Sunday, May 21, 2006

A View of the End

Eschatology is one's view of what the Bible has to say about the end of the world. Until I was 40, I did not realize that Christsendom had more than one view on it, I just knew that I was a hypocrite, because my eschatology said it was useless to try to make this world a better place until Christ returns, but in my life I could not in good conscience sit idly by while the world full of people I cared about went down the tubes.

(Continued- click "SUNDAY" below for article).

6 Comments:

Blogger Mark Moore (Moderator) said...

I think a lot of the Religious Right is in the same position. At least the activists are. There is a large contingent whose eschatology is reflected in their lives. I.E.- "the world is going to Hell anyway, so I am just going to tend my own garden and wait for the end".

The view that the world will get progressively worse until Christ returns to blot out evil is called "Dispensationalism" or "premillenialism". It is the idea that the "millenium" refers to some future period in which the Church shall reign on Earth. It is the "Tim LeHay" scenario that most are familiar with and needs no elaboration.

Their is at least one other view that has been held by much of the church through much of it's history. That is the "postmillenial view", or preterist view. This teaches that the "great tribulation" that was to come over "the land" was the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 A.D.. Nero was the anti-Christ, and he was defeated after he destroyed the false "church" of the colaborationist Jewish religious establishment.

This view teachers that the Gospel will progressively advance throughout history until it spreads over the whole world and all nations accept the Lordship of Christ one heart at a time.

Sure, there may be ups and downs along the way, but the overall direction would be that the kingdoms of this world become the kingdoms of our Lord Jesus Christ. This view maintains that are in the "millenium" right now. It will culminate in the return of Christ to a world that has been renewed by the Spirit through the lives of believers who welcome their returning King.

Just as the dispensationalist view has pitfalls, so does this view. Chief among them is that the church can get so wrapped up in temporal activism that they lose sight of the very gospel that was the original driving force of their activism. Most of the "religious left" denominations have a premillenial doctrine, though they largely have lost sight of the importance of Bible doctrine.

When I first heard about this view of scripture I thought there was simply no way to reconcile it with the Bibical texts. The more I looked into it, the more I could see that there was a credible case for the position.

Even if this view of scripture is true, it does not guarantee that the United States will always be a strong and prosperous nation. Nations will rise and fall as its people submit to, then reject, the guidance of the Lord.

We have gone far astray from sound doctrine and wise governance, so we may well have a steep price to pay. Still, in this view the situation is not hopeless- indeed the final victory is inevitable as each generation passes the torch to the next. In this view, it is not pointless to leave the world a better place than you found it- for the meek shall inheirit the Earth.

7:27 PM, May 21, 2006  
Blogger Harvey Edwards said...

Being in the end times is the best argument for doing what you can to make use of your faith to help others see good.
And for the good of the meek is the best place I can see to begin.
Too many politicians have lost sight of this and are labeling Christians as radical. Well it doesnt take any man long to see what they are promoting.

10:21 PM, May 21, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's not just America that's getting worse; in general, it's everywhere. And when the back of America is finally broken by the globalist one-worlders, just which nation is going take our place and vault the world into its next phase of enlightenment? It's going to get ugly quick.

7:49 AM, May 22, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Postmillenial" and "preterist" are not necessarily equal. Most Posties are "partial-preterist." That is important to distinquish because the "full-preterist" view is very very problematic. - MM

8:55 AM, May 22, 2006  
Blogger Mark Moore (Moderator) said...

If we make good choices we are living longer and healthier lives. We have more access to travel and information than ever before. If we seek the Truth, we can find it. Things are getting better as compared to most of history. We live like kings today, or even better.

Of course, this increased power means we also have more ways to destroy ourselves and others. Still, compared to most of history, there are more Christians today and the world is getting redeemed one heart at a time and taking much of culture with it. We may be in a down phase for a while, but the trend for the last 2,000 years has been up.

10:39 AM, May 22, 2006  
Blogger Mark Moore (Moderator) said...

MM-

Yes, I think the extremes of about any doctrine run into heresy- a truth taken to irrational extremes. I am no expert, except relative to those who have never heard of it- which is a surprising number.

10:40 AM, May 22, 2006  

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