consume, and absorb in college. Then, as if they were people inspired with heavenly wisdom, they teach that position in churches and publish it in books. Through it they pursue and achieve the name, reputation, and glory of having superior erudition. Because of it they are given diplomas, fellowships, and awards.
All this goes on despite the fact that nowadays this faith alone has darkened the sun, deprived the moon of its light, caused the stars of heaven to fall, and shaken the powers of the heavens, as the Lord foretold in Matthew 24:29. I have been given absolute proof that this faith has so blinded human minds today that they do not want, and therefore are virtually unable, to see any divine truth inwardly [as if it were] in the light of either the sun or the moon. They can see it only [as if it were] reflected superficially off some rough surface in firelight at night. I can therefore make this assertion: If divine truths about the true partnership between goodwill and faith, about heaven and hell, about the Lord, about life after death, and about eternal happiness were to be written in silver let-ters4i5 and sent down from heaven, people who believe that we are sanctified and justified by faith alone would not even consider them worth reading. At the other extreme, though, if a paper asserting that faith alone makes us just were to be sent up from the hells, the same people would seize it, kiss it, and hold it close to their heart as they carried it home.
8. In fact, ifthe Lord were not building a new heaven and a new church, the human race would not be preserved. We read in Matthew,
Then there will be a great affliction such as has never existed since the world began until now and will never exist again. In fact, unless those days were cut short no flesh would be preserved. (Matthew 24:21, 22)
This chapter in Matthew concerns "the close of the age," which means the end of the modern-day church. "Cutting those days short" means ending that church and starting a new one.
Surely everyone knows that unless the Lord had come into the world and redeemed us, we could not have been saved. "Redeeming us" means constructing a new heaven and a new church.
In the Gospels the Lord predicted that he was going to come into the world again (Matthew 24:30, 31; Mark 13:26; Luke 12:40; 21:27; see also the Book of Revelation, especially in the last chapter). As I have shown above in the second part of the last chapter, on redemption [§§114-137], today the Lord is again redeeming us, constructing a new heaven, and building a new church for the purpose of saving humankind.
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