Category Archives: Dispensationalism

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

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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.”

Continue reading

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

COVENANT THEOLOGY = REPLACEMENT THEOLOGY?

Replacement TheologyPMT 2016-037 by R. Scott Clark

[Note: This is a helpful article by R. Scott Clark that responds to dispensational confusion regarding covenant theology.]

Recently I had a question asking whether “covenant theology” is so-called “replacement theology.” Those dispensational critics of Reformed covenant theology who accuse it of teaching that the New Covenant church has “replaced” Israel do not understand historic Reformed covenant theology. They are imputing to Reformed theology a way of thinking about redemptive history that has more in common with dispensationalism than it does with Reformed theology. Continue reading

ZECHARIAH 14 IN POSTMILLENNIALISM (2)

Mount Olives split 2PMT 2015-139 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.

In my last article I began a two-part study on Zechariah 14. Having presented the dispensational view, I will now present a postmillennial interpretation of this famous passage.

The Siege of Jerusalem

The siege of Jerusalem described in Zechariah 14:1–2 points to the AD 70 judgment upon Jerusalem. J. Dwight Pentecost admits that the disciples who hear the Olivet Discourse would naturally apply Zechariah 14 to that event. But then, he says, such requires the confusing of God’s program for the church with that for Israel. So, he and other dispen-sationalists interpret the passage literalistically, with all the topographical and redemptive historical absurdities this creates. As they do this they totally omit any reference to the destruction of the very city and temple being rebuilt in Zechariah’s day. Yet this literal temple (the second temple) is destroyed in AD 70, as all agree. Continue reading

ZECHARIAH 14 IN POSTMILLENNIALISM (1)

Mount Olives splitPMT 2015-138 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.

In Zechariah’s great prophecy we read one verse that is used by dispensational literalists to overthrow the prophet’s postmillennial hope. That verse reads:

“And in that day His feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, which faces Jerusalem on the east. And the Mount of Olives shall be split in two, from east to west, making a very large valley; half of the mountain shall move toward the north and half of it toward the south.” (Zech 14:14) Continue reading