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Thread: Amillennial futurism asserted and dispensationalism finally rejected!

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    Amillennial futurism asserted and dispensationalism finally rejected!

    After some 30 years of agonising and wrestling over the nuances of meaning in Matthew 24, I must conclude that this is one of the MOST DIFFICULT passages - in my view - in the whole of scripture.

    I admit, I have "chopped and changed" between the various opinions on this passage several times without ever losing sight of the CENTRAL FACT that Christ will come "to judge the quick and the dead" as the Apostles' Creed puts it.

    However, I have FINALLY REJECTED the Pretribulation Rapture of the Church as a tenable position. I maintain that this concept is only implied by the scriptures but NOWHERE exegetically asserted. I now hold to an Amillennial Futurist position as the teaching of the Bible.

    I believe the ONE Second Coming of Christ is PRECEDED by:

    1 The worldwide preaching of the Gospel Mt 24:14

    2 The Salvation of "All Israel" Romans 11:25-26

    3 The preaching of the Two Witnesses during the Great Tribulation Rev 11

    4 A great Apostasy in the Church 2 Thessalonians 2:3

    5 The Reign of Antichrist 2 Thessalonians 2:3

    6 Extraordinary disturbances of nature Mt 24:29

    7 The Universal Conflagration of nature Mt 24:29

    8 The voice of the archangel to awaken the dead to resurrection 1 Cor 15:52; 1 Thess 4:15; John 5:28

    9 The Sign of the son of Man appearing in the Heavens Mt 24:30

    Also, there is one more thing that has FINALLY settled my mind on this issue. The following passages of scripture describe the SAME COMING (parousia) of Christ which takes place "immediately after the tribulation of those days". There is only ONE Second Coming of Christ and it described in these verses:

    Mt 24:27-31 1 Thess 4:15-17 1 Cor 15:52

    I am persuaded, now, that the Amillennial Futurist position is the teaching and the EXPRESS dogmatic assertion of the inspired scriptures.

    Do these shared comments invite your thoughts, opinions and responses?

    To God be the Glory!

    In Christ, Craig
    I believe I am ETERNALLY SECURE based on the FINISHED WORK OF CHRIST! My faith is belief In Christ
    apart from works (Romans 4:5).

    "...for whatever is born of God conquers the world. And this is the victory that conquers the world, our faith. Who is it that conquers the world but the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?"
    (1 John 5:4-5 NRSV)

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    Re: Amillennial futurism asserted and dispensationalism finally rejected!

    On reflection, it has occured to me that my views are poles apart from that espoused at Pnet. Also,my views on Soteriology remain unchanged and are similar to those held by Dr Norman Geisler in his book "Chosen but Free." I consider, then, it is in everyone's best interests that I refrain from visiting this web-site anymore as no realistic profit can ensue.

    I appreciate your thinking abilities but I cannot, in deepest conscience, agree with your views as resonating with the heart, mind and character of God as He has revealed Himself in the scriptures. I do wish God's great blessing on you as individual Christians.

    In Christ, Craig
    I believe I am ETERNALLY SECURE based on the FINISHED WORK OF CHRIST! My faith is belief In Christ
    apart from works (Romans 4:5).

    "...for whatever is born of God conquers the world. And this is the victory that conquers the world, our faith. Who is it that conquers the world but the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?"
    (1 John 5:4-5 NRSV)

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    Re: Amillennial futurism asserted and dispensationalism finally rejected!

    Quote Originally Posted by Craig kennedy View Post
    On reflection, it has occured to me that my views are poles apart from that espoused at Pnet. Also,my views on Soteriology remain unchanged and are similar to those held by Dr Norman Geisler in his book "Chosen but Free." I consider, then, it is in everyone's best interests that I refrain from visiting this web-site anymore as no realistic profit can ensue.

    I appreciate your thinking abilities but I cannot, in deepest conscience, agree with your views as resonating with the heart, mind and character of God as He has revealed Himself in the scriptures. I do wish God's great blessing on you as individual Christians.

    In Christ, Craig
    Ok, have a nice day.
    Isaiah 45:7, (KJV), I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things.

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    Re: Amillennial futurism asserted and dispensationalism finally rejected!

    Chosen but Free book!? LoL That is the book I read one time before God opened my eyes to the Truth. It is a bunch of nonsense if you ask me. How can one be Chosen and yet free? Free what to experience Satan with all the power and man with all the power? Running around causing hurt and destruction and God not doing anything? just sitting back and watching man sin at his own accord, and Satan put lies and deception into men. What nonsense! How can Gods children be comforted if God is not on the thrown!? How can we even live in world where things are determined by man and Satan?!
    I do not understand nor will I ever how someone can believe in Chosen but Free! I burned that book! Ok no I didn't but I did give it away... I lived for years never comforted by that garbage! I lived with a soul not at east always thinking there's gotta be more to this life. how can I sit back and watch my friends hurt because of evil, how can I live in a world where evil is NOT under control?

    It makes perfect sense that we are Chosen AND NOT FREE! I mean we act as if we are free to make our choices, but God is in control of all things. God is in control of the evil that appears to run free in this world, God is our comfort because we know that no matter how bad life can get God is watching out for us because He is controlling it. He will not let us be tempted beyond what we can handle because he is in charge of temptations. He will work ALL THINGS together for our good, because he is in control of all those things.. all the bad, all the evil, anything that anyone can do to us. If our house it robbed, if our friend dies, if our loved one is sick.. God is in control and we can be assured that He loves us and cares for us, comforts us, and will make everything turn out for our good. Even if we cannot fathom how such evil could be for our good we KNOW that it is.. and that is comforting.

    So for anyone who wants to keep on believing that we have a free will, that MAN and his evil ways are controlling this world then I say Go Ahead! Go ahead and live in lies, and false security.. go ahead and live in fear of what man can do to you and God has no control over. I will not, and I will be comforted and Know that my God is KING! That He rules and no one is above him not mere man, not Satan, nothing. God is the Sovereign King of this world!
    A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches, and loving favour rather than silver and gold. - Wisdom

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    Re: Amillennial futurism asserted and dispensationalism finally rejected!

    I thought I was finished with this site. However, integrity demands that I clarify a CRUCIAL issue.

    Mary writes in Post Number 4 of this thread:

    "So for anyone who wants to keep on believing that we have a free will, that MAN and his evil ways are controlling this world then I say Go Ahead!"

    I need to say that I EMPHATICALLY DENY that fallen human sinners have "free will" in the sense of being able to effect personal salvation. I believe that fallen humankind is imprisoned by sin and only can receive Salvation as Divine Grace does its INVINCIBLE WORK.

    I only affirm "free will" (maybe a 'loaded term' I gladly concede) in the sense that human beings are RESPONSIBLE to believe the Gospel and are held fully accountable for not doing so. I hope this EXPLAINS my position on this matter with greater coherence. I am NOT an Arminian and I am not a Calvinist. I am a Sinner SAVED BY GOD'S GRACE ALONE (without works) based on Christ's FINISHED WORK ON THE CROSS.

    I believe God is fully in control of this world and He is on the throne!

    God bless, In Christ Craig
    I believe I am ETERNALLY SECURE based on the FINISHED WORK OF CHRIST! My faith is belief In Christ
    apart from works (Romans 4:5).

    "...for whatever is born of God conquers the world. And this is the victory that conquers the world, our faith. Who is it that conquers the world but the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?"
    (1 John 5:4-5 NRSV)

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    Re: Amillennial futurism asserted and dispensationalism finally rejected!

    I had not long finished saying that I am NOT an Arminian or a Calvinist, than the thought occurred to me that although theological "labelling" is not an entirely attractive thing to me, if "push comes to shove" I am probably - in all reality - a "FOUR POINT CALVINIST."

    For the sake of more readily apprehending where I am "coming from" so to speak I have now revised my theological profile here at Pnet to read Amyraldianism. I think this term does justice to my position. I have, accordingly, retained an affirmation of "free will" in this sense along the lines of which Dr Norman Geisler posits it.

    In Christ, Craig
    I believe I am ETERNALLY SECURE based on the FINISHED WORK OF CHRIST! My faith is belief In Christ
    apart from works (Romans 4:5).

    "...for whatever is born of God conquers the world. And this is the victory that conquers the world, our faith. Who is it that conquers the world but the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?"
    (1 John 5:4-5 NRSV)

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    Re: Amillennial futurism asserted and dispensationalism finally rejected!

    Well, I'm glad that's finally cleared up.
    Isaiah 45:7, (KJV), I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things.

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    Re: Amillennial futurism asserted and dispensationalism finally rejected!

    Quote Originally Posted by Highlyfavored View Post
    Well, I'm glad that's finally cleared up.
    I thank you for your understanding reply here and I am pleasantly grateful for it.

    I did not expect you to agree with my STATED VIEWS and DECLARED SOTERIOLOGY; however, you have allowed me to express my convictions. Thank you! As always, I have NEVER had any intentions of UNDERMINING your own DEEPEST CONVICTIONS.

    On this basis, I may now feel free to continue to offer relevant contributions to discussion on this site.

    In Christ, Craig
    I believe I am ETERNALLY SECURE based on the FINISHED WORK OF CHRIST! My faith is belief In Christ
    apart from works (Romans 4:5).

    "...for whatever is born of God conquers the world. And this is the victory that conquers the world, our faith. Who is it that conquers the world but the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?"
    (1 John 5:4-5 NRSV)

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    Re: Amillennial futurism asserted and dispensationalism finally rejected!

    I now return to the MAIN PURPOSE of this thread which is to demonstrate that the scriptures themselves UNEQUIVOCALLY delineate signs which must precede the ONE, VISIBLE SECOND COMING OF CHRIST. I have outlined what these signs are, in my opinion, in Post Number 1 of this thread and why I have changed my mind on eschatological matters.

    When these signs are apprehended with the eyes of faith as a result of the Holy Spirit's illumination they must, of necessity, lead to the inescapable conclusion that Amillennial Futurism is the declared teaching of scripture. This then, of course, rules out Preterism whether of the Full or the Partial variety; and it, furthermore, rules out Premillennialism whether of the Historic or Dispensational variety.

    Do you see this along with me? What are your thoughts, views and responses to my thesis?

    God bless, In Christ, Craig
    I believe I am ETERNALLY SECURE based on the FINISHED WORK OF CHRIST! My faith is belief In Christ
    apart from works (Romans 4:5).

    "...for whatever is born of God conquers the world. And this is the victory that conquers the world, our faith. Who is it that conquers the world but the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?"
    (1 John 5:4-5 NRSV)

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    Re: Amillennial futurism asserted and dispensationalism finally rejected!

    Craig:
    I tend to lean to Amillennial position, however, I tend to refrain from going deep into the issue simply for the fact that, as far as my actuation in the ministry is concerned, I believe that the Ekklesia has a lot more urgent issues to resolve than the issue of eschatology. I often, in a rather not scholarly way, state that Paul said "concerning the last things (eschatology) I WOULD NOT HAVE YOU IGNORANT", which is equivalent to saying, "I don't want you to be ignorant", but BETWEEN KNOWING ENOUGH NOT TO BE IGNORANT, which I think Paul meant, AND BEING AN EXPERT, there is a vast difference. Right now I am at the point of learning how not appear to be IGNORANT on the issue, but I don't know if, due to the emergencies that we have in the Ekklesia today, IN THE SCOPE OF THE MINISTRY that I operate, I will ever be or desire to be an expert in the Eschaton. I know that Jesus will come. Allow me to repeat that "I strive to live as if Christ would return in the next second, but plan as if it would take another one thousand years for His return."

    Now that you clarified yourself with Amyraud's theology, it will be easier to go understand all your other assertions and beliefs, so, I am very interested in what you have to say about your Amil position.

    Thanks a lot!
    Blessings,
    Milt
    Grace Ambassador
    A pitiful servant of God; a pitbull guardian of the message of Grace

    My pledge to other members:
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    A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver - Prov. 25:11

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    Re: Amillennial futurism asserted and dispensationalism finally rejected!

    Quote Originally Posted by GraceAmbassador View Post
    Craig:
    I tend to lean to Amillennial position, however, I tend to refrain from going deep into the issue simply for the fact that, as far as my actuation in the ministry is concerned, I believe that the Ekklesia has a lot more urgent issues to resolve than the issue of eschatology. I often, in a rather not scholarly way, state that Paul said "concerning the last things (eschatology) I WOULD NOT HAVE YOU IGNORANT", which is equivalent to saying, "I don't want you to be ignorant", but BETWEEN KNOWING ENOUGH NOT TO BE IGNORANT, which I think Paul meant, AND BEING AN EXPERT, there is a vast difference. Right now I am at the point of learning how not appear to be IGNORANT on the issue, but I don't know if, due to the emergencies that we have in the Ekklesia today, IN THE SCOPE OF THE MINISTRY that I operate, I will ever be or desire to be an expert in the Eschaton. I know that Jesus will come. Allow me to repeat that "I strive to live as if Christ would return in the next second, but plan as if it would take another one thousand years for His return."

    Now that you clarified yourself with Amyraud's theology, it will be easier to go understand all your other assertions and beliefs, so, I am very interested in what you have to say about your Amil position.

    Thanks a lot!
    Blessings,
    Milt
    Thanks Milt for your observations.

    I can agree with you, of course, that in the overall scheme of things there are probably more important issues and challenges facing the EKKLESIA. I understand entirely where you are coming from in this regard. However, let me EXPLAIN my interest in these things and why I have opened up this thread for discussion.

    I have CONSCIOUSLY been a committed Christian now for 33 years - a Sinner SAVED BY GOD'S GRACE ALONE (with no works)! During this time I humbly admit that I have "see-sawed" and literally "flip flopped" between Amillennialism and Premillennialism several times. Why was this? Did my "chopping and changing" indicate a certain instability on my part; a certain erratic streak that goes where 'every wind of doctrine blows?' Let me assure you the answer is NO - BY NO MEANS! God has blessed me with a solid nature actually that can persevere even under the most trying of circumstances. I also have been blessed by God with a desire to SUBMIT to what the INERRANT SCRIPTURES actually teach.

    As I read the scriptures I discerned there were massive issues at stake here, viz:

    Continuity v discontinuity between the Old and New Testaments; The land promises given to Israel - fulfilled or unfulfilled?; Is there a Socio-Political future for the Nation of Israel?; What is the 'Salvation of All Israel' in Romans 11?; Are the Old Testament Saints part of the EKKLESIA or do they remain separate and distinct; Is there a separate coming for the New Testament Church (pretribulational) apart from the Second Advent which occurs 'immediately after the tribulation of those days?'; How is Matthew 24 to be interpreted?; Did Christ really come in 70AD?...and so on and so forth among many others. I am sure you get my drift here.

    It was the contemplation of these complex issues that 'tore' my mind; that literally had me now firmly in the one theological camp and then firmly in the other one. This really was the DECISIVE factor why I withdrew from this forum last year so that I could research these issues with a CLEAR HEAD and come to my own conclusions. The same goes for other issues such as SOTERIOLOGY (of which I can now confidentally assert that I am an AMYRALDIAN or a FOUR POINT CALVINIST.)

    I do NOT expect anyone here to agree with my conclusions. However, because I DO share some common ground with you in the overall sense and I DO like your NON-CONFORMIST and INDEPENDENT ETHOS I would like to continue with you in 'discussion mode' on this forum. I have always appreciated your enormous thinking abilities and your insightful grasp of many theological controversies.

    One key factor in settling my mind on Amillennial Futurism is that in Matthew 24:14 it is asserted that the preaching of the Kingdom of God will be carried out in the entire world and then the end will come. I am now convinced that in Matthew the Kingdom of God (KG) is interchangeable with the Kingdom of Heaven (KH) - that is, they refer to ONE AND THE SAME ENTITY. Furthermore, there is only ONE GOSPEL that has ever been proclaimed - viz: that GOD SAVES SINNERS BY HIS GRACE ALONE (without works) BASED ON THE FINISHED WORK OF CHRIST.

    In the light of my observations above, it is now obvious to me that this ONE TRUE GOSPEL will be preached throughout the ENTIRE INTERADVENTUAL PERIOD until Christ comes again! (ONE COMING not with two distinct phases!). Furthermore, when Christ does come again, then this is the LAST DAY or the end of this age and the ushering in the FUTURE EVENTS OF THE ETERNAL STATE. It is now clearly evident to me that the Bible itself allows no room for an INTERREGUM OF A 1000 YEARS between the One Second Coming at the end of this age (not the Jewish age) and the Eternal State.

    If my thinking is correct here - and I am confident this time that it is - then Preterism whether of the Full or Partial variety is ruled out; and Premillennialism whether of the Historic or Dispensational form is similarly ruled out. These conclusions and beliefs have brought me much joy and spiritual blessing. I apologise for some of my past comments on this forum which have proved to be inaccurate. However, I have NEVER claimed to hold to a PERFECT theology (and still don't) and only claim to be saved by GOD'S INVINCIBLE GRACE!

    I hope that what I have written will be of some use to you. I do NOT claim to be some "high-ranking scholar or expert" (whatever that is supposed to be LOL!) but I am committed to search after the truth as God reveals it in His inspired word.

    What do others think of all this?

    In Christ, Craig
    I believe I am ETERNALLY SECURE based on the FINISHED WORK OF CHRIST! My faith is belief In Christ
    apart from works (Romans 4:5).

    "...for whatever is born of God conquers the world. And this is the victory that conquers the world, our faith. Who is it that conquers the world but the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?"
    (1 John 5:4-5 NRSV)

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    Re: Amillennial futurism asserted and dispensationalism finally rejected!

    Craig,

    What is your position on Amillenial FUTURISM as contrasted with AMILLENIAL HISTORICISM? It seems that the following statement:

    One key factor in settling my mind on Amillennial Futurism is that in Matthew 24:14 it is asserted that the preaching of the Kingdom of God will be carried out in the entire world and then the end will come. I am now convinced that in Matthew the Kingdom of God (KG) is interchangeable with the Kingdom of Heaven (KH) - that is, they refer to ONE AND THE SAME ENTITY. Furthermore, there is only ONE GOSPEL that has ever been proclaimed - viz: that GOD SAVES SINNERS BY HIS GRACE ALONE (without works) BASED ON THE FINISHED WORK OF CHRIST.

    is far more in harmony with the latter than the former.

    Thanks, --Bob
    I got four things to live by: don't say nothin' that will hurt anybody; don't give advice--no one will take it anyway; don't complain; don't explain. Walter Scott

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    Re: Amillennial futurism asserted and dispensationalism finally rejected!

    Quote Originally Posted by GraceAmbassador View Post
    Craig:
    I tend to lean to Amillennial position, however, I tend to refrain from going deep into the issue simply for the fact that, as far as my actuation in the ministry is concerned, I believe that the Ekklesia has a lot more urgent issues to resolve than the issue of eschatology.
    Millennialism experienced a revival when the Papists and most Protestant denominations added Rev. 20 to the canon. The ancients followed a strict rule against using disputed books to establish doctrine. That rule was abandoned by Protestant sects at the behest of the Pope.

    Millennialism has deeply split Protestantism and diverted many from following Christ and His clear teachings. Mission Accomplished for the Antichrist!

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    Re: Amillennial futurism asserted and dispensationalism finally rejected!

    Millennialism experienced a revival when the Papists and most Protestant denominations added Rev. 20 to the canon. The ancients followed a strict rule against using disputed books to establish doctrine. That rule was abandoned by Protestant sects at the behest of the Pope.

    Absolutely! I agree with your assessment of the history of dogma on this point. While I accept the book of Revelation as scripture (though acknowledging its antilegomena status historically), it is imperative to stand against all attempts to promote interpretations of apocalyptic passages (however seemingly attractive) in a manner that asserts veto power over the didactic teaching of the rest of the New Testament.
    I got four things to live by: don't say nothin' that will hurt anybody; don't give advice--no one will take it anyway; don't complain; don't explain. Walter Scott

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    Re: Amillennial futurism asserted and dispensationalism finally rejected!

    A CRUCIAL issue to distinguish historically is the origin of pre-tribulationism vs. the origin of dispensationalism. Whereas pre-tribulationism had its origin in the 19th century among the Irvingites, dispensationalism had its origin in the 1st century Jewish sect headed by James 'the just'. We have looked at this issue many times on this forum.
    I got four things to live by: don't say nothin' that will hurt anybody; don't give advice--no one will take it anyway; don't complain; don't explain. Walter Scott

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    Re: Amillennial futurism asserted and dispensationalism finally rejected!

    Quote Originally Posted by Robert R. Higby View Post
    Millennialism experienced a revival when the Papists and most Protestant denominations added Rev. 20 to the canon. The ancients followed a strict rule against using disputed books to establish doctrine. That rule was abandoned by Protestant sects at the behest of the Pope.

    Absolutely! I agree with your assessment of the history of dogma on this point. While I accept the book of Revelation as scripture (though acknowledging its antilegomena status historically), it is imperative to stand against all attempts to promote interpretations of apocalyptic passages (however seemingly attractive) in a manner that asserts veto power over the didactic teaching of the rest of the New Testament.
    Hey, I never really get involved in any discussion over the end times because I feel like Im still a baby, and do not understand all the terminology. For me I just feel like the end times will happen as God wants them, and I dont really concern myself with them. However, I do know a few terms from my past religion. You spoke of pretribulation... This is what I used to believe.. that there'd be tribulation and hard times for Christians, but before it got really bad most Christians would be resurrected... then some be behind for awhile, then Christ would come and all would rise together, then at some point there would be a new earth and new heaven.
    So Im just curious as to what you all believe if its possible to explain in simple terms. Is it that we are resurrected before end times or after all of it? Or completely different.
    A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches, and loving favour rather than silver and gold. - Wisdom

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    Re: Amillennial futurism asserted and dispensationalism finally rejected!

    The final resurrection of the body occurs at the point that sin and death will be no more (Oh Death where is thy sting, oh grave where is thy victory?). The last enemy of God to be destroyed is death (specifically, death of human beings). Only the Earth in complete regeneration (inhabited by Christ and all of His elect from all ages) will remain afterward.
    I got four things to live by: don't say nothin' that will hurt anybody; don't give advice--no one will take it anyway; don't complain; don't explain. Walter Scott

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    Re: Amillennial futurism asserted and dispensationalism finally rejected!

    Hi Craig, I just wanted to say that "free will" is impossible not only in regards to salvation but also if you truly believe in the sovereignty of Yahweh. Yahweh is sovereign (in absolute control) over every thought, word, work, desire, feeling, etc.... of every bit of His creation. We are however "responsible" simply because He will judge us. The absence of "free will" does not take away or diminish our responsibility before Him. Read Romans 9 again, Paul dealt with the same argument from his adversaries. Having a "free will" would mean that we are free to make decisions, do actions, etc... outside of the absolute sovereignty of Yahweh, which is impossible, unless you are a "deist". The God of Scripture didn't push the ship of creation off to do as it "wills".
    Col 2:9, (NASB), For in Him all the fullness of Deity dwells in bodily form

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