Should We be Optimistic or Pessimistic About the Future?

Mark Dever over at Together for the Gospel has written about how we should expect persecution. He may well be right. As I read his post, however, and also a few of his buddy, Al Mohler’s, cultural observations, I wonder if I detect a more general note of pessimism about the future of the church.

I may very well be wrong about that in the case of the individual people I mention, but I’m sure there are many Christians who are, indeed, very negative about the future. It certainly seems that Spurgeon’s view that more will be saved than not is vanishingly rare today.

So which is it? Are you an optimist or pessimist about the future of the church and why?

UPDATE
Mark Dever has written more about optimism and pessimism concerning the future over on his blog. Here’s a quote from his lead paragraph:
Our brother Al Mohler once said somewhere that “optimism is naive, but pessimism is atheistic.” I think he’s right. On non-ultimate matters (our government’s fate, our culture’s response to the Gospel, the world in rebellion against God) we can be agnostic or even pessimistic. But on ultimate matters—God’s glory, His victory in procuring a people to His eternal praise, the triumph of the church—there is nothing but ultimate optimism presented in the Bible—Old Testament or New. Jesus promised in Matt. 16 that His church will prevail. We see from visions in Ezekiel, Daniel, Revelation, and prophecies in Isaiah and the Gospels that, in the end, and FOREVER, GOD WINS!!
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