MOCKERS IN THE HOUSE OF GOD

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But, beloved, remember ye the words which were spoken before of the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ; How that they told you there should be mockers in the last time, who should walk after their own ungodly lusts. These be they who separate themselves, sensual, having not the Spirit.
(Jude 1:17-19 KJV)

My text tonight is found in Jude 1:17-19. I want to speak to you by the power of God’s Spirit about MOCKERS IN THE HOUSE OF GOD, and issue an imperative call to steadfastness in the faith of the gospel.

We are living in what the Word of God speaks of as “the last days.” The Scriptures clearly identify “the last days” as those days that began with our Savior’s incarnation and end with his second coming. It is my opinion that we are probably living in the latter portion of “the last days,” the very end of time. I say that because it is obvious that Satan has been loosed upon the earth to deceive the nations again.

The spirit of antichrist is so thick in this generation of free-will/works religion that you can cut it with a knife. It seems to me that the time of great apostasy has come that Paul told us must come before Christ comes again in 2nd Thessalonians 2.

  • The restraining hand of God’s Spirit, by which satanic delusions were somewhat held in check in days of old, has been taken away.
  • And God has sent this reprobate generation a strong delusion “that they should believe a lie: that they might all be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.”

How thankful we ought to be for God’s great electing love and preserving grace, by which we have been and are preserved from the delusions of Arminian, free-will, works religion! The only reason we have not fallen for Satan’s lies is the fact that we are “sanctified by God the Father, and preserved in Jesus Christ, and called.” Therefore we are called to steadfastness (2 Thess. 2:13-15; Jude 1:17-19).

(2 Thessalonians 2:13-15)  “But we are bound to give thanks alway to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth: (14) Whereunto he called you by our gospel, to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. (15) Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle.”

Now, look at our text. Jude calls us to this same steadfastness in these dark, dark days. How are we to react to the increasing apostasy around us? What are we to do in the midst of this reprobate age of Arminian, free-will, works religion? Many answers could be given to those questions from the Word of God. Here is the answer God the Holy Spirit gives us by the pen of his servant Jude…

(Jude 1:17-19)  “But, beloved, remember ye the words which were spoken before of the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ; (18) How that they told you there should be mockers in the last time, who should walk after their own ungodly lusts. (19) These be they who separate themselves, sensual, having not the Spirit.”

Jude has shown us the history and definition of apostasy, and has given examples of it. He has warned us to be prepared for it, and urges us fight against it, “to earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.”

  • No Savior by Christ!
  • No Atonement but His Blood!
  • No Righteousness but His Righteousness!
  • No Salvation but by Grace!
  • No Source of Doctrine but the Word of God!

Proposition: Here, Jude calls for us to remember the Word of God, because it is the Word of God that gives us stability in the midst of an unceasing onslaught of heresy.

REMEMBER

(Jude 1:17)  “But, beloved, remember ye the words which were spoken before of the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ;”

But” — That little contraction is very important. Jude has given us warnings concerning terrible things, great dangers, and horrible ungodliness. “But,” he says, these are things about which we have been warned repeatedly in the Word of God, and warned repeatedly by “the Apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

Look at the next word in our text — “Beloved.” What a great, sweet, assuring, encouraging word that is! Jude addresses all who believe as people “beloved.

  • Beloved of the Triune God!
  • Beloved of God’s Servant!
  • Beloved of One Another!

He calls us “beloved” to distinguish us from the apostates he has been describing and to assure us that being “sanctified by God the Father, and preserved in Jesus Christ, and called,” we shall never be condemned with the wicked.

  • He who sanctified us will never “desanctify” us!
  • He who has preserved us will yet preserve us!
  • He who called us will never repent!

As we are subjected to the great swelling words of blustering heresy, Jude says, — Ignore them and remember what God the Holy Spirit, by his inspired Apostles, has told you in his Word. — If we would stand firm in these days, if we would not be shaken by every wind of doctrine, we must be familiar with and have fixed in our hearts and minds the Word of God. Instability comes when we forget that which God has taught us in his Word.

One great benefit of adhering ourselves to the preaching of the gospel is the stability it gives to our lives.

(Psalms 119:11)  “Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.”

(Psalms 119:105)  “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.”

(Jeremiah 3:15)  “And I will give you pastors according to mine heart, which shall feed you with knowledge and understanding.”

(Ephesians 4:11-16)  “And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; (12) For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: (13) Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ: (14) That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; (15) But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ: (16) From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.”

(Philippians 3:1-3)  “Finally, my brethren, rejoice in the Lord. To write the same things to you, to me indeed is not grievous, but for you it is safe. (2)Beware of dogs, beware of evil workers, beware of the concision. (3) For we are the circumcision, which worship God in the spirit, and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh.”

(2 Peter 1:12)  “Wherefore I will not be negligent to put you always in remembrance of these things, though ye know them, and be established in the present truth.”

(2 Peter 1:15)  “Moreover I will endeavour that ye may be able after my decease to have these things always in remembrance.”

(1 Timothy 4:1-2)  “Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; (2) Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron.”

Paul is telling us that when these men speak lies their consciences do not even bother them, because their consciences are seared with a hot iron. Read on…

(1 Timothy 4:3-6)  “Forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth. (4) For every creature of God is good, and nothing to be refused, if it be received with thanksgiving: (5) For it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer. (6) If thou put the brethren in remembrance of these things, thou shalt be a good minister of Jesus Christ, nourished up in the words of faith and of good doctrine, whereunto thou hast attained.”

(2 Timothy 4:1-4)  “I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom; (2) Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. (3) For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; (4) And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.”

That which Jude writes is in complete agreement with Peter and Paul. Indeed, every faithful gospel preacher warns those who hear him against false religion and false prophets. It is imperative that we remember these warnings of Holy Scripture.

The word “remember” in our text is in the imperative mood. Jude is saying, Whatever false prophets may do and say, do not be deceived, by them. No matter how popular their doctrine becomes, hold on to the revelation of God that has been authored by the Apostles of our Lord. That is the only security that you have against false doctrine.

(Hebrews 2:1-4)  “Therefore we ought to give the more earnest heed to the things which we have heard, lest at any time we should let them slip. (2)For if the word spoken by angels was stedfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just recompense of reward; (3) How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation; which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard him; (4) God also bearing them witness, both with signs and wonders, and with divers miracles, and gifts of the Holy Ghost, according to his own will?”

(2 Peter 3:17-18)  “Ye therefore, beloved, seeing ye know these things before, beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own stedfastness. (18) But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever.”

THE WARNINGS

Jude tells us that it is imperative for us to “remember the words which were spoken to us by the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ.” Let’s look at some more of those words to which he refers, and ask God the Holy Spirit to write them upon our hearts.

(Acts 20:28-30)  “Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood. (29) For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. (30) Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them.”

(2 Corinthians 11:13-15)  “For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. (14) And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. (15) Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.”

(Colossians 2:4-5)  “And this I say, lest any man should beguile you with enticing words. (5) For though I be absent in the flesh, yet am I with you in the spirit, joying and beholding your order, and the stedfastness of your faith in Christ.”

(1 Timothy 6:20-21)  “O Timothy, keep that which is committed to thy trust, avoiding profane and vain babblings, and oppositions of science falsely so called: (21) Which some professing have erred concerning the faith. Grace be with thee. Amen.”

(2 Timothy 3:1)  “This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.”

(2 Timothy 3:5)  “Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.”

(2 Timothy 3:8-9)  “Now as Jannes and Jambres withstood Moses, so do these also resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, reprobate concerning the faith. (9) But they shall proceed no further: for their folly shall be manifest unto all men, as theirs also was.”

(1 John 2:18-19)  “Little children, it is the last time: and as ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time. (19) They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us: but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us.”

(2 John 1:7)  “For many deceivers are entered into the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist.”

NO HARM

And be sure you remember these words of the Apostle Paul. The apostasy of antichrist and the influence of antichrist will cause no harm in God’s church and kingdom. The gates of hell shall not prevail against the church of the living God!

(1 Corinthians 11:19)  “For there must be also heresies among you, that they which are approved may be made manifest among you.”

If the Word of God has warned us about these things, we ought not be surprised that they have come to pass; and we ought to be sensible enough not to be shaken by them. In verses 18 and 19, Jude describes these mockers in God’s house in scathing terms.

(Jude 1:18-19)  “How that they told you there should be mockers in the last time, who should walk after their own ungodly lusts. (19) These be they who separate themselves, sensual, having not the Spirit.”

MOCKERS

First, he tells us that all who, by their doctrines of free-will, works religion, “turn the grace of our God into lasciviousness, denying the only Lord God and our Lord Jesus Christ,” are “mockers…who walk after their own lusts.” False prophets are mockers (scoffers) in the pulpit who deceive others regarding the truth of the Gospel. Their ignorance is willing ignorance.

(2 Peter 3:3-5)  “Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, (4) And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation. (5) For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water.”

Let me be crystal clear. These mockers are men who dare to assert that…

  • Election and predestination makes God a monster.
  • Limited atonement, accomplished redemption leaves sinners without hope.
  • Effectual, irresistible grace makes men robots.
  • Salvation by grace alone leads to licentiousness.
  • The believer’s freedom from the law causes people to become ungodly, lawless rebels.
  • The doctrines of grace kill evangelism.
  • Righteousness is to be obtained by something you do.
  • The Second Coming of Christ, the Day of Judgment, and Everlasting Heaven and Hell are foolish myths and religious superstitions believed only by ignorant men.

(Galatians 1:6-9)  “I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: (7) Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. (8) But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. (9) As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.”

(Galatians 5:12)  “I would they were even cut off which trouble you.”

(Philippians 3:18-19)  “(For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ: (19) Whose end is destruction, whose God is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame, who mind earthly things.)”

False prophets, all of them, are men who “walk after their own lusts.” They are motivated by personal ambition and they derive their doctrine from their own reason, despising the authority of Holy Scripture. Having rejected the revelation of God, making their own carnal reason the measure of all truth, they are controlled by no other authority. They will not bow to even the most self-evident truths of Holy Scripture, if those truths conflict with their thoughts. Therefore our Lord tells us…

(Matthew 7:6)  “Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you.”

SEPARATISTS

Next, Jude describes these self-serving mockers as separatists. — “These be they which separate themselves.”

That phrase, “they which separate themselves,” is found only here in Scripture. It refers to people who think that they are superior. Like the Pharisees, they want to elevate themselves as the spiritually elite. They form little cliques of followers to make them feel important, and seek to divide friends. They think they are great. If you do not think they are great, they will separate themselves from you and blubber the world over about how you have mistreated them. — Beware of those who separate themselves from

  • Faithful gospel preachers, men of proven faithfulness, who have been used of God o minister to your soul.
  • God’s churches and people.

SENSUAL

Then Jude writes, “These are…sensual.” They consider themselves superior to others, but they are in reality just natural men, motivated by nothing but natural lusts, having nothing but natural knowledge. They live, operate in, and experience nothing but that which is natural to lost men.

These spiritual elitists vainly imagine that they are elevated to the highest level of life. They assume that everyone else is lost and do not hesitate to declare it, with great humility, of course. Jude tells us, by divine inspiration, that all such imaginary spiritual giants are less than pigmies, that they are just sensual, brute beasts, religious frauds, governed by their own lusts, and nothing else.

LOST

His next word concerning these men is this. They are men “having not the Spirit.” If you want to know what that means, read Romans 8:9.

(Romans 8:7-9)  “Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. (8) So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God. (9) But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.”

Jude is telling us that false prophets are lost men. They walk not after the Spirit, but after the flesh. They may appear to be very spiritual; but they are not. They are altogether without…

  • The life of the Spirit.
  • The conviction of the Spirit.
  • The light of the Spirit.
  • And the fruit of the Spirit.

In the light of these divinely revealed facts, it is no wonder that Jude says, “Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints” (v. 3). Let us therefore “remember the words which were spoken before of the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ” and “earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.

  • Divine Sovereignty
  • Effectual Substitution
  • Free Justification
  • Imputed Righteousness
  • Salvation by Grace Alone

(Romans 9:33)  “As it is written, Behold, I lay in Sion a stumblingstone and rock of offence: and whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.”

(Romans 10:1-13)  “Brethren, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for Israel is, that they might be saved. (2) For I bear them record that they have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge. (3) For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God. (4) For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth. (5) For Moses describeth the righteousness which is of the law, That the man which doeth those things shall live by them. (6) But the righteousness which is of faith speaketh on this wise, Say not in thine heart, Who shall ascend into heaven? (that is, to bring Christ down from above:) (7) Or, Who shall descend into the deep? (that is, to bring up Christ again from the dead.) (8) But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach; (9) That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. (10) For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. (11) For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. (12) For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. (13) For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

Amen.

Don Fortner

Find many sermons by Pastor Don Fortner here :

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4 thoughts on “MOCKERS IN THE HOUSE OF GOD

  1. Admin Edited ( fmarais2014, Take notice of these words in the Book of God the Bible…..”But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.” (1 Corinthians 2:14)

    “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. For by it the elders obtained a good report. Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.” – Hebrews 11:1-3

    We pray you find the only true living God of the Bible )

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  2. Without Christ!

    Ephesians 2:12

    ‘Without Christ”! A more miserable condition cannot be conceived! It is bad enough to be without money, without health, without a home, or without friends. But, it is far worse to be without Christ! No tongue, can tell the depth of wretchedness and misery that lie in those two words. There is no poverty like this, no need like this. Yet, this is the condition that we were all in, when God laid hold of us by his mighty grace – “At that time ye were without Christ”. And this is the condition some of you are still in.

    When Must We Say That A Person Is Without Christ? To be sure, all men are without Christ by nature, Sin has separated us from God. A man is without Christ when he has no knowledge of who Christ is, what he has done, and where he is now. The purpose of preaching the gospel is to inform men of the person and work of Christ. Yet, it is not enough simply to know the historical facts concerning the person and work of Christ. You may know all that is to be known about Christ, and still be without Christ. A man is without Christ when he has no heart faith in Christ.

    What Does It Mean To Be Without Christ? Paul points out five solemn deprivals of the soul without Christ. Without Christ you are “aliens from the commonwealth of Israel”, separated from the people of God. Without Christ, you are “strangers from the covenants of promise”. All the promises of God are in Christ Jesus, yea and amen. The covenant promises of forgiveness, guidance, protection, and providence are for those who are in Christ. Without Christ you have no promise from God, except that of judgment. Without Christ, you have no hope. There is no hope of redemption, no hope of righteousness, no hope of acceptance with God, no hope of mercy, no hope of heaven. Without Christ, you are without God, perishing without the knowledge, of God. Without Christ, you are among the lost, ruined, condemned sons of Adam in the world.
    Don Fortner

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  3. It is a rare occurrence during which I disagree, to any marked degree, with what Pastor Don Fortner writes. When I do question something, I always try to keep in mind that the man is, quite possibly, the most soundly Biblical preacher in publication, anywhere in the world today. Added to that, he is also quite possibly (and as he likes to say, just incidentally), one of the foremost God-given preachers whose wonderful on-going teachings will one day, be most sorely missed in the church. No doubt, in the ilk of the most well-loved and respected of shepherds, fishermen and artists.

    “Artist?”, you may ask. Of course, he is an artist in the true sense. Please, take a listen to a half-dozen, or so, of his sermons and you will surely agree that Brother Don is certainly one of God’s elect embellishing Gospel artists. Every sermon he preaches is a poetic and linguistic feast. A treat, a sobering, uplifting and stern caution to God’s people about the majestic, Sovereign Glory and Almighty power of God and a reminder of the foremost, imperative exaltation of our Lord Jesus Christ in the life of God’s own.

    Believers, called to faith and salvation by the Sovereign Grace of God, who have been taught so much by Don’s powerful and clear Biblical messages, added to the many Christians to come who will surely benefit from his teaching in the future, are most fortunate to have his work recorded for posterity by “modern” technology. That goes for all his work that I have had the great pleasure of encountering, to date.

    Even more rare, is the occasion that my interpretation is proven to be correct over that of Brother Don. Brother Don always has something lined up in his work which, inevitably, I encounter at a later stage, which puts paid to my disagreement, nullifies my concern and affirms the Gospel truth.

    The above article is, once again, one of those with which I fully agree. All the words of the article, and the fullness of the message, except for this singular sentence and it’s implications: “I say that because it is obvious that Satan has been loosed upon the earth to deceive the nations again”. I believe that a correct understanding of this is imperative to a Biblical viewpoint on end-times eschatology.

    Rather than me risk writing a wayward refutation on the matter of my disagreement with that statement, I submit herewith the response by Kim Riddlebarger to a similar question regarding the unbinding of Satan. I am in agreement with Kim Riddlebarger’s position on this matter, and that Satan remains bound at this point in church history

    (Will someone please do me a favour and warn me before Brother Don knocks on my door and comes to prove me wrong.)

    Extract from the work of Kim Riddlebarger as follows:

    “If Satan is presently bound and prevented from deceiving the nations, why is it that the nations are presently deceived?” Either Satan is bound or he isn’t. It is not a matter of degrees.
    A couple of things need to be said here. First, the answer is not to use analogies. The situation described in Revelation 20 only makes sense in light of biblical imagery (especially that from the Old Testament). Instead, simply trace out the course of redemptive history and you’ll see what John means.

    Recall that Satan was instrumental in the Fall, and then according to the early chapters of Genesis, rapidly deceived the entire world. Remember Enochville (cf. Genesis 4:17)? How about Babel and Ninevah? What about Babylon? Egypt? The Assyrians? The Moabites? These are nations who fell under Satan’s sway and marshalled their resources against the people of God. Then, there’s the mass apostasy among the Israelites, both in the wilderness and in the promised land. The Jews never fulfilled the commission given them in Isaiah 49:6, “I will also make you a light for the Gentiles, that you may bring my salvation to the ends of the earth.” Because of unbelief Israel was repeatedly subject to godless Gentile nations and hauled off into captivity. You get the point. We could go on and on.

    Fast-forward to the New Testament. When Jesus appeared on the scene, his public ministry did not begin until he had first bested Satan in the wilderness (Matthew 4:1-11). As we all know, Jesus messianic mission appeared completely thwarted on Good Friday, but by Easter Sunday, it was clear the Satan’s “victory” was instead a total defeat. Jesus now becomes the light to the nations and the true Israel. He fulfills that mission which both Adam and Israel failed to accomplish. Indeed, the gospel message “binds” the Devil and all his works. God’s people are commanded to make disciples of “all nations” (Matthew 28:19), and told that this gospel must be preached as a witness to “all nations” (Matthew 24:14). Not only will Jesus be with his people until the end of the age (Matthew 28:20), but the gates of Hell will not prevail against Christ’s church (Matthew 16:18). This is how we must understand the consequences of Satan’s being presently bound. It is a reference to the success of the gospel.

    Therefore, the presence of evil and unbelief in the present age does not mean that Satan is not yet bound (the standard pre-millennial objection). It is the inevitable success of the missionary enterprise which is the proof. Under the present circumstances Satan cannot use empires and nations to completely thwart the mission of church. He will try, certainly. But how long did Hitler’s thousand year Reich last? Contemporary situations, (i.e. the People’s Republic of China which seeks do this), serve as a great illustration. A recent news article pointed out that many thousands become Christians every day in China, despite the efforts of the government to stamp out Christianity!

    Remember, the biblical writers are not millennarians. The kingdom can grow and thrive all the while things appear to be getting worse (cf. Revelation 11 and the account of the two witnesses). Kingdom success does not necessarily translate into economic, cultural, and religious progress as our postmillennial friends contend. Kingdom success does mean the spread of the gospel and the effectual call of all of God’s elect–a multitude so vast they cannot be counted. In some cases, there is a corresponding effect upon the culture. In some cases there is not.
    Remember too that according to John, Satan will be released for a short time before the end, when he will be allowed to deceive the nations for one brief last period in an organized political, economic, and military sense against the church (Revelation 20:7-10). But until then, he is bound and cannot deceive the nations. The gospel will go to the ends of the earth! While Satan rages like a wounded animal, he does so because he knows his time is short (1 Peter 5:8 with Revelation 12:12).

    Therefore, the answer to your conundrum is to be found in what is meant by “deceive the nations.” When viewed against the backdrop of redemptive history, it is clear that this is tied to the missionary enterprise, and the success of that mission is clearly what is in view (not the absence of all evil and unbelief).”

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