Gary responds to a recent article by Pastor Robert Jeffress in Dallas, Texas about the world looking like it’s getting very close to the “end.”
The central message of the Bible is salvation through Jesus Christ, the Mediator of the New Covenant. Apart from His work, through which He acquired and eternally possesses the Covenant, there is no hope for mankind. He has overwhelmingly conquered so as to open the Treaty of the Great King; and through Him we too are more than conquerors.
Imagine someone finds you packing a sack lunch on a warm Saturday morning, and asks the reason for it. You answer, “Because I’m going to have a picnic at the park today.” What has happened? In a sense, the future—the planned picnic—has determined the past. Because you wanted a picnic at the park, you then planned a lunch. Logically, the picnic preceded, and caused, the making of the lunch, even though it followed it chronologically. In the same way, God desired to glorify Himself in Jesus Christ; therefore He created Jesse and David, and all the other ancestors of Christ’s human nature, in order to bring His Son into the world. The Root of David’s very existence was the Son of David, Jesus Christ. The “effect” determined the “cause”!
The Lord Jesus Christ is thus presented in the most radical way possible as the Center of all history, the divine Root as well as the Branch, the Beginning and the End, Alpha and Omega. And it is as the conquering Lion and the determining Root that He has prevailed so as to open the Book—the New Covenant—and its seven seals (Revelation 6–8). Interestingly, however, when St. John turns to see the One who is described in this way, he sees a Lamb standing before the Throne. The point of the text is not that Jesus is “lamblike” in the sense of being gentle, sweet, or mild. Christ is called a Lamb, not because He is “nice,” but in view of His work. He is the Lamb that was slain, “who takes away the sin of the world” (John 1:29). Thus, the center of history is the finished, sacrificial work of Christ. The foundation for His mediatorial kingship (Christ as the Lion) is His mediatorial atonement (Christ as the Lamb). It is because of His sacrifice that He has been exalted to the place of supreme rule and authority. Christ has attained victory through His redemptive suffering and death on our behalf.
This means that Christ’s understanding of creation and history originates not from history itself but from the fact that He is both the Creator and Redeemer of the world. Thus, on the basis of His Person, His work, and His exalted position as Savior and World-Ruler, Jesus Christ ascended to heaven, stepped forward to the Throne of His Father, and took the New Covenant out of the right hand of Him who sat upon the Throne (Revelation 5:7).
The Great Tribulation
God's cursings on ancient Israel in A.D. 70 matched their crime, the crucifixion of Christ. This crime was the greatest (worst) in history; their punishment was also the greatest (worst) in history. To call anything else "the great tribulation" is to downplay the immensity of that generation's crime.Buy Now
Gary responds to a recent article by Pastor Robert Jeffress in Dallas, Texas about the world looking like it’s getting very close to the “end.” The biblical passages used by Pastor Jeffress have been used by nearly every generation to prove that their generation was living in the “last days.” Jeffress also uses 2 Timothy 3, which Gary takes time to answer in detail.