We would have to start by asking KCM what passage(s) they could provide to substantiate the Tweet. There are plenty to choose from but the first one that comes to my mind is Psalm 91:16:

 

With long life will I satisfy him, and shew him my salvation.

 

Now, I suppose you could argue this doesn’t mention a long earthly life. So we could also put Exodus 20:12 in here:

 

Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long in the land that the LORD your God is giving you.

 

But . . .  is this a promise for Christians today? Well, Paul quoted it to the New Testament Church and called it a promise.

 

Children, obey your parents in the Lord for this is right. “Honor your father and mother," which is the first commandment accompanied by a promise, namely, "that it may go well with you and that you will live a long time on the earth."

Ephesians 6:1-3

 

Live a long time where? On the earth. 

 

We could also explore the more general implications of Isaiah 53:4-5: “by His stripes, we are healed.” Obviously, being whole and healthy, narrows down the potential causes of death quite a bit--Thus resulting in longer life depending on the degree you are experiencing that healing.

 

Even the word, “saved” itself implies healing, soundness, and preservation. It’s used in multiple places in the New Testament to denote physical restoration. For example, immediately after using the word, "healed" to describe what happened to the crippled man at the Gate Beautiful, Peter uses it in reference to our salvation (Acts 4:9, 12– GK, sozo, “healed”, “saved”).

 

. . . Then again, you may also be killed for your faith, as Red Pen Logic mentions in the image. A valid point considering the Bible does indeed have much to say about persecution. 

 

I think what we need to be careful of, however, is pitting biblical truths against one another. Yes it’s true we are called to suffer persecution and that we will have tribulation. But it’s also true that we are healed, and we have been given promises of long life. 

I’ve never really understood why we feel like it has to be an either/or, instead of both/and when it comes to this issue. If the suffering is persecution-related (which, in the West, it usually isn’t), fine. But if it’s simply tribulation, what is theologically wrong about resisting it by believing that you will live long on the earth, healed? There is no Scripture I’m aware of that commands us to just roll over and accept whatever bad comes our way simply because Jesus said we would have tribulation. In fact, there’s plenty that tells us to resist it (see references below). 

 

In other words, nobody is saying we won’t have tribulation. But what should be our attitude toward it? And are there things we should do/believe that will reduce its effects and opportunities in our lives?

 

Even when it does come to actual persecution (which again, isn’t really an issue in large segments of the world), what should our mentality be? The early Church often sought to avoid it (Acts 9:23-25, 11:19, 14:5-6). It wasn’t like they said, “well, we’re called to suffer with Jesus so let’s just go turn ourselves in to the mobs and authorities.” And when they weren’t able to avoid it, they prayed and God would move mightily with miraculous deliverances (Acts 12:5-16, 14:19-20, 16:22-26).

 

Why not say what Paul said about their trouble in Asia?

 

And he did rescue us from mortal danger, and he will rescue us again. We have placed our confidence in him, and he will continue to rescue us.

2 Corinthians 1:10 (NLT)

 

He had similar words in 2 Timothy 4:17-18 as well. 

 

So, ultimately, this may boil down to whatever one chooses to focus on and emphasize in their own life. If you, as a Christian, want to focus on tribulation and uncertainty—there is Bible for that.

 

Go nuts. 

 

But if others choose to focus on and believe for more positive things such as health, long life, and deliverance, we’ve got Bible for that as well. 

 

Finally, Red Pen Logic goes on to make accusations such as, “twisting Scripture” and “false gospel” (link to the post below)---We’ve dealt with these ideas at length in our other content which I will also link to below. But in a nutshell . . . We gotta stop using such loaded language to describe our differences. If Mr. B, or anyone else can provide actual Scripture that specifically calls what Copeland said in the Tweet, a “false gospel” ---Fine. Let’s see it. But if you’re simply using a template like:

 

Incorrect interpretation = Twisting Scripture = False Gospel

 

. . . That’s a universal fill-in-the-blank that would result in absolute chaos if Christians used it every time there’s a disagreement.

Let’s do better, guys.

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Separating the Emotion from the Analysis