Today the "Pre-millennial" perspective is almost universally accepted framework for biblical prophecy and the study of end-time events. As that perspective has gained momentum with best-selling books, frequent conferences and seminars, and nearly a pop-culture acceptance of its tenants, I have found myself increasingly aware of the Holy Spirit's leadership away from this view.
Everywhere I look in scripture I see a conflict with the Pre-millennial view. It is my plan in the months to come in this blog to explain what I believe the Bible does say about end-time events and to provide an interpretation of biblical prophecy that is consistent with all of scripture, providing a framework for understanding eschatology that correlates comfortably with history, what we see going on around us now, and all Biblical utterances on the topic.
Fear of the Great Tribulation
I want to start by addressing why I suspect it is that Christians have been drawn to the Pre-millennial view. The great tribulation has haunted believers since it was first introduced in the book of Daniel. As Christians, we can take embarrassment, we can handle ridicule, even some suffering is okay. But "Great" and "Tribulation" are pretty scary, and I believe that our fear of this upcoming time has driven the theologians over the last several decades to try to find a belief system that lets them avoid it.
Scripture clearly refutes this hope. Jesus says plainly in Matthew 24:21-22
"For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been from the beginning of the world until now, no, and never will be. 22 And if those days had not been cut short, no human being would be saved. But for the sake of the elect those days will be cut short."
We, the elect, the saints, those of us alive at that time will experience the great tribulation, but it will be cut short on our behalf. Daniel makes the same point in Daniel 7:21-22 by saying:
"As I looked, this horn made war with the saints and prevailed over them, 22 until the Ancient of Days came, and judgment was given for the saints of the Most High, and the time came when the saints possessed the kingdom."
So while we'll be there, God cuts the tribulation of that time short with His coming, and in so doing hands us the Kingdom. This is ultimately great news for us, but yes, scary to consider from our current perspective.
In order to begin, I must lay out a general framework for my Biblical interpretation.
Purpose of Biblical Prophecy
The primary purpose of Biblical Prophecy is to give the saints hope by confirming for them their ultimate victory in the midst of the challenges that they are currently enduring or that lay ahead. It's goal is to prepare them for these challenges, and yet provide a basis for faith through them.
The message is: We win! Our faith is not in vain. Yes, there will be trouble, but be of good cheer, our Savior is victorious.
Who's Your Daddy?
While there is incredible detail contained in all the scriptures regarding the unfolding of history, at the center of all of them is one primary question - "who is your Father?" Jesus told the pharisees that they were of their father the devil (John 8:44). To the Christian, we are told that we have been adopted as sons and now call Him "Abba Father", essentially, "Daddy" (Rom 8:15).
God's goal is to save His children. The enemy's goal is to prevent that. The events of human history, both past and future, give each individual human being the opportunity to decide who they will love, listen to, follow, and serve. God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, along with all the heavenly host and the saints, work in love to help each human being make this decision. God's enemy works, through his host of fallen angels and deceived human beings to prevent individuals from coming to know God.
Even now, Christians seek the lost, follow the leadership of the Holy Spirit, and move in the power of the Kingdom to accomplish God's redemptive plan. All around us, we are opposed. Opposed by governments, by the media, by popular culture. All politics, all debates, all controversies, have at their heart the central question: "who do you love, who will you follow, who will you serve?"
The Prophecy's of Psalms, Isaiah, Ezekiel, Daniel, many books in the New Testament, and especially Revelation are saying one thing: "have hope! God will be victorious! Your faith and sacrifice are not in vain! You will be greatly rewarded!"
So with these things in mind. Lets dig in.
So with these things in mind. Lets dig in.
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