Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Pentecost and Government (3)

Human governments do two things: justice and salvation. They sometimes provide justice, but we do not really need their feeble attempts, because God has already given his perfect law that produces better justice. Why would we want the imperfect laws of human rulers?

The second thing that human governments do is provide salvation. Salvation delivers people from the consequences of sin, but Jesus had done that too, and done a much better job of it. Pentecost brought a much better salvation.

And everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved. (Act 2:21).
Jesus makes human political powers and governments redundant.
Pentecost brought about radical change. This was not just a change of government, but the death of government as we know it. The implication is that as the Kingdom of God expands by the power of the spirit, human government will shrink and disappear.

Karl Marx prophesied the withering away of the state. His philosophies did the opposite. They made the state more powerful than ever. But what he dreamed for will come. As the kingdom of Jesus expands through the outworking of the gift of Pentecost, the state with wither away and die.

This is why the idea that Jesus will return to Jerusalem and rule the world from there is such a monstrous idea. It is a denial of Pentecost. Jesus is already seated at the right hand of the father. The Holy Spirit was sent to bring all human rule and power into submission to Jesus. That is how his Kingdom comes and Gods will is done on earth.


Ted M. Gossard said...

So you hold to a post-millennial sort of view, Ron. Interesting. I can see that as a possibility, though I do wonder if calling a theology that sees Jesus ruling from Jerusalem as monstrous. Not that I think such is essential, or necessarily even true according to Scripture. In fact I lean against that.

But I still see the fullness of the kingdom of God in Jesus taking over, only when Jesus returns.

Ron McK said...

I hate the label post-millenial, because it traditionally meant advancing by the use of political power. Also it gives validity to the concept of a millenium, even though it is not a biblical idea.

I am interested that you think that Jesus has to return and take over for the kingdom to come to fullness.

I cannot understand what Jesus would do, that the Holy Spirit cannot do. There are only two ways for the kingdom to come. The Holy Spirit can bring people to faith and repentence so they willingly choose to obey God, or Jesus can use violence to force people who hate him to obey God. The former sounds more like the Jesus of the gospel than the latter.

Personally, I am backing the Holy Spirit to do the job now. Jesus said it was better for him to go away, because then the Holy Spirit could come. The reason is that the an omnipresent spirit can achieve more than a man who is confined to one place.

The church seems to believe that it is better for the spirit to go away, because then Jesus can come again, but that implies that they believe Satan is more powerful than the Holy Spirit.

Steve Scott said...

Good observations, Ron, both in your post and comment. I've been pondering the Premillenial view lately. Pardon the expression, if pardon is needed, but I see premillenialism positing Christ as an "Indian Giver" ruler. (Look "Indian Giver" up on Wikipedia, as this might be a US term).

In Genesis, God gives rule over the earth to man, through Adam (i.e. dominion mandate). This is assumed and reiterated in Psalm 8. However, the premillenial view then has the church as such a miserable failure that we have to be rescued from our own incompetence in kingdom building by the rapture. All hell breaks loose and the world is ruled by the Anti-Christ before Christ has to return to take care of everything by Himself. The premillenial rule of Christ takes away from man that crowning of Psalm 8. Man's dignity is destroyed. Christ gives rule of the earth to man - then wants it back for Himself, hence the "Indian Giver" mentality. Premillenialism sucks the power right out of God's people.

Ron McK said...

You are right.
The other implication is that if the church has to be a miserable failure the Holy Spirit is a miserable failure.