85. Your Eschatology Matters (End-Times Series Part 34)


1 view

Your eschatology matters. It will not only affect your view of the end times, but how you view culture and how you will engage in it. --- Send in a voice message: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/datprodcast/message Support this podcast: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/datprodcast/support [https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/datprodcast/support]


Hello everyone and welcome back to the broadcast where we prod the sheep and beat the wolf. This is episode 85 your eschatology matters
If you've been following along with our more recent Episodes and you will know that we've been in a mini series in the book of Acts looking at all of the eschatological passages that are contained within It's also a part of the larger macro series on the end times where we began in the book of Malachi and we crossed the
Intertestamental gap then we looked at the eschatology of John the Baptist the eschatology of Jesus We examined critical texts in the book of Matthew as well as the tremendous eschatological
Mountain that is the Olivet discourse and then today is our 34th episode that has been dealing with Eschatology now with that you may be wondering out of 84 sorry 85 today total episodes of the broadcast
Why would we devote? 34 of them to eschatology Well, that question is easily answered because your eschatology will dictate the way that you engage with culture
To say that differently what you believe about the destination of human history will shape your thoughts about its direction
If you believe that the world is basically Barreling over a cliff's edge going from bad to worse ready to implode at a moment's notice.
Then you will either Try to save as many people as you can before the collapse Or you will huddle away in your bunker until the commander returns to rescue you
You will not be interested in fighting any losing battles. You will not put any energy and effort into preserving
Anything or building anything because what moron would waste their time arranging deck chairs on a sinking ship?
No, if That is the destination that we are all heading to in the eschaton
Then you will aim all of your efforts at making as many converts as you possibly can Before the imminent rapture overtakes us and you will leave the time -consuming things like making disciples and building the next
Christendom to fall by the wayside and that would be actually the right approach if the world were moments away from catastrophe, but What if on the other hand?
You believe that history is the story of great victory It's his story of great victory and that over the last 2 ,000 years
He is the one who's been building his church and his kingdom has been growing and it will continue to grow until his reign of peace
Covers the entire earth with his glory and with his covenant blessings If you believe that and there are good reasons for doing so then you would not bury your head in the proverbial sand
You would not frantically seek to make a litany of shallow converts instead You would want to build churches
Churches that preach the gospel and plant new churches that make disciples You would run like you're running the
Iron Man instead of the 60 meter sprint you my friend Would get up and build well this is especially important to me and essential to the mission of the
Podcast because I began this show as a way of invigorating Christians the tagline that we say at the beginning of every episode to prod the sheep and to beat the wolf is
My admission that the church in America has been in a state of gross Lethargy and we need to wake up We actually need to shake things up and to get on with building the kingdom
That we have been commanded to build by God Almighty wherever we're called to live Because many churches however and many people within those churches have been in full -scale
Retreat mode hiding from culture for the last several generations instead of engaging it Three things though have inevitably occurred
Number one a legion of savage wolves have multiplied like rabbits without fear of reprisal
It's because weak need pastors shallow churches and uninvolved Christians have allowed the hounds of hell to proliferate
Unchecked in both the church and in culture Number two because the church is overwhelmingly abandoned culture society around us has decayed like a year -old ribeye and left out on the counter that now stinks to high heaven and the number three
Because the church has focused so much of its energy on making converts instead of making disciples the vast majority of Christians today are spiritually malnourished immature and Incapable of even lifting the sword of truth much less wielding it in any sort of battle
That is why a salty little show like this exists. And that's why we focus on a topic like eschatology
Because we want to see the church get prodded in a faithful activity We want to see the wolves and the enemies of God beaten into some in submission, but to do that We need to be focused on the right kind of eschatology
Because as we said before your eschatology matters while also the kind of eschatology that you hold to really matters
Now there's no debate on whether Jesus wants you and I to be engaged with culture When he told us to make disciples of all the nations in Matthew 28 19
He was basically telling us to transform the world That work would continue until all the nations bowed their knee to King Jesus and joyfully obey him
Furthermore by calling us to be salt Matthew 5 13 through 16. Jesus is intending on his church being the agent of preservation in a culture that would decay and would rot without us in The same way that meat would be packed with salt before the dawn of refrigeration the nations of this earth
Must be packed full of Christians who will act for the preservation and for the renewal of the world
Instead of running away from it and hiding in it This is why Jesus called us to be lights that shine in a crooked generation
Philippians 2 14 through 16 as a lamp stand Revelation 2 5 set on the top of a hill for all the world to see
Matthew 5 14 Yet as we've seen before certain eschatological schools of thought will invigorate our cultural engagement and cause us to be saltier
Not in a bad way, but in a good way and and more brightly shining and then there's other schools of Eschatology that will stifle it
Well a full -scale treatment of this topic is most definitely impossible here I do want to break down the primary schools of eschatological thinking and I want to do so in two different ways the first I need to be able to show you what does or when does the
Millennium happen and When will Jesus return happen in relation to that Millennium? That's the first thing that we need to focus on the second is we need to understand what the hermeneutical framework
Underneath these eschatological positions are so that we will understand not only how they interpret the scriptures but how you're gonna hear from us at this show how we interpret the scriptures because When you see that you'll see oh, okay.
That makes sense. This is how they're seeing and Understanding the text. I believe we're right in that I believe that we have a good and faithful hermeneutic in that but I want to be transparent that that is that this is
How we think so, we're gonna get to that. We're gonna do two things. We're gonna show you What the three major positions in the
Millennium are and then we're gonna show you what the four major hermeneutical principles or the ways that people interpret eschatological text and by the end of it you will see exactly where this show lands and Hopefully you'll be convinced.
So with that let us begin with the Millennium The Millennial challenge Now if you're still getting familiar with these categories, the
Millennial Kingdom is the 1 ,000 year reign that Jesus speaks of or the John speaks of in Revelation 20
It's Jesus's reign over the whole earth where the entire planet comes under the banner of his lordship
When Satan is bound for a thousand years and when Jesus's kingdom of peace reigns among the nations without opposition
Now concerning this passage as I said just a moment ago, there are three primary schools of thought we'll begin with pre -millennialism
Pre -millennialism holds that Jesus's return will happen in the future Where he will rapture his church out of this world and he will crush
Antichrist seven -year reign of terror with a battle of Armageddon before he sets up his literal and physical 1 ,000 year millennial kingdom
Now according to pre -millennialist Jesus is not Currently reigning at the right hand of God as Earth's King, but is instead sitting at the right hand of God Awaiting the time when he can return and set up his millennial kingdom
This punts the reign of Christ into the uncertain future and it allows pre -millennials to view the world pessimistically
Since they believe that it is still under the rule and the authority and the control of the devil While it is essential to recognize that various dreams and differences do exist within the pre -millennial camp ie dispensationalism historic pre -millennialism
Etc. This represents the basic schema Satan is in charge of this world
Jesus is waiting to return to set up his kingdom now Second school of thought is our millennialism
This view called our millennialism holds that Jesus is currently reigning now, and we would agree with that Unlike pre -millennialism
He is not waiting for a for this to occur in the future. He's ruling currently right now in heaven and Just as the prefix pre in pre -millennialism tells us something about what they believe the ah in Amillennialism tells us something about what they believe as well generally speaking when the ah
The alpha privative is applied to the front of a word. It is done. So as a negation so for instance a
Theist is someone who believes in the possibility of a God whereas an atheist
Does not the a in atheist negates the term theist But in this case the a or the ah in amillennialism does not communicate the negation of Christ millennial reign but it only negates the literal nature of it being a 3 ,000 years
Discussed in Revelation the amillennialism would believe that it's not a literal period of time
To the amillennialist Jesus is currently sitting on his throne He's reigning over the spiritual kingdom in heaven, and it's not confined to a literal thousand years
Amillennialist also correctly point out that the number 1 ,000 is often used in figurative expressions and it's typically signifies fullness for example
When the psalmist ascribes the extent of the Lord's livestock, he says that God owns the cattle on a thousand hills
He does not imply that God only owns the cattle on a specific number of hills
But conveys that God owns all the cattle on all the hills It would be ridiculous for the psalmist to say that God owns all the cattle that you could fit on a thousand hills
But not on the thousandth and first and not on the thousandth and second. That's not what the psalmist is saying He's saying that God owns all the cattle's on all the hills so that number thousand there represents fullness it represents all
Well, it's the same thing in Revelations highly poetic and figurative language the 1 ,000 years
There symbolizes the fullness of Christ's reign over all of time. It is all of Christ's reign over all the years
According to this perspective Christ is presently reigning spiritually in heaven in a figurative thousand -year reign
That will persist until his return. Remember all the years Now you come to postmillennialism the third view
This is the third basic view on the eschaton. It's called postmillennialism, which shares much in common with the amillennial view
However, instead of seeing the reign of Christ as being limited to a spiritual kingdom in heaven, which is what the amillennialists believe postmillennialists envision
Jesus's reign as positively Affecting the nature and trajectory of life on earth
According to the postmillennial perspective Christ received a never -ending kingdom from the father when he ascended into heaven
Daniel 7 13 and 14 This kingdom is described as a global government of peace.
Isaiah 9 6 through 7 It is it's led by a true and better Adam first Corinthians 15 45
It's gonna fill the entire world with the glory of God a back kick to 14 and it's gonna take over the entire earth
Daniel 2 44 through 45. It's not just a heavenly kingdom it's a kingdom that's going to like a mustard seed fill the entire world as a
Mustard seed fills the entire garden Matthew 13 31 through 32 It is just like 11 that's going to eventually work its way through the entire lump
And in this sense the lump is earth Matthew 13 33 until Christ has put every single one of his enemies
That's earthly enemies under his feet Psalm 110 1 and then and only then will the income first Corinthians 1524 through 26
The point is is that as all millennialists rightly assert that the the millennial reign of Christ is not a literal thousand years
But it's really talking about all the years that Jesus reigns until he returns. That's right But they fail to see that there's so many passages in the scripture that talk about how his reign is not just gonna be a heavenly reign it's gonna be a reign that affects impacts and wins and conquers the world
According to the post -millennialist perspective and I would argue Holy Scripture the world is not gonna go from bad to worse
The world currently is under the rule and authority of Jesus Christ Matthew 28 18. Satan is no longer in charge and this reign by Jesus will continue until God's kingdom has come on earth as it is in heaven
Matthew 6 10 as you may have guessed It is the post -millennial view that we hold here and as the post -millennial view that I think rightly sees
Jesus winning over the nations transforming them for his glory and Making this world increasingly conformed to his image
When you see the world that way and this is why eschatology is important when you see the world that way
You're gonna engage with it Not like a captain who's going down with a sinking ship like men and women who believe
Jesus is gonna have victory That he is gonna win and when you know someone is gonna win you participate you when you know someone is gonna redeem the land you go fight for the land and Do we know from the scriptures that God is gonna use the church in order to accomplish it?
Jesus put Satan under his feet But he also says that Satan is gonna be crushed under the feet of the church Romans 16 20 this view
That I'm arguing for and that we have been arguing for invigorates real evangelism Instead of frantic conversion making we don't believe that that we're right at the precipice of an imminent rapture
We just have to pull as many possible people we can out of the fire without making disciples That's been the view of the church for 50 years
And that's the reason why the church and the world is filled with watered -down converts Because we spent 50 years trying to save as many people as we can without discipling any of them and is it any wonder that the church is immature and Incapable of doing what
God has commanded it to do We have to repent of this sort of shallow easy believism
Hyper -evangelistic tendencies that never disciple we have to do both. Yes, we should evangelize and yes
We ought to make disciples who will make disciples to the ends of the earth. That's what Christ commanded We are not in a pinch for time
We've just believed wrong beliefs that has caused us not to do the vision that Christ has given us where we're gonna
Bring the world under the Lordship of Christ that's what the Bible is talking about and that's what leads post -millennialist brothers and sisters to a godly and a wholesome optimism seeing how
Christ has faithfully built his church over the last two thousand years and We're gonna trust him to continue to build his church over the next two thousand years if though if he should tarry to return
Post -millennialism Just as a summary post -millennialism is the view of this show, but it's also
Why we have a positive view of what Christ is gonna do in the world it invigorates evangelism it invigorates discipleship
It's the reason I started this show It's the reason men and women can start businesses because they believe that Jesus is gonna build his kingdom
It's the reason that we that we build churches that that are gonna last for hundreds If not a thousand years instead of building churches that are just gonna be a flash in the pan
This idea that we're gonna be around for a while and we've got to work and we've got to build and we've got to be
Obedient to Christ and that we're not on any sort of time crunch, but we're to be faithful over the long term this view invigorates real and I think healthy cultural engagement so eschatology matters
Now let's get to the second point the point of the hermeneutics of eschatology because this is also a very important aspect of eschatological thinking
Part two the hermeneutical challenge Along with the millennial question and the timing of Jesus's return
Eschatological views differ widely based on air a hermeneutical perspective, which means how we read and interpret the biblical text
With this in mind There are four basic hermeneutical approaches that can be found in the realm of eschatology which will dictate what you believe about the end times and how you
Read the scriptures about the end times and ultimately how you engage in culture in our present time
And just as we did before we're gonna arrange these from bad to better number one the worst futurism
The first major hermeneutical position that is very popular today, but has not been popular throughout church history is called futurism
Futurism assumes a future fulfillment for the vast majority if not all of the eschatological texts in the
Bible This viewpoint is from the readers perspective and not from the authors of Scripture since every prophecy is in the future of the one who gave it for the futurist the prophecy of Scripture is
Not in the immediate future of the men who wrote them or said them But it is in the far distant future as it relates to us in this sense
Futurism sees that the majority of the eschatological passages in the Bible at best are
Multiple thousands of years into the future from the ones who wrote them heard them and were called to believe them
This is also precisely why most premillennialist and dispensationalist our future to believe that Jesus will return in the future
Set up a millennial reign in the future after a future rapture and a future beast and mark of the beast and all that you have to have a
Hermeneutic that views almost all of the eschatological passages in the Bible is being distantly removed from its writers
This view has led to untold Isagetical interpretations and a tremendous amount of speculation over the last 2 ,000 years with every single generation producing
Futurists who sincerely believe that we're living in the last days With the passages of Scripture being in the uncertain future and no one knowing the day or the hour
Then no one can really know when the end times begin This is why every 10 to 15 minutes a new eschatology book or blog comes out claiming to have solved the end times riddle proving that we're all about to be zapped out of here and then in 15 minutes will be added to the growing collection or trash heap of eschatological failed predictions
As I as I've said before with a history of so many failed Assertions failed predictions flawed prophetic interpretations with a history of that.
Why would you trust anything that a futurist says? You would more likely win the Powerball a hundred times in a row
Than to have anything a futurist asserts be right about the end being in our day
Now with my not so pointed opinion stated I do want to say the major issue in futurism is it makes the
Bible all about us Every current generation is the generation that the that these prophecies were written to and it's up to us in our time to figure
Out what they mean that is a failed hermeneutic The Bible was not written to Christians in the 21st century.
It wasn't There's application the Bible applies to us the Spirit by his means of grace makes these scriptures come alive to you and I But Paul did not write with 21st century people who lived on the continent of a
North America in mind He did not you were not in his thoughts. He was writing to people at Corinth or Ephesus or Galatia He had certain people in mind
Jesus was standing in front of certain people when he gave the prophecies on Matthew 24 You are not the primary audience and futurism makes you the primary audience
It is a failed hermeneutic for that reason and for that reason alone and for that reason it must be outright rejected
Now that doesn't mean that there's not events that are going to happen in the future I certainly believe that there are certain events in the
New Testament that are still into the future What I'm arguing for is that? That the way we approach the text is not with us in mind so that we can see how this defines our future
I'm arguing for we need to have the original author We need to understand what the original author was saying to the original audience and if they
Believed that these events were still long into the future. We have good warrant for believing that they're still in the future as well
But if they believe that the prophecies that were being given were in their future in their immediate
Context that we have to reject futurism as a hermeneutical principle and we have to believe that these events have already occurred
But there'll be more on that in just a moment The second major view of hermeneutics is called historicism now
Historicism traditionally views eschatological events as unfolding throughout periods of time
Instead of believing that all the events happen in the future in in one period of time or that all the events happen in the past in one period of time historicism believes that that the
Eschatological passages reveal things about different epochs throughout church history With specific prophecies aligning with various eras and various people that have lived over the last 2 ,000 years this approach often associates biblical prophecies with specific historical figures events and Offers sort of a timeline of fulfillment that spans from the biblical time all the way to the present time
The classic historicist text is Revelation 2 through 3 if you'll remember, it's the seven churches of Revelation Where historicists describe a unique sequential period of seven eras of world history
With the final era being the Laodicean lukewarm age of man Where Jesus vomits them out of his mouth right before his return
Now while this view is popular seven several hundred years ago. This view has almost faded into extinction today the third view is idealism
Idealism interprets the eschatological passages of Scripture as conveying timeless and Symbolic truths rather than predicting specific past or future events
This view instead of trying to understand when the event will happen It's trying to understand why the event will happen and it spiritualizes the text
It emphasizes the overarching themes of spiritual conflict victory and ultimate triumph of God's purposes in a more symbolic and allegorical
Way, this position is common among amillennialist who tend to spiritualize everything
Especially the reign of Christ who assume that God's reign is a heavenly reign only thus the truths revealed in the eschatological
Scriptures are not so much about referring to specific events on earth But spiritually consequential truths that will sustain us until Jesus returns physically and bodily
The goal of idealism is not to say when but it's to say how how are we supposed to live in the period?
Between Jesus's ascension and his return and for what it's worth. This is not a bad approach if you're talking about Application the
Bible does apply to all people and at all times in some way or another so we should be looking for the application of every text but From a hermeneutical perspective there are things that we can learn about the text that aren't necessarily application we can learn who they were addressed to when the events are gonna happen why the events are gonna happen things like that and Those events are either gonna be in the future.
They're gonna be spread out across time or they're gonna be in the past So idealism is helpful in the sense.
It is trying to bring application to the eschatological text But it still needs to be able to answer and you need to be able to answer the when of When these texts occurred and that's what brings us to our final view, which is called preterism
Preterism comes from the Latin word preter meaning past in that sense preterism
Considers most eschatological passages in the Bible is having already been fulfilled There are some brands of preterism called hyper preterism or full preterism
Who believe that everything in the New Testament has been fulfilled, but those are rare and usually those
People who believe in that tend to fall in other more severe heresy So we reject full preterism or hyper preterism
But yet even while some wrongly interpret the Bible using full preterism The view helpfully the partial preterist view helps us focus on what the original author of Scripture would have believed the original writer meant in the world in the circumstance in which they were living and In this sense preterism more than any of the other hermeneutical positions grounds the interpretation of the text into the world in which it was authored
Unlike the futurists who assume the majority the end -time verses have no application whatsoever to the people with whom they were written
Preterists assume that the end time sayings and prophecies were in the future of the men who received them and not in our future 2 ,000 years removed
Now this has great practical importance for the way that we read the Bible if the events
Jesus described is describing Matthew 24 Or the events in that Luke is describing the book of Acts are still hidden somewhere in the cloudy future
Then they would have had zero relevance to Peter to Paul to the original first church
None of them that they would have been texts that were opining about Useless material that would have affected them in no way
And if God makes it a habit of Pretending like he is writing to a particular people at a particular time and yet hiding
Decoder ring messages in it. That's only applicable to us Then how can we trust that any passage of Scripture is not meaningless because if if God does this at all
Maybe he does this repeatedly I think the safer hermeneutical approach is to say what did the original author intend to say to the original audience if The original author intended to say that there is a future event that's gonna happen in your lifetime
Then we ought to believe that it happened in their lifetime When Jesus says in Matthew 24 34 that these things will happen
Before some of them pass away before this generation passes away. You will see these things occurring
We ought to believe that instead of believing that its future and that God was somehow misleading them or hiding some sort of secret
Decoder ring sort of message in there that didn't apply to them even though they thought it did Furthermore when we remember that we are not the original audience of Scripture and by that I mean
Paul was not addressing his letters to us John was not addressing his gospel to us the revelation was not written and postmarked to us when we when we stopped thinking that way and Stopped looking for the big biblical prophecies to be fulfilled in our era
And we start looking for the fulfillment to occur in theirs as they believe that it would
Then it's gonna unlock the Bible's meaning in so many life -giving exciting ways you're gonna see connections come alive
You're gonna be enlivened to see that the Bible really is trustworthy That the things that it predicts is gonna happen did happen and that same
God who is trustworthy then can be trustworthy today As you can tell this podcast does not subscribe to the foolish view of futurism
Since there are passages in the Bible that are still in our future Yes, but the original author intended them to be and the original audience who heard them understood them to be
When you and I develop a hermeneutical framework for how to read the Bible the standard
Evangelical method has always been to try to understand what the original writer of that text was attempting to communicate
To the original recipient of that text and when you do that When you do that consistently even in your eschatology
The only viable method of interpreting interpreting these eschatological passages is the method known as partial preterism
Partial because we do not believe everything in the Bible has already been fulfilled But when we do come across texts that are still in our future, it is clear that they are it is clear
From reading the scriptures that the majority of its future oriented text or future for its original audience and now 2 ,000 years removed today.
They're in our past conclusion While it is beyond the scope of this article or this podcast or whatever to prove the post -millennial and the partial preterist view it should
Clarify first and foremost what view you're going to get here it also if you want a
Show that helps you discover the Antichrist and what the mark of the beast is and and you know
If the locusts in Revelation really do mean Apache helicopters. Well, this blog is probably not for you
We do not read eschatology through newspaper articles We actually wrestle with the text and we wrestle with what the original author intended to communicate to the original audience not superimposing our current moment on to a 2 ,000 year old text and thinking that we just so happen to be the privileged generation to which all of this applies if You want me to come on here and whine about how bad the world is and offer nothing by way of fixing it
Well, this show is not for you either. I believe with all my heart that Christ is reigning on his throne and I believe that that rain is not just locked away in heaven
That it will have an impact on this earth and that rain will continue Until the entire world is under the rule and authority of Jesus Christ I believe that many of the
New Testament passages have already been fulfilled and that what we are waiting on is the return of Jesus at the end of the age when the entire world is under his
Authority rule power and is experiencing the peace of his government. I Believe in the meantime while we're waiting.
We're not meant to be twiddling our thumbs We're not meant to be sitting on our laurels. We are meant to be builders instead of cowards
You will find no eschatological defeatism or pacifism on this show while we wait for a rapture here
No, no, no here. You're gonna find biblical truth, frankly delivered to help prod us to righteous living
Kingdom -building and retaking our culture for Christ if that is what you're into then absolutely great
There are 34 other episodes on this topic There are other episodes on various other cultural topics for you to explore and next week
We're gonna finish our eschatological look at the book of Acts after that Maybe we'll dive into some more eschatology of Paul in the writings like Romans or Ephesians or Galatians or some of those
Maybe we'll take some breaks along the way, but no matter what we're going to engage culture
We're going to look at what the Bible says and we're gonna encourage Christians to get involved To be salt to be light and to continue building for the glory of God until our
King returns until next time Let's get to work and God bless you
Thank you so much for listening to another episode of the broadcast if you like what you're hearing if you like this View that we've been putting forward if you if you like being encouraged if you like being hit over the head with the truth
Well, that's great Subscribe to the channel like it share it with anybody that you think would be interested in it and help us get it out
To more people also if you'd like to help support us financially You can go to the shepherds church and give a gift of any amount all
Contributions go to the shepherds church will be used for gospel ministry in New England Which is we're talking about is a rotting decaying culture that needs salty people
Packed all throughout its streets to be able to bring the gospel of Jesus so that this culture will not die and will be preserved