coming of the Antichrist and the establishment of the universal kingdom of the beast. The Reformed faith repudiates the notion that the last days hold the prospect of the conversion of the majority of the human race so...

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The name by which the distinctively Reformed doctrine of the last things is known is “amillennialism.” This name derives from the 20th chapter of Revelation. Six times in verses 1-7 is mentioned a period of “a thousand years.” An angel binds Satan for “a thousand years” (vv. 1, 2). The result is that Satan cannot deceive the nations for “a thousand years” (v. 3). John sees certain souls living and reigning with Christ “a thousand years” (vv. 4, 6). The rest of the dead lived not again until the “thousand years” were finished (v. 5). When the “thousand years” expire,...

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Response to the editorial, “Jewish Dreams” (theStandard Bearer, Jan. 15, 1995), has made clear how deep and entrenched are the inroads of postmillennialism into Reformed circles. The editorial, written at the beginning of a new year, reminded Reformed Christians that our only hope, according to the Bible, is the second coming-of the Lord Jesus. It sketched in broad outline the traditional, creedal Reformed conception of the last days: abounding lawlessness; widespread apostasy; the Antichrist; and great tribulation for the true church. It gave a warning against the false hope that is known as postmillennialism, quoting a Reformed creed that condemned...

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* In the fall of 1989, I gave the address to the annual meeting of the Reformed Free Publishing Association, publisher of the Standard Bearer. This was my first address to the parent body as editor of the magazine—my “inaugural address.” The group instructed me to publish the speech in the SB. Belatedly, I now obey the order. I have, however, taken the liberty to revise the speech, significantly so in places, as those who heard the speech will discover when they read especially the last two installments. There will be four installments in this series of editorials. We will do our...

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(The preceding editorial in this series noted that there is an illicit holding of tradition. One form is that of the Roman Catholic Church. Another form is that condemned by Jesus in the Pharisees. This article picks up the subject at this point.—Ed.) Now the ministry of Paul, great apostle of freedom, was unrelenting warfare against this legalistic holding of the traditions, against what he calls, in Galatians 1:14, “the traditions of my fathers.” This makes it all the more striking that he commands believers to “hold the traditions.” This is what this most determined enemy of illegitimate tradition does in II...

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(The previous editorial closed by contending that a living, genuine holding of the traditions fakes place only in the way of our constant, free interpretation of the Bible. The church holds fast what has been handed over to her by going back to Scripture.—Ed.) When this free interpretation of Scripture goes on, it is possible that the tradition that has come down to a Reformed church is both corrected and developed. Holding the traditions is not a static activity. It is not the same as preserving a family heirloom. We ‘may not hold the traditions as the servant of Luke 19 kept...

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(Holding the traditions of the Reformed faith in no way rules out the possibility of further development of the truth. In this concluding installment of the four-part series, I guard against a stagnant view of our calling to hold the traditions and contend for the liberty in the churches that a healthy holding of the traditions requires.—Ed.) We are called to hold the traditions. This is the apostle’s command in II Thessalonians 2:15. For those who are Reformed at the close of the 20th century, this command takes on urgency from the wholesale abandonment of the historic, creedal Reformed faith by...

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