Babylonian Territory

The “Seven Mountains Mandate”? I was taught long ago that disciples of Jesus must live “separate from the world,” not physically, but morally and spiritually. We are “in the world but not of it,” and our task is to call men and women to “save themselves from this crooked generation” before Jesus arrives and judges the world.

Yet today, many voices are exhorting Christians to infiltrate the “mountains of culture” so they may change society’s ungodly character and institutions from the inside.

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Not Yet Complete

The biblical faith is forward-looking and integral to its doctrine of salvation is the future resurrection of the dead. And that event will also mark the commencement of the New Creation. In the New Testament, this hope is linked to two events. First, the past resurrection of Jesus, and second, his future arrival at the end of the age. And salvation will remain incomplete without the resurrection of the saints.

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Pursuing Perfection

In the opening thanksgiving of his letter to the Philippians, Paul prepares his readers for a key theme of his letter – going on to “perfection” in Jesus. The promised bodily resurrection is necessary for their “completion.” It is not optional. Instead, it is an integral part of the future salvation they will receive when Jesus arrives in glory.

What God began in the Philippians He will continue to perform until the day that Jesus “arrives” – at “the day of Christ.”

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The Ends of the Ages

The Apostle links the start of the “last days” with the death and resurrection of the Son of God. The time of fulfillment has arrived, and all God’s promises now find their “yea and amen” in him. “In these last days,” God has “spoken” His definitive “word” in His Son.

And Paul declares that the church consists of those men and women upon whom the “ends of the ages have come.” While the term “last days” is not frequent in his letters, the Apostle does demonstrate his understanding that History’s final era has commenced with the death and resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth; therefore, nothing will ever be the same again.

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In the Last Days

The application of Joel’s prophecy by Peter on the Day of Pentecost links the gift of the Spirit to the onset of the messianic age following Christ’s ascension and the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, and the latter signals the arrival of the “last days” and the inevitability if not imminence of the “Day of the Lord.”

The gift of the Spirit is the “promise of Father” based on the covenant of Abraham, and an integral part of the New Covenant prophesied in the books of Jeremiah and Ezekiel. Thus, the arrival of the Spirit among God’s covenant community marks a fundamental change in eras. The age of fulfillment has arrived.

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