Category Archives: Dispensationalism

MATTHEW 23:39: DISPENSATIONALISM OR PRETERISM?

PMW 2018-019 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.

Matt. 23:39 is a favorite statement by Jesus that dispensationalism cling to as evidence of the future conversion of Israel. Read through their lens, it seems to state that Israel will one day be converted, and only then will the great tribulation begin (according to the order of verses following Matt 23:39). They hold that this would confirm dispensationalism and undermine preterism and postmillennialism.

Matthew 23:39 read:

“For I say to you, from now on you shall not see Me until you say, ‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!’”

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RESTORATION OF ALL THINGS (Acts 3:21) (2)

PMW 2018-012 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.

This is the second of a two-part study of Acts 3:19–21. This is an important passage from dispensationalists and premillennialists as they attempt to find some New Testament confirmation of their view of Israel. It is also an important passage in itself, because of how it can easily be misconstrued.

The passage reads:

“Therefore repent and return, so that your sins may be wiped away, in order that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord; and that He may send Jesus, the Christ appointed for you, whom heaven must receive until the period of restoration of all things about which God spoke by the mouth of His holy prophets from ancient time. (Acts 3:19–21)

Now as I continue, perhaps the Jews would lament their having destroyed the only One who could bring them divine consolation — a fear much like Peter had encountered before (Acts 2:37). In order to circumvent such, the Apostles sets a promise before them. That promise is that Christ will yet come to them in salvation: ‟and that He may send Jesus, the Christ appointed for you” (Acts 3:20 NASV). It is true that He is in heaven physically away from them; in fact, ‟heaven must receive [Him] until the times of restoration of all things” (3:21). Still, there is the promise that God will send Him to them in salvation. [1] Though He is in heaven He is not beyond their reach, for He comes to dwell in those who have faith in Him (John 14:23). As the gospel is preached, the hearers discern the voice of the living Christ (Eph. 2:17). Continue reading

RESTORATION OF ALL THINGS (Acts 3:21) (1)

PMW-2018-011 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.

Acts 3:19–21 is an important passage in the eschatological debate. I have treated this passage on a previous occasion, but continue to get inquiries. So I thought it would be good to offer some insights again.

This is a favorite passage for the dispensational and premillennial search for a special future for Israel in the New Testament record. It is thought to establish the premillennial expectation against all others. This passage reads:

“Therefore repent and return, so that your sins may be wiped away, in order that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord; and that He may send Jesus, the Christ appointed for you, whom heaven must receive until the period of restoration of all things about which God spoke by the mouth of His holy prophets from ancient time. (Acts 3:19–21)

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RAPTURE IN 1 THESSALONIANS 4?

PMT 2017-082 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.

One of the key doctrines of populist dispensationalism is the doctrine of the secret Rapture. It is also one of the most familiar. Who has not see an “In Case of Rapture This Car Will Be Unmanned” bumper sticker? Just this very month a major warning of the Rapture was picked up on by the news media, creating much embarrassment for the evangelical Christian faith.

The Odd Problem

Oddly enough, one of dispensationalism’s major proof-texts for this bizarre doctrine is 1 Thessalonians 4:13–18. Yet this passage does not even suggest the doctrine, despite its popularity in the debate. Continue reading

DISPENSATIONAL SCARE-MONGERING. AGAIN.

PMW 2017-053 by Gary DeMar (American Vision)

Once again, prophecy prognosticators are predicting Jesus is going to wrap up everything in our generation because things are so bad the end must be near. A recent article by Britt Gillette on the Prophecy News Watch website says as much:

“The signs of the Second Coming are all around us. When His disciples asked Jesus to describe the signs, He gave them several. The Jewish people back in possession of Jerusalem (Luke 21:24-28) … the Gospel preached throughout the world (Matthew 24:14) … the arrival of the exponential curve (Matthew 24:3-8) … and more.

“The Old Testament prophets also pointed to a number of signs. An increase in travel and knowledge (Daniel 12:4) … the rise of a united Europe (Daniel 2:42) … the rise of the Gog of Magog alliance (Ezekiel 38-39) … and more.

“Today, all these signs are either present or in the process of being fulfilled. Yet for 1,800+ years, none of these signs were present. Think about that. None of the signs. But today? Today, they’re all around us.”

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AN INVITATION TO YOU

Bible studyPMT 2016-063 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.

Postmillennialism does not arise among Christians as a natural reflex — though it should if they pray the Lord’s Prayer believingly (“Your kingdom come / Your will be done, / On earth as it is heaven,” Matt. 6:10) and understand the Great Commission rightly (“Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations . . . and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age” (Matt. 28:19, 20).

Our age is one of simplistic Christianity and social collapse. Neither of these problems is helpful for suggesting postmillennialism as an eschatological option. Continue reading

THE MILLENNIAL MAZE

MazePMT 2016-052 by Keith Mathison (Ligonier)

I once heard someone define the millennium as a thousand-year period of time during which Christians fight over the proper interpretation of the book of Revelation. While amusing, that definition is obviously incorrect. Christians have been fighting over the proper interpretation of the book of Revelation for two thousand years. In all seriousness, however, all of the fighting has led some Christians to adopt despairingly a position they call panmillennialism (we don’t know which view of the millennium is correct, but we know it will all pan out in the end).

The word millennium refers to the “thousand years” mentioned in Revelation 20. Because this chapter is found in one of the most difficult books of the New Testament, its proper interpretation is disputed. As a result, there are four main views of the millennium held within the church today: historic premillennialism, dispensational premillennialism, amillennialism, and postmillennialism. Continue reading