Imminent And Any-Moment -- By: Warren Vanhetloo

Journal: Central Bible Quarterly
Volume: CENQ 02:2 (Summer 1959)
Article: Imminent And Any-Moment
Author: Warren Vanhetloo


Imminent And Any-Moment

Warren Vanhetloo

Dean, Central Conservative Baptist Theological Seminary

Belief in the imminence of the personal return of our Lord Jesus Christ from glory is a sacred conviction among many Bible believers. In recent decades there has been a strong emphasis upon this Scriptural truth by evangelists and pastors resulting in conversions and holy lives. This doctrine of the Word believers have accepted as clearly taught by God, as greatly used by God, and as frequently blessed to their own hearts.

Recent years, however, have seen growing opposition to this doctrine. In the face of such opposition, it behooves Christians to re-examine the Scriptures and re-examine their understanding of that which Scripture teaches as set forth in their doctrinal statements. Re-examination as such is never dangerous, but is always wise for every Christian and every generation. In a seminary classroom, for instance, every theology class constitutes a re-examination and re-evaluation of the teaching of the Word.

One of the dangers concerning which we must be exceedingly cautious, the Modernists of former generations have taught us, is that so-called re-examination may sometimes amount to a re-definition or re-statement rather than a re-evaluation. Further study of the teaching of the Bible should normally lead us to stronger convictions, more clearly expressed and more surely believed. That type of so-called re-examination which actually amounts to a re-definition of historic theological terms accomplishes the end of whisking away the reality of the doctrine

without actually and clearly opposing the doctrine itself. Fundamentalists are aware that Modernists, instead of openly opposing the doctrine of the deity of the Lord Jesus Christ cleverly re-defined “deity” such that the deity of Christ in their speech was the same as the “deity” of any human being. The reality of the doctrine was removed by a re-definition of the term used, such that the average Christian was often not aware of the radical difference between Fundamentalist and Modernistic teachings.

There is reason to suspect that in our day once again such a process is possible, and perhaps even actual. There are those who are concerned that much of the so-called re-investigation of the doctrine of inspiration in our day amounts to little more than a re-statement of the doctrine which in effect waters down the actual and historic teaching. There are also those who are concerned that a similar process concerning the historic Scriptural concept of the imminent return of the Lord Jesus Christ is also possible in this day. The purpose of this study is to call attention to what seem t...

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