24 (A Kingdom view of the end times.)

April 28, 2009 at 10:45 am 1 comment

Several weeks ago I wrote in this post (HERE) these words:

If we believe what is going on is just a precursor to the End, how does that affect the way we think? If we are just going to duck and cover during these so called “last days” of grave uncertainty and shaking, will we miss the opportunity of a lifetime to actually bring Kingdom values to bear on the crisis?  (BTW, we have no idea if these are the last days, and have no way of knowing, so Jesus said in Matthew 24:36. There is a lot in Matthew 24 we need to understand from a Kingdom perspective, rather than just (dispensational) an end times approach. Anyone want to work on that?)

                       end_times

No one jumped at the opportunity to write anything about Matthew 24 from a Kingdom perspective, didn’t expect anyone would, so I decided I was going to.  So here comes a new series called 24 (A Kingdom view of the end times.)

No doubt this will take a while as I am going to write as I learn.  I will warn you up front that what I write is a departure from my upbringing, my training and the church culture I was raised in.  It will be a departure from what has become the popular American church view of the end times.  It will be a departure from the pessimistic view of the end times made possible and popular with the 1909 publication of the Scofield Reference Bible.  This reference Bible proposed in its footnotes very negative scenarios of the future that were largely taken from the work of John Nelson Darby, the father of a theological perspective called dispensationalism.  Since the time of Dr. Scofield hundreds if not thousands of scary end-time books have come on the scene, none more popular than the Left Behind series, written by Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins.  Such books  and related teachings have become so popular and accepted in the American church that a negative eschatology (study of last things) has become the most popular view in the western church.

It should be noted that this view of the future has been popular in the Christian culture for a very short period of time, less than 100 years.  It probably peaked in “popularity” when we moved from the 20th century to the 21st, a few years back.  Some of you will no doubt remember all the hustle and bustle surrounding Y2K and the “end of the world as we know it” ideas that were all over the place. 

This series will be a departure from a pessimistic view of eschatology and will attempt to paint an optimistic view of the future from a Kingdom perspective.  A Kingdom view is optimistic about the future because it understands King Jesus and His Family (the church) will take over this world, not Satan.

I fully recognize that the days in which I am writing these words are not very welcoming to an optimistic or victorious view of the future.  Pessimistic end time scenarios are abundant and it does appear the door is wide open to an eschatology that sees nothing but a down hill slide until finally the Father has had enough and beams the church out of the mess, burns up the planet, defeats the anti-christ and calls an end to this hopeless and defiled planet. 

Many Christians (some are my friends/family) actually are excited about the brokenness of our world and see every new crisis as one more rung on the ladder that gets us out of here. One person told me not long ago that these days of economic collapse didn’t worry him because they just mean we are closer to being raptured then ever before.  In other words all the bad stuff going on all over the world (war, earthquake, famine, disasters of all kinds, swine flu pandemics, economic collapse and so on) are actually good things because they are signs that the end is near.  I don’t blame anyone for seeing things this way, it is hard not to. 

As difficult as it is, in these days, to argue for any kind of optimistic view of our world and the future, I am going to try and present a view of the future, rooted deeply in the Biblical text, that presents not only an optimistic view of last things but a victorious one as well.  Jesus wins and He wins, not by giving up on the planet He died for, but by continuing to work the plan, until every knee bows and every tongue confesses.

I am certain what I write will create disagreement, probably in some cases vicious disagreement and I am probably not inclined to participate in arguments that are raised by what I write.   Ask questions, question my view, whatever, but don’t waste a lot of time presenting the dispensational view, I think I have that one down.  I might be all wrong, but its a blog not a textbook.

What I hope to do is present your Savior as the King He is.  A victorious King with a victorious Bride.  Not sitting around fearfully waiting for the end to get here but a King and His Bride that are quietly, steadily, faithfully, supernaturally, confidently, hopefully, extending His Kingdom into all corners of this planet, in order to present our King with a redeemed and renewed planet over which to rule. 

Drop by and read a little, let me know what you think.

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Entry filed under: Authority, Belief, Bible, Bible topics, Christian, Christianity, Culture, End of the world, End times, Eschatology, Faith, Financial meltdown, Government, Holy Spirit, How will the world end?, Jesus, Kingdom, Kingdom Life, Theology.

Monday morning meanderings. Vol.77 What are you passionate about? Lorissa Kingsbury

1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. Jeff  |  April 28, 2009 at 7:56 pm

    I’m looking forward to what you have to say about eschatology from the Kingdom’s perspective. I certainly hope you generate discussion from the New Testament texts themselves, NOT the eisogesis that the Evangelical American Church proclaims, based upon the split vision that originated with the Scottish girl named Margaret MacDonald from Port Glasgow, Scotland.

    Most American Christians don’t know that the Scottish lassie, MacDonald, experienced a vision of the split Second Coming, with the first Coming for those who are spiritually prepared – before the coming of the evil one – and a later Coming for those who are not sufficiently spiritually prepared and, therefore, are forced to experience Great Tribulation.

    In Matthew 23, Jesus issues 7 woes against teachers of the law and Pharisees. In Matthew 24, Jesus walks across the Temple grounds and calls attention to the splendor of the Temple, only to tell the disciples that not one stone will be left on another, but every stone will be thrown down.

    In this context, many readers of Matthew 24 miss the fact that the disciples ask Jesus TWO questions, which Jeus proceeds to answer in Matthew 24 and 25 from the top of the Mount of Olives. “Tell us,” they said, “[#1] when will this happen (i.e., the destruction of the Temple); AND [#2] what will be the sign of your coming and the end of the age (Second Coming of Christ)?”

    The answer to question #1 already happened in 70 A.D., when the Romans destroyed the Temple. The answer to question #2 tells us that Christ will come back at the end of Great Tribulation.

    Until the time of Augustine who was Amamillennial, all Church Fathers were Historic Premillennial and believed, taught, and wrote about the Post-Tribulation Rapture of the Church. The purpose of Great Tribulation is to purifiy the Church for her Bridegroom before He returns for her!

    It wasn’t until 1830 that anyone wrote anything about the Pretribulation Rapture of the Church. The rest, as they say, is history.

    Does anyone remember when large segments of the American Church taught 88 reasons why the Rature will happen in 1988?

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