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End-Times Apologetics: Millennial Viewpoints

Four Primary Views of the Millennial Kingdom

David Sliker

on 7 May 2013

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Transcript of End-Times Apologetics: Millennial Viewpoints

Dispensational Premillennialism "Jesus will return before the tribulation" POSTMILLENNIAL VIEW The strength of this view is found in their zeal to work to see every area of society transformed (government, economy, education, media, arts, etc.). The Lord will release an increased measure of His kingdom purposes and power in every sphere of society before He returns. Some of our labors in this age will have continuity in the age to come. AMILLENNIAL VIEW "Millennium Now" Millennial Viewpoints Three Wrong Ideas About the End-Times: End-Times Apologetics: Four Primary Views Too negative: Thinking that all society is destined to fall into the hands of the Antichrist. This view leads people to draw back from changing society now. They say, “Why should we work to bring change to society, if satanic darkness is destined to dominate all society in the tribulation?” Too positive: Thinking that most of society will be transformed before Jesus returns. This view ignores what Scripture says about the coming pressures in society and the necessity of Jesus returning to establish the fullness of the kingdom on earth. Though hope-filled desire is important, it must be tempered by Scripture. We must be loyal to God’s end-time plan and wisdom as seen in Scripture and resist exaggerated humanistic optimism. The strength of this view is found in its literal interpretation of end-time prophecy and in embracing God’s purpose for Israel in the end times. Its weakness is that most who hold this view do not believe that the Church will be used to transform parts of society, or that it will operate in the gifts of the Spirit, or be on earth during the tribulation to finish winning the harvest. It sees two new covenants pertaining to salvation—one for Israel and one for the Church. The common response is escapism (why prepare and work hard if we will soon be raptured) along with fatalism and defeatism (society cannot be changed so why try). The weakness of this view is that end-time prophecies are usually interpreted symbolically instead of literally, and it embraces replacement theology. Many postmillennialists are preterists; they see many end-time prophecies as fulfilled in 70 AD, rather than being partially fulfilled at that time as a prophetic foreshadowing of end-time events. "Total Victory" Some refuse the plain teaching of Scripture that the whole human race and all creation will endure the birth pangs that usher in the age to come. We must refuse any theological systems that claim more compassion and optimism (victory) than God’s plan, which requires the Tribulation. HISTORIC PREMILLENNIALISM and the VICTORIOUS CHURCH "Jesus will return after the tribulation" The strength of this view is found in its literal interpretation of end-time prophecy, in preparing the Church for future persecution, and in our responsibility to provoke Israel to salvation. Victorious, Wholehearted, Relevant The strength of this view is in its focus on the spiritual triumph of the Church over sin and Satan before the Lord returns. Some Amillennialists believe in a victorious end-time Church. The weaknesses of this view are found in interpreting much end-time prophecy as symbolic or figurative and in embracing some form of replacement theology, which teaches that the Church replaces Israel as heir to Israel’s prophetic promises. Some Amillennialists believe in a tribulation with a literal Antichrist, but most reject this view. Many Amillennialists have a preteristic view of the end times (preterit is a verb tense that describes a past action). Preterism teaches that end-time prophecy has already been fulfilled in the past. Many Preterists do not believe in an end-time tribulation or Antichrist, nor do they interpret the book of Revelation in a literal way. Preterism sees most of the prophecies in Revelation (the tribulation, Antichrist, etc.) as being fulfilled when Israel was at war with Rome (66–70 AD) and/or sees them as merely symbolic—as a picture of spiritual conflict through Church history. Too vague: Thinking that it is impossible to know what the Scripture says about the end times, so why even try. They ignore the end times, being assured that the future will take care of itself and thus, they do not have urgency to be prepared in their understanding.
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