Understanding Eschatology (End Times)

2 Minute Seminary: Understanding Eschatology (End Times)

Premillennialism

Premillennialism is the position that Christ will physically return before the literal 1,000-year reign on earth. When Christ returns, believers who have “fallen asleep” and those still present on the earth will receive their glorified resurrected bodies. Together all those in Christ will reign with Him on the earth for 1,000 years. At the end of this time, one last rebellion will come against God and His saints by Satan and those who still never repented. Ultimately, Satan will be destroyed and the wicked will face God’s everlasting judgement in the lake of fire. The new heaven and earth will come, and the elect of God will live with Him forever without sin, death, or sorrow.

Some also believe that Christ will rapture His Church prior to the tribulation period. Then He will bring them back to begin His 1,000-year reign. Others believe believers will be present either for part or all the tribulation period.

Amillennialism

Amillennialism argues that there is not, nor will there be a literal 1,000-year reign. Rather Christ is reigning in the hearts of His people. Those who agree with amillennialism do believe, however, that Christ will return one day to destroy Satan, his followers, and death. Until that day, Christ’s Church will experience suffering and persecution as the Gospel is preached. Yet, evil will never prevail over the Church and its mission to reach every nation. And one day the saints of God will live eternally with God in the new heaven and earth.

Postmillennialism

Postmillennialism asserts that Christ will return after the 1,000-year reign. However, unlike premillennialism, Christ’s millennial reign is from heaven, not earth. Adherents believe Christ exercises His reign through His Spirit and His Church’s proclamation of the Gospel. Another distinctive is that conditions of the earth will only improve as time draws closer to Jesus’s second coming. All aspects of life and culture will be redeemed.

At the end of the millennium, God will loosen His restraint on Satan and the wicked. Then Christ will come to defeat them once and for all, ushering in the new heaven and earth as well.


Please understand that each of these views are considered within the realm of orthodoxy. Historically, the Church has affirmed each of these views at different points in time. Most American Christians held to a form of postmillennialism during the Civil War. Go back and read some of the lyrics to the hymns that were written at that time. It wasn’t until the 20th century that premillenialism became the majority held view. Prior to all of this, many early church theologians held a very amillenial view of the end times. In other words, while we may not agree on everything, we are still brothers and sisters in Christ. Like one of my professors always said, “It will all work out in the end.”

Are Truth and Morality Subjective?

Are Truth and Morality Subjective?

One of the things I encounter most often when talking with people is what many apologists would define as “subjective moral reasoning.” In simpler terms, it just means that they believe they determine what is morally right and wrong. From their perspective, they are perfectly capable of discerning truth and morality. However, if truth and morality are nothing more than a matter of opinion, then no person’s actions can be called good or evil. There is no standard of morality by which to judge anything.

The reason many people believe this is because it creates an environment in which no one questions them. If someone, such as myself, happens to question their worldview then he or she is seen as a hateful bigot. Again, not because they are in reality, but because that person claims that they are. Yet, from their worldview all beliefs are supposed to be equally valid, even the ones they disagree with. You can see the glaring hypocrisy here.

Without an objective source of truth and morality, anything goes. Without an objective standard of what is good, one could argue Hitler’s actions are just as “good” as Corrie Ten Boom’s. This is one reasons why I could never be an atheist because my conscious tells me that some things are objectively good and some things are objectively evil. The Bible says in Romans 2:15 that God has written His law (standard of goodness) on our hearts. We know that it is wrong to steal, lie, murder, and cheat. If we call these things good, it is because we are suppressing the truth, not accepting it.

This is why the Gospel is so offensive. It calls all people to repent of their sins. The truth is…we have all sinned against a perfect, holy God and according to God’s Word, are deserving of death. He is our creator and moral law giver. How can we, creatures made from the dust, think we know better than the One who made us? But, the good news is that Jesus died in our place. He took our sin and gave us His righteousness. And to those who call upon His name, He gives us His Spirit who leads us into all truth.

Friends, truth and morality start and end with God. We need Him. We need His Word. And that isn’t subjective.

What does the Bible say about mankind?

What Do I Believe About: Mankind

I believe that God created humans in His own image. Mankind is the pinnacle of God’s creation. Mankind has no existence or life outside of the existence of the living God. God created both male and female to glorify Himself and gave them dominion over all creation. He created mankind with the intention of having an intimate relationship with us. God made the first man (Adam) from the dust of the earth and the first woman (Eve) from man’s rib. God told them to be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth. Before the Fall, man was perfect and blameless before God. When Adam sinned against God, shame and death entered the world (Genesis 1:26-31; 2:4-25; 3:1-7; John 1:3; 1 Corinthians 8:6).

I believe that humans were created as moral beings with the freedom to choose good or evil. We know the difference between right and wrong. However, in mankind’s fallen state, even our best deeds are sinful at their core. There is no one, apart from our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, who is sinless (Isaiah 64:6; Romans 2:14-15; 3:23; 2 Corinthians 5:21).

I believe that sin is man’s rebellion against Holy God—it separates us from having a relationship with the Father. Every person is deserving of eternal damnation for his or her sin, regardless of its type or severity. Sin’s effect on creation is all encompassing, from our very own minds to the movement of the cosmos. All of creation is groaning to be restored when Christ returns to make a new heaven and a new earth (Isaiah 59:2; Romans 6:23; 8:18-22; James 2:10; 2 Peter 3:7-13).

I believe that humans were created as immortal beings; we will live beyond our physical death. Furthermore, every person will stand before Almighty God and give an account for everything they have thought, said, and done. The saints of God will dwell with God for all of eternity, while the unregenerate will perish in Hell for all of eternity. Everything we do in this life matters to God (Ecclesiastes 12:7; Romans 14:12; 2 Corinthians 5:8-10; 1 Thessalonians 4:17; 2 Thessalonians 1:8-9).

I believe that God also created humans as whole beings—the division between body, soul, and spirit is indistinguishable. While there is certainly an existence apart from our physical bodies, this splitting or division is not what God intended for humanity. This is another tragic reality of mankind’s sin (Genesis 2:7; Deuteronomy 6:5; Matthew 10:28; Mark 12:30; 1 Thessalonians 5:23).

I believe that every human is created equal, for God shows no partiality. Furthermore, men and women, though different anatomically and in their respective roles, are viewed as equals in the eyes of God. Within marriage, the husband’s role is to be the spiritual leader of his household and to love his wife as Christ loves the Church. The wife is to be submissive to the leadership of her husband, as the Church submits to Christ, our Head. Just as Eve was created to be Adam’s helper, so are wives to be their husband’s helper. Marriage is ultimately a picture of the Gospel of Jesus Christ (Genesis 2:18-22; Romans 2:10-11; Ephesians 5:21-33; 1 Peter 3:1-7).

2 Minute Seminary: Dispensational and Covenant Theologies

2 Minute Seminary: Dispensational and Covenant Theologies

Here are several differences between dispensationalism and covenant theology in a 2 minute or so read.

Dispensational Theology

Dispensational theology centers around the idea that God has dealt with mankind differently throughout history based on that time period’s “dispensation” of revelation (i.e. pre-Fall, conscience, promise, Law, grace, etc.). While there are different thoughts on how many dispensations there are, most adherents believe in seven. Dispensationalists also hold to a very literal interpretation of Scripture. This literal approach is the reason most dispensationalists believe in a clear distinction between Israel and the Church—God’s specific promises to Israel in the OT were for the Jews, and some have yet to be fulfilled.

Covenant Theology

Covenant theology believes that God has worked in covenants rather than dispensations. Most covenant theologians believe in two distinct covenants: a covenant of works (pre-Fall) and a covenant of grace (post-Fall). The idea is that in the Garden of Eden, Adam’s eternal life was dependent upon his perfect obedience to God. After the Fall, mankind’s eternal life was only obtainable by grace through faith. It is important to note that many covenant theologians believe that God did not abolish the covenant of works, rather Christ came and fulfilled it to make the covenant of grace possible.

What Do I Believe About...Angels and Demons?

What Do I Believe About…Angels and Demons?

I believe that angels are spiritual beings created by God to be His messengers. Whether they are around the throne room of God, or ministering here on the earth, they are ceaseless in their worship and obedience towards the LORD. Angels, while glorious in nature, are not created in the image of God. They are, however, powerful warriors with God as their commander, and have been given the capacity to take on human form. Angels were also given the important roles of ministering to the saints of God and bringing about judgement on the wicked (Ps 103:19-21; Matt 1:20-23; Heb 1:14; Rev 7-8).

I believe that like mankind, angels were created as moral creatures. They have the capacity for sin. Unlike mankind, however, angels who rebelled against God have no hope of salvation. Their fate has been eternally sealed by Him. These fallen angels are better known as demons, with Satan (Lucifer) being their leader (1 Tim 5:21; 2 Pet 2:4; Rev 12:7-12).

I believe that Satan and his demons are enemies of God and His people. Satan has been deceiving mankind from the very beginning, starting with Eve. Before we are born again and made children of God, we are children of a different father, the Devil. Satan is currently the prince of this fallen world, but one day he and his demons will be judged and cast into the lake of fire. Believers should be watchful and aware of demonic activity, but they have no reason to fear the powers of darkness because Christ defeated them on the cross. Satan has never been, nor will he ever be God’s equal (Gen 3; John 8:44-45; Eph 2:2; Rev 20:10).


I hope this helps aid you in your study of God’s Word. Please don’t shy away from asking any questions you might have. Also, if you see something that concerns you from a theological standpoint please let me know. I am not inerrant. 

What Will Heaven Be Like? Part 2

What Will Heaven Be Like? Part 2

Yesterday, I wrote briefly about how there is no sin or death in heaven. Today I want to talk about some of the implications of this reality. How does the absence of sin affect the nature of our eternity in heaven? What does this look like exactly? Here is part 2:

There is so suffering or pain in heaven.

Revelation 21:4 says, “He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”

While there is much we don’t know about the reality of heaven, we do know that it is a place of eternal happiness. According to this verse, there are no saints in heaven crying about anything. There are no saints dealing with back pain or emotional trauma from their past. Furthermore, there is no indication that the saints of God will be haunted by their sins for all eternity either. Truly, the former things have passed away. In heaven, every wrong will be made right. Every sickness and pain will be healed. That is why it is important that we set our minds upon the things that are above (Colossians 3:1-2). Perhaps the Lord will heal us of some physical ailment here on earth. Even if He does, we could get sick again. And eventually we will die. But, when when we “wake up” in heaven we will never have to worry about pain, sickness, or sorrow ever again.

Have you ever stopped to think about the unemployment rate of heaven? There won’t be any work for nurses or doctors because we will be completely healed by the Great Physician. Counselors won’t have any clients because every saint will talking with the Wonderful Counselor. Even florists will be out of a job because there will be no headstones to put flowers on. We will be alive forever singing praises to the Resurrected Savior.

In other words, there will be no hindrances to our eternal worship of God. In fact, we will have even more to thank God for once He wipes away every tear from our eyes. The wiping of our tears won’t be His dismissal of our pain and suffering experienced in this fallen world, it will be the comforting touch of our Father who says, “Come here, my child. Everything is going to be alright.” What an incredible promise Revelation 21:4 is for those who are in Christ Jesus. Amen? I will leave you with the words of Charles Wesley in his hymn entitled, “Away with our sorrow and fear.”

Our mourning is all at an end,
When, raised by the life-giving Word,
We see the new city descend,
Adorned as a bride for her Lord;
The city so holy and clean,
No sorrow can breathe in the air;
No gloom of affliction or sin,
No shadow of evil is there.

What Will Heaven Be Like?

What Will Heaven Be Like? Part 1

I am sure that many of us have asked this question at some point. We all want to know what it will be like when we go to be with Jesus. I know that there are a lot of stories and movies out there about people’s near death experiences. Heaven is For Real is one that comes to mind. I find it interesting that so many Christians will go to see a movie about heaven instead of reading with God has already revealed about heaven to us in His Word. This week I will be sharing a few things that every Christian should remember when thinking about heaven. Here is part one:

There is no sin or death in heaven.

We know that the wages of sin is death, according to Romans 6:23. Death is the result of mankind’s sin. God created us as eternal creatures, made in His image. If Adam and Eve had not disobeyed God, they would have lived forever with God. Death entered the world in order the prevent them from living eternally in disobedience and rebellion towards God. God drove Adam and Eve out of the Garden of Eden so that they would no longer have access to the tree of life.

Then the Lord God said, “Behold, the man has become like one of us in knowing good and evil. Now, lest he reach out his hand and take also of the tree of life and eat, and live forever— therefore the Lord God sent him out from the garden of Eden to work the ground from which he was taken. He drove out the man, and at the east of the garden of Eden he placed the cherubim and a flaming sword that turned every way to guard the way to the tree of life. Genesis 3:22-24 (emphasis mine)

Notice that the Lord stopped Himself in mid-sentence. It is as if He couldn’t bear the thought of not being with His people for all of eternity. But, if nothing is done about our sin, we will still be separated from Him. This is why Jesus died for us. Eternal life can only be found in the One who suffered the eternal punishment for our sins, in six hours on the cross. If Jesus had not died and rose again, we would have no hope of heaven; we would still be in our sins (1 Corinthians 15:17).

But, because Jesus Christ is alive, we can live forever with Him if we repent of our sins and believe upon His name in faith. But make no mistake, if we do not trust in Jesus, we will not go to heaven when we die. We will go to a place of eternal torment called Hell. And it won’t be undeserved. Even one sin against the eternal, holy Judge of the universe demands an eternal, holy judgement. John 3:36 says, “Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him.”

Heaven is holy because it is where our Holy God dwells. The reason that there is no sin in heaven is because there are no sinners in heaven, only saints (Revelation 21:27). Will your name be found in the Lamb’s book of life? Will I see you in heaven one day? If you aren’t sure, please send me a message. I would love to explain to you how you can be sure.


If you liked this post, come back tomorrow for Part 2: There is No Sorrow or Pain in Heaven.