Sometimes dividing lines are hard. Sometimes they are … somewhat more flexible. If you had asked me pre-pandemic if we (as Christians) were living in the Old or the New Testament, I wouldn’t have even thought about it. I would simply have replied, “We are people of the New Testament.”
I would have responded that way because I interpreted the question theologically. Were we people of the Law, as historical Israel was, or were we people under the Grace of Jesus, after the Cross?
Today I’m wondering if such a distinction helps us or hinders us in understanding what God is doing in our time right now. If you bought the “Left Behind” narrative, it’s all crystal clear to you. If you read the Bible as a whole, it’s a lot less clear exactly where we are. The “end times” may cover a lot of time.
Another way to look at the New/Old Testament question is God’s active involvement in our world. In the Old Testament, God actively intervened in world events – for example, all the firstborn of the Egyptians killed by a Death Angel, Egyptian soldiers pursuing the Israelites into the Red Sea, where the Jews walked on dry ground and the sea closed back over the Egyptian soldiers, 185,000 Assyrian soldiers killed by a Death Angel while they slept in their tents on the battlefield, ready to attack Israel the next morning. Even the act of Creation itself, which God spoke into existence. You can’t get more actively involved than Creation!
Can anyone honestly read the Bible and avoid concluding that God works supernaturally – which means outside the bounds of the natural world? Perhaps more importantly, is there any reason to believe God stopped acting supernaturally during our age today?
When we find ourselves wondering how anyone could fix the world today, are we thinking of supernatural acts by God, or are we confining ourselves to what we could do if we had the money and power to change things for the better?
- Can God change the thinking of current world leaders to align more with what He wants to accomplish?
- Can God simply change the leadership of various nations, by changing those leaders’ hearts and minds?
- Can God use death and other devices to change national leadership so that it becomes a tool in his hands for making history more to His liking?
- Is God limited to natural changes in our natural world to accomplish His good pleasure?
- Is God bound by the natural world He created, or can He us supernatural means to transform it?
- Is God limited to our efforts to evangelize the world for Christ, or can He employ supernatural efforts that will accomplish His desires in our world?
- Does God have any limits today that He did not have in the Old Testament? Is God simply going to remove the good people, and let the devil and the evil people have the Earth?
Is it just possible that God is working on a part of the end times that we have ignored or don’t see? Who are the sons and daughters of God, for whom the Earth groans and travails while waiting for them to be revealed?
What if God is back in the Old Testament, and He wants to complete our education? Are we ready for that?
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