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Author Topic: The End Of The Church Age  (Read 36715 times)

bloodstone

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The End Of The Church Age
« on: December 18, 2003, 09:03:29 AM »
Is it possible that the church age has come to an end because of their spiritual whoredoms? I've been reading a book which makes a good case for the church apostasy which we see today being the church age coming to an end.

Many biblical articles speak of a great apostasy before our Lord returns, and Tony's article on 2nd Thessalonians chapter 2 speaks of a great apostasy which will overrun the church, so I'm very aware of these passages which do (in my view) show that the church will fall at some point. Why not now or sometime in the near future? That's not far fetched seeing how bad the majority of churches are today. Is it what you see that tells you the church hasn't fallen, or something you've read in scripture?

stevesas

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Re: The End Of The Church Age
« Reply #1 on: December 18, 2003, 09:52:14 AM »
Hi bloodstone,

     I am not sure what book you are referring to concerning the end of the Church age, but I do not necessarily find that borne out in scripture.  The reference to II Thessalonians 2:3 refers to a falling away, not to a falling down.
     Clearly, we can have much discussion about the validity and witness of much of the Church, but I am of the belief that when Jesus said that the gates of hell cannot prevail against His Church, (Matthew 16:18) He was fairly serious about that issue.
     I would certainly welcome further discussion with you and others to flesh out this topic.


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Chicago Bear

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Re: The End Of The Church Age
« Reply #2 on: December 31, 2003, 12:32:58 PM »
Many biblical articles speak of a great apostasy before our Lord returns, and Tony's article on 2nd Thessalonians chapter 2 speaks of a great apostasy which will overrun the church, so I'm very aware of these passages which do (in my view) show that the church will fall at some point. Why not now or sometime in the near future? That's not far fetched seeing how bad the majority of churches are today. Is it what you see that tells you the church hasn't fallen, or something you've read in scripture?

OK I'll give this a shot. I read where the Church will fall away and grow apostate. But where do you read the end of the church age? I didn't read that.

However, if you mean by this that God has a time when no one else will be saved, I guess that's the same thing as the end of the church age. Isn't it? It seems so to me.

As for how will we know we are in the great tribulation, I think that God says we will know by the signs.

 Mt 24:33 So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors.
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Frank Mortimer

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Re: The End Of The Church Age
« Reply #3 on: February 03, 2004, 08:05:36 AM »
Hi bloodstone,

     I am not sure what book you are referring to concerning the end of the Church age, but I do not necessarily find that borne out in scripture.  The reference to II Thessalonians 2:3 refers to a falling away, not to a falling down.
Steve


I'm not so sure about that. The Church has been falling away and recovering ever since Christ died. The 1800's, the reformation, and so on. The seven Churches of Asia have all fallen away long ago. But the prophecy seems to me to be of a catastrophic fall of the Church. I don't see how you can get around that. Though many people seem intent on trying to.

Miguel Angel Chaparro

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Re: The End Of The Church Age
« Reply #4 on: February 08, 2004, 07:55:04 PM »
Some times I think if in the Old Testament God was with His people for a time in pillar of fire and after His will He was no more in that manner, it could be also that it may or is in our churches today. Everyone is a temple and a minister of Christ that are His.  

Psa 48:1 Great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised in the city of our God, in the mountain of His holiness.

bloodstone

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Re: The End Of The Church Age
« Reply #5 on: February 20, 2004, 03:33:09 AM »
Hi bloodstone,

     I am not sure what book you are referring to concerning the end of the Church age, but I do not necessarily find that borne out in scripture.  The reference to II Thessalonians 2:3 refers to a falling away, not to a falling down.

Sorry to be late getting back to you, but I wasn't aware there were any responses to my post.

I didn't want to get into personalities (it's against rules), but the book is by Harold Camping of Family Stations. I agree the church is falling away, but I don't know that it's fallen yet.

I see the scriptures teaching a fall of the church, not just a falling away. 2nd thessalonians 2 I believe addresses a man of sin ruling in the temple. That's not one church, that's a representative of the whole church. At least, that's the way I read that chapter.


Quote
    Clearly, we can have much discussion about the validity and witness of much of the Church, but I am of the belief that when Jesus said that the gates of hell cannot prevail against His Church, (Matthew 16:18) He was fairly serious about that issue. I would certainly welcome further discussion with you and others to flesh out this topic.

I hear this a lot. But I don't think matthew 16 means that the churches cannot fall.

 Revelation 2:5 "Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent."

 I believe this to teach the external church can fall or be defeated, but not the invisible church. Because external churches are defeated all the time. That's why so many churches are already apostate. They fell.


bloodstone

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Re: The End Of The Church Age
« Reply #6 on: February 20, 2004, 03:39:29 AM »
OK I'll give this a shot. I read where the Church will fall away and grow apostate. But where do you read the end of the church age? I didn't read that.

However, if you mean by this that God has a time when no one else will be saved, I guess that's the same thing as the end of the church age. Isn't it? It seems so to me.


You may have a valid point there. But when I refer to the end of the church age, I'm referring to the teaching that all churches are apostate already. I don't know that this is true, nor do I know that this is untrue. I was just saying that this book made some good points, and was just looking for some feedback on why the church age cannot be over? When I look around me, I don't see any faithful churches. So it makes me wonder. I keep hearing that there are some, but very few. So will the end of the church age be worse than this?


bloodstone

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Re: The End Of The Church Age
« Reply #7 on: February 20, 2004, 03:45:40 AM »

I'm not so sure about that. The Church has been falling away and recovering ever since Christ died. The 1800's, the reformation, and so on. The seven Churches of Asia have all fallen away long ago. But the prophecy seems to me to be of a catastrophic fall of the Church.

Mortimer, I have to agree with you there. I don't think that it can be talking about a regular falling away like before the reformation, because it says it will be great tribulation such as has never been before, nor will happen afterward. So if it's worse than before the reformation, it has to be a total collapse, a catastrophic event in the church.

 Revelation 9:6 "And in those days shall men seek death, and shall not find it; and shall desire to die, and death shall flee from them".

This is not another falling away, it is something far more intense in the churches.

bloodstone

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Re: The End Of The Church Age
« Reply #8 on: February 20, 2004, 03:48:18 AM »
Some times I think if in the Old Testament God was with His people for a time in pillar of fire and after His will He was no more in that manner, it could be also that it may or is in our churches today. Everyone is a temple and a minister of Christ that are His.  

Maybe. But what does this verse mean.

 2 Thessalonians 2:6-7 And now ye know what withholdeth that he might be revealed in his time.
 For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way.

Who is taken out of the way that iniquity will increase and the man of sin rule in the temple?

Carmel

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Re: The End Of The Church Age
« Reply #9 on: February 20, 2004, 06:20:28 AM »
Hi Bloodstone  :)

Quote
Who is taken out of the way that iniquity will increase and the man of sin rule in the temple?

 I do not think that he who is taken out of the way (midst) will allow iniquity to increase that the man of sin will rule in the temple.

 It is more that iniquity has increased in the temple by the spirit of him who will be no longer be restrained from his appearing as the man of sin, the beast, who will be allowed power over all nations in lying signs and wonders showing himself as if he is above every god or object of worship in Heaven or on earth.

Mighty blessings be upon you from Jesus.

Carmel.


Erik Diamond

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Re: The End Of The Church Age
« Reply #10 on: June 09, 2005, 04:39:45 PM »
Quote
So there really is an end of the Church age? And perhaps it is time to come out of the Churches. I don't see the spirit of God in the churches. If there is no oil to be had, then there is no salvation left, no one in the churches but the buyers and sellers, because the wise virgins have already left to prepare themselves, while the foolish virgins are running to the churches for oil. The wise have oil in their lamps because they were sealed before this call to them was made.

I am leaving a church right now but I found another church, still confessing the whole bible and the canons of Dordt, the confession of faith and the Heidelberger. Over the years they have proved to be biblical in my opinion. I agree with you that there are a lot of churches you leave right away, but we need the communion of saints.

The "Church Age" will end as far as the sealing of God's people is concerned, Rev 7. We do not know exactly when it will happen or already happened.  It is up to individual of God's Elects to see for themselves. I do not believe that all Elects will see (or understand) everything on the first day of the Great Tribulation.  It takes time for the Elects to discern things as it process.

The way I see things, I dont believe that every literal buildings of the church have to fall in one literal day in order to have THE Great Tribulation here. It is a GRADUAL thing. Since we do not know exactly when the Great Tribulation starts on God's watch, but sooner or later, we will see church after church falling. During that time, more and more Elects will be able to discern whenever God decides to open their eyes. 

I am not here to tell you whether your church is no good. As Elect of God, you will know when you need to leave, but it does not neccessarily mean to stop fellowship with same-minded Saints, whether it will take place at a Bible study at your home, Burger King, school, or at a church building.  True church are 'people', and not have to be a literal building on every Sunday.

Erik


 

   


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judykanova

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Re: The End Of The Church Age
« Reply #11 on: June 10, 2005, 05:13:47 AM »
Quote from Reformer:
Quote
So there really is an end of the Church age? And perhaps it is time to come out of the Churches. I don't see the spirit of God in the churches. If there is no oil to be had, then there is no salvation left, no one in the churches but the buyers and sellers, because the wise virgins have already left to prepare themselves, while the foolish virgins are running to the churches for oil. The wise have oil in their lamps because they were sealed before this call to them was made.

Man--made slogans such as 'end-of-the-church-age' should never be substituted for Scriptures which, in this instance, doesn't convey the exact same meaning and is based upon false premises.  A church is but an assembly of individuals who (rightly or wrongly) claim the name of Christ. and will be judged accordingly.  Those who claim that "all" churches will fall, find that it serves their purpose to ignore the clear conditions/qualifiers that Scriptures provide that describe and define which churches will surely fall. 

2Th 1
7  And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels,
8  In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ:

1Pe 4
17  For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?
18  And if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear?
19  Wherefore let them that suffer according to the will of God commit the keeping of their souls to him in well doing, as unto a faithful Creator.

2Th 2
8  And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming:
9  Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders,
10  And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.


The Lord is Faithful and True in His dealings with a church as He is with individuals.  In other words, He would never forsake a church any more than He would forsake an individual who, conversely, "obeys the Gospel of Christ", and "receives the love of the truth", etc.

I don't presume to know how many churches may remain steadfast until the end, I only know that all that "obey not the gospel of Christ" will fall.  This is quite different from saying "Satan is ruling in all churches".  I also know that Scriptures provide sufficient examples of a faithful 'remnant'.  With the fall of OT Israel we are given a glimpse of those noble Bereans and of synagogue leaders who became followers of Christ.

God seems to always preserve a remnant for Himself in times of judgment.  There is also the picture given of the 7 churches in Rev 2-3 which don't quite fit the 'end-of-the-church-age' mold, as two (church at Smyrna & Philadelphia) remained faithful (within the clear context of great tribulation), until the end,  a few others who the Lord had “somewhat against” were told to “repent”, and individual believers within some were told to “hold-fast”. 

Moreover, God’s judgment will fall just as readily on a “fellowship” that “obeys not the gospel of Christ”, as it will on a church, and vice versa.  This inconsistency alone should give one pause.

I don’t presume to know the Lord’s timetable; I don’t know the point at which all true believers will be ‘sealed’.  Seeing the “signs” is a far cry from presuming to know when salvation ended, when it presumably began again outside of the churches only, and the year when the Lord will return.  But even at the point (which God only knows) when all are ‘sealed”, there will still be those who seek fellowship with other of ‘like-mind’.  Such groups of believers, however small, and whether they go by the name of “church” or “fellowship”, by the Grace of God, could very well exist until the very end.

For God never rescinded the roles & gifts He gave for the edification of the body of Christ, until he returns.

1Ti 3
13  For they that have used the office of a deacon well purchase to themselves a good degree, and great boldness in the faith which is in Christ Jesus.
14  These things write I unto thee, hoping to come unto thee shortly:
15  But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.

Eph 4
11  And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;
12  For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:
13  Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:


May God raise up faithful pastors/teachers/elders/deacons/servants in these last days, according to His perfect will.

judy
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dsouzaanthony

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Re: The End Of The Church Age
« Reply #12 on: June 10, 2005, 12:51:42 PM »
2Th 2:3  Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;

 4 Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.


The above scripture is clear that when it is the Temple of God, it talks in totality.  No local church is spared.

Mt 24:2 And Jesus said unto them, See ye not all these things? verily I say unto you, There shall not be left here one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down.


We have also to remember that those physical seven churches (representing all churches throught NT) ceased to exist historically.  God did not promise that these churches will stay permanent till the return of Christ. They have exhortation that overcomers will be rewarded and those who have ears let them hear.  All won't have ears.  Someday , in the future God has prphesized 'There come a  Falling Away' (2Thes 2:3).

God Bless,

DSOUZAANTHONY

judykanova

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Re: The End Of The Church Age
« Reply #13 on: June 11, 2005, 01:30:17 AM »
2Th 2:3 Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;

 4 Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.


The above scripture is clear that when it is the Temple of God, it talks in totality. No local church is spared.

Mt 24:2 And Jesus said unto them, See ye not all these things? verily I say unto you, There shall not be left here one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down.


We have also to remember that those physical seven churches (representing all churches throught NT) ceased to exist historically. God did not promise that these churches will stay permanent till the return of Christ. They have exhortation that overcomers will be rewarded and those who have ears let them hear. All won't have ears. Someday , in the future God has prphesized 'There come a Falling Away' (2Thes 2:3).

God Bless,

DSOUZAANTHONY


Dsouzaanthony, it's interesting to note that we both made reference to 2Th2.  But whereas you introduce words like "in totality" I don't see any suggestion of that in this passage which, in order to get the proper context, I've included in full below:

2Th 2
1  Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him,
2  That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand.
3  Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;
4  Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.
5  Remember ye not, that, when I was yet with you, I told you these things?
6  And now ye know what withholdeth that he might be revealed in his time.
7  For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way.
8  And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming:
Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders,
10  And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; BECAUSE THEY received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.
11  And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie:
12  That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness. [/blue]

Here comes the contrast....
13  But we are bound to give thanks alway to God for YOU, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth: 14  Whereunto he called you by our gospel, to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.
15  Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle.


You paint a picture of an unjust God ,who regards faithfulness and unfaithfulness alike, and who at a whim, will decide to spiritually destroy all churches via the loosening of Satan, regardless. You seem determined to leave out the 'because' part, and seem equally determined to ignore the contrast that is painted between "THEY" who " received not the love of the truth", versus " YOU" (the church he is addressing) "brethren beloved of the Lord".

You appear to acknowledge that such passages (including those in Rev 2-3) are addressed to congregations/churches throughout time.  Yet you turn around and negate that truth by saying these churches no longer physically exists.  Since when did physical existance negate spiritual truth, especially given that all subsequent churches arose from these early churches? 

Please also note verse 13, whereby they are told to 'stand-fast'.  Tell me, why would such exhortation be necessary if ALL churches regardless would fall?  And why does God bother to described the conditions/qualifers upon which He will determine if a church will stand or fall, if such things don't matter?  You are describing a God that doesn't exist in the Bible, for one of His main characteristics is that He is Faithful and True.

NoI don't presume to know how many may fall and how many may stand during this period of "falling away", although given the nature of the Great Tribution -- a time like no other in terms of spiritual famine -- it's obvious that a great many will fall.  But that's God's business.

Furthermore, not only is this church exhorted to "stand fast", but they are also commanded to "hold the traditions", which would include the roles/gifts God gave some for the edification of all.  I'm speaking of the way church roles were intended to be carried out by servants of God, not the abuses of such roles by many.  In any case, they remain in effect -- one man's doctrine does not override the Bible's teachings.  Instead of trying to do away with something the Bible never rescinded, our energies would be better spend on emphasising the qualifications and true nature of such roles which at their core is one of sacraficial service, more so than authority.

Mat 20
25  But Jesus called them unto him, and said, Ye know that the princes of the Gentiles exercise dominion over them, and they that are great exercise authority upon them.
26  BUT it shall not be so among you: but whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister;
27  And whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant:
28  Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.


Then there is this final passage you gave:

Mt 24:2
And Jesus said unto them, See ye not all these things? verily I say unto you, There shall not be left here one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down.


This passage is subject to many interpretations and debate.  But please recall that this was spoken by Christ before he went to the cross, and thereby it's most immediate application relates to the "pulling down" of OT Israel and  rebuilding of the NT church comprised mostly of Gentiles from all nations.  For Christ goes on to say, in this related passage, that the temple would be raised back up on the 3rd day:

[u]Joh 2[/u]
14  And found in the temple those that sold oxen and sheep and doves, and the changers of money sitting:
15  And when he had made a scourge of small cords, he drove them all out of the temple, and the sheep, and the oxen; and poured out the changers' money, and overthrew the tables;
16  And said unto them that sold doves, Take these things hence; make not my Father's house an house of merchandise.
17  And his disciples remembered that it was written, The zeal of thine house hath eaten me up.
18  Then answered the Jews and said unto him, What sign shewest thou unto us, seeing that thou doest these things?
19  Jesus answered and said unto them, Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.
20  Then said the Jews, Forty and six years was this temple in building, and wilt thou rear it up in three days?
21 But he spake of the temple of his body.
22  When therefore he was risen from the dead, his disciples remembered that he had said this unto them; and they believed the scripture, and the word which Jesus had said.


To the extent that this may also refer to the NT church, I don't know, but, it wouldn't it need to be brought in harmony with all the aforementioned passages that qualify the conditions upon which a chuch will be given up to apostasy?

judy

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Raybob

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Re: The End Of The Church Age
« Reply #14 on: June 11, 2005, 03:01:12 PM »
Judy,
You wrote, "I don’t presume to know the Lord’s timetable; I don’t know the point at which all true believers will be ‘sealed’.  Seeing the “signs” is a far cry from presuming to know when salvation ended, when it presumably began again outside of the churches only, and the year when the Lord will return.  But even at the point (which God only knows) when all are ‘sealed”, there will still be those who seek fellowship with other of ‘like-mind’.  Such groups of believers, however small, and whether they go by the name of “church” or “fellowship”, by the Grace of God, could very well exist until the very end."

I believe Christians have been getting sealed and will be sealed up until the day Christ returns.  I believe the 144,000 is not a literal number but the number of the complete church including all members throughout time.

Eph 4:30  And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.


Raybob

 


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