Amillennialism

Pretribulation Rapture Signpost #1: Premillennialism

Pretribulation Rapture Signpost #1: Premillennialism

Why do we believe that the rapture will happen before the tribulation? There are a number of signposts in Scripture that point us in the direction of which I will write about in the coming weeks. I will start with premillennialism.

Premillennialism is the belief in the thousand year reign of Jesus before the eternal state (see Rev. 20:1-10). Those who hold to this position believe in a literal seven year tribulation after which Jesus returns to earth to setup His kingdom and rule over the nations from Jerusalem.

Is There a Hidden Meaning in Biblical Prophecy?

Is There a Hidden Meaning in Biblical Prophecy?

We all know the story of the tortoise and the hare.  We instinctively understand this did not actually happen; it’s an allegory representing a moral. C.S. Lewis wrote The Chronicles of Narnia as an allegory to illustrate biblical truths. The characters are fictional, but they tell a story rich with spiritual truth.

Is biblical prophecy written as an allegory with a hidden meaning for us to find? Or can we take the words of Scripture at face value?

The Repackaging of Amillennialism

The Repackaging of Amillennialism

For several months I attended a church whose doctrinal statement affirmed its belief in premillennialism, the belief in Jesus’ reign over the nations before the eternal state. So my wife and I faithfully attended assuming the church stood by its statement of faith. Such was not the case.

Later, in discussing prophecy with the pastor I discovered he identified himself as a “covenant premillennialist.” I remained hopeful even then that he believed in a future for Israel and an actual millennium. I later discovered that he did not believe these things.

The Signs Scream with Both Peril and Hope

The Signs Scream with Both Peril and Hope

In 1893, Norwegian Expressionist artist Edward Munch painted what has come to be known as The Scream. Munch originally called his work The Scream of Nature.

According to Munch, the inspiration for the work came while on a walk at sunset. As the setting sun turned the sky to red, he sensed an “infinite scream passing through nature.” Historians speculate that a volcano eruption may have turned the heavens him into such a daunting red hue.

For those paying attention; world events scream with great danger for those who do not know Jesus as their Savior. For those who trust Him, we await the sound of the trumpet and shout of an archangel.

5 Perils of Denying Jesus’ Future Reign

5 Perils of Denying Jesus’ Future Reign

I could not have written this article several months ago. Although I had no doubts about the biblical truth of premillennialism, I did not fully comprehend the perils of denying Jesus’ thousand year’ reign over the nations of the world as described in Revelation 20:1-10 and Zechariah 14. The denial of Jesus’ rule over a restored Israel is known as amillennialism.

When I heard a popular prophecy preacher refer to amillennialism as a “false teaching” and a “doctrine of demons” (Tim. 4:1), I shuddered; I was not sure I agreed with him. Now I know he was correct.

When Did the Belief in Jesus’ Millennial Reign Begin?

When Did the Belief in Jesus’ Millennial Reign Begin?

I talked with a gentleman a few weeks ago who told me that belief in Jesus’ millennial reign was relatively new in church history. He asserted that it did not begin until late in the late nineteenth century. Was he correct?

Absolutely not! Premillennialism, the belief in Jesus’ thousand year rule upon the earth before the eternal state, dominated the first three hundred years of the church.

In essence, there has been a rewriting of church history that ignores the existence of early church beliefs regarding Jesus’ future reign.

The EFCA Turns Away from Premillennialism

The EFCA Turns Away from Premillennialism

On the afternoon of June 19, 2019, the Evangelical Free Church of America (EFCA) voted to remove the word “premillennial” from their statement of faith. As one who has attended EFCA churches in the past, I feel a deep sense of sadness at the decision. I believe this removal of the word “premillennial” takes the EFCA in an unacceptable direction.

I believe that the members voting in favor of removing “premillennial” from their statement of beliefs made their decision the basis of three false assumptions.

3 Reasons Why Satan Hates the Future Reign of Jesus

3 Reasons Why Satan Hates the Future Reign of Jesus

The opposition to Jesus’ future reign on earth remains intense. Although premillennialism grew dramatically during the twentieth century, many Bible-believing teachers and pastors have reverted to Augustine’s platonic view of reality that denies biblical teaching regarding the millennium.

What has caused this reversal in recent decades? I believe the roots of today’s passionate opposition to premillennialism lie in Satan’s continuing hatred of anything to do with Jesus’ future reign.

What Difference Does It Make?

What Difference Does It Make?

During the past year, I have written many articles defending my belief in premillennialism, which is the belief that Jesus will return to earth after a literal seven year tribulation, destroy the armies arrayed against Jerusalem, and rule the world for a thousand years seated on the throne of David.

At this point you may be asking, “What difference does it make?” After all, many pastors who deny these things preach the Gospel and expound the Word with great conviction. Does it really matter if they deny Israel’s place in future biblical prophecy or regard the book of Revelation as having little relevance for us today apart from the final two chapters? Yes, it absolutely matters.

Connecting the Dots of the Apocalypse

Connecting the Dots of the Apocalypse

When it comes to the book of Revelation, many divorce the opening chapters from the remainder of the book. They do so by regarding the opening chapters as “The Revelation of Jesus Christ” (1:1), but not the remainder of the apocalypse.

Jesus’ words to the seven churches, for example, represent not only Jesus’ message to a sampling of current congregations, they also reveal the future of the church. This article provides a few examples of how we can connect the dots from the introduction to the remainder of the book of Revelation.

In Defense of Biblical Prophecy

In Defense of Biblical Prophecy

While most Christians agree on the fulfillment of prophecy relating to Jesus’ first coming, such harmony quickly disappears when one turns to prophecies related to His return to earth.

As one who has spent much time in the midst of the fray, I can attest to the pressing need to defend all that we hold dear. Attacks against our beliefs in the rapture, a literal tribulation, the second coming, Jesus’ reign seated on the throne of David, and the eternal state not only come from outside the church, they also emanate from Bible-believing pastors, writer, and teachers.

From Patmos With Love

From Patmos With Love

Believers who do not know how to defend the message of the book of Revelation can become easy prey for those who seek to rob them of its message of comfort and hope.

Why do I make such a seemingly outrageous clam?

It’s because even some pastors of Bible-believing churches relegate much of the book of Revelation to allegory.

3 Reasons Why Israel is Vital to our Future Hope

3 Reasons Why Israel is Vital to our Future Hope

Those who have followed my blog know I often write about Israel’s continued place in God’s prophetic program.

Why do I do this? Why not just write about the signs and our immanent hope in Jesus’ return as I often do? Why defend Israel’s place in God’s prophetic program?

It’s precisely because our expectation of Jesus’ soon return is so important that I defend Israel’s future role in prophecy.

Has God Rejected Israel?

Has God Rejected Israel?

It’s becoming increasingly popular in Bible-believing churches to believe that God rejected the nation of Israel after the first century Jews rejected Jesus. Those who hold this view believe that the Lord has replaced Israel with the church. As a result, the church now inherits the kingdom promises of the Old Testament in a “spiritual” sense.

This teaching often goes by the name of “replacement theology” or “amillennialism.” I have many problems with such teaching starting the words of Paul in Romans 11:2, “God has not rejected his people whom he foreknew.” I am not sure how some get around Paul’s clear assertion in this text that God has not rejected Israel, but many do.

5 Harmful Impacts of Amillennialism

5 Harmful Impacts of Amillennialism

Before the time of Augustine in the fifth century, premillennialism dominated the early church. Most of the early church fathers voiced a strong belief in a future one thousand year reign of Jesus.

Although on the surface it might seem to be an insignificant change, amillennialism profoundly changed the church in the centuries after Augustine. It altered the church’s view of Scripture, as well as of prophecy, and the negative impact of Augustine’s doctrine of future things continues to this day.

7 Ways Amillennialism Negates God’s Promises to Israel

7 Ways Amillennialism Negates God’s Promises to Israel

Although Israel miraculously emerged as a nation seventy years ago fulfilling many biblical prophecies, many today still reject the idea that God will keep His promises to restore a kingdom to His people. Those who hold to this this position, often referred to as amillennialists, see no future for Israel in God’s prophetic program.

It has long been my contention that in their quest to negate God’s promises to Israel, amillennialists glorify the church rather than Jesus. They make God’s future kingdom all about what the church does by making life better in our current world. Can you see how over time this might open the door to socialism as a way to accomplish this?

5 Ways Amillennialism Distorts the Biblical Worldview

5 Ways Amillennialism Distorts the Biblical Worldview

This is my third article on how an amillennial view of Scripture can, over time, open the day to Socialism. I’m writing in response to an article depicting how socialism is gaining a foothold in many churches across the United States.

Please note I am not saying all amillennialists are Socialists, certainly not. My point is that churches with a long history of amillennialism and its accompanying worldview seem to be much more susceptible to a Marxist way of thinking.

I believe this is because they distort the biblical worldview in a number of ways:

5 Ways Amillennialism Discredits the Bible

5 Ways Amillennialism Discredits the Bible

One aspect of amillennialism that deeply troubles me is the denial of a future kingdom for Israel. Those who advocate this position believe the Old Testament promises made to Abraham, Jacob, David, and Israel are fulfilled by Jesus Christ and His church in this current age, a spiritual millennium.

They support this assertion through an allegorical interpretation of large sections of prophetic Scripture in both the Old and New Testament.

I believe this disregard for the literalness of prophecy weakens the integrity of the rest of God’s Word. Though often not right away, eventually many non-prophetic passages fall victim to those wishing to overlay a symbolic interpretation upon them that conforms to what they believe.

Is Belief in the Rapture Relatively New?

Is Belief in the Rapture Relatively New?

Those who oppose our beliefs in a pretribulation rapture fill up social media and the Internet with stories mocking the rapture as something no one believed until the nineteenth century. They discredit it based on its recent appearance in the life of the church.

So, is our belief in the rapture relatively new in church history? No, absolutely not! As will see in the following sections, saints in the early days of the church looked for Jesus’ appearing to take away His church ahead of a time of tribulation on the earth. The doctrine existed long before people began calling it “the rapture” during the 1800’s.

Why Premillennialism Matters

Why Premillennialism Matters

I recently read an article by Bert Farias on the Charisma News website entitled The Corruption of American Christianity: The Evil Agenda to Destroy America. In it, the writer shows how Marxist and Communist ideologies have gained a foothold in many churches and denominations throughout the United States.

Through a mixture of truth and error, the promoters of this leftist agenda not only sabotage the Gospel, but also the scriptural purpose of the church.

But why do some Christians fall for such errors while others immediately see their subversive intent? Why do so many elevate a purely social agenda above the Gospel?