INTRODUCTION: God’s purpose for this age is not to create an earthly utopia, as taught by the Reconstructionists and other Amillennialists. However, that does not mean that our outlook is pessimistic. It is pessimistic only if we keep our eyes on the world.
- TO FILL UP THE CUP OF JUDGMENT
- The Example of the Amorites (Genesis 15:13-16)
- The Fullness of the Gentiles (Romans 11:19-25; Luke 21:24)
- The Coming Day of Wrath (Revelation 6:12-17)
- TO PRESERVE THE JEWISH PEOPLE
- A Remnant to be Saved (Romans 9:27-29)
- All Israel to be Saved (Romans 11:25-29)
- They Must Therefore be Preserved (Revelation 7:4)
- TO TAKE OUT A PEOPLE FOR HIS NAME
- The Declaration of Peter (Acts 15:14-17)
- The Commission of Christ (Matthew 28:18-20)
- The Motivating Force of Paul (Romans 15:20-24; 2 Corinthians 10:14-16)
- TO PURIFY A PECULIAR PEOPLE
- A People unto Himself (Titus 2:14)
- A Race of Overcomers (1 John 4:4; 1 John 5:4-5)
- A Glorious Church Without Spot or Wrinkle (Ephesians 5:25-27)
- TO BRING GLORY TO HIMSELF
- By the Grace of His Acceptance (Ephesians 1:5-6)
- By the Gospel of our Salvation (Ephesians 1:10-12)
- By the Gift of His Inheritance (Ephesians 1:13-14; 1 Corinthians 4:5)
CONCLUSION: Passing Time on a Temporary Stage – John Newton, writer of the hymn “Amazing Grace,” gave this illustration: “I sometimes compare this earth to a temporary gallery or stage, erected for all the heirs of glory to pass over, that they may join in the coronation of the Great King; a solemnity in which they shall not be mere spectators, but deeply interested parties; for he is their husband, their Lord; they bear his name, and shall share in all his honours. Righteous Abel led the van;--the procession has been sometimes broader; sometimes narrowed to almost a single person, as in the days of Noah. After many generations had successively entered and disappeared, the King himself passed on in person, preceded by one chosen harbinger: he received many insults on his passage; but he bore all for the sake of those he loved, and entered triumphant into his glory.
“He was followed by twelve faithful servants, and after them the procession became wider than ever. There are many yet unborn who must (as we do now) tread in the steps of those gone before; and when the whole company is arrived, the stage shall be taken down and burnt.
from The Works of John Newton: Volume 1 (page 318).