March 16, 2015

One area of dispute among the theological talk is the correct interpretation of the end times.  There are four views of the end times: amillennialism, pretribulation-premillennialism, posttribulation-premillennialism, and postmillennialism.  These views take the same sources of scripture and interpret them differently.  I am not an expert but I do have an opinion as to which is the correct view.

Amillennialists believe the 1,000 year reign of Jesus is metaphorical and spiritual in nature.  We are currently in the metaphorical reign of Jesus as He sits at the right hand of God in Heaven.  They believe Satan has been bound and is not active in this world, and all the good and evil that exists is based on man’s sin and rebellion.  We are not fighting a battle against principalities of the air but only against the flesh.  The chief proponent of this view is the tribulation period and the 1,000 year reign of Christ are a figure of speech and spiritual in nature.  The problem is this opens up other areas of the bible to be viewed as metaphorical, such as the creation sequence in the Genesis.

Post-millennialists believe there is a figurative 1,000 year reign of Christ and He will come back for His church at the end of the era.  They believe the church will overcome evil through the expansion of the Kingdom of God.  When the Kingdom has been established Christ will come back and execute the final judgment of the world.

Post-tribulation premillennialists believe the church will suffer through the tribulation period when the Antichrist and the beast will reign.  The church will suffer for all the sin they have committed while living on earth and will reign with Christ during His 1,000 year reign.  Then at the end of the reign the church will sit with Christ at the final judgment.

Pre-tribulation premillennialists believe there will be a rapture of the church.  The church will not be subject to the wrath poured out onto the world during the second half of the tribulation period.  We will then reign with Christ during the thousand year reign when Satan will be bound and then loosed at the end of the period.  At the end of that period the Satan will be defeated and sent to Hell and the creation of the New Earth and New Heaven will be revealed.

The view I hold to is the pre-tribulation dispensational view.  The reason is not entirely on the interpretation of the same relevant scripture.  The main reason I hold to this view is I do not believe God is done with His Chosen People Israel.  I believe He never abandoned them but always holds a special place for them.  The other three views believe the church has supplanted Israel as God’s Chosen People.  They cannot explain why Israel has maintained a separate people through the generations.  Why Israel is still persecuted throughout history?

The Lord promised never to leave us once we are in His Shepherd’s pen.  We are His always.  Why would the Lord abandon His Chosen People?  Why would Paul write in Roman’s that Israel will have their time when the fullness of the Gentiles has been completed?  God stayed with Israel throughout the Old Testament, through the silence before the first coming of Christ and throughout the New Testament.  He is not through with redeeming His People and they still hold a special place in His plan.  How can we be so arrogant as to think we assume the rightful place of Israel?

The Father has always kept a remnant of Israel.  During Elijah’s day there were 7,000.  In Revelation 144,000 are set aside for the service of the Lord.  If there is any doubt about God’s future plan for Israel, read Paul’s plea for the salvation of Israel in Roman’s 9 through 11.  This should leave no doubt about the special place Israel has in God’s plan, the place they have held since the beginning of time itself.

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