J.C. Ryle- The Chief Articles of My Prophetical Creed

(1867)  

 I.  I believe that the world will never be completely converted to Christianity by any existing agency, before the end comes.  In spite of all that can be done by ministers, churches, schools and missions, the wheat and tares will grow together until the harvest; and when the end comes, it will find the earth in much the same state that it was when the flood came in the days of Noah (Matt. 13: 24-30; 24: 37-39).

 II. I believe that the widespread unbelief, indifference, formalism, and wickedness, which are to be seen throughout Christendom, are only what we are taught to expect in God’s word.  Troublous times, departures from the faith, evil men waxing worse and worse, love waxing cold, are things distinctly predicted.  So far from making me doubt the truth of Christianity, they help to confirm my faith.  Melancholy and sorrowful as the sight is, if I did not see it I should think the Bible was not true (Matt. 24: 12; 1 Tim. 4: 1; 2 Tim. 3: 1, 4, 13).

 III.  I believe that the grand purpose of the present dispensation is to gather out of the world an elect people, and not to convert all mankind.  It does not surprise me at all to hear that the heathen are not all converted when missionaries preach, and that believers are but a little flock in any congregation in my own land.  It is precisely the state of things which I expect to find.  The gospel is to be preached ‘as a witness,’ and then shall the end come.  This is the dispensation of election, and not of universal conversion (Acts 15: 14; Matt. 24: 14).

 IV.  I believe that the second coming of our Lord Jesus Christ is the great event which will wind up the present dispensation, and for which we ought daily to long and pray.  ‘Thy kingdom come,’ ‘Come, Lord Jesus,’ should be our daily prayer.  We look backward, if we have faith, to Christ dying on the cross, and we ought to look forward no less, if we have hope, to Christ coming again (John 14: 3; 2 Tim. 4: 8; 2 Peter 3: 12).

 V. I believe that the second coming of our Lord Jesus Christ will be a real, literal, personal, bodily coming; and that as He went away in the clouds of heaven with His body, before the eyes of men, so in like manner He will return (Acts 1: 11).

 VI. I believe that after our Lord Jesus Christ comes again, the earth shall be renewed, and the curse removed; the devil shall be bound, the godly shall be rewarded, the wicked shall be punished; and that before He comes there shall be neither resurrection, judgment, nor millennium, and that not till after He comes shall the earth be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord (Acts 3: 21; Isa. 25: 6-10; 1 Thess. 4: 14-18; Rev. 20: 1, etc.).

 VII. I believe that the Jews shall ultimately be gathered again as a separate nation, restored to their own land, and converted to the faith of Christ, after going through great tribulation (Jer. 30: 10, 11; 31: 10; Rom. 11: 25, 26; Dan. 12: 1; Zech. 13: 8, 9).

 VIII. I believe that the literal sense of the Old Testament prophecies has been far too much neglected by the Churches, and is far too much neglected at the present day, and that under the mistaken system of spiritualizing and accommodating Bible language, Christians have too often completely missed its meaning (Luke 24: 25, 26).

 IX. I do not believe that the preterist scheme of interpreting the Apocalypse, which regards the book as almost entirely fulfilled, or the futurist scheme, which regards it as entirely unfulfilled, are either of them to be implicitly followed.  The truth, I expect, will be found to lie between the two.

 X.  I believe that the Roman Catholic Church is the great predicted apostasy from the faith, and is Babylon and Antichrist, although I think it highly probable that a more complete development of Antichrist will yet be exhibited to the world (2 Thess. 2: 3-11; 1 Tim. 4: 1-3).

 XI. Finally, I believe that it is for the safety, happiness and comfort of all true Christians, to expect as little as possible from churches or governments under the present dispensation, to hold themselves ready for tremendous convulsions and changes of all things established, and to expect their good things only from Christ’s second advent.

5 Comments Add yours

  1. Theolog says:

    It amazes me how shabby some Christians never really read scripture.God Promised Noah that the world would never end;
    “Never again will I curse the ground because of man, even though j every inclination of his heart is evil from childhood. And never again will I destroy all living creatures, as I have done.
    22 “As long as the earth endures,
    seedtime and harvest,
    cold and heat,
    summer and winter,
    day and night
    will never cease.”

    Is God going to honor his promise to Noah or not? If you believe the world is going to end you do not believe God.

  2. Theolog,

    The promise made to Noah only confirms that the Pre-Millennial view is correct. Christ won’t return to curse the earth, but to bless it. Christ won’t return to destroy the world, but to judge His visible church, and renew the world.

    This view steers clear of the two unscriptural theories held in our time, that a): Christ will return to destroy all mankind; or b): that evil will exist ‘for ever and ever and ever.’

    Peace & Health,

    Brian

    Brian

  3. Theolog says:

    Excuse me but does not the premil view come in a few different flavors??

    Did you miss the blessing and renewal when God blessed us with his son becoming the tree of life and dieing for our sins enabling us to partake from the tree of life/Jesus by repenting and being born of the spirit as a down payment and declaired sinless in Christ, until that glorious day when we are transformed/spiritual resurrected, in the twinkling of the eye at our death and live forever with God in the heavenly realm in a blisful state of oneness with God?

    Jesus declaired His kingdom was not of this world, if it were tens of thousands of his angels would defend him. The Jews could not believe Him so they killed him and waited for another deliverer.

    Todays pre mill dipsy Zionists have adopted the very reliegon that killed Christ. Waiting for a kingdom that that can only be known by faith to become a physical reality is the very thing that the Jews are still doing today. Really hard for you guys to let that idea go. You guys waiting for christ to come back and kill all the bad guys will certianly seal your fate if you are wrong.

    Evil is actions that are done by people. The only way God will stop sin on this world is kill all the people or let the people kill themselves. If you are talking no sin you are talking no people.

  4. Theolog,

    I appreciate that view. However, there is a big difference between the Kingdom of Grace and the Kingdom of Glory. Yes, the kingdom of grace is within us. But the kingom of glory is what we’re taught to pray for:

    “Thy kingdom come: thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.” (Matt. 6: 10).

    Peace & Health,

    Brian

  5. John Puhalski says:

    I know this is an old post but couldn’t help replying

    Theolog, God made no such promise to Noah that the world would never end. In this passage He is saying this to “Himself” that He will never curse the ground on account of man, or destroy every living thing. It doesnt mean He cant destroy the earth, it means what it says, that He will not curse the ground because of man, and He can destroy the earth without destroying every living thing.

    The fact that this earth will be burned up is clear from Peters epistle and that He will build a new heaven and a new earth is stated clearly as well in Isaiah, and many others that are too numerous to mention.

    Gen 8:21 The LORD smelled the soothing aroma; and the LORD said to Himself, “I will never again curse the ground on account of man, for the intent of man’s heart is evil from his youth; and I will never again destroy every living thing, as I have done.

    His promise to Noah is that He will never use “a flood” to destroy the earth, which He repeats three times in the passage below.

    Gen 9:11-17
    “I establish My covenant with you; and all flesh shall never again be cut off by the water of the flood, neither shall there again be a flood to destroy the earth.” God said, “This is the sign of the covenant which I am making between Me and you and every living creature that is with you, for all successive generations; I set My bow in the cloud, and it shall be for a sign of a covenant between Me and the earth. “It shall come about, when I bring a cloud over the earth, that the bow will be seen in the cloud, and I will remember My covenant, which is between Me and you and every living creature of all flesh; and never again shall the water become a flood to destroy all flesh.
    “When the bow is in the cloud, then I will look upon it, to remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is on the earth.”
    And God said to Noah, “This is the sign of the covenant which I have established between Me and all flesh that is on the earth.”

    You need to read the scriptures more carefully and not just pull verses here and there, it is quite clear.

    john

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