It is not surprising that a Christian's particular view of end-times and the return of our Lord Jesus Christ would have a dramatic effect upon how one understands the role of the individual Christian's involvement in the world around him or her. Those who hold to a more pessimistic view of the future, and who see the world as merely the stage for the outbreak of God-hating evil predicted in Holy scripture, will tend to view the world around them as an evil place, awaiting judgment and destruction. The world and the unbelievers who inhabit it will ultimately be destroyed, because it, and they are evil. On the other hand, those who view the world more optimistically tend to see the world as the theater of God's redemptive activity, which accordingly extends to all spheres of life, including the political and social arenas. Involvement in Christianizing the world before Christ returns is seen as the primary mission of the church and involvement in reforming activity is seen as the hallmark of true piety. Both of these tendencies are popular in American evangelicalism today.
Kim Riddlebarger is pastor of Christ United Reformed Church (Anaheim, California) and co-host of The White Horse Inn radio broadcast. He is author of A Case for Amillennialism: Understanding the End Times and Man of Sin: Uncovering the Truth about the Antichrist (Baker, 2006). Kim blogs at www.kimriddlebarger.squarespace.com.
Issue: "Christ and Culture" March/April 1992 Vol. 1 No. 2 Page number(s): 7-9
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