Category Archives: Last Days

WHEN ARE THE “LAST DAYS”?

Thats all folksPMT 2016-012 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.

A reader writes:

“What are the “last days” in Scripture? Some see this as referring to the last days of the old covenant administration. But others understand this as referring to the whole period between the first and second advents, i.e., all of church history.”

I will offer a succinct explanation of what I (and the majority of non-dispensational) theologians holds. Continue reading

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WHERE DO WE GO AT DEATH?

New earth

PMT 2015-094 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.

Partick W. writes:

“One thing I’m a little confused about is the ultimate end of history. Does man remain on earth when Christ returns? After Christ has put all enemies under his feet and handed over the kingdom to the Father, does heaven and hell “merge” and man remains on earth for a lack of better words while Christ is present physically (assuming also still in some sense everywhere present because he’s God). I’m so confused as I feel like I always hear by and large from Christians is to just go to heaven and it seems many believe the present earth to be destroyed. Or is there something else beyond earth/heaven?”

Ken Gentry responds:

Basically, I believe that when we die now (in history) we go to heaven — as did the disciples, the thief on the cross, and Paul the apostle: Continue reading

THIS AGE / THE AGE TO COME

Age to ComePMT 2015-077 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.

An important eschatological issue involves the New Testament principle of “this age” and “the age to come.” Christ himself speaks of “this age” and another “age to come” (Mt 12:32; Mk 10:30; Lk 18:30; 20:34–35). The present age is sin-laden present in which we live. The “age to come” brings eternal life of the eternal order (Lk 18:30); it involves resurrection and will not include marrying (Lk 20:34–35). It is truly consummate and final.

From the linear perspective of the Old Testament, ancient Israel believes that the “age to come” will be the Messianic era that would fully arrive after their current age ends. Yet in the New Testament we learn that the “age to come” begins in principle with the first century coming of Christ. It overlaps with “this age” which begins in Christ. Thus, we are not only children of “this age” (present, sin-laden temporal history), but are also spiritually children of “the age to come” (the final, perfected eternal age). We have our feet in both worlds. Or as Geerhardus Vos put it: “The age to come was perceived to bear in its womb another age to come.” Continue reading

2 TIM 3 (# 14): PROCEEDING FROM BAD TO WORSE?

OrgyPMT-2015-019 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.

Here we go again! I am continuing a survey of 2 Tim 3 and its possible negative impact on the postmillennial hope. This is one of the key passages brought against our optimism for the future. As such, it deserves a careful analysis — which I am engaging in this series.

This series of studies arose in response to a webcast by amillennialist scholar Dr. James R. White of Alpha & Omega Ministries. In his webcast he critiqued my earlier (March 2014) brief (eight paragraphs) article on this passage.

White sees Paul’s teaching in this chapter as undermining postmillennialism. And he deems my understanding of the passage as undermining good exegetical principles. Continue reading

2 TIM 3 (# 13): PERSECUTION OR PROGRESS?

Sunrise 3PMT-2015-017 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.

Is it universally true that “all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will be persecuted” (2 Tim 3:12)? Are the pessimistic eschatologies correct in interpreting this verse as gnomic, a general truth for all times? If it is, then postmillennialism would be a doubtful proposition.

As I have been showing over this lengthy series, Paul is writing an occasional letter dealing with issues that Timothy is facing in Ephesus, while Paul is languishing in prison (2 Tim 1:16) and facing death (2 Tim 4:6–8). Therefore, as he prepares to leave this world, and to entrust the Ephesian ministry wholly to Timothy, Paul is warning Timothy what he is to expect and how he is to confront it.

It is in such a context that we must understand Paul’s brief statement in 3:12. Continue reading

2 TIM 3 (# 12): PERSECUTION OR PROGRESS?

Stoning 3PMT-2015-017 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.

In 2 Tim 3:12 Paul seems to undermine postmillennialism, as I have been noting in this series of posts. Many commentators and theologians see this verse as the very antithesis of the victorious expectations of postmillennialism. But what is Paul actually saying? Is he countering the hope of gospel victory?

“Indeed, all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will be persecuted.” (2 Tim 3:12)

We will look at this verse in its context. But once again, let’s recall how amillennial scholar James White views 2 Tim 3:12 (as he critiqued me in his webcast). At minute marker 16:39 he argues that Paul’s statement is “gnomic” that is, it is “a general statement of truth that is not limited to the days of Paul.” As such “it is a truth that is true as long as this age continues. As long as this age continues, all who live godly in Christ Jesus will continue to be persecuted.” (I recommend checking my last post for more comments by Dr. White.) Continue reading

2 TIM 3 (# 11): PERSECUTION OR PROGRESS? (11)

FearPMT-2015-016 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.

In my continuing, lengthy study of 2 Tim 3 and its use in the eschatological debate, we now come to perhaps Paul’s most significant — and misunderstood! — statement:

“Indeed, all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will be persecuted.” (2 Tim 3:12)

This certainly seems to undermine the postmillennial hope in history. How can postmillennialism speak of the victory of the gospel leading to worldwide faith and righteousness among men — if all those who live godly in Christ are to be persecuted?

How did this study arise?

My study of this passage was prompted by apologist James White’s webcast critique of my views on 2 Timothy 3. Continue reading