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Thread: Are we imbalanced eschatomaniacs in the 21st century church?

  1. #16
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    Re: Are we imbalanced eschatomaniacs in the 21st century church?

    Quote Originally Posted by randyk View Post
    I spent the mid-70s down in Orange County, getting confusing by Chuck Smith about the Pretrib Rapture. I had been Postrib, but Smith's daily radio broadcasts, and a new commentary on Revelation, made me reconsider my position. After a period of mass confusion and doubt I felt the Lord convict me that I was vacillating over things I already knew. I was afraid to believe what I had already read and understood in 2 Thes 2.

    Since this is in the Bible it has importance to God. At the time I wrote Walter Martin and CRI, requesting that Martin make an official statement regarding his own Postrib belief. He came out, shortly after, with a tape presenting his Postrib position. You can still hear it online somewhere.

    I'm not bad-mouthing Chuck Smith when I say that his predictions about the coming of Christ "very soon" did not pan out. Jesus didn't come in the 80s, and he didn't come anytime after that either. So I share, like you, a distaste for predictions made about when Christ will come. This particular Forum forbids it, I believe?

    That being said, I find that those who give up on actual eschatology in the Bible are making a mistake, and are frustrated simply because they haven't found much truth yet. To quote creeds and official statements does not scratch the surface of all that exists about the endtimes in the Bible. Creeds are just abbreviated statements of beliefs--not exhaustive studies of an area like eschatology.

    Where we go wrong is when we refuse to believe what the Scriptures actually say on a subject. I find that the biggest difficulty comes when we try to base our beliefs strictly on symbols, rather than on explicit doctrinal statements in the Bible. Symbols have that awful ability to allow the interpreter to insert his own ideas into the symbol, and then call it "biblical!"

    Don't give up brother. Pop eschatology will go away. God's word lasts forever.
    Thanks for the comments, Randy. And I don’t mean to sound like there isn’t much to study. There is! I’ll post a picture of a section of my shelf with eahatology books. That doesn’t include dozens of commentaries on Revelation (and other prophetic books), all my systematic theologies (which all have a section on eschatology) and of course it doesn’t include all my electronic books on eschatology, commentaries and systematic theologies. It doesn’t include the many I’ve owned and don’t have anymore.

    I think the point I’m making is one will see a variety of views on that shelf. All by Spirit filled people who truly love God and have sharp minds. The details of eschatology is an area we are probably more fallible in than any other branch of theology. Yet it’s one in which many devote an unreasonable amount of time to. They are fixated on it. Perhaps even idolatrous with it.

    But I agree. Read much on about it - from different angles, with humility and come join those with differing views in that humility in C.S. Lewis’ metaphorical Mere Christianity hallway.
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  2. #17
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    Re: Are we imbalanced eschatomaniacs in the 21st century church?

    "Jesus is coming soon" is not a prediction.

  3. #18

    Re: Are we imbalanced eschatomaniacs in the 21st century church?

    Quote Originally Posted by ChangedByHim View Post
    "Jesus is coming soon" is not a prediction.
    It is if you start trying to be specific about what "soon" means.

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    Re: Are we imbalanced eschatomaniacs in the 21st century church?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sonajero View Post
    It is if you start trying to be specific about what "soon" means.
    Is that what I said?

  5. #20

    Re: Are we imbalanced eschatomaniacs in the 21st century church?

    Quote Originally Posted by ChangedByHim View Post
    Is that what I said?
    Did I say it was?

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    Re: Are we imbalanced eschatomaniacs in the 21st century church?

    Quote Originally Posted by randyk View Post
    I agree that making prophetic predictions are not the same thing as teaching biblical eschatology. True biblical eschatology is designed to put false prophecy, and errant expectations to rest.

    And like another brother said, it is to show us how to properly "watch" for the Kingdom. We can't make a pie, and then diminish a small part of the pie, just because it is a smaller part. We need to eat the whole pie. Tastes better that way!
    Just to clarify: I do NOT make prophetic predictions, I point out what the real prophets said. All of it, in about 755 articles, easy to read and with explanatory scriptures.
    Don't shoot the messenger!

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    Re: Are we imbalanced eschatomaniacs in the 21st century church?

    Quote Originally Posted by TrustGzus View Post
    Thanks for the comments, Randy. And I don’t mean to sound like there isn’t much to study. There is! I’ll post a picture of a section of my shelf with eahatology books. That doesn’t include dozens of commentaries on Revelation (and other prophetic books), all my systematic theologies (which all have a section on eschatology) and of course it doesn’t include all my electronic books on eschatology, commentaries and systematic theologies. It doesn’t include the many I’ve owned and don’t have anymore.

    I think the point I’m making is one will see a variety of views on that shelf. All by Spirit filled people who truly love God and have sharp minds. The details of eschatology is an area we are probably more fallible in than any other branch of theology. Yet it’s one in which many devote an unreasonable amount of time to. They are fixated on it. Perhaps even idolatrous with it.

    But I agree. Read much on about it - from different angles, with humility and come join those with differing views in that humility in C.S. Lewis’ metaphorical Mere Christianity hallway.
    Noticeably absent from your library are some really good Postrib books! But point taken!
    Everybody likes a little eschatology. Some are born into it. I was born into it. At a very young age, I stood at the top of the stairs and shouted down: "God and Jesus are coming, and there's going to be a whole new world!"

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    Re: Are we imbalanced eschatomaniacs in the 21st century church?

    Quote Originally Posted by TrustGzus View Post
    This is long. Iím sorry. I hope itís interesting.

    Thatís my question. Are we imbalanced eschatomaniacs in the 21st century church?

    End Times Chat (ETC) is probably the busiest forum here. Mods might be able to tell differently, but when I look at recently updated threads and scan the right hand column often perhaps 75% or more are in ETC.

    In 1987, at the age of 16, I thought I was an expert on the book of Revelation. I was obsessed with the book. But, I was a teen. Metal bands spoke of 666 and quoted Revelation on their albums. Furthermore, Iíd read at least four books by Hal Lindsey. I was pretty sure I got saved in the nick of time a year earlier.

    88 Reasons Why the Rapture Will Be in 1988.
    The Final Shout: Rapture Report (1989).
    23 Reasons Why a Pre-Tribulation Rapture Looks Like It Will Occur on Rosh-Hashanah 1993.
    And Now the Earthís Destruction by Fire, Nuclear Bomb Fire (1994).

    I read none of those.

    Harold Camping failed multiple times.


    I spiritually grew up in Calvary Chapel. Calvary, God bless them, is fascinated with eschatology. A lot of cassettes/CDs/MP3s cannot be shared anymore because they guessed ďwithin 20 yearsĒ yada, yada, yada.

    They still do prophecy updates. A friend/good acquaintance is doing prophecy updates weekly.

    ďA geneation is 40 years.Ē

    1948 - 1988. Nope.
    1967 - 2007. Nope.

    I notice how simple the church has been in the past about their eschatology.

    Apostles Creed

    He ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father. He will come again to judge the living and the dead.
    I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen.

    Nicene Creed

    he ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
    He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead, and his kingdom will have no end........
    We look for the resurrection of the dead,
    and the life of the world to come. Amen.

    Pretty simple.


    A thousand years later, the Westminster Confession and 1689 Baptist Confession werenít much more complicated.

    Iíll quote the Baptist.

    CHAPTER 31Of the State of Man after Death, And of the Resurrection of the Dead
    1. The bodies of men after death return to dust, and see corruption; but their souls, which neither die nor sleep, having an immortal subsistence, immediately return to God who gave them. The souls of the righteous being then made perfect in holiness, are received into paradise, where they are with Christ, and behold the face of God in light and glory, waiting for the full redemption of their bodies; and the souls of the wicked are cast into hell; where they remain in torment and utter darkness, reserved to the judgment of the great day; besides these two places, for souls separated from their bodies, the Scripture acknowledges none.
    2. At the last day, such of the saints as are found alive, shall not sleep, but be changed; and all the dead shall be raised up with the selfsame bodies, and none other; although with different qualities, which shall be united again to their souls forever.
    3. The bodies of the unjust shall, by the power of Christ, be raised to dishonor; the bodies of the just, by His Spirit, unto honor, and be made conformable to His own glorious body.

    CHAPTER 32
    Of the Last Judgment
    1. God has appointed a day wherein he will judge the world in righteousness, by Jesus Christ; to whom all power and judgment is given of the Father; in which day, not only the apostate angels shall be judged, but likewise all persons that have lived upon the earth shall appear before the tribunal of Christ, to give an account of their thoughts, words, and deeds, and to receive according to what they have done in the body, whether good or evil.
    2. The end of Godís appointing this day, is for the manifestation of the glory of His mercy, in the eternal salvation of the elect; and of His justice, in the eternal damnation of the reprobate, who are wicked and disobedient; for then shall the righteous go into everlasting life, and receive that fullness of joy and glory with everlasting rewards, in the presence of the Lord; but the wicked, who do not know God, and do not obey the gospel of Jesus Christ, shall be cast aside into everlasting torments, and punished with everlasting destruction, from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of His power.
    3. As Christ would have us to be certainly persuaded that there shall be a day of judgment, both to deter all men from sin, and for the greater consolation of the godly in their adversity, so will he have the day unknown to men, that they may shake off all carnal security, and be always watchful, because they know not at what hour the Lord will come, and may ever be prepared to say, Come Lord Jesus; come quickly. Amen.


    While I think itís fine to study millennial and rapture views, and I do, and I have views and opinions, I canít help but think we should be simpler and less focused on the future of which none of us really know other than the little God andnhas shared and a couple thousand pounds of conjecture and speculation.

    The Bible has so much more about justification and sanctification. And I find that more interesting anyway.

    Grace & peace to all.
    Great post

    I was that way too when I was a futurist but now that Iím more amill I try to show people that I believe that most of revelation is in the past so that people wonít wait for the supose end times to start so that people will believe

    The time to spread the word is now not wait for a rapture for people to start to believe in God because at the rapture it will be to late

  9. #24
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    Re: Are we imbalanced eschatomaniacs in the 21st century church?

    Quote Originally Posted by randyk View Post
    Noticeably absent from your library are some really good Postrib books! But point taken!
    Everybody likes a little eschatology. Some are born into it. I was born into it. At a very young age, I stood at the top of the stairs and shouted down: "God and Jesus are coming, and there's going to be a whole new world!"
    True. However, unless one is convinced of the premillennial view and a 7-year tribulation, differing rapture views donít matter much.

    Quote Originally Posted by marty fox View Post
    Great post

    I was that way too when I was a futurist but now that Iím more amill I try to show people that I believe that most of revelation is in the past so that people wonít wait for the supose end times to start so that people will believe

    The time to spread the word is now not wait for a rapture for people to start to believe in God because at the rapture it will be to late
    Especially too late to wait if the rapture and second coming are all the same event!

    In essentials, unity; in non-essentials, liberty; in all things, charity. - Rupertus Meldenius

    Read your Bible and pray every single day. - Pastor Jon Courson

    If your grace ain't greasier than a bucket full of chitlin's and gravy, you might be a legalist - an internet friend.

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    Re: Are we imbalanced eschatomaniacs in the 21st century church?

    Quote Originally Posted by TrustGzus View Post
    True. However, unless one is convinced of the premillennial view and a 7-year tribulation, differing rapture views don’t matter much.

    Especially too late to wait if the rapture and second coming are all the same event!
    This kind of confused thinking is typical of 'rapture to heaven' believers. As such a thing as the Lord taking His people to heaven is never stated in the Bible, it is no wonder that the timing of it cannot be resolved.

    Your suggestion of the 'rapture' and the Return happening simultaneously, is right, but it isn't to heaven, but to where Jesus is. That is; in Jerusalem. Proved by Matthew 24:30-31

  11. #26

    Re: Are we imbalanced eschatomaniacs in the 21st century church?

    Quote Originally Posted by marty fox View Post
    The time to spread the word is now not wait for a rapture for people to start to believe in God because at the rapture it will be to late
    Not if you believe in a two-chance sequence of events as laid down in something like the Left Behind series. I read one of the books written by the same author presented as non-fiction and it appears he believes that the sequence of events will be much as laid down in the fictional series - a rapture that takes believers away followed by a tribulation for those left behind, but where those left behind will have the chances to choose Christ, they'll just have to go through the tribulation as believers.

    It seems like an odd interpretation to me, I thought he had to twist some of the Scripture he cited to make it fit, but it's obviously one of the viewpoints out there.

  12. #27
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    Re: Are we imbalanced eschatomaniacs in the 21st century church?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sonajero View Post
    Not if you believe in a two-chance sequence of events as laid down in something like the Left Behind series. I read one of the books written by the same author presented as non-fiction and it appears he believes that the sequence of events will be much as laid down in the fictional series - a rapture that takes believers away followed by a tribulation for those left behind, but where those left behind will have the chances to choose Christ, they'll just have to go through the tribulation as believers.

    It seems like an odd interpretation to me, I thought he had to twist some of the Scripture he cited to make it fit, but it's obviously one of the viewpoints out there.
    Very popular viewpoint. I held it for a good 20+ years.

    In essentials, unity; in non-essentials, liberty; in all things, charity. - Rupertus Meldenius

    Read your Bible and pray every single day. - Pastor Jon Courson

    If your grace ain't greasier than a bucket full of chitlin's and gravy, you might be a legalist - an internet friend.

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    Re: Are we imbalanced eschatomaniacs in the 21st century church?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sonajero View Post
    Not if you believe in a two-chance sequence of events as laid down in something like the Left Behind series. I read one of the books written by the same author presented as non-fiction and it appears he believes that the sequence of events will be much as laid down in the fictional series - a rapture that takes believers away followed by a tribulation for those left behind, but where those left behind will have the chances to choose Christ, they'll just have to go through the tribulation as believers.

    It seems like an odd interpretation to me, I thought he had to twist some of the Scripture he cited to make it fit, but it's obviously one of the viewpoints out there.
    I believe that we all have the same chance now not a second one after the supposed rapture as Jesus taught below

    Luke 16:19-31 New International Version (NIV)

    The Rich Man and Lazarus

    19 “There was a rich man who was dressed in purple and fine linen and lived in luxury every day. 20 At his gate was laid a beggar named Lazarus, covered with sores 21 and longing to eat what fell from the rich man’s table. Even the dogs came and licked his sores.

    22 “The time came when the beggar died and the angels carried him to Abraham’s side. The rich man also died and was buried. 23 In Hades, where he was in torment, he looked up and saw Abraham far away, with Lazarus by his side. 24 So he called to him, ‘Father Abraham, have pity on me and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, because I am in agony in this fire.’

    25 “But Abraham replied, ‘Son, remember that in your lifetime you received your good things, while Lazarus received bad things, but now he is comforted here and you are in agony. 26 And besides all this, between us and you a great chasm has been set in place, so that those who want to go from here to you cannot, nor can anyone cross over from there to us.’

    27 “He answered, ‘Then I beg you, father, send Lazarus to my family, 28 for I have five brothers. Let him warn them, so that they will not also come to this place of torment.’

    29 “Abraham replied, ‘They have Moses and the Prophets; let them listen to them.’

    30 “‘No, father Abraham,’ he said, ‘but if someone from the dead goes to them, they will repent.’

    31 “He said to him, ‘If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be convinced even if someone rises from the dead.’”

  14. #29

    Re: Are we imbalanced eschatomaniacs in the 21st century church?

    Quote Originally Posted by Keraz View Post
    I do that.
    I have listened to thousands of sermons, one pastor did a series on Revelation, he made a mess of it, otherwise nothing on prophecy from the pulpit. And to try to discuss Bible prophecy to pastors or church members, just gets you very quickly silenced.

    We ARE living in the end times, that is evident from the present world situation. We SHOULD know what God has planned for His people in all that must happen before Jesus Returns. The Courts do not excuse ignorance, God will not either.
    Don't recall any where in my Bible where it says I will be judged by what I know about which red heifer the ashes have to be made from. Or where I will be judged by what I know about the Bible at all. I find plenty to show me that I will be judged based on what I did with what God gave me, and who I shared with, and how I treated others. Exactly where does it say that I "should know what God has planned for His people" at all.

    Seems to me to be just the opposite of what Jesus said when he said "Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? 32(For after all these things do the Gentiles seek for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. 33But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.

    34Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof."

    Seems to me that we've got better things to do to love our neighbors and care for the widows and orphans that worrying about vials and trumpets and heifers and 666. Besides, I think this fascination with the end of the world and so called prophecy and all that stuff just became poplar in the last 150 years or so. I think the folks in those seven churches in chapter 2 and 3 of the REvelation of Jesus Christ had to have a pretty good idea of what was going on, otherwise writing them a whole books doesn't make much sense.

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    Re: Are we imbalanced eschatomaniacs in the 21st century church?

    Quote Originally Posted by FreedMan View Post
    Don't recall any where in my Bible where it says I will be judged by what I know about which red heifer the ashes have to be made from. Or where I will be judged by what I know about the Bible at all. I find plenty to show me that I will be judged based on what I did with what God gave me, and who I shared with, and how I treated others. Exactly where does it say that I "should know what God has planned for His people" at all.

    Seems to me to be just the opposite of what Jesus said when he said "Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? 32(For after all these things do the Gentiles seek for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. 33But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.

    34Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof."

    Seems to me that we've got better things to do to love our neighbors and care for the widows and orphans that worrying about vials and trumpets and heifers and 666. Besides, I think this fascination with the end of the world and so called prophecy and all that stuff just became poplar in the last 150 years or so. I think the folks in those seven churches in chapter 2 and 3 of the REvelation of Jesus Christ had to have a pretty good idea of what was going on, otherwise writing them a whole books doesn't make much sense.
    What I said was; God does expect us to read the Bible. We get our information about Salvation and how we should live there. Also there is a great amount of prophecy, some fulfilled; very literally, but most awaiting fulfilment. We should know about what God has planned for the future. Otherwise we are in the dark. 1 Thess 5:4

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