End Times - Amillennialism- Four Christian Views of Final Things (Part 7)
A. I. Introduction
B. Definition of Amillennialism:
1. Amillennialism interprets the "thousand years" mentioned in Revelation 20:1-10 symbolically rather than literally. The "a-" in "Amillennialism" indicates the rejection of a literal 1000-year reign of Christ on Earth before the final judgment. Instead, Amillennialists view the "thousand years" as a figurative representation of the entire church age or the present era, during which Christ reigns spiritually in the hearts of believers.
C. Key aspects of Amillennialism include:
1. Symbolic Interpretation: Amillennialists approach the apocalyptic language and imagery found in the book of Revelation and other prophetic passages symbolically. They view much of the book of Revelation as communicating spiritual truths through vivid and figurative language.
2. The Present Reality of the Kingdom: Amillennialism teaches that the Kingdom of God is not a future earthly kingdom but is present and active in the world today. Christ rules and reigns in the hearts of believers and through His Church, working to advance His purposes throughout history.
3. No 7-year tribulation – The 70th week of Daniel is held to be immediately after the 69th week and culminating with the Gospel going out the the Gentile world as the end of the “Time determined for your people Israel” I did an entire episode on this, episode #45 which was part 4 of this series.
4. No Pre-Tribulation Rapture: I did an entire episode on this, episode #44 which was part 4 of this series.
5. No single Antichrist figure: Also in Episode 45
a) 1 John 2:18Little children, it is the last hour; and as you have heard that the Antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have come, by which we know that it is the last hour.
b) 1 John 2:22Who is a liar but he who denies that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist who denies the Father and the Son.
c) 1 John 4:13and every spirit that does not confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is not of God. And this is the spirit of the Antichrist, which you have heard was coming, and is now already in the world.
d) 2 John 1:7For many deceivers have gone out into the world who do not confess Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist.
6. No Literal 1000-Year Reign: Unlike Premillennialists, who anticipate a literal 1000-year earthly reign of Christ after His Second Coming, Amillennialists believe that the "thousand years" is not a specific period but represents the entire church age or the time between Christ's first and second comings.
7. The Binding of Satan: Amillennialists interpret the binding of Satan described in Revelation 20 as the restraint of his power during the present age, allowing the spread of the gospel and the growth of the Church.
a) Mark 3:23-27 23 So He called them to Himself and said to them in parables: “How can Satan cast out Satan? 24 If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand. 25 And if a house is divided against itself, that house cannot stand. 26 And if Satan has risen up against himself, and is divided, he cannot stand, but has an end. 27 No one can enter a strong man’s house and plunder his goods, unless he first binds the strong man. And then he will plunder his house. (Parallel vs in Mark 12 and Luke 11)
b) Acts 10:38 how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power, who went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him.
c) Hebrews 2:14 Inasmuch then as the children have partaken of flesh and blood, He Himself likewise shared in the same, that through death He might destroy him who had the power of death, that is, the devil,
d) 1 John 3:8 He who sins is of the devil, for the devil has sinned from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil.
e) 1 John 4:4You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.
f) Colossians 1:13He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son,
g) 2 Corinthians 10:4-5 For the weapons of our warfare are not [a]carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, 5 casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God,
h) John 12:31Now is the judgment of this world; now the ruler of this world will be cast out.
8. Resurrection and Final Judgment: Amillennialism affirms a future bodily resurrection of both believers and unbelievers and the final judgment of all humanity. This view differs from Postmillennialism, which believes in a golden age of Christian influence before Christ's return.
9. The Role of Israel: In Amillennialism, the promises given to Israel in the Old Testament are fulfilled in Christ and the Church, and there is no specific future role or destiny for national Israel as a separate entity in God's eschatological plan.
D. Amillennialism has been historically influential in various Christian traditions, including some Reformed, Lutheran, and Catholic circles. It offers a distinctive understanding of biblical prophecy and the nature of the Kingdom of God, emphasizing the spiritual reign of Christ in the lives of believers and the present reality of God's redemptive work in the world. It is one of the three major eschatological viewpoints, alongside Premillennialism and Postmillennialism, each offering unique perspectives on the culmination of God's plan for humanity.
E. Historical Development of Amillennialism: Early Christian views on the Millennium
1. Allegorical Interpretation: Some early Christian writers, like Origen of Alexandria (185-254 AD), interpreted the Millennium allegorically. They believed that the thousand-year reign of Christ represented the spiritual reign of Christ in the hearts of believers during the present Church age. Origen emphasized the symbolic nature of biblical prophecies, viewing them as spiritual truths applicable to believers' inner transformation
2. Historical Interpretation: Some early Christians, like Eusebius of Caesarea (263-339 AD), adopted a historical interpretation of the Millennium. Eusebius saw the thousand-year period as symbolic of the time from Christ's first coming until the ultimate victory of Christianity over pagan opposition. He believed that the Church's gradual growth and influence in the world would culminate in the triumph of the Christian faith.
3. Premillennial Expectation: Other early Christians, like Papias of Hierapolis (60-130 AD) and Justin Martyr (100-165 AD), held to a form of Premillennialism. They expected a literal 1000-year earthly reign of Christ after His Second Coming. During this period, they believed that Christ would rule over a restored and glorified Jerusalem, and the faithful would participate in the earthly blessings of the Kingdom.
4. Amillennial Interpretation: While not as prevalent in the early centuries, some early Christian thinkers, such as Augustine of Hippo (354-430 AD), developed the groundwork for what would later become Amillennialism. Augustine rejected a literal understanding of the Millennium and argued for a spiritual interpretation of the thousand years, linking it to the entire Church age.
5. Apocalyptic Expectations: Overall, many early Christians held strong apocalyptic expectations, anticipating Christ's imminent return and the establishment of God's Kingdom on Earth. The imminence of Christ's Second Coming and the unknown duration of the "thousand years" fueled fervent eschatological speculations and debates.
6. It is essential to recognize that early Christian eschatology was diverse and dynamic, with various theological interpretations regarding the Millennium and other end-time events. The development of consistent eschatological systems, such as Amillennialism and Premillennialism, took time and further elaboration by later theologians. Over the centuries, the understanding of eschatology evolved, and various theological perspectives emerged within the broader Christian tradition.
F. Augustine's influence and the development of amillennial thought
1. Augustine of Hippo (354-430 AD) played a pivotal role in shaping the development of Amillennial thought. His influence was significant in both theological and historical contexts, contributing to the formulation and spread of Amillennialism as a prominent eschatological perspective within Christianity.
2. Allegorical Interpretation: Augustine was deeply influenced by the allegorical interpretation of Scripture, which he learned from the writings of earlier Christian thinkers like Origen. This approach emphasized finding spiritual and symbolic meanings behind the biblical texts rather than taking everything literally. Augustine applied this allegorical method to passages related to the Millennium, which led him to reject a literal 1000-year earthly reign of Christ.
3. City of God: Augustine's monumental work, "The City of God" (De Civitate Dei), written between 413 and 426 AD, significantly influenced Amillennial thought. In this work, Augustine articulated a comprehensive Christian philosophy of history, contrasting the City of God (the heavenly and eternal Kingdom) with the City of Man (the earthly and temporal realm). Augustine argued that the "thousand years" mentioned in Revelation 20 represented the entirety of the Church age, from Christ's first coming until His Second Coming.
4. Ecclesiology: Augustine's theology of the Church played a crucial role in shaping Amillennialism. He emphasized the idea that the Church was the present manifestation of God's Kingdom on Earth, with Christ as its spiritual ruler. Augustine believed that the Church was experiencing the spiritual reign of Christ in the hearts of believers during the entire course of history.
5. Rejection of Chiliasm: Augustine's influence was instrumental in refuting the growing influence of Chiliasm (early form of Premillennialism) during his time. Chiliasm, embraced by some early Christian thinkers, taught the literal 1000-year earthly reign of Christ before the final judgment. Augustine's arguments against this view and his preference for allegorical interpretation helped shift the eschatological landscape away from Chiliasm and towards Amillennialism.
6. Enduring Legacy: Augustine's theological writings and teachings profoundly influenced the Western Christian tradition for centuries to come. His views on the Millennium and eschatology became influential in medieval theology, shaping the thought of theologians like Thomas Aquinas and extending the reach of Amillennialism.
7. Influence on Reformation Theology: During the Protestant Reformation, the Reformers drew from Augustine's work and ideas, including his Amillennial views. Figures like Martin Luther and John Calvin found resonance in Augustine's eschatological framework, further perpetuating the spread of Amillennial thought in Protestant theology.
8. Overall, Augustine's theological insights and writings, including his allegorical interpretation of biblical prophecy and his emphasis on the spiritual nature of the Kingdom of God, were instrumental in the development and propagation of Amillennialism. His enduring influence continues to shape Christian eschatology to this day.
G. Key figures in the promotion of Amillennialism
1. Augustine of Hippo (354-430 AD): As mentioned earlier, Augustine's theological contributions were instrumental in shaping Amillennialism.
2. Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274 AD): The influential medieval theologian, Thomas Aquinas, drew from Augustine's work and incorporated Amillennial ideas into his comprehensive theological system. Aquinas's Summa Theologica and Summa Contra Gentiles helped disseminate Amillennial thought throughout the medieval Western Church.
3. Martin Luther (1483-1546 AD): Although not exclusively Amillennial, Martin Luther's eschatological views bore Amillennial elements. He rejected the literal interpretation of the Millennium and emphasized the spiritual nature of Christ's Kingdom in the present age. Luther's influence on the Reformation and the spread of Protestantism brought Amillennial ideas to a broader audience.
4. John Calvin (1509-1564 AD): John Calvin, a prominent Reformer and theologian, developed and popularized Amillennial thought further. His biblical commentaries, systematic theology (Institutes of the Christian Religion), and sermons helped solidify Amillennialism as a significant eschatological position within Reformed theology.
5. Cornelius Van Til (1895-1987 AD): A 20th-century Reformed theologian and presuppositional apologist, Cornelius Van Til, further contributed to the promotion of Amillennialism. His writings and teachings, including his views on covenant theology and the continuity of the Church and Israel, reinforced Amillennial beliefs in Reformed circles.
6. Anthony Hoekema (1913-1988 AD): Anthony Hoekema, a Reformed theologian and author, played a crucial role in presenting Amillennialism to a modern audience. His book "The Bible and the Future" provided a comprehensive defense of Amillennial thought and its biblical foundations.
7. Kim Riddlebarger (b. 1959): Kim Riddlebarger, a contemporary Reformed theologian and pastor, has become a prominent advocate for Amillennialism. His works, such as "A Case for Amillennialism," have contributed to ongoing discussions and debates within evangelical circles regarding eschatological perspectives.
8. These figures, among others, have helped shape and promote Amillennialism as a distinct eschatological viewpoint within various Christian traditions, particularly in Reformed theology. Their theological insights and writings have provided a solid foundation for those who embrace the Amillennial perspective on the Kingdom of God and the end times.
H. Scriptural Basis for Amillennialism
a. Examining key passages related to the Millennium
i. Rev 20:4-6 4 And I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment was committed to them. Then I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for their witness to Jesus and for the word of God, who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received his mark on their foreheads or on their hands. And they lived and reigned with Christ for a thousand years. 5 But the rest of the dead did not live again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection. 6 Blessed and holy is he who has part in the first resurrection. Over such the second death has no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with Him a thousand years.
ii. Daniel 7:13-14
13 “I was watching in the night visions,
And behold, One like the Son of Man,
Coming with the clouds of heaven!
He came to the Ancient of Days,
And they brought Him near before Him.
14 Then to Him was given dominion and glory and a kingdom,
That all peoples, nations, and languages should serve Him.
His dominion is an everlasting dominion,
Which shall not pass away,
And His kingdom the one
Which shall not be destroyed.
1. Understanding the symbolic nature of apocalyptic literature
2. Identifying the "thousand years" as a figurative representation
I. Amillennial View of the Kingdom of God
1. The Kingdom as a present reality: According to amillennialism, the kingdom of God is not a future, earthly political reign but rather a present spiritual reality. This view suggests that the reign of Christ began with His resurrection and ascension and continues through the church age. Amillennialists believe that Christ is presently ruling and reigning from heaven, and His kingdom is manifested through the work of the Holy Spirit in the hearts of believers.
2. The already-but-not-yet tension in biblical eschatology: there are elements of God's kingdom and His redemptive plan that have been inaugurated or initiated in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, and through the work of the Holy Spirit, but they have not reached their full consummation or completion. This creates a tension between what has already been accomplished and what is still to be fulfilled.
a) Several key aspects illustrate the "already-but-not-yet" tension in biblical eschatology:
b) Salvation: Christians believe that through faith in Jesus Christ, individuals can experience forgiveness of sins and new life in the present age. This is the "already" aspect of salvation. However, the fullness of salvation, including the resurrection of the dead and the complete removal of sin and suffering, is yet to be realized in the future, at the final consummation of all things.
c) Kingdom of God: The "already" aspect of the kingdom of God refers to its presence in the ministry of Jesus and the establishment of His rule in the hearts of believers through the Holy Spirit. However, the "not yet" aspect involves the future fulfillment of God's kingdom, where Christ's reign will be universally acknowledged, and there will be a new heaven and a new earth.
d) New Creation: The Bible speaks of a new creation, where everything will be made new and free from the effects of sin and decay. This renewal has already begun in the resurrection of Christ and the spiritual transformation of believers, but its full realization awaits the future consummation of all things.
e) Judgment: There is an "already" aspect of judgment, where Christ's death and resurrection have dealt with sin's penalty for believers. However, there is a future judgment where all will give an account before God.
f) The "already-but-not-yet" tension reminds Christians that they live in the overlap of the ages, where they experience the blessings of God's kingdom in part, but they also eagerly await the complete fulfillment of His promises in the age to come. This tension calls believers to live in hopeful anticipation of the future while actively participating in God's redemptive work in the present.
3. How Amillennialists understand the fulfillment of Old Testament prophecies: Amillennialists interpret the fulfillment of Old Testament prophecies in a symbolic and spiritual sense, rather than in a literal and earthly manner. They believe that many of the prophecies regarding the kingdom of God, the Messianic age, and the future of Israel find their fulfillment in the person and work of Jesus Christ and the establishment of His spiritual kingdom.
a) Here are some key points that help explain how Amillennialists understand the fulfillment of Old Testament prophecies:
b) Christ as the fulfillment: Amillennialists see Jesus Christ as the ultimate fulfillment of Old Testament prophecies concerning the Messiah. They believe that Jesus fulfilled many of the messianic prophecies, such as those found in Isaiah 53, Micah 5:2, and others. They view Jesus as the true and spiritual King of Israel, inaugurating His kingdom through His life, death, and resurrection.
c) The Church as the fulfillment: Amillennialists believe that the Church, composed of both Jews and Gentiles who have faith in Christ, is the true heir to the promises given to Israel. They see the Church as the continuation and fulfillment of Israel's purpose in God's redemptive plan. The covenant promises made to Israel find their ultimate realization in the covenant community of the Church.
d) Already-but-not-yet tension: As mentioned earlier, Amillennialists recognize the "already-but-not-yet" tension in biblical eschatology. They believe that some Old Testament prophecies have already found fulfillment in Christ and the establishment of His kingdom, but their complete fulfillment is yet to come in the future.
e) Spiritual blessings and inheritance: Amillennialists emphasize that the fulfillment of Old Testament prophecies is found in the spiritual blessings and inheritance received by believers in Christ. These blessings include reconciliation with God, forgiveness of sins, the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, and the hope of eternal life.
f) In summary, Amillennialists view the fulfillment of Old Testament prophecies as primarily spiritual and centered on Jesus Christ and His kingdom. They believe that the Church, as the spiritual Israel, is the recipient of the promises made to Israel, and that the ultimate fulfillment of these promises will be realized in the future consummation of God's redemptive plan.
J. Role of Israel in Amillennialism
1. The Church as the "New Israel": Amillennialists see the Church as the continuation and fulfillment of Israel's purpose in God's redemptive plan. They understand that through faith in Jesus Christ, both Jews and Gentiles become part of the spiritual Israel and are included in the covenant promises. This concept is sometimes referred to as "Replacement Theology" or "Fulfillment Theology," where the Church replaces national Israel as the primary people of God.
a) Matthew 21:43 “Therefore I say to you, the kingdom of God will be taken from you and given to a nation bearing the fruits of it.
b) Romans 2:28-29 For he is not a Jew who is one outwardly, nor is circumcision that which is outward in the flesh; 29 but he is a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart,
c) Romans 9:6-8 6 But it is not that the word of God has taken no effect. For they are not all Israel who are of Israel, 7 nor are they all children because they are the seed of Abraham; but, “In Isaac your seed shall be called.” 8 That is, those who are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God; but the children of the promise are counted as the seed
d) Gal 3:13-14 13 Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us (for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree”), 14 that the blessing of Abraham might come upon the Gentiles in Christ Jesus, that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith
e) Gal 3:16 Now to Abraham and his Seed were the promises made. He does not say, “And to seeds,” as of many, but as of one, “And to your Seed,” who is Christ
f) 1 Peter 2:9 9 But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; 10 who once were not a people but are now the people of God, who had not obtained mercy but now have obtained mercy
2. One People of God: Amillennialists emphasize the unity of God's people throughout history. They believe that there has always been a remnant of faithful believers, both from Israel and the Gentile nations, who are part of God's chosen people. The Church, in their view, is the culmination of this united people of God.
a) John 10:16 And other sheep I have which are not of this fold; them also I must bring, and they will hear My voice; and there will be one flock and one shepherd.
b) Gal 3:7-9 7 Therefore know that only those who are of faith are sons of Abraham. 8 And the Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel to Abraham beforehand, saying, “In you all the nations shall be blessed.” 9 So then those who are of faith are blessed with believing Abraham.
c) Gal 3:29 And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.
d) Romans 9:8 That is, it is not the children of the flesh who are children of God, but the children of the promise are regarded as descendants.
e) Ephesians 3:6 to be specific, that the Gentiles are fellow heirs and fellow members of the body, and fellow partakers of the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel,
f) Ephesians 2:19 19 Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God,
3. National Israel's Role: While Amillennialists do not believe in a separate, future fulfillment of prophecies specifically for national Israel, they do not deny the ongoing significance of the Jewish people in God's plan. Some Amillennialists acknowledge that God's covenant with Abraham still has historical and theological implications for the Jewish people, though they don't see a separate redemptive plan for national Israel apart from the Church. The fulfillment of Israel's promises are in Christ
K. Eschatological Events in Amillennialism: The Second Coming of Christ – a single complex event
1. The Lord will return but we don’t know when
a) Titus 2:13 looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ,
b) Matt 24:50 the master of that servant will come on a day when he is not looking for him and at an hour that he is not aware of,
c) Matt 24:36“But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, but My Father only.
d) 1 Thes.4:15-17 15 For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who are asleep. 16 For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord.
e) Matt.24:38-39 38 For as in the days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, 39 and did not know until the flood came and took them all away, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be.
f) Luke 17:28-30 28 Likewise as it was also in the days of Lot: They ate, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they built; 29 but on the day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven and destroyed them all. 30 Even so will it be in the day when the Son of Man is revealed.
g) Acts 24:15 I have hope in God, which they themselves also accept, that there will be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and the unjust.
2. A clue on timing:
a) Eph 5:25-27 25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, 26 that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, 27 that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish.
3. The resurrection of believers and unbelievers
a) John 5:24-25 24 “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life. 25 Most assuredly, I say to you, the hour is coming, and now is, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God; and those who hear will live.
b) John 5:28-29 28 Do not marvel at this; for the hour is coming in which all who are in the graves will hear His voice 29 and come forth—those who have done good, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of condemnation.
c) 1 Cor.15:51-52 51 Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed— 52 in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.
d) Eph.2:2 And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins,
e) Eph 2:5 5 even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), 6 and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus,
f) Col.2:13 13 And you, being dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He has made alive together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses,
4. The final judgment and the new heaven and earth
a) Matt.25:31 31 “When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then He will sit on the throne of His glory. 32 All the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate them one from another, as a shepherd divides his sheep from the goats
b) Rev.20:11 11 Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away. And there was found no place for them. 12 And I saw the dead, small and great, standing before God, and books were opened. And another book was opened, which is the Book of Life. And the dead were judged according to their works, by the things which were written in the books. 13 The sea gave up the dead who were in it, and Death and Hades delivered up the dead who were in them. And they were judged, each one according to his works.
c) Matthew 24:30-31Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. 31 And He will send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they will gather together His [d]elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.
d) 2 Peter 3:10-11 10 But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be [d]burned up. 11 Therefore, since all these things will be dissolved, what manner of persons ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness
e) 2 Thes.1:6-8 6 since it is a righteous thing with God to repay with tribulation those who trouble you, 7 and to give you who are troubled rest with us when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with His mighty angels, 8 in flaming fire taking vengeance on those who do not know God, and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.
5. On the last day
a) John 6:39-40 39 This is the will of the Father who sent Me, that of all He has given Me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up at the last day. 40 And this is the will of Him who sent Me, that everyone who sees the Son and believes in Him may have everlasting life; and I will raise him up at the last day.”
b) John 6:44 No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up at the last day.
c) John 6:54 Whoever eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day.
d) John 12:48 He who rejects Me, and does not receive My words, has that which judges him—the word that I have spoken will judge him in the last day.
e) Wouldn’t the last day be the day after which there are no other days?
L. Addressing common misconceptions about replacement theology
1. Misconception 1: Replacement theology suggests that God has rejected or abandoned Israel.Clarification: True replacement theology does not teach that God has rejected or abandoned the Jewish people. Instead, it maintains that the Church, composed of both Jews and Gentiles, is the continuation and fulfillment of God's covenant promises to Israel. God's faithfulness and love toward the Jewish people remain intact, and they have a continued place in God's redemptive plan.
2. Misconception 2: Replacement theology promotes anti-Semitism.Clarification: While some historical instances of replacement theology have been linked to anti-Semitic attitudes and actions, it is crucial to understand that true Christianity should never promote hatred or discrimination against any group, including the Jewish people. Aspects of anti-Semitism often stem from human prejudice and misunderstanding, not from a faithful interpretation of Scripture.
3. Misconception 3: Amillennialism and replacement theology are the same thing. Clarification: While Amillennialism shares some theological aspects with replacement theology, not all Amillennialists hold to replacement theology. Amillennialism simply refers to the eschatological view that there is no literal, future thousand-year earthly reign of Christ. Some Amillennialists believe in a form of replacement theology, but others may hold different views concerning the relationship between Israel and the Church.
4. Misconception 4: All Amillennialists believe in replacement theology. Clarification: It is essential to avoid sweeping generalizations. While some Amillennialists hold to replacement theology, many others do not. Amillennialism is a diverse eschatological view, and individual interpretations may vary on the relationship between Israel and the Church.
5. Misconception 5: Replacement theology undermines the significance of Israel in biblical prophecy. Clarification: Replacement theology, when properly understood, does not deny the significance of Israel in biblical prophecy. Instead, it views the Church as the fulfillment of God's promises to Israel, not their replacement. The focus shifts from a geopolitical entity (national Israel) to a spiritual one (the Church), but this does not negate the importance of Israel's role in God's redemptive plan.
1. Recap of key points
2. Significance of Amillennialism in Christian theology
N. Encouragement for respectful dialogue and unity amidst differing eschatological views.