Thursday, October 1, 2009
Why is Eschatology important
In I Thessalonians 4:13. Paul starts the part on prophecy by saying. "But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren," That means he intended for us to know what is going to happen. He wanted us to be aware of end time events. He wanted for us to be ready.
There are two main camps right now in Christianity as to the end time events. Futurist sometimes mislabled dispensationalist are those who say that Jesus is coming back and he is coming back soon. The tribulation is still a future event. Then there is the Preterist camp who say that most if not all prophecies in the scripture were fulfilled in AD 70 or before 500AD.
The Preterist camp is a dangerous camp to belong to. As I make this statement, they are saying that the futurist camp is a dangerous one to belong to. I am going to make my point and leave it at that. There is always a problem when you make an assumption and it is wrong, There are rarely problems when your assumption is right. The only problem is that your solution on how to handle the assumption is wrong.
The Preterst says that we are now in the Kingdom of God and that the tribulation and all the trials took place in A.D. 70. They usually look to Matthew 24 for this but they also point out that the book of Revelation was written in AD 63. That the Anti Christ was Nero.
Both Bibliclly and historically it is hard to to defend those many scholars do with all their might. The Persecutions of Nero were only in Rome. The city was never destroyed. When Titus finally conquered Jerusalem, there were no Christians to kill. The temple was destroyed. There was never a pagan God set up in the Holy of Holies. The pagan God's were set up at the gate to the temple area by the solders. The final problem is that Nero actually died before the siege could be set up. This allowed Christians to escape.
In Matthew 24 it says when you see the Abomination that causes Desolation ... standing in the Holy place. It never appeared in A.D. 70. Luke 21 however says that when you see the armies encamped about the city of Jerusalem flee. The Christians of that day did. What do we know about the two passages? They were both given in the last week before Jesus died. Matthew however wrote his book to Jews. It is a handbook for the Jewish remnant. Luke wrote his to Christians. It doesn't say much about tribulation just the destruction of Jerusalem in AD 70 and signs of the second coming.
When you look at Revelation, you are looking at a time still in the future. If you want to look at it as a past event, the everything from chapter four on has to be put in a symbolic sense. You have to name a person to be the star Wormwood for instance in Revelation 8. I will be writing later on it. But I believe there will be a literal star, not an evil world ruler as Matthew Henry likes to point out.
So why is all this important? The importance is that God doesn't want you ignorant. There is more said about the end times in the Bible than any other subject. The importance is that you have a road to walk and you know where it is going. The importance is that as you see things getting worse and worse and when it seems like God is not answering your prayers. Know that he is. He has a plan.
The Post and the A Millenialist will look at the situation and say that God will bring the efforts of the current administration to naught. When that doesn't happen, what are they going to do? There is no hope for them. We know that when things are at their worst, there is still hope. Luke 21:28 "And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh."
There is a hope. We do not put our hope in government or in people. We put our hope in the Lord who made heaven and earth. We put our hope in the one that will eventually bring it all down and Make the kingdoms of this world the kingdoms of his Christ.
If it was all fulfilled in AD 70, why are the prophecies in the Bible starting to come together. They say it is time to dump dispensationalism. I say it is time to dump Preterism and move into the real world.
I want to know what Preterist is preaching the entire council of God, cover to cover, verse by verse. J. Vernon McGee, and Chuck Messler are the only radio broadcaste I know doing it. Both dispensationalist. Most preachers do a hit and miss approach on scripture. Only preaching on those passages that they want to preach. I know Hank Hanagraf and Gary DeMar are Preterist but they only do talk show format. They do not teach verse by verse.
It is time to take the entire council of God. If you want to hold a Preterist view that is fine. Make sure you have studied your entire Bible to come to that conclusion. As for me I will take the entire council of God and say Jesus is coming and he is coming soon. Maranatha.
J Vernon McGee, True the Bible Radio ttb.org
Chuck Missler, 66/40 Radio, khouse.org
Hank Hanagraf, Bible Answer man, equip.org
Gary DeMar, Gary DeMar show americanvision.org