Revive The Lost Cause With
An Optimistic View Of History
Everybody loves an underdog -- a lost cause. So whenever you're trying to be melodramatic and stir up sympathy for something just slap the words "lost cause" on it, right?
Would I stoop that low? No comment. In reality a cause that's going to win in the end doesn't need any sympathy, does it?
Today, Patrick Henry’s defeat at the Virginia Ratifying Convention is seen in every nook and cranny of American life. Just about every one of Patrick Henry's dire predictions have come to pass. Don't worry, I won't stoop to saying "We told you so."
At the root it is spiritual, not political.
The revival of American polity will not come without a revival of confidence in the power of God to
establish His kingdom on earth.
The lost cause will not rise triumphant from the ashes until we actually believe what we pray in the Lord’s prayer: “Thy kingdom come, on earth as it is in heaven.”
Don't get me wrong. I'm not here equating America with the Kingdom of God. I'm simply saying that America, like any other nation, will be blessed to the extent that it submits to the Lordship of Christ. [Whew, I defused that one just in time!]
An optimistic view of the kingdom has been the position of many great theologians in church history. For example, Charles Spurgeon commented boldly on Psalm 72:9: It makes us content to be in the minority to-day, when we are sure that the majority will be with us to-morrow, ay, and that the truth will one day be carried unanimously and heartily. Thus did Spurgeon embrace the lost cause.
David was not a believer in the theory that the world will grow worse and worse, and that the dispensation will wind up with general darkness, and idolatry. Earth’s sun is to go down amid tenfold night if some of our prophetic brethren are to be believed.
Not so do we expect, but we look for a day when the dwellers of all lands shall learn righteousness, shall trust in the Saviour, shall worship thee alone, O God, "and shall glorify thy name." The modern notion has greatly damped the zeal of the church for missions, and the sooner it is shown to be unscriptural the better for the cause of God. It neither consorts with prophecy, honours God, nor inspires the church with ardour. Far hence be it driven.(12.2)
Spurgeon spoke disparagingly of those prophetic theories which in his day were only beginning to break the soil. Today they have become a tangled thorn which threatens to choke God’s vineyard. The lost cause is presumed to be lost forever in history. Spurgeon only built on the work of his predecessors.
For example, Gary Crampton describes John Calvin’s view as "incipient post-millennialism." The doctrine of the "Chiliasts [pre-millenialists]," Calvin says is, "too childish either to need or to be worth a refutation."(12.3) Thus did Calvin embrace the lost cause.
On the other hand, he is very optimistic regarding Kingdom growth. In fact, the second generation of Reformers, and the overwhelming majority of Puritans, taking their lead from Calvin’s optimism, became strong advocates of post-millennialism. . . . On Psalm 47, he claims that Christ’s Kingdom is to grow to the point where all nations will be included. The same is true of his exposition of Psalm 72.(12.4)
echoes the same refrain regarding the Great Commission in Matthew 28. Of the command to go and
disciple all nations,
he explains: "That Christianity should be twisted in with national constitutions, that the kingdoms of the world should become Christ’s kingdoms, and their kings the church’s nursing-fathers."(12.5) Thus will the lost cause be won.
Typical of early American evangelists was Jonathan Edwards who spoke of the period between Christ’s first and second comings as the time of the millennium. He wrote that this is ". . . most properly the time of the kingdom of heaven upon earth . . . a time wherein religion shall in every respect be uppermost in the world . . . a time of the greatest temporal prosperity . . . . "(12.6) Thus did Edwards embrace the lost cause.
Even some of our early American politicians were animated by this vision. The following fast-day proclamation, issued by Samuel Adams as governor of Massachusetts in 1797, is a prime example. This statement is one reason why he is sometimes referred to as "the last of the Puritans" as well as "the Father of the American Revolution." Thus did Adams embrace the lost cause.
We cannot better express ourselves than by humbly supplicating the Supreme Ruler of the world that the rod of tyrants may be broken into pieces and the oppressed made free. That wars may cease in all the earth and that the confusions that are and have been among nations may be overruled by promoting and speedily bringing on that holy and happy period when the Kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ may be everywhere established and all people everywhere willingly bow to the scepter of Him who is Prince of Peace.(12.7)
Present Day Optimists
Eminent theologians of our own day are also embracing an optimistic view of history. For example, D. James Kennedy asks the question "Where is history going?" in his book What If Jesus Had Never Been Born? He finds the answer in the Old Testament passage quoted most frequently by New Testament writers:
Psalm 110:1 written by David a millenium before Christ, tells us: The LORD said to my Lord, "Sit at My right hand, Till I make your enemies Your footstool."
So what is God doing in the world today? To answer that question we must understand the
judgment of God in history
and how that judgment is ultimately a
judgment unto restoration
for His people. In addition, we need to arm ourselves with a
Biblical philosophy of history
overview of Bible prophecy
Neglect of these principles leads to much wild speculation about a "premillennial rapture," the date of such a
and an alleged anti-Christ. One group has even gone so far as to set up a permanent camera crew on the Mount of Olives to capture the second coming on film. Click here for a set of key facts that will help you unlock the meaning of
and avoid such childishness.
With this knowledge we catch a glimpse of how God is making the enemies of Jesus Christ a footstool for His feet! If you’re an enemy of Christ, you’re on the wrong side of history. You can either join Christ’s side or become His footstool. Jesus is the King of kings and Lord of lords.(12.8) His seemingly lost cause will yet prevail.
Western civilization following the Reformation is the greatest example of Christian cultural conquest we have to date. It has been squandered in what seems now to be a lost cause.
The shameful abandonment of that heritage by the church has left us in our current desperate plight. That heritage will be restored only as the church awakens to reclaim her birthright and asserts the authority of the King of kings over every sphere of life...including the political. For More Information
Everything you think you know about the Book of Revelation is probably wrong! Read Back to the Future by Ralph Bass and find out why. Also, pearls of wisdom on emotional problems, counseling, marriage, infant baptism, Presbyterianism, and a whole lot more.
Rather than an Enlightenment-based
Declaration of Independence
we need a new
Declaration of Dependence on God.
We also need a
that will commit our nation to a reign of prosperity under Christ the King.
Return from Lost Cause to America Betrayed 1787