A recent survey of American Protestant clergymen by CHRISTIANITY TODAY showed, in representative sampling interviews, the following results: 93 per cent of the fundamentalists, and 76 per cent of the conservatives, maintain that the doctrine of the Second Coming of Christ is essential and should be preached; 26 per cent of the neoorthodox ministers consider the doctrine essential; and only 30 per cent of the liberal clergymen held that it should be preached. All in all 26 per cent of the clergymen interviewed did not think that the doctrine of the Second Advent of Christ was essential to their teaching or preaching. When a convocation of church delegates from around the world met in Evanston, Illinois, a few years ago, Life magazine reported that only 10 per cent of the American Protestant clergymen questioned found any significance in the doctrine of the Second Advent.
We once interviewed a minister who had gained some reputation as an authority on the Second Advent of Christ. He recalled that for ten years he hadn’t preached on that theme from his pulpit. He had heard too many preachers who knew more about Antichrist than they did about Jesus Christ, who knew more about “the great tribulation” than they did about regeneration. Some premillennialists caused him to lean toward postmillennialism; some post’s made him favor the pre’s! Finally he became something of a “panmillennialist”—everything would “pan out” all right when God was through in history! But, forced to face the fact of his cowardly position, during the years when he eschewed eschatology in his pulpit he engaged in a serious study of the subject, discovering that a vast body of Scripture spoke definitely of the Second Advent of the Lord.
“If the Scriptures say ...1
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