Monday, October 07, 2013

Dispensational Premillenialism undone in 4 words

I was preaching on 1 Thessalonians 3 recently and came across this phrase from Paul that undoes Dispensational Premillenialian eschatology in 4 words. 1 Thess 3v13 " the coming of our Lord Jesus with all the saints". "With all the saints". 4 keys words that the Apostles Paul authoritatively teaches. When Jesus returns at the second coming (yes there are only 2 comings not 3 that Dispensational Premillenialism effectively teaches) he is coming with the dead saints. Dispensational Premillenialism teaches that when Jesus comes the Rapture will occur and all the currently alive Christians will disappear for a few years whilst Jesus comes to rule on Earth. They teach that Jesus later returns another third time with the saints. But here Paul denies that. Jesus Second Coming is with the saints first time round. 1 Thessalonians is Paul's basic teaching of Christian fundamentals to a young church and every chapter ends with a focus on the 2nd coming which is clearly to be at the front of our minds as it was with Paul. 1 Thess 1v10 when Jesus returns he is coming in "wrath" to judge this sinful world. Why on earth would he leave lots of non-Christians here and whisk the Christians away in a Rapture so they can't evangelise the lost?! Bizarre! There is one Second Coming when this world ends, judgment comes and heaven and hell begin. There is not a Third Coming which Dispensational Premills effectively teach. Why can't they just admit they teach 3 comings even though that is nowhere in Scripture. If you are confused about the Millenium in Rev 20, ponder on this. v4 says only those beheaded for the testimony of Christ will reign with him for a 1000 years. All the people that foolishly read Revelation literally and not symbolically as it demands refuse to acknowledge that. If you ain't been beheaded for Jesus you are going to miss out on the Millenium. Please at least be consistent if you are going to be "literal" rather than reading Revelation as sophisticated symbolical literature that is just repeating the gospel. A better way to think about it is to ask "in what way have Christians been beheaded?" We all used to have a head - Adam, but now we have a new head - Christ. So what happened at conversion - we were beheaded and given a new head! It's just the plain old gospel folks. The millenium is now where we reign in Christ. Sin no longer has to master us, we reign in life Rom 5v17. Much simpler to just stick to the plain old gospel rather than getting into wacky land as many do when they literally read the images of Revelation as literal.