“If you knew the Lord was returning tomorrow, how would that affect your passion for political and social issues?”
Actually, that is an important question the New Testament itself encourages us to ask. In I Cor. 7:31, the Apostle admonishes believers with the words, “let those who deal with the world deal as though they had no dealings with it. For the present form of this world is passing away.“ Paul is not suggesting an escapism that fails to care for the world beyond evangelism. But he certainly warns us to be careful where our passions lie; to remember when dealing with issues of this temporary age, whether politics, social issues, or even marriage ( as is the context of I Cor 7), that we remember that the Lord could return any time, and all that will really matter will be that which matters for eternity; salvation or judgment. I recently told my congregation that to be angry over a non-Christian’s politics is like finding out your neighbor has prostate cancer and only two weeks to live, and then coming home and complaining to your wife that your neighbor with cancer is not taking care of his lawn like he should.
I would contend that in the face of transformationionalists’ constant accusation of escapism and gnosticism directed at A-mils, A-mil’s have become overly timid in declaring the possibility of the Lord’s return at any time. Yes, it doesn’t help that extreme dispensationalists misuse Revelation to turn the Second Coming into a religious side show of who can match the current news events to Revelation. And too often theonomists and post-mils pull out the “dispy” accusation when we proclaim the potential immediacy of the Lord’s return, again causing us to shrink back. We even have a new comfort phrase, “optimistic a-mil” to assure transformationalists that we are not the extreme escapists of their caricatures.
But the New Testament many times over directs us to consider our use and passion for this world in light of the impending return of the Lord (Matt 24:44, James 5:9, Rev. 20:20 to name just a few). A-mils need to recover their backbones in the face of post mil theonomy, which assures us confidently that the Lord *cannot* return until they see their dreams of a Christianized world fulfilled. We must boldly proclaim that the Lord may tarry one thousand years, or he may return tomorrow. But let the reality of his potential return temper your passions for the things of man’s passing kingdom, compared to the things of Christ’s eternal kingdom.