24.2

May 5, 2009 at 9:58 am 1 comment

No meanderings this week.  I didn’t have time yesterday and we really haven’t done much meandering this last week.  Will see what happens next Monday.

When I was preaching regularly (which I miss) I would find myself often being tested, tempted, even attacked in the very area I was studying.  Sometimes it was pretty intense.  Since I decided to write down what I believe is a more positive, Kingdom view of eschatology (study of last things) I have felt more pressure to not do it than anything I have done recently.  Thoughts like, “who really cares what you think?”  With each new world crisis comes the inevitable “doesn’t look too positive right now, does it?”  or this question “what makes you think you know more than_________?”  Fill in the blank with a hundred different names of people who see the end as ugly and negative.

end_times_02

But here is why I am going ahead with it.  It is my blog, and I write what is going on in my life and head.  No one has to read it if they don’t want to.  There seems to be a hunger in people for an authentic Kingdom view of life.  Whoever chooses to read it is totally free to be blessed by it, disagree with it, blow it off, embrace it, whatever, so here we go.

There are a lot of views out there about last things.  Do a search of words like “end times”, “last things”, “end of the world”, “eschatology” etc and you will find everything from the weird to the complex to the helpful.  There are two I will spend most of my time interacting with. 

Today’s popular view, that things are winding down to a fateful and horrible end, made the more horrible by a particular individual called the anti-christ, through a miserable 7 years of tribulation, out of which the “church” will be raptured, culminating with a 1000 year earthly reign by King Jesus.  That view I will refer to as the futurist view.  The view I will contrast with the futurist view is referred to as the partial preterist view.  Preterist comes from a Latin word that means roughly “things that are past”.  Rather than to use the words partial preterist I will refer to this view as the Kingdom view.

A pretty easy way to define these two understandings of last things is to say the futurist looks at Matthew 24 and Revelation and says most, if not all of the prophesies found there, are yet to be fulfilled.  The Kingdom view, as I call it (partial preterist view) sees the prophesies of 24 and Revelation as fulfilled primarily in the past and partially in the future.

As I said in a previous post the Kingdom view is one held by the church for centuries while the future view is a much more recent view of last things.  That isn’t all that important but I wanted you to know that what I am going to write about didn’t just show up in recent days, in fact it is the futurist view that is the most recent of the end times scenarios.

As He (Jesus) was sitting on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately, asking, “Tell us, when will these things happen, and what will be the sign of Your coming, and the end of the age?”  (Matthew 24:3)

There are three key questions being asked of Jesus and how we understand the answers Jesus gives to these 3 questions determines how we will understand the end times, the tribulation, the antichrist and how future events will play out.

Jesus answers these 3 questions by talking about people who come along claiming to be the Messiah, about wars, famines, earthquakes, heavy persecution of Christians, and about people who claimed to be followers of Jesus who slip away under pressure.  He also speaks about the gospel going out into the world, followed by some really bad things happening and people being taken away.

Futurists look at the way Jesus answers the three questions and come to the conclusion that all the events Jesus speaks of, are going to happen sometime in the future, a future far beyond the days of the disciples to whom Jesus is speaking. In other words the futurist reads what Jesus says and rather than to see what He speaks of as taking place soon after He answers the questions, they vault them over the disciples day and land them, if you believe the futurist, in days yet to come, more likely, they would say,  in our immediate future.

The partial preterist view, or Kingdom view as I call it come to very different conclusions, when they study 24.  We view Jesus’ answers to these 3 important questions as not yet to be fulfilled but actually finding their fulfillment in a period of time more likely less than 100 years from the time Jesus answered the questions.

You should know that the futurist has all kinds of ways to object to the Kingdom view.  I will mention a few of them as we move through Matthew 24.  But remember, my goal is not to refute the futurist view.  I have lived much of my life under the futurist view and found it very debilitating.  No doubt, the enemy tries to get to me by pointing out all the ugly stuff happening in our world today and trying to get me to look at how obvious it appears to others that all the signs point to the end being right around the corner.  But there has never been a time in my nearly 59 years when people were not pointing to signs of the times and telling us the end was near.  Time to our Father is relative because He neither lives in it nor is He bound by our calendar.

How about another point of view, how about we see if there isn’t a blessed hope that the Kingdom really is without end and that by living out the Gospel of the Kingdom, we really will change the world, and that the Bride really will be beautiful and pure at His coming and that the Body of Christ, really can be made ready and that every knee will bow and confess, not out of fear but out of joy at His coming?   How about we take a look at those possibilities?  Can’t hurt.

Next question number 1.  “When will these things happen?”

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Entry filed under: Authority, Belief, Bible, Bible topics, Culture, End of the world, End times, Eschatology, Faith, How will the world end?, Institutional church, Jesus, King Jesus, Kingdom, Kingdom Gospel, Revelation, Supernatural, The Father, Theology, Thoughts.

24.1 24.3 + a little Henri Nouwen

1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. Royal  |  May 5, 2009 at 10:58 am

    What a great topic for discussion. I am very excited about reading your thoughts on this subject. I am very intrested to see how you tackle the debate of time in your writings, I personally believe it is very important.

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