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Monday, November 24, 2014

Can the Dream Be Recovered?

With the end of the papal Dark Ages in 1798, the world entered into a new and hopefully glorious era. Little Mary Jones walked her weary trek to London to buy her fabulous prize of a Holy Bible; and lo, the British and Foreign Bible Society was formed, soon followed by the American.
Inventions began pouring out of fertile minds. The horror of slavery began to be abolished; the little nation of ex-British colonies began to prosper in the New World; Christian people awakened as from a long sleep--the second coming of Christ was near. The world had embarked on what the Bible describes as "the time of the end." A preparation for the return of Jesus Christ became to intelligent people a reasonable "blessed hope." Through unmistakably divine leading, the message began to go worldwide.
Hearts responded and capable people did things. Clearly blessed by the Holy Spirit, a message joining together the gospel of Jesus with the ideals of healthful living worked wonders in tired, sickly people; the world's finest health institution (for then) was established in Battle Creek, Michigan, where even European royalty crossed the Atlantic to come. There the "West's" finest Christian publishing house was established. What the apostles after Pentecost longed for seemed to be on the verge. A solemn but joyous sense that the world had entered into the cosmic Day of Atonement gripped hearts worldwide. The "blessed hope" of the imminent return of Christ made life here below a taste of heaven.
Then it was discovered that Christ's message to the seventh church of history had become applicable: the church was "Laodicea," the one whose worldly lukewarmness made the Lord so nauseous that He felt like throwing up (Rev. 3:14-21). Now a battle rages in people's minds and hearts: is that last organization into a "body of Christ" doomed to eventual failure? Or is a corporate repentance possible (and sure)? Can the dream be recovered?

--Robert J. Wieland

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