About Me – On Eschatology (End Times)

If you don’t know, this is a post that helps you the reader to become more acquainted with where I – the author of this site – stand on various topics and theological points. Keep reading to see where I stand on today’s topic.


Intro & Timeline

I think this is best done by giving a timeline as to where I’ve been on the topic:

  • ??? – God’s coming about sometime
  • Vague Premillennialism
  • Dispensational Premillennialism (Dispensationalism) & Pre-tribulation Rapture
  • Progressive Dispensationalism & Post-tribulation Rapture
  • Covenant Theology + Classic Premillennialism
  • Covenant Theology + ???

There are many in the covenantal camp today who would be amillennial. I would not consider myself against such a view though I’m not fond of the term “amillennial”.

Rapture

I am also still favorable toward a classic premillennialism which has a “rapture” right before Christ’s return.

I put rapture in quotes as I believe there to be more evidence, both in Scripture and history, to support the idea that the rapture is not a removal from the world at Christ’s return. Instead, the event encompasses believers being caught up in the clouds upon Christ’s return as part of a grand ushering in of His return much as would happen historically when the rulers and soldiers would have happen to them when they returned to the city after warfare. Of course, the main difference being the activity this time being vertical rather than horizontal and it involves the King of Kings rather than earthly ones.

To give a little more clarity, it was typically for leaders and soldiers upon their return home to be greeted by the people before coming into the city and the people would usher them into the city in what would become like a grand parade of welcoming home. It is this sort of activity that I believe is going on at what we call the rapture as the King of Kings is returning to earth and the description speaks of being caught up in the clouds but it doesn’t speak of going beyond that.

I would have to say I’m much more entrenched into this idea of the “rapture” than I am of any particular millennial view. To be clear, I do approach things from covenantal theology – though not New Covenant theology. I am not post-millennial and I am not pre-tribulational premillennial. I do remain open to premil and amil views though. Even with that said, I would not automatically brand someone with those views that I do not agree as heretical, simply inconsistent (or wrong).

Other Items

The following are a few other items on my views related to eschatology in no particular order. These I am quite certain but I’ll admit there’s more I continue to work out.

  1. 1 Thessalonians 5:2 makes it very clear that the day an hour is and will be unknown to us. It is a fruitless activity for us to attempt to nail-down what is in God’s timing.
  2. The first three chapters of Revelation are historical. They give account of very real concerns to churches that once existed. The advice contained there is timeless and useful for instruction today as well. There is no hidden meaning there or symbolism about some specific church age or another. That portion of Revelation, though timeless largely, is past tense – or, in other words, events of the past.
  3. The events we see described throughout the middle of Revelation through the trumpets, seals, etc., and even elsewhere in Scripture about the last days, do occur even now – this much is clear. Even so, there do seem to be some unique events that I do not believe have occurred yet – like the stars falling from the sky.

As I’ve indicated, I do not have it all worked out and have every intention to continued to study this topic. I do question those who act as if they’ve had it all figured out for decades though as eschatology is a truly cross-integrative area of theology. The more I study the more it is impressed upon me that one’s eschatology must include the full counsel of the Scriptures. This means you cannot form your eschatological image purely off of one book of the Bible but must view the entire Bible as a single unit. That is a rather large undertaking which is why I am seeking out those who have gone before me and have done exactly that.


Note: I do these posts not because I think I’m somehow superior in my views or anything absurd like that but out of a desire to be up-front and honest with my readers as to where I stand. Otherwise, you’d be left to figure things out by reading between the lines and/or guessing.

Announcing – Posts Through the Holidays!

Starting December 1st, there will be a post every day of the month of December.

Each day the post could be something different. One day may be a quote, the next a bit of Greek, and the next more to the About Me or perhaps something entirely new.

I’m in the process of prepping those posts and I’m looking forward to them!

Quote #31 – The Great Commission

But the eleven disciples proceeded to Galilee, to the mountain which Jesus had designated. 17 When they saw Him, they worshiped Him; but some were doubtful. 18 And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. 19 [a]Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you [b]always, even to the end of the age.”

Matthew 28:16-20 (NASB)

Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. 17 And when they saw him they worshiped him, but some doubted. 18 And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in[a] the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

Matthew 28:16-20 (ESV)

16 Οἱ δὲ ἕνδεκα μαθηταὶ ἐπορεύθησαν εἰς τὴν Γαλιλαίαν εἰς τὸ ὄρος οὗ ἐτάξατο αὐτοῖς ὁ Ἰησοῦς. 17 καὶ ἰδόντες αὐτὸν προσεκύνησαν, οἱ δὲ ἐδίστασαν. 18 Καὶ προσελθὼν ὁ Ἰησοῦς ἐλάλησεν αὐτοῖς λέγων· ἐδόθη μοι πᾶσα ἐξουσία ἐν οὐρανῷ καὶ ἐπὶ γῆς. 19 πορευθέντες οὖν μαθητεύσατε πάντα τὰ ἔθνη βαπτίζοντες αὐτοὺς εἰς τὸ ὄνομα τοῦ πατρὸς καὶ τοῦ υἱοῦ καὶ τοῦ ἁγίου πνεύματος, 20 διδάσκοντες αὐτοὺς τηρεῖν πάντα ὅσα ἐνετειλάμην ὑμῖν· καὶ ἰδοὺ ἐγὼ μεθ᾽ ὑμῶν εἰμι πάσας τὰς ἡμέρας ἕως τῆς συντελείας τοῦ αἰῶνος.

Matthew 28:16-20 (Tyndale House Greek NT)

Quote #29 – Dr. Waldron

The sufficiency of the Scriptures does not mean they are all we need for the purpose of learning geometry or algebra. The Westminster divines confessed their faith in the sufficiency, but not the omni-sufficiency of Scripture.

Dr. Samuel E. Waldron, A Modern Expostion of the 1689 Baptist Confession of Faith

Antinomianism

Dictionary.com

antinomian

noun

  • a person who maintains that Christians are freed from the moral law by virtue of grace as set forth in the gospel.

Etymonline.com (antinomian)

“one who maintains that, by the dispensation of grace, the moral law is not binding on Christians,” 1640s, from Medieval Latin Antinomi, name given to a sect of this sort that arose in Germany in 1535, from Greek anti “opposite, against” (see anti-) + nomos “rule, law,” from PIE root *nem- “assign, allot; take.” As an adjective from 1640s.

Discussion/Explanation

The definitions above do a great job of getting to the point of the term – despite them being more focused on individuals who hold this view (the ism).

Antinomianism is one of the pitfall beliefs out there as it effectively rejects entire sections of the Old Testament and what it has to say about how we order our lives. Some fall into this line of thinking out of ignorance but others do it deliberately


See more like this post in “ologies & key terms“.

Quotes #28 – Pastor Will Vega

The following comes from a recent sermon I heard from one of my own pastors. A link to the audio of that message is provided after the quote.

When speaking on salvation . . .

. . . before we could ever doubt God on why He would make it so narrow and only offer one way to salvation, remember this . . .

That God does not owe anyone any way of salvation. He doesn’t owe you even one sermon! (emphasis added)

Yet there He goes . . . offering you invitation to abide in Him. And this is the reason why there is something deeply cruel about rejecting the son of God. Because it is the rejection of His free grace in which He invites you to receive.

Link to the sermon: https://www.faithbaptistorlando.com/resources/sermon/2019-11-03/abiding-in-christ-the-true-vine

About Me – On Skepticism

If you don’t know, this is a post that helps you the reader to become more acquainted with where I – the author of this site – stand on various topics and theological points. Keep reading to see where I stand on this topic.


This may sound like a strange choice for a site dealing with Christian beliefs to some, but it is important one because of my personal heavy science background.

Skepticism isn’t truly about simply being skeptical – though people will treat the word in such a fashion.

If you look up skepticism at dictionary.com, you’ll get the following:

  • noun
  • (1) skeptical attitude or temper; doubt. (2) doubt or unbelief with regard to a religion, especially Christianity. (3) (initial capital letter) the doctrines or opinions of philosophical Skeptics; universal doubt.

Many know the first definition but not necessarily the later two.

I have found myself at the center of some misunderstanding when I self-described myself as a skeptic as those individuals of the more atheistic persuasion took that to mean I meant definition #2. Other Christian friends would simply give me a look as they equated the term with atheism. What I had really meant by my statement was more of a spirit of #1 or #3.

What this means is that I do not simply take something as gospel or fact because someone in authority or who is respected says it is so. I need to see the facts. I need to see the Scriptures. I need to see how it all fits together.

Now, if that person is going to go ahead and put all that together right off the bat for me, that makes the situation much easier for me to at least understand where they are coming from – though it does not mean I’m automatically on board with their angle. It typically takes time to persuade me to anything as I need time to mull it over.

By no means am I trying to be some rebel. I simply won’t be a blind sheep.

I will tend to doubt something unless I have prior knowledge that predisposes me to accept what is being presented or until I have adequate time to form a view on the topic/situation.

The same goes for positions involving God and the Scriptures. Key things that helped me in my faith were the providential developments of history that provided a more than stable grounding for the reliability of the Scriptures, and from there giving ground to ideas like Sola Scriptura that leads me to turn to the Scriptures to seek proof for any true position involving God and His works.

What all does this mean?

To be very plain:

  • Want me to take a particular view on Pentecost/End times/Christ/etc.? Show me from Scripture to prove that I should and be thorough. Don’t forget to consider your point in light of ALL of Scripture!
  • Want me to listen to the latest science-backed craze for the environment/health/etc.? Show me from the body of evidence why I should. Present the facts, the data, not simply your interpretation of that data. Also let me see the data from similar research. Does it all fit together? Does any of it seem bogus or exaggerated? Who did the research? Is there any political bias . . . you get the idea I think.

There exists quite a bit of shallowness out there in people’s basis for what they consider to be true and not true. I aim to not be one of those people. I have a strong desire for the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but.

So, yes, I’m skeptical in a lot of ways or a skeptic of sorts on a case by case basis. However, I am a Christian as well – I do no doubt Christ. Most of those describing themselves as skeptics out there would fall under definition #2 and not #3 as they make the specific claim of no God. They’re not skeptical on that point. #3 doubt whether they can even know – a sort of universal doubter.


Note: I do these posts not because I think I’m somehow superior in my views or anything absurd like that but out of a desire to be up-front and honest with my readers as to where I stand. Otherwise, you’d be left to figure things out by reading between the lines and/or guessing.

Quote #27 – 1689

God, the supreme Lord and King of all the world, has ordained civil magistrates to be under him, over the people, for his own glory and the public good; and to this end has armed them with the power of the sword, for defence and encouragement of them that do good, and for the punishment of evil doers.

1689 Baptist Confession of Faith, Chapter 24, Paragraph 1