THE HOPE OF MODERNISM.
1. Religious modernism is a form of worldliness which tries to make Christianity acceptable through deleting those things which are offensive to the modern mind.
2. Actually, modernists follow the example of Jehoiakim. Jer. 36:23.
A. With the penknife of higher criticism, they go through the pages of the Bible and eliminate the things which they do not want to believe.
1) They remove such things as the record of creation; the universal flood; Jonah and the whale; Daniel in the lion's den; the miracles of Elijah, etc.
a. Then, when they come to the New Testament, they remove the virgin birth of Christ; His miracles and the miracles performed by others.
3. Generally, in the past, modernism has been somewhat removed from the church of the Lord.
A. Yet, in recent years, more and more modernists are raising their ugly heads among us.
I. TWO CONFLICTING RELIGIONS.
A. The religion of modernism and the religion of Christ are two conflicting religions.
1. The GOD of Christianity is One who has revealed Himself to man through His Son Jesus Christ and the Bible.
2. The GOD of Modernism is either dead, as was put forth in the God is dead movement of Altizer, or silent, in that He does not reveal Himself.
3. The CHRIST of Christianity is God manifest in the flesh, who died for our sins.
4. The CHRIST of Modernism is a mere man with whom they disagree and correct on a number of occasions.
5. The BIBLE of Christianity is the revelation of God's wishes, will, and mind to man.
6. The BIBLE of Modernism is the human record of man's religious experiences.
B. There are many facits of modernism.
1. Humanism, Idealism, Liberalism, Subjectivism, Materialism, Naturalism, etc.
a. A lesson could be conducted on each one of these.
1) But we must turn to the subject of the heading of our lesson: "THE HOPE OF MODERNISM."
II. THE HOPE OF MODERNISM.
A. We are told that "Hopelessness...is a condition a man cannot for long endure. Man will have his objects of hope or he will invent them anew."
1. Modernism, therefore, rejecting and repudiating the hope of immort- ality, invented its own hope of a better world, here.
2. Modernism strives toward an improved social order that will bring earthly happiness.
3. It seeks an earthly utopia through human philosophy. This is the hope of modernism.
B. We are told that "Humanism is a philosophy of joyous service for the greater good of all humanity in this natural world..."
C. Some quotations concerning the earthly hope of modernism:
1. CORLISS LAMONT, who taught at Columbia University, said: "The Humanist philosophy persistently strives to remind men that their only home is in the mundane world. There is not use in our searching elsewhere for happiness and fulfillment, for there is no place else to go...as for the future, it is up to the human race to work out its own destiny upon this globe."
2. WALTER RAUSCHENBUSH, a professor of church history at Rochester Theological Seminary, at the turn of the 20th century, said "The purpose of all that Jesus said and did and hoped to do was always the social redemption of the entire life of the human race on earth...Christianity set out with a great social ideal. The live sub- stance of the Christian religion was the hope of seeing a divine social order established on earth."
D. These men, not believing in or looking at things eternal, sought to make the most of this earthly existence.
1. A Virginia preacher said: "We're interested in human life and destiny on earth."
a. What else can the Modernists be interested in when they do not believe in heaven, hell or the second coming of Christ?
III. PESSIMISM OF MODERNISM.
A. Though the modernist pursues happiness and contentment through the hope of Humanism, his dream is shattered when he awakes to face reality.
1. In looking for their envisioned world utopia, they have been chasing the rainbow, looking for the proverbial pot of gold.
2. They have been left shipwrecked and marooned by the futile hope of human wisdom.
3. Let's listen to the statements of some renowned men who had lost hope of tomorrow and immortality:
a. VOLTAIRE: brilliantly gifted and highly acclaimed by the world, said at the end of his life: "Strike out a few sages, and the crowd of human beings is nothing but a horrible assemblage of unfortunate criminals, and the globe contains nothing but corpses...I wish I had never been born."
b. DAVID STRAUSS, a radical German theologian of the 19th century, said: "In the enormous machine of the universe, amid wheel and hiss of its jagged iron wheels, amid the deafening clash of its stamps and hammers, in the midst of this whole terrific commotion, man finds himself placed with no security for a moment, that a wheel might not seize and render him, or a hammer crush him to pieces."
c. WILL DURANT, philosopher, historian and professor for many years at Columbia University, declared: "God, who was once the consolation of our brief life, and our refuge in bereavement and suffering, has apparently vanished from the scene; no telescope, no microscope discovers him. Life has become in that total perspective which is philosophy, a fitful pullulation of human insects on the earth, a planetary eczema that may soon be cured; nothing is certain in it except defeat and death -- a sleep from which, it seems, there is no awakening...Faith and hope disappear; doubt and despair are the order of the day."
d. What a bleak and gloomy future for the skeptic, the humanist, the modernist.
IV. THE CHRISTIAN'S HOPE.
A. Thank God, that in the midst of pessimism and despair, hope shines forth --a hope that is both sure and stedfast. Heb. 6:13-20.
1. Yes, the hope that we have in Christ, Col. 1:27, enables us to sing with exuberance, "Blessed Assurance, Jesus is mine;O what a foretaste of glory divine" or "There's a land that is fairer than day, And by faith we can see it afar, For the Father waits over the way, To prepare us a dwelling place there."
B. The Christian's hope looks with great expectation to the following things:
1. The Appearing of the Lord: Listen to Paul; "Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Savior Jesus Christ", Titus 2:13.
a. A cardinal doctrine of the New Testament is the second coming of Christ for the consumation of God's scheme of redemption.
2. The Resurrection of the Dead: Though the Christian at death moves out of his earthly tabernacle, 2 Pet. 1:13,14, he knows that he will move into a new house, a house not made with human hands eternal in the heavens, 2 Cor. 5:1-4.
a. The resurrected body will be a spiritual and immortal body, 1 Cor. 15:42-54, that will neither be afflicted with disease, nor grow old by the passing of the ages or be subject to the enemy of death. These earthly sorrows will be gone forever.
b. Our hope is vividly stated by Paul in 1 Thes. 4:13-18.
3. Eternal Life: The reality of eternal life will be fully experienced when all of God's people are received into that eternal home, clothed in their glorified bodies.
a. This eternal life should be looked at for quality rather than duration, although it will be forever.
1) We are introduced in Rom. 1:7, to the kind of life that eternal life entails.
a) Paul says: "To them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honor and immortality, eternal life."
2) For every saved person, heaven will be a place where he will have glory, honor and immortality. This is the quality of eternal life.
b. Paul gives us further insight into this eternal life in the following scriptures: Heb. 6:18; Titus 1:2; 3:7.
1) What a contrast with the Modernist who sees nothing ahead but gloom and darkness. Sort of like the old Hee Haw song: "Gloom, Despair, and Agony on me. darkness and misery."
4. To Be Like Christ: When Jesus comes, we shall be like Him, 1 Jno. 3:2,3.
a. Paul writes that this vile body will be changed, Phil. 3:21.
b. This body will be changed into a body that will be perfectly adapted to the glorious world where Jesus now resides. This is our hope.
5. For Salvation: Look at 1 Thes, 5:8.
a. This is the salvation that is "nearer than when we first believed", Rom. 13:11.
b. No wonder then that the Bible speaks of hope as, "that blessed hope", Titus 2:13.
1. The Christian's hope is laid up for him in heaven, Col. 1:5.
A. In other words, the things hoped for are reserved in heaven.
1) As Peter expressed it in: 1 Pet. 1:4.
2. The Christian's eternal welfare is just as secure as the integrity of the Lord, 2 Tim. 1:12.
3. We are preserved by "the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time", 1 Pet. 1:5.
4. No, the Modernist, the Humanist, the Idealist, the Liberalist, the Subjectivist, the Matrerialist, the Naturalist, have no hope in their theories.
A. But the Christian, the child of God, has that "blessed hope".
1) Are you a child of God?
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