About the Title: "Save Souls, Not Cultures!" This has been the motto of twentieth-century evangelism. Having encountered heavy resistance to the prophet's message of comprehensive revival and restoration in history, modern evangelical Christianity has abandoned the prophets. Unlike Jonah, who grew weary of life in the belly of a whale, modern evangelicalism has not only grown accustomed to the Church's cultural irrelevance today, it has actually proclaimed this pathetic condition as God's plan for the "Church Age." But is it? Not according to Jesus' instructions to His Church: the discipline (putting under God's discipline) of all nations.
"Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen." (Matthew 28:19-20).
Paul makes it clear that the progressive expansion of Jesus' kingdom in history will continue until all things are under His dominion, on earth, before He returns physically to judge the world. "For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet. The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death." (I Corinthians 15-25-26) This was David's message, too:
"The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool. The Lord shall send the rod of thy strength out of Zion: rule thou in the midst of thine enemies." (Psalm 110:1-2)
In The Greatness of the Great Commission, Rev. Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr. presents a comprehensive biblical case for God's comprehensive salvation and restoration in history. Sin is comprehensive; God's healing grace is no less comprehensive. Whenever sin reigns today, there God speaks to sinful man and offers a way of escape. "There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it" (I Corinthians 10:13). To argue that the Great Commission does not include every aspect of today's cultures - all of Satan's kingdom - is to argue that there is no way of escape in many areas of life.
The war between God's kingdom (civilization) on earth and Satan's kingdom (civilization) on earth is total, encompassing every aspect of life. The Great Commission calls the Church (in this "Church Age") to make a full-scale attack on modern humanist civilization, but always in terms of a positive message and practical program: a better way of life in every area of life. This is the greatness of the Great Commission. It must not be narrowed to exclude culture from God's special grace.
About the Author: Dr. Gentry is a graduate of Tennessee Temple University, Reformed Theological Seminary, and Whitefield Theological Seminary. He has published scores of articles in various periodicals, including: Tabletalk, the Chalcedon Report, Westminster Theological Journal, Christianity Today, Christianity & Society, The Banner of Truth, The Presbyterian Journal, and more. He has written several books on eschatology, as well as a variety of other relevant topics.
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