A Case for Amillennialism: Understanding the End Times

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Published Grand Rapids, Mich. Language English View all editions Prev Next edition 2 of 2. Subjects Chiliasme. Einde der tijden. Summary What does the Bible really teach about the end times? Will there be a rapture with some people left behind? How has the church traditionally understood the millennial age? In a clear and accessible manner, Kim Riddlebarger presents and defends amillennialism as the historic Protestant understanding of the millennial age.

Amillenarians believe that the millennium is a present reality centered in Christ's heavenly reign, not a future hope of Christ's rule on earth after his return. Contents First things first Defining our terms A survey of eschatological views How do we interpret Bible prophecy? Biblical and theological concerns The covenantal context of Old Testament eschatology These things were foretold According to the prophets Christ and the fulfillment of prophecy The nature of New Testament eschatology The kingdom of God The new creation, the Israel of God, and the suffering church The blessed hope : the Second Advent of Jesus Christ Exposition of the critical texts Daniel's prophecy of the seventy weeks The Olivet discourse Romans 11 : is there a future for Israel?

Revelation : a thousand years Evaluation of millennial options.

ISBN 10: 0801015502

Notes "What does the Bible really teach about end times? Will there be rapture with some people left behind? Contents: First things first -- Defining our terms -- A survey of eschatological views -- How do we interpret Bible prophecy?

A Survey of Amillennial Theology

Notes: Includes bibliographical references p. This explains the typology present through the Sinai covenant and its temple, priesthood, etc. This becomes clear when Paul universalizes the Abrahamic promise of a land in Palestine now extending to the ends of the earth Rom. Abraham is now depicted as heir of the world. This is the classical distinction between the visible and the invisible church. Yet, says Paul, within national Israel which receives and possesses the land based on obedience—Josh.

This is why I hope the debate will continue and why I ask you, the reader, to weigh these matters with both an open mind and a well-worn Bible. It is my prayer that this expanded edition of A Case for Amillennialism will help you do exactly that.

ISBN 13: 9780801064357

From my earliest youth, I was taught that a secret rapture of Christian believers was a cardinal doctrine of the Christian faith. Estep of the World Prophetic Ministry explain how the Arab-Israeli conflict was setting the stage for the coming of the Antichrist. This man, Estep told us, would dazzle the world with his solution to the problems of the Middle East, guaranteeing peace for Israel. In the panic caused by the sudden removal of Christians from the earth after the rapture, the entire world would embrace this demonic leader, who would preside over a ten-nation confederacy and a revived Roman Empire of sorts.


Shortly thereafter, Israel would be betrayed, and seven years of horrible tribulation would pass before Jesus Christ would return to earth to put an end to the Antichrist and the devil, who empowered him. The subject of Bible prophecy has interested me ever since. Lindsey gave biblical answers to the tumult and uncertainty that characterized the sixties. Many of us thought that the coming and going of Y2K and the beginning of a new millennium would cause people to question dispensational assumptions and preoccupation with signs of the end.

Jenkins, proves the influence and staying power of dispensational teaching. Because dispensationalism is so popular, the question is rarely asked, Do these books and the dispensational theology they represent reflect what the Scriptures actually teach about the return of Christ and the millennial age? As one born and bred a dispensationalist, I know these authors and the people who read their books to be sincere and committed Christians.

But after a difficult journey from dispensationalism to the theology of the Protestant Reformation, I have come to believe that these books and the particular interpretation of biblical prophecy they present seriously default at many points. It is difficult to write a readable book on a complicated subject. Eschatology—the study of future things—is by all accounts a complicated subject.

Christians are deeply divided about these matters, and discussions of future events naturally tend toward sensationalism and undue speculation. Sadly, this is what we have seen in many recent books about this subject. Therefore, a brief word of explanation about the nature and scope of this book is in order. My purpose is to set forth the historic Protestant understanding of the millennial age. This position is commonly known as amillennialism and is centered in the present reign of Jesus Christ.

A Case for Amillennialism: Understanding the End Times

Amillennialism is grounded in redemptive history , the historical acts of God as they unfold in the Bible to provide for the salvation of his people. Although it is commonly argued that amillenarians do not believe in any millennial age the term itself, a millennial, could imply as much , this is not the case. Although amillennialism has fallen into disfavor among prophecy devotees, I believe this position makes the best sense of the biblical passages that address the subject.

So I write from a Reformed perspective and make no pretense of being neutral on the millennial question. However, A Case for Amillennialism is not intended to be a comprehensive treatment of eschatology. That has already been done. Because this is a controversial subject, a number of biblical, theological, and historical matters are developed in some detail. Recent discussions of this subject, while interesting and informative, have suffered due to space limitations and editorial constraints. Part 1 includes definitions of key theological terms associated with the millennial question, including an overview of millennial viewpoints.

This is followed by a discussion of hermeneutics—the science of biblical interpretation—which grapples with the question, How do our theological presuppositions affect our understanding of the millennial age? This section also discusses the Old Testament expectation of the last days and the development of this theme throughout the New. This so-called two-age model serves as the interpretive grid through which amillenarians should understand the biblical concept of future history.

Such a model enables us to make sense of eschatological language in the New Testament, specifically as it relates to the future and the millennial age. The exposition of Daniel —27 calls attention to the context of messianic prophecy and answers the specific question, Does Daniel teach a future seven-year tribulation period? The exposition of the Olivet Discourse Matt. What are the biblical and theological questions facing pre-, post-, and amillenarians? What about the presence of evil during the millennial age?

Does the Bible teach that a golden age lies ahead for the church? Does the Bible teach that the millennium is characterized by a return to Old Testament types and shadows as claimed by dispensationalists? What about the charge that amillenarians do not interpret the Bible literally? What about the future of the nation of Israel? There are consequences for our millennial views, and we need to be aware of them.

One final note is in order. Sadly, when it comes to eschatology, a great deal of ad hominem argumentation goes on. For example, dispensationalists accuse amillenarians of being anti-Semitic, liberal, or of spiritualizing the Bible by not taking the Bible literally. Amillenarians accuse dispensationalists of being literalists who are prone to sensationalism.

While we may have to agree to disagree, we should always strive to conduct this debate with charity and respect.

Understanding the End Times

Whenever discussing theological topics about which so many Christians disagree, it is helpful to define important terms that will be used throughout the discussion. Theologians have developed an extensive vocabulary regarding this subject, and rather than avoiding the use of technical terms, I think it better to use them and thereby gain clarity from the precision of language. What follows is a discussion of the primary theological terms associated with this area of study. Eschatology is a combination of two Greek words, eschatos , last, and logos , the word, meaning the doctrine of last things.

Most often eschatology is understood as referring to events that are still future, in relation to both the individual Christian and the course of world history. With regard to the individual, eschatology is concerned with physical death, immortality, and the intermediate state—the state of a person between death and when all people will be resurrected at the end of the age.

In terms of world history, eschatology deals with the return of Christ, the bodily resurrection at the end of the age, the final judgment, and the eternal state. In much of contemporary evangelicalism, the study of eschatology is often devoted to the timing of the rapture, the role that Israel plays in Bible prophecy, and the period of time popularly known as the tribulation. Many Christians understand the tribulation to be a future seven-year period of unsurpassed political and spiritual turmoil in which those who remain on earth suffer at the hands of the Antichrist.

In much of popular literature about Bible prophecy, eschatological matters are read through the lens of current events, with Bible-prophecy experts correlating biblical texts to current geopolitical crises.

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This not only gives the Bible great relevance, we are told, but also ensures a never-ending stream of prophecy books designed to show how the Bible explains that a particular current event was foretold by the Hebrew prophets. Historically, however, Christian theologians wrestled with the biblical text by itself, doing the more challenging but less sensational work of comparing Scripture with Scripture. The historic Protestant understanding of eschatology has a number of emphases that are different from what many evangelicals are accustomed to discussing under the heading of Bible prophecy.

This study will not attempt to find biblical texts that explain current events in the Middle East. I will not evaluate potential Antichrist candidates. Nor will I discuss how rapidly developing technology is preparing the way for a totalitarian world government. With this in mind, we consider the following reminder that a study of eschatology concerns not only the future but also the present:. We must insist that the message of biblical eschatology will be seriously impoverished if we do not include in it the present state of the believer and the present phase of the kingdom of God.

In other words, full-orbed biblical eschatology must include both what we might call inaugurated [present or realized] and future eschatology. There is no proper way to discuss what God will do in the future unless we have our feet firmly planted in biblical teaching about what God has done in the past.

A Case for Amillennialism: Understanding the End Times - Kim Riddlebarger - Google книги

Looking back at the history of redemption, we see what God has done for his people to rescue them from the guilt and power of sin. This means the Christian faith is thoroughly eschatological, and the subject of a millennial age must be considered from the perspective of the past, present, and future. Our redemption draws near as the days tick away before our crucified, risen, and ascended Savior returns. But the second coming makes sense only in light of what God has already done on Calvary and in the garden tomb.

Therefore, developing these biblical and theological themes is critical to evaluating millennial views. Another key term used throughout this study is millennium , which is derived from the Latin words mille , meaning thousand, and annus , meaning year. The term refers to a thousand-year period.

The three major viewpoints regarding the millennium are premillennialism , which claims that the return of Christ precedes the millennium; postmillennialism , which holds that Christ returns after the millennium; and amillennialism , which holds that the millennium is not limited to a thousand years but includes the entire period of time between the first and second coming of Christ. A related term is chiliasm , which comes from the Greek term chilia , literally meaning thousand years. Sproul Sinclair Ferguson W. Sproul R.

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Sproul Books That Influenced R. Please check back soon to purchase this item. Summary What does the Bible actually tell us about the end times, and how has the church traditionally understood it? Testimonials Has this product helped you? Share a Testimony leave this field blank to prove your humanity. You might also like: The End?

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