If our eschatology is not evangelistically realised then it is useless. It is for this reason, for the stunted evangelism that comes out of the dispensationalist rapturist stupidity that I abhor that system of eschatology.
What’s our role as the church in that system? Why we sit on our hands and wait for Christ to come take us out of the world.
We as the Church have been given a mission! Christ said “All authority in heaven and earth…” not some, not all in heaven, not all on earth, there is no distinction contrary to what the Dispensationalist will tell you, All authority both in heaven and on earth has been given to Christ! And it is on this basis that he then turns and says; “Go therefore.” We have our marching orders, we are to Go! If you aren’t going out of the community of faith unto somewhere then you have missed the plot, we are sent, we are going, where are we going? “into all nations” there is no distinction, the Dispensationalist would tell you that this may not be for us, they take the same error that those of William Carey’s time had, cutting up the Bible into bits that are for us and bits that are not! If there is some Scripture some iota, jot or tittle that is not for us then how can the words “All Scripture is profitable for doctrine and building up of the whole man.” be for us? As soon as we divorce ourselves from coming under the whole counsel of God we divorce ourselves from any value of Christ, how can we disciple all nations if that one nation of whom Christ said he was specifically sent unto is not one to which we go! Indeed the Apostle Paul labours in prayer for this nation of the Jews that they might come into the church! If we make it such that they are excluded from the Church how then is the Apostle to the Gentiles a part of the church. I submit to you that the doctrine of Dispensationalism of whole cloth should be disgarded as the dross that it is. The doctrine of Dispensationalism that keeps our hands under our buttocks stopping us from reaching out because look, just around the corner Christ is coming and then we’ll be out of this Hell-hole. Dammit man, are you a Christian, or are you a mouse! Because we have been brought into the family of God we are not of a spirit of timidity that we should shrink back from the world! No! We are of a Spirit of Power. Christ died that we might have life, Christ came into the world that by his Death the Spirit of Sonship, the Spirit of Authority might scream coming into our hearts! Abba! Father! This should be the ground on which we stand! Christ has died and the Spirit has been poured out bringing us into the Victory of Christ! “For if you have died a death like his, you will live a life like his” The promise stands before us that if we join Christ in His death to self for the Glory of God that we might join in His Glorification and we have been given as Christians a Spirit, the Spirit, the Holy Spirit even courage to take our lives and cast them at the foot of the Cross that we might nail the old man there and die. Kill the old man with his passions. “I have been crucified with Christ” Paul says. We need to die to self. And if our Eschatology is more about saving our arses from the flames than it is about spreading the fragrance of the Glory of God in Christ then you have missed the point and become an abhorence to Christ. Man-centred news indeed is no good news at all.

My girlfriend recently commented on the fact that in comparison with others that she has dated our relationship has been first of all based on being Christian brother and sister, I think there are a number of reasons for this and while the reason she gives is adequate (that she was involved with someone else at the time) I’d like to map out what my personal values are in seeking her good and joy in not just my romantic relationship with her, but my friendship, and brotherly love for her.

Paul says to Timothy in his first letter to the young Pastor to “honour all, older men as fathers, younger men as brothers, older women as mothers, younger women as sisters.” This is one of the passages that I hold dear that shapes how I seek to honour those around me. I’m given a place in the context of the church as a family. So when I first meet her as she is younger my goal was to show Christ to her in patience, in kindness and in seeking her good through teaching her of the things I know in Christ.

I think this is part of what Paul has in mind when he talks of marriage in relation to Christ washing his bride with the water in the word, if our relationships both romantic and non aren’t focused primarily on the uncovering the riches of God’s grace one to another then we’re not focused on the things God is focused on. God is focused on showing Himself to us in Grace, He does this through the Cross of Christ, He does this in the sentness of the Church, and he calls us as members of the Church to be the fragrance of Christ. If we’re more focused on what we can get out of any particular relationship rather than what we can give over that the other may know more deeply Christ and Him crucified then we’re holding ourselves up as idols in comparison to truly loving the other, we’re saying that we’re more important than them, what we are is more important to them than God. Especially in a romantic relationship if we as Christians are more important to the other than God then something is wrong. Part of my duty as a husband will be to present my wife to Christ, for she is put in my care, I want her to abound in God, like all those whom God rends my heart for and more I want her depth in Christ, experientially and cognitively to far outstrip me because if it doesn’t I’m not employing the giftings and desires that God has placed within me for His Glory but my own.

A lot of my actions in the friendship before it became romantic were couched in where I was when I first met her. I was not looking for a relationship and though that changed in subsequent months I wasn’t expecting anything of her in that manner. I had felt I had given over finally that part of my life to God and I was wanting to continue to honour that decision of “God has control of this and His will be done.” It is this that needs to ground our Christ-centeredness. If we’re acting in our life and our relationships as if God is not in control according to the Bible we have no hope and are fools.