American Independence Day

Today, American Independence Day, reminds us of ‘no taxation without representation’.  This was the principle on which the American War of Independence was fought.

It was not simply a desire for independence, but a revolt against undemocratic control.

Another blow for freedom was struck exactly 200 years later on 4/7/1976, when the Israel Defence Forces stunned the world by the iconic rescue of Israeli hostages at Entebbe Airport, Uganda.  The new state of Israel showed the world what it could do. Shortly afterwards, in the Iranian hostage crisis of 1979, the Americans bungled a similar rescue of Americans held hostage in Iran when two of its helicopters crashed into each other in the desert.

Between 4/7/1776  and 4/7/1976 the world had changed dramatically.  The USA has become the world’s dominant power and, of biblical significance, the state of Israel has come into being.  The greatest advances have been in science and technology, and the worse changes have been the ungodly abandoning of Christianity, leading to the two world wars and horrors of the 20th century with massive slaughters promoted by atheistic regimes, notably in Russia and China.

However, in the realm of governmental democracy, celebrated by American Independence Day, it is pleasing to note that while there were only 11 democracies in the world in 1941, in 2017 there are about 123 democracies out of 192 countries in the world.

This governmental shift is consistent with the biblical teaching on the change in governmental principles that will be evident in the Millennial period of human history.  Christ’s mandate for the world is on target – “Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done on earth, as it is in heaven” Mat 6:10.

 

 

The majority of mankind will be saved

It is not uncommon to hear the depressing and unbiblical doctrine that only a minority of the human family will arrive in heaven.

Various biblical texts are wrongly used to support this unbiblical idea.

  1. Jesus was asked: “Are there few that be saved?” Lk 13:23.  Jesus replied with neither Yes nor No to this, but that many would be too late, out of complacency, and to make sure that you are not among them.
  2. Jesus said: “Narrow is the way which leads to life, and few there be that find it” Mat 7:14.  However, Jesus does not say that there will always be few.  There were few in His day, and there may be few in your locality, but it is not always so.
  3. “A remnant shall be saved” Rom 9:27.  Paul wrote this in the context of there being many unbelieving Jews in his day.  It will not always be so.  Paul was dealing with the small number of Jews in his day who believed in Jesus as the Messiah  by showing that it was predicted by Old Testament Scripture.  This is not a comment on the whole number of the saved.
  4. Jesus said: “Fear not, little flock” Lk 12:32.  The disciples were a little flock in Christ’s day, but He went on to say, “it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.”  The little flock is not a comment on the whole number of the saved.
  5. Jesus said: “When the Son of man comes, shall He find faith on the earth?”  Lk 18:8.  This is commonly misinterpreted to mean that the world will get worse and worse and so the Christian church will always be in the minority.   Rather, Jesus is speaking about the international apostacy at the end of the world after the Millennium – see Rev 20:7-8 – so that Jesus will then come quickly on the last day Jn 6:39,40,44,54 and Jn 12:48 to judge mankind.  So Lk 18:8 is not a comment on the whole number of the saved.

The Bible teaches the opposite of this depressing doctrine.

  1. Believers inherit a kingdom Lk 12:32, whereas the devil and his hordes are consigned to a pit Rev 20:3 and then a lake of fire Rev 20:10 and Mat 25:41.  “In My Father’s house are many mansions.” Jn 14:2.
  2. There is an innumerable number of saved human beings already in heaven Rev 7:9.
  3. Even the majority of angels are on Christ’s side Rev 12:4.
  4. World population is growing exponentially and there have been more human beings living on Earth in the 20th century than in all previous centuries put together.   In the Millennium Rev 20:2-7, the kingdoms of this world will “become the kingdoms of our Lord and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever” Rev 11:15.  This Millennium will be more than enough time for the Lord’s people to outnumber the ungodly on Earth.
  5. It is possible and even probable that untold numbers of babies miscarrying in the womb, and infants dying in infancy, have arrived in heaven.  See Charles Haddon Spurgeon’s sermon on 2Kings 4:26, who supports this view in spite of his two unbiblical comments against infant baptism.  A more definitive treatment of the subject is The Theology of Infant Salvation by R. A. Webb, 1907, reprinted by Sprinkle, 1981.
  6. Jesus will have the majority at last: “And He is the head of the body, the church: Who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things He might have the preeminence” Col 1:18.  Jesus will not be beaten by the devil and his hordes.  Jesus is a winner, not a loser.  “None of them is lost, but the son of perdition; that the scripture might be fulfilled” Jn 17:12.

The ungodly will find themselves belonging to a minority of losers, on the wrong side of history, to their everlasting shame and dismay, while the godly will inherit the kingdom prepared for them from the foundation of the world Mat 25:34.

The ungodly are hazarding this gift of eternal life through their supercilious unbelief.  Jesus challenges them: “If I say the truth, why do you not believe Me?” Jn 8:46.  Jesus invites them to examine themselves and to look at themselves in the mirror.

New pope of Rome answers questions

I used to say that the pope of Rome never answers questions, and is not accountable to others.

At least, he now answers questions.

During the resignation of Ratzinger from the Roman papacy, the discussion on BBC Scotland asked the question whether the job was too much for one man. A papal advisor, Professor John Haldane of the University of St Andrews, suggested that some parts of the papal office may be split off from the Roman papacy. Another question asked if it was the beginning of the end of the Roman papacy. This was too much for Haldane, who denied that such a thing was possible. His Roman theology was very likely clouding his reading of Scripture and providence.

This may be the beginning of the unravelling of the Roman papacy. It is happening on cue, just in time for the Millennial advent. However, the international commission which will sit in judgment on the papacy Dan 7:26 has yet to be established. The openness of the internet era led to the collapse of the Soviet Union and the Roman papacy will not be far behind. The exposure of Ratzinger’s involvement in covering up paedophile priests was shown by BBC 4 on 10 June 2013, which along with “the murky world of Vatican finances“, have been reasons postulated for Ratzinger’s sudden and unexpected resignation. The Black Pope resigned not so long before this.

It is possible that we have witnessed the last pope of Rome to die in office. If Ratzinger does not die as the pope of Rome, does he die as an ordinary Roman Catholic? If future popes of Rome resign before death, although death in office is always possible, we may be witnessing the beginning of the end of the Roman papacy.

7/4/2012: Questions and answers in congregational life.

2012: Mea Maxima Culpa documentary.

10/6/2013 BBC Four: “Maxima Culpa: exposing the abuse of power in the Roman Catholic church and the cover-up that winds its way from Wisconsin, through Ireland, to the Vatican.” It was a hard-hitting exposure of the Vatican’s cover-up.