John Murray’s Hope for the Future

Again, I submit that we have been too ready to succumb to a defeatism by which we fail to entertain any confident hope respecting the future prospects of the kingdom of God and of the church in this world.  If the texts I have quoted (Rom. 11 etc), and others I have not quoted, are the Word of God, they are words of promise and hope for unprecedented success for the gospel and for a transformation that measures to the proportion of life from the dead.  Surely there is a convergence of the word of Scripture, the power of the Holy Spirit, and the fervent exercise of prayer upon the assurance given that, if the trespass of Israel is the riches of the world, how much more their fullness!  Promise dictates prayer, and hope is the incentive to prayer.  When we pray for the conversion and restoration of Israel, what Paul calls their fullness, their receiving, and their salvation, we are praying for that which will be, in God’s saving programme and purpose, the signal for unprecedented extension of gospel blessing for the world.  Reformation in prospect is the demand of Christ’s honour; as promise it is the ground of hope.

John Murray, Collected Writings, 1:297

A sentiment James Durham would echo!

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