Frustrations with Eschatology


Sometimes I get frustrated with end times beliefs. One blog says that the rapture is doctrine without the cross, which is just absolutely ludicrous. Our entire process is built on helping people escape the Great Tribulation by accepting Jesus as savior. What he means is that we rapturists don't believe that the church can usher in the kingdom by social justice (because the world system is fallen), so surely we must be wrong.

This is forgetting the fact that Christ's final command to his followers was to be his witness, not his breadbasket. Yet, if I go off half-cocked, then I'm the bad guy. “Oh look, there's another premillennial guy going crazy. Darby must be proud!”

So forget that the non-dispensational system adherents often dismiss us (at the very least) as uneducated monsters bent on escaping the world's woes and (at the worst) that we are heretics. Heresy is a serious charge to level at a believer and shouldn't be done in jest. I'd say, “Come say that to my face,” but again, the pending charge of being an uneducated monster above.

Further, we rapturists face the same sort of trials anyone else does. In fact, I would suggest that amellennialists have it easier, as they simply dismiss all discussion of a millennium. I suppose that it is one thing to want to escape the coming tribulation (and try to take as many with me as possible) and another thing to simply ignore it. See, there I go again, being a monster.

It is post-millennialists who must have the roughest time of all. Here they are, trying to usher in Christ's kingdom on earth, a task never given to them in scripture. They represent the reformation groups, for which I am grateful, but maintained the idea that the earth can be saved. I doubt Noah was a post-millennialist, though I suppose one could believe that Abraham was (a la Sodom and Gomorrah). Even then, though, Abraham was trying to save his family, not the cities. Mostly I write that in jest, not in serious scholarship. Jesus certainly never though the earth could be saved. He instructed us to live despite the world's system and presented Matthew 24 and 25 as a great hope to us.

I'm more than willing to admit that I might be wrong. More to the point, I've almost left dispensationalism a few times. In each of the times I have, I am accepted by the groups I look toward...as a lonely vagabond coming to his senses, not as a brother. I suppose that heretic claim runs deep. Then these feelings of frustration well up and I get upset again. Maybe that's the point.

Let's get something straight. None of us are heretics. That goes for pre, post, and a millennialists. We all have a different interpretation of the scriptures. It's an academic argument.

What is exceptionally clear in scripture is that Christ is the savior of the world. Everything after that is secondary. 

3 comments:

boilt frog said...

I find your comments confusing.

Do you think that you can "usher in the kingdom by social justice"? What is social justice?

"His breadbasket"?

The amillennialists do not dismiss discussion of the millennium.

What does it mean to usher in Christ's kingdom? The post-millennialist would point to the great commission. What is Christ's kingdom? How do they define it?

I do not understand you comments on Noah and Abraham.

Jesus believed that those whom the father gave to Him would come to Him. Jn 6. How much of the world is that?

Dan Smith said...

I obviously wrote these comments in the stupor of great frustration, yet I think you're attempting to confuse things that aren't confusing.

Of course I don't think the church can usher in the kingdom. That is a post-millennial idea. The social justice idea, which can be dictated by a Christian goverment, will allow Christians to oversee the equalization of everyone and the care of those who are burdened. That is very simplistic of course. But it is a fallacy. Not one country in this world is currently Christian, and all attempts by such believers have led to naught. I'm of course being very blunt here, but it's true in my estimation.

I was blunt to suggest that amillennialists dismiss the discussion of the millennium. They do not of course, but they do take such liberty with the idea so as to suggest the Christ is currently living out the reign from heaven. I think you can agree with me here. I would suggest that this minimalizes the concept of the millennial reign to the point that it is no longer an event, but rather an idea.

Abraham and Noah simply point to a historical reference. The comments are unimportant. Postmillennialists contend that the earth can be saved, and is being saved via the church. I was simply contrasting that (sarcastically of course) with one OT man who was there when the earth could not be saved and the other who tried to save a part of it. That is all.

Jesus said in Matt 7 that few would find the way. I would say that represents the ones in John 6. I don't know how many that is of course, but I would say not many. Incidentally, I don't know why you brought that up. You'll have to elaborate when you have time.

Do you agree with me that none of us are heretics? You didn't say anything about it, so I was curious. Do you agree that amillennialists (in particular) and also postmillennialists view premillennialists as uneducated? You proposed no counter to this as well.

boilt frog said...

You are not a heretic. I know of no amillennialist or postmillennialist who regards premillennialists as uneducated.

Christ's reign from heaven does not minimalize the millennium to being only an idea. The question is which view is right. Paul regards Christ as reigning now 1Cor.15:25. Rev. 20 does not tell us where Christ will be when he reigns. Furthermore, John saw only souls, not bodies, which reigned with Christ.

My point on Jn. 6 is that Jesus was certain that he would accomplish his mission.

The millennium is an interesting issue. How about an exposition? Something brief will do. Who knows where the comments will go?