John MacArthur is Wrong about Eschatology: We Don’t “Lose Down Here” (Ep. 171)

June 10, 2024

In 2021, John MacArthur preached a message to his church addressing how to think about Christianity’s decline in America. It starts out like this: “Hey, we tried. We honestly did. I think you did. I think I did. I mean I took interviews, I responded to questions I think we tried to have an influence on our nation last year.” He goes on to talk about how the world isn’t interested in Christianity and then he says this: “We don’t win down here. We lose. You ready for that? Oh, you thought because you were a postmillennialist, you thought we’re just going to go waltzing into the kingdom because you took over the world. No, we lose here. Get it? They killed Jesus, they killed all the apostles, we’re all going to be persecuted. If any man come after me’, let him what, ‘deny himself’. Garbage of prosperity gospel. No, we don’t win down here. Are you ready for that? Just to clear the air – I love this clarity – we don’t win. We lose on this battlefield, but we win on the big one – the eternal one. “

His response is a good example of why we’ve been doing more episodes about eschatology lately and why we think it matters. Because those verses he quotes and references about persecution and denying ourselves are true, but they make absolutely no sense in the way he is using them. As much as we appreciate John MacArthur’s ministry, his teaching is really wrong on this. Even if you hold to dispensational theology, you shouldn’t think about those verses in that way. Denying yourself is not at odds with succeeding, some of the most successful people by any standard have been faithful Christians. Yes, it means you can’t pursue carnal things, but surely that’s not something a Christian would object to. And this isn’t something that’s only true in the New Covenant. Even in the Old Testament, Daniel was persecuted for his faith, he took up his cross and looked toward Jesus and he had a huge impact on the world around him. So did Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, Obadiah, Ezekiel, Isaiah, Jesus all the apostles and countless others throughout history.

So in this episode, we want to really push on this issue. How should we think about the church’s success? How should we think about persecution and denying ourself? Are they at odds with one another? And along the way, should we expect the gospel to have an impact on the world around us? These are important questions. Please join us as we consider them.

Link to John MacArthur clip:–KLuN2_w
Link to full John MacArthur message:

Listen to the audio version here:

00:00 The Video
01:28 Is MacArthur Loosing?
10:10 Waltzing into the Kingdom
35:31 Denying Yourself
54:46 Suffering Persecution
57:36 More Important Battlefield

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