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Christendom: A "Little Flock"? No!

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  • Christendom: A "Little Flock"? No!

    "Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom."__Luke 12:32

    Some Bible interpreters have focused on the phrase "little flock" in Luke 12:32 and have erroneously
    proclaimed that Christendom is always going to be relatively small numerically. After all the verse
    says "little flock" so they conclude that "little flock" is a general characterization of the numerical size
    of Christendom for all of human history. Their interpretation and application of "little flock" is obviously
    incorrect.

    "As of the year 2015, Christianity has more than 2.3 billion adherents, out of about 7.5 billion people. The
    faith represents one-third of the world's population and is the largest religion in the world, with the three
    largest groups being the Catholic Church, Protestantism, and the Eastern Orthodox Church."
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christianity_by_country


    Clearly, Christianity is not now a "little flock" and it is impossible to interpret the Bible as teaching that the
    Christian Church is always going to be a "little flock." When was Christianity a "little flock"? Answer: It was
    a "little flock" at the time the Lord Jesus spoke the words of Luke 12:32. At that time there was probably less
    than 300 Christians in the entire world of the 1st century. The Christian Church is not a "little flock" now and
    will never again be a "little flock."

    Take a look at Genesis 22:17-18
    God said to Abraham, "indeed I will greatly bless you, and I will greatly multiply your seed as the stars of the
    heavens and as the sand which is on the seashore . . . and in your seed all the nations of the earth shall be
    blessed."

    (1) stars
    (2) grains of sand on the seashore
    (3) all nations of the earth shall be blessed through Abraham's descendants. (In Romans the Apostle Paul
    teaches that the Christian Church is the spiritual children of Abraham.)

    How many stars are there in the universe? If you google that question, you'll get something like this:
    "Multiplying the number of galaxies, which is about 2 trillion, by the 100 million stars in a galaxy suggests
    there could be about 10 raised to the 20th power stars in the universe."

    That would be trillions and trillions of stars.

    Then there is the matter of numerous "as the sand which is on the seashore" phrase in Genesis 22:17-18. How
    many grains of sand is there on the seashores of the world? Trillions and trillions to be sure.

    Clearly the descendants of Abraham, which includes all of Christendom, are going to be huge in numbers.

    Compare Revelation 7: 9-12



    "After this I looked and saw a multitude to large to count, from every nation and tribe and people and tongue, standing before the throne and before the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands. And they cried out in a loud voice:

    “Salvation to our God,

    who sits on the throne,

    and to the Lamb!”

    And all the angels stood around the throne and around the elders and the four living creatures. And they fell facedown before the throne and worshiped God, saying, “Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom and thanks and honor and power and strength to our God forever and ever! Amen.”
    Note the phrase that says, "I saw a multitude to large to count."
    Note the phrase that says, "from every nation and tribe and tongue."
    Clearly Christendom is going to be huge-enormous in numbers before
    human history comes to an end.

    The human race is now in its infancy. Its only a few days old, historically
    speaking. In the mega millenniums yet ahead the Christian Church will
    grow in numbers so that the final numbers will be as the stars in the
    heavens and as numerous as the grains of sand on the seashores of the
    world.
    Last edited by JAG; 01-30-19, 03:40 PM.
    "For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith-and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God" (Eph. 2:8)

  • #2
    Originally posted by JAG View Post
    "Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom."__Luke 12:32

    Some Bible interpreters have focused on the phrase "little flock" in Luke 12:32 and have erroneously
    proclaimed that Christendom is always going to be relatively small numerically. After all the verse
    says "little flock" so they conclude that "little flock" is a general characterization of the numerical size
    of Christendom for all of human history. Their interpretation and application of "little flock" is obviously
    incorrect.

    "As of the year 2015, Christianity has more than 2.3 billion adherents, out of about 7.5 billion people. The
    faith represents one-third of the world's population and is the largest religion in the world, with the three
    largest groups being the Catholic Church, Protestantism, and the Eastern Orthodox Church."
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christianity_by_country

    Clearly, Christianity is not now a "little flock" and it is impossible to interpret the Bible as teaching that the
    Christian Church is always going to be a "little flock." When was Christianity a "little flock"? Answer: It was
    a "little flock" at the time the Lord Jesus spoke the words of Luke 12:32. At that time there was probably less
    than 300 Christians in the entire world of the 1st century. The Christian Church is not a "little flock" now and
    will never again be a "little flock."

    Take a look at Genesis 22:17-18
    God said to Abraham, "indeed I will greatly bless you, and I will greatly multiply your seed as the stars of the
    heavens and as the sand which is on the seashore . . . and in your seed all the nations of the earth shall be
    blessed."

    (1) stars
    (2) grains of sand on the seashore
    (3) all nations of the earth shall be blessed through Abraham's descendants. (In Romans the Apostle Paul
    teaches that the Christian Church is the spiritual children of Abraham.)

    How many stars are there in the universe? If you google that question, you'll get something like this:
    "Multiplying the number of galaxies, which is about 2 trillion, by the 100 million stars in a galaxy suggests
    there could be about 10 raised to the 20th power stars in the universe."

    That would be trillions and trillions of stars.

    Then there is the matter of numerous "as the sand which is on the seashore" phrase in Genesis 22:17-18. How
    many grains of sand is there on the seashores of the world? Trillions and trillions to be sure.

    Clearly the descendants of Abraham, which includes all of Christendom, are going to be huge in numbers.

    Compare Revelation 7: 9-12


    Note the phrase that says, "I saw a multitude to large to count."
    Note the phrase that says, "from every nation and tribe and tongue."
    Clearly Christendom is going to be huge-enormous in numbers before
    human history comes to an end.

    The human race is now in its infancy. Its only a few days old, historically
    speaking. In the mega millenniums yet ahead the Christian Church will
    grow in numbers so that the final numbers will be as the stars in the
    heavens and as numerous as the grains of sand on the seashores of the
    world.








    Much ado about nothing.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by JAG View Post

      Take a look at Genesis 22:17-18
      God said to Abraham, "indeed I will greatly bless you, and I will greatly multiply your seed as the stars of the
      heavens and as the sand which is on the seashore . . . and in your seed all the nations of the earth shall be
      blessed."

      (1) stars
      (2) grains of sand on the seashore
      (3) all nations of the earth shall be blessed through Abraham's descendants. (In Romans the Apostle Paul
      teaches that the Christian Church is the spiritual children of Abraham.)

      Compare Galatians 3:6-9
      "So also, “Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness.”Understand, then, that those who have faith are the sons of Abraham. The Scripture foresaw that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, and foretold the gospel to Abraham: “All nations will be blessed through you.”So those who have faith are blessed along with Abraham, the man of faith."
      "For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith-and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God" (Eph. 2:8)

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Bob Carabbio View Post

        Much ado about nothing.
        "So in everything do to others what you would have them do to you"__The Lord Jesus in Matthew 7:12

        Question: Would you want a fellow Christian to come into your thread and make the comment, "Much ado
        about nothing."?

        Do you think your comment made me feel good?

        What good does it do to make an unkind comment like that?

        And why do you think that a serious post that makes an honest effort
        to make a positive statement about the numerical future of Christendom,
        is "much ado about nothing."?


        "For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith-and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God" (Eph. 2:8)

        Comment


        • #5
          From the OP
          Take a look at Genesis 22:17-18
          God said to Abraham, "indeed I will greatly bless you, and I will greatly multiply your seed as the stars of the
          heavens and as the sand which is on the seashore . . . and in your seed all the nations of the earth shall be
          blessed."

          (1) stars
          (2) grains of sand on the seashore
          (3) all nations of the earth shall be blessed through Abraham's descendants. (In Romans the Apostle Paul
          teaches that the Christian Church is the spiritual children of Abraham.)


          Compare: Hebrews 11:11-12
          By faith Sarah, even though she was barren and beyond the opportune age, was enabled to conceive a child, because she considered Him faithful who had promised. And so from one man, and he as good as dead, came descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as countless as the sand on the seashore."
          "For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith-and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God" (Eph. 2:8)

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by JAG View Post
            Question: Would you want a fellow Christian to come into your thread and make the comment, "Much ado
            about nothing."?
            Sure if it IS "Nothing" of substance or importance, just cherry picked stuff, that would be a helpful statement.

            And why do you think that a serious post that makes an honest effort
            to make a positive statement about the numerical future of Christendom,
            is "much ado about nothing."?
            Mat 7:13,14 the MANY and the few. simple as that.

            Comment


            • #7
              It is helpful to compare Revelation 7: 9-12 . . . . .

              After this I looked and saw a multitude to large to count, from every nation and tribe and people and tongue, standing before the throne and before the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands. And they cried out in a loud voice:

              “Salvation to our God,

              who sits on the throne,

              and to the Lamb!”

              And all the angels stood around the throne and around the elders and the four living creatures. And they fell facedown before the throne and worshiped God, saying, “Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom and thanks and honor and power and strength to our God forever and ever! Amen.” . . . . . .
              with The Great Commission in Matthew 28:18-20

              Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to Me. Therefore go andmake disciples of all nations,baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey all that I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”


              Compare the phrase "every nation" of Revelation 7 with the "all nations" of Matthew 28. We see that The Great Commission was indeed carried out successfully, seeing as how at the end of human history the numbers of the saved are so large that they are a "multitude to large to count."

              The important elements of The Great Commission are (1) that Christ now has all authority both in Heaven and on Earth and the goal is to (2) make disciples of all nations.
              The fact that Christ now has all authority both in Heaven and on Earth is the POWER that made possible the success of The Great Commission as recorded in Revelation 7: 9-12
              "For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith-and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God" (Eph. 2:8)

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Bob Carabbio View Post

                Sure if it IS "Nothing" of substance or importance, just cherry picked stuff, that would be a helpful statement.



                Mat 7:13,14 the MANY and the few. simple as that.
                I get it now. You DISAGREE with the proposition of the OP, and THAT is the reason
                for your unkind comment.

                By the way, "much ado about nothing" is not a rebuttal and not an argument. Its
                merely your personal proclamation and nothing more than that.

                You will need to demonstrate with ARGUMENTS (reasons) why the Bible verses
                in the Opening Post teach that the numbers of Christians will be, to quote you, "few."

                How do you get "few" out of Revelation 7





                "After this I looked and
                saw a multitude to large to count, from every nation and tribe and people and tongue,
                standing before the throne and before the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands.



                Write me a post and tell me how you get "few" from this:

                "saw a multitude to large to count, from every nation and tribe and people and tongue"
                "For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith-and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God" (Eph. 2:8)

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Bob Carabbio View Post
                  . . . . few . . .
                  And how do you get "few" out of this?


                  "As of the year 2015, Christianity has more than 2.3 billion adherents, out of about 7.5 billion people. The
                  faith represents one-third of the world's population and is the largest religion in the world, with the three
                  largest groups being the Catholic Church, Protestantism, and the Eastern Orthodox Church."

                  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christianity_by_country
                  Last edited by JAG; 01-30-19, 05:34 PM.
                  "For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith-and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God" (Eph. 2:8)

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Bob Carabbio View Post
                    . . . . few. . . .

                    And how do you get "few" out of this?
                    Genesis 22:17-18
                    God said to Abraham, "indeed I will greatly bless you, and I will greatly multiply your seed as the stars of the
                    heavens and as the sand which is on the seashore . . . and in your seed all the nations of the earth shall be
                    blessed."

                    There are trillions of stars and trillions of grains of sand on the seashore. how do you get "few" out of this?

                    Last edited by JAG; 01-30-19, 05:34 PM.
                    "For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith-and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God" (Eph. 2:8)

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Bob Carabbio View Post
                      . . . . few . . .

                      And how do you get "few" out of this NEW TESTAMENT statement?
                      Hebrews 11:11-12
                      By faith Sarah, even though she was barren and beyond the opportune age, was enabled to conceive a child,
                      because she considered Him faithful who had promised. And so from one man, and he as good as dead,
                      me descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as countless as the sand on the seashore."
                      Last edited by JAG; 01-30-19, 05:36 PM.
                      "For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith-and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God" (Eph. 2:8)

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        By the way, the Lord Jesus' statement in Matthew 16:18 . . . .
                        `


                        "Upon this rock
                        I will build my church,
                        and the gates of Hell will
                        not overcome it",



                        . . . . when read in light of all the verses in the OP and my other posts, is very encouraging because we are
                        compelled to conclude that His "my church" is going to be huge-enormous in numbers. And we would
                        naturally expect this from the God who NEVER does anything on a small dinky scale (for example just look
                        up at the number of stars in the sky --- just look at the size of His Universe.)

                        Note on the phrase "this rock":
                        (1) Did the Lord Jesus mean by that:
                        (1) Himself ie the church will be built on Christ the Rock
                        (2) Peter himself
                        (3) Peter as representing Apostolic Authority

                        I would speculate and select (1) and (3).

                        For certain (1) and (3) is the reality. The Christian
                        Church is indeed built upon the Rock of the Lord Jesus
                        and it is indeed built upon Christ's personally chosen
                        apostles (Apostolic Authority.)

                        But the point of this post is that His "my Church" is going
                        to be huge-enormous in the final numbers of the saved.

                        "For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith-and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God" (Eph. 2:8)

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          [QUOTE=JAG;n5799529]I get it now. You DISAGREE with the proposition of the OP [quote]

                          BINGO!!!!

                          How do you get "few" out of Revelation 7
                          Few is relative to the ones who don't have their names in the book of life - i.e. those who aren't Born Again of the Holy Spirit.

                          I notice you AVOIDED Jesus' words in Mat 7:13-14. They seem to paint a DIFFERENT PICTURE than you want to communicate.
                          Last edited by Bob Carabbio; 01-30-19, 06:05 PM.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by JAG View Post
                            Christianity has more than 2.3 billion adherents, out of about 7.5 billion people.
                            Means little. The QUESTION IS how many of the "2.3 Billion" are Born Again Christians, and how many are nothing more than religious pagans. I suspect the numbers won't reflect your thesis.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Bob Carabbio View Post
                              I notice you AVOIDED Jesus' words in Mat 7:13-14. They seem to paint a DIFFERENT PICTURE than you want to communicate.
                              Matthew 7:13-14
                              Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction,
                              and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the way that leads to life, and only a few find it.
                              Common sense compels the sane interpreter to give Matthew 7:13-14 an interpretation that does not deny reality. You
                              can interpret Matthew 7:13-14 as having application only to the people of that time period. If you apply Matthew 7:13-14
                              to all of human history you end up with an interpretation that contradicts other clear Bible verses (see the OP and my other
                              posts in this thread.)

                              To apply Matthew 7:13-14 to the entire human race and to all of human history makes God a moral monster, for that would
                              mean that He started a program knowing that the vast majority of His creatures were going to spend an eternity screaming
                              in eternal Hell. What kind of a God would do a thing like that?

                              Its absurd to suggest that there are only a few true Christians in the world today. There are over 16,000,000 Southern
                              Baptist in the United States, that number alone does not harmonize with the concept of only a few are saved. And there
                              is no reason for you to doubt the profession of faith of the world's 2.3 billion Christians anymore than it is for them to doubt
                              your profession of faith. The dialogue could go something like this:

                              John: I have doubts that you are a true Christian.

                              George: I have the same doubts about you John. I doubt that you are a true Christian.

                              This kind of dialogue can be launched against anybody who claims to be a Christian. Anybody
                              can say well "I doubt that you are a true Christian." So you end up with large numbers of Christians
                              who doubt that other Christians are true Christians.

                              In another vein, its a good rule of interpretation that says you never interpret a verse of Scripture
                              in a way that contradicts another clear verse of Scripture, and to interpret Matthew 7:13-14 in
                              such a way that flatly contradicts "I saw a multitude to large to count from every nation and tribe
                              and people and tongue" is not a good thing to do. Its not practicing sound hermeneutics.

                              I actually found the following on a website:
                              "It appears that only a small number of people are born again or being
                              saved today . . . Its possible that there may be less than one hundred
                              born again people alive in the world today." (That was from a website
                              called "true Christianity." )

                              That's absurd nonsense.

                              Lets say that Henry wrote that nonsense.

                              Jack could say about Henry, I doubt that Henry is truly born again.

                              I asked the web "How many Protestants are in the world today?" and I got
                              this response:

                              There are more than
                              900 million
                              Protestants worldwide,
                              among approximately 2.4 billion Christians. In 2010, a total
                              of more than 800 million included 300 million in Sub-Saharan
                              Africa, 260 million in the Americas, 140 million in Asia-Pacific
                              region, 100 million in Europe and 2 million in Middle East-North
                              Africa."


                              I have no reason to doubt the salvation of these 900 million of my fellow Protestants.

                              And 900,000,000 Protestant Christians in the world today is not a "few" that found it.

                              Its simply bad interpretation to apply "only a few find it" to all of human history. Doing that
                              reduces Christianity to absurdity.

                              John: I have doubts that you are a true Christian.

                              George: I have the same doubts about you John. I doubt that you are a true Christian.

                              "For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith-and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God" (Eph. 2:8)

                              Comment

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