Pre-millennialism and the Bible

PREMILLENNIAL VIEW OF THE LORD’S COMING

(Seven Simple Sermons on the Second Coming: W. Hershel Ford)

Pre-millennial refers to “coming before the thousand years.” I personally do not subscribe to the pre-millennial view but a lot of believers do. This article sums up basically what premillennialism is about according to a sermon outline book titled: “Seven Simple Sermons on the Second Coming.” This book does explain the view as “simply” as I have seen. W. Hershel Ford does a great job simplifying it. It is available from Amazon. (In my post at the end I will explain why I believe that the premillennial view…is probably not true.) According to his book and the premillennial view the events concerning the second coming of Jesus will be as follows:

1. Jesus will return in the air for His saints. (p. 11-15)
2. At that time He will raise the righteous dead and change the righteous living and they will be caught up (the Rapture) into heaven. (p. 16-19)
3. The saints will then face the judgment seat of Christ where all differences will be settled and rewards will be given. (p. 26-27)
4. Then will come the marriage supper of the Lamb where the church will be given to Christ and they will enjoy the marriage feast in heaven. (p. 31-34)
5. The saints will be safe in heaven with Christ for a period of seven years. During this seven year period those left on the earth will go through the great tribulation. During this period the anti-christ will appear and the Jews will return to Jerusalem and build the temple. The anti-christ will set himself up as sovereign over heaven and earth, and he will gather all the kingdoms of the earth together to fight against the Lord. (p. 36-49)
6. Christ then returns to the earth with His saints and the Battle of Armageddon starts. Christ and His hosts defeat the anti-christ and the nations that follow him. (p. 51-59)
7. The Jews as a nation will then be converted to Christ. She will repent of her sins and return to the Lord. (p. 60)
8. Christ will then judge the nations as to their treatment of Israel. (p. 60-61)
9. Next Satan is bound and Jesus sets up His kingdom and reigns on earth for a period of one thousand years. (p. 67-70)
10. After the thousand years Satan is loosed for a little season and causes a rebellion and is finally destroyed. (p. 74-75)
11. The wicked are then raised and all the wicked face the great white throne judgment which is for unbelievers only. (p. 79-88)
12. The present heaven and earth will then pass away and there will be a new heaven and new earth where the righteous will dwell in the heavenly city forever. (p. 91-104).

I wrote a brotherly response to this as follows:

PREMILLENNIALISM VERSUS THE BIBLE

NOTE: The word premillennial means “before” (pre) the “thousand” years (millennium). This simply means that according to the premillennial view Jesus will come back to the earth and to set up His kingdom before the thousand years referred to in Revelation chapter twenty. The following comparisons will explain why I personally believe that the premillennial view contradicts the Bible in a number of vital areas:

I. THE SECOND COMING OF CHRIST

A. Premillennialism teaches two comings of Christ–one for His saints and then another with His saints about seven years later. (NOTE: Some prefer to call it the first and second stages of His coming, but in reality they teach two different second comings of Christ.)
B. The Bible teaches that there will be only one “second coming” of Christ.

(1) John 14:3 – Jesus promised to “come again” – not again and again.
(2) Hebrews 9:28 – He is going to appear “the second time”- not a second and third time.
(3) II Thessalonians 1:6-10 – When He comes to take vengeance on the wicked is when He comes to be glorified in His saints.
(4) Matthew 16:27- At His coming Christ will then reward every man according to his works.

II. THE RESURRECTION OF THE DEAD

A. Premillennialism teaches that there will be two resurrections one thousand years apart.
B. The Bible teaches that there will be only one resurrection of all the dead.

(1) John 5:28-29 – All, both good and evil, will be raised at the same hour (time).
(2) Acts 24:15 – Paul believed in “a resurrection (note the singular) of the dead both of the just and the unjust.”
(3) John 6:54 – Jesus said the righteous would be raised at the “last day” (Note: If it is the last day, then there can be no days after it.)
(4) John 12:48 – Jesus also said the wicked would be judged (therefore raised) the “last day.”
(5) Matthew 22:30 – Jesus further said “in the resurrection” clearly implying that there will only be one.
(6) John 11:24 – Martha believed in “the resurrection at the last day” and Jesus allowed her to believe it because He did not correct her.

III. THE JUDGMENT

A. Premillennialism teaches at least two judgments and some say there are more.
B. The Bible teaches that there is only one general judgmentin which all are judged.

(1) Hebrews 9:27 – Paul referred to “the judgment” (not judgments).
(2) 2 Corinthians 5:10 – Both good and bad will appear before the judgment seat of Christ.
(3) Matthew 25:31-46 – Both the righteous and the wickedwill be at the judgment at the same time. The righteous will be welcomed and rewarded. The wicked will be sentenced and punished.
(4) Acts 17:31 – God has appointed “a day” (not days) of judgment.
(5) I John 4:17 – The righteous will have boldness in “the day of judgment.”
(6) II Peter 2:9 – The unjust will be punished in “the day of judgment.”

IV. THE KINGDOM

A.  Premillennialism teaches that Christ is going to set up His kingdom when He returns.
B. The Bible teaches that the kingdom was established on the first Pentecost after the resurrection of Jesus as recorded in Acts chapter two.

(1) Matthew 3:2 – The kingdom was “at hand” when John was preaching.
(2) Mark 1:15 – It was “at hand” when Jesus was preaching.
(3) Mark 9:1 – It was to come with “power” during the lifetime of the disciples.
(4) Acts 1:8 – The “power” was the Holy Spirit.
(5) Acts 2:1-4 – The Holy Spirit and “power” came on Pentecost.
(6) Colossians 1:13 – Paul and the Colossians were in the kingdom after Pentecost.
(7) Revelation 1:9 – John was in the kingdom when he wrote Revelation.
(8) Hebrews 12:28 – The Christians had received the kingdom in the first century.
(9) Luke 17:20-21 – The kingdom (reign) of Christ is in the “heart” of the believer.
(10) Luke 19:11-27 – Jesus went to heaven (far country) to receive the kingdom (v. 12) and reigned over His servants from heaven until His second coming (v. 27).

V. THE EARTH

A. Premillennialism teaches that at His coming Christ will then reign on the earth.
B. The Bible teaches that Christians will be caught up to meet the Lord in the air and the earth will be burned up and that it will “pass away.”

(1) I Thessalonians  4:16-17 – Christians will be “caught up” to “meet the Lord in the air” and ever be with the Lord. Nothing is said about Him coming back to the earth.
(2) John 14:1-3 – Jesus is going to receive us unto Himself in the place He has gone to prepare.
(3) II Peter 3:10-12 – At the coming of Christ the earth will be burned up. The present “heaven and earth” that was created in the beginning (Gen. 1:1) will be “dissolved” and “melt with fervent heat.”
(4) Matthew 24:35-39 – “Heaven and earth” shall pass away at the coming of the Son of Man.
(5) Revelation 20:11- There will be “found no place for them” (present heaven and earth).
(6) 2 Peter 3:13 – We look for “new heavens and new earth.”

VI. THE THRONE OF DAVID

A. Premillennialism teaches that at His second coming Christ will then sit on the throne of David and reign in Jerusalem.
B. The Bible teaches that David’s throne is in heaven and that Christ was raised from the dead to sit on that throne and that He is on the throne now.

(1) Psalms 89:35-37 (KJV) – David’s throne is now “in heaven”
(2) Acts 2:29-36 – Jesus was raised from the dead to sit on David’s throne where He is now “Lord (ruler) and Christ.”
(3) Hebrews 1:8 – He has a throne, ruler’s staff, and kingdom now.
(4) Revelation 3:7 – He has the key (authority) of David now.
(5) Colossians 1:13 – We are “transferred” out of darkness and into the His kingdom when we become Christians…because as “Lord” He reigns in our hearts.
(6) Luke 17:20-21 – We do not see Christ on the throne. He reigns “within.”
(7) Luke 19:11-27 – Christ reigns from heaven (far country) in our hearts.
(8) Daniel 7:13-14 – He was given the kingdom when He ascended and went “to the Ancient of Days.”

VII. PAUL’S TEACHING IN 1 CORINTHIANS 15:23-25

A.  Premillennialism contradicts 1 Corinthians 15:23-26 at every point. Premillennialism says that at His coming it will be the beginning of His reign and He will set up His kingdom and therefore “God” will give Him the kingdom and He will take up His rule over His kingdom.
B. The Bible says at His coming then comes the end and He will deliver up the kingdom to God and put an end to His rule on earth.

(1) But each one in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, afterward those who are Christ’s at His coming. Then comes the end, when He delivers the kingdom to God the Father, when He puts an end to all rule and all authority and power. For He must reign till He has put all enemies under His feet.The last enemy that will be destroyed is death.  (1 Cor. 15:23-26).
(2) Note: At His coming “then” what?

(1) Then comes the end…not the beginning.
(2) Then He delivers up the kingdom…not sets up His kingdom on earth.
(3) Then He will give God the kingdom…not God will give Him the kingdom.
(4) Then He puts an end to His rule on this earth…not takes up His rule.
(5) He “must reign” as He is doing now in the hearts of believers until death is destroyed at His second coming when all are raised.

These are a few of the many reasons that I do not believe in the “Rapture Theory” or the “Left Behind” series or all of the “End Time” predictions that we hear a lot about today. According to my understanding of the Bible Jesus can come today or ten thousand years from now (or more). And when He does come that will be IT…as far as life on this present earth is concerned. At that time all believers of all ages will enter the “new heavens and new earth” and dwell with God and the Lamb forever! (Isa. 65:17ff; 2 Pet. 3:13ff; Rev. 21-22). Thank God for Jesus! (2 Cor. 9:15).

Wayne Dunaway
gandpministries.org         

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