I’m reading a history of the southern presbyterian (PCUS) mission to Korea, entitled Mission To Korea, written by my great-uncle George Thompson Brown. I just got past the Japanese emperor’s reign over Korea (1910-1945).
Towards the end of the occupation, the emperor decided to purge the young Korean church of “foreign” influences. In particular, Christians were not allowed to teach Christ’s second coming “since it was incompatible with emperor worship.”
In 1940-41, most missionaries left Korea at the behest of the U.S. State department. However, a few PCUS missionaries remained. In December of 1941, Dr. John Talmage was arrested and charged with, among other things, “belief in the second coming of Christ and His final victory.” In God’s providence, he was inexplicably released after 121 days and put on a boat to the States.
But that has me thinking. Do we belief and proclaim the second coming of Christ and His final victory in such a way that a self-deifying ruler would lock us up? Do we announce Christ’s final victory so boldly as to offend the natural man? Would I go to jail for believing Christ “is coming soon”?
I suspect that our differences in eschatology cause Christians to miss the core of eschatology: Christ is coming and is coming victorious. Premils, amils (or already-but-not-yet-mils), and postmils should stand confidently together to announce this message. Christ has “disarmed the rulers and authorities and put them to open shame, by triumphing over them in him.” And He is coming soon to put all His enemies under His feet once and for all.
Come Lord Jesus.