Though blessings abound in the individual heart where Christ is enthroned, yet not one trace of this glorious transformed earth can be found in the present Gentile age.
The Course of This Age.
It is necessary to distinguish between rightly dividing the word of truth, and a critical attitude toward that word; the former being an important duty in the believer’s life, according to II Tim. 2:15, while the latter may easily become a wicked and misleading display of unbelief and the wisdom of this world (I Cor. 1:19).
Personal interest in the Word of God usually begins with the first understanding of its real divisions; and no one is prepared to understand the providence of God who does not first come to know something of the purpose of God as marked off by these great divisions. Especially is this necessary, as has been stated, for any clear understanding of the present age.
Again, the power and force of the whole body of Scripture must depend, in a large measure, upon a belief in unfulfilled prophecy. Such a belief is not general, even among Christians. They believe that Christ camp in the flesh, suffered, died, and rose again, because that is all now a matter of history; but that belief is not greatly influenced by the fact that this was all exactly foretold by the prophets. Let those who are free to condemn the pious Jew for not recognizing the fulfillment of prophecy in the first advent of Christ, beware lest they fail to rightly interpret the signs of these times, or look with positive unbelief upon the stupendous events that, according to prophecy, are imminent to-day. It seems a sore test of faith to believe that which is predicted for the present age, though those predictions are being fulfilled in every particular. This prevailing attitude of unbelief usually arises from one of two errors; either Satan has been so estimated that it seems impossible for him to be the promoter of anything that is moral or good (of this error more will be said in the following chapters): or the exact meaning and purpose of this age has been disbelieved or misunderstood; and because of these conditions many enthusiastic Christians are found to be, not only working toward unscriptural and hopeless ends, but are actually contributing to the confusion and darkness that is prevalent to-day.
The purpose and course of this age are not matters of prediction alone. Almost two thousand years of history may be considered in the light of these predictions; and while the age is not yet complete, and much that is reserved for the last days is still future, enough of prophecy has now been fulfilled to indicate the certain fulfillment of all.