Partial-Preterist Post-Millenialist

One of the courses I am engaged in this term has been a look at the Doctrine of the Last Things or better labeled “Eschatology”. In this class we have barely yet to scratch the surface as far as ripping apart the pertinent texts like Matthew 25, Revelation 20, 1 Thess 4 & 5, and 2 Thess 2. Before taking this course I had not thought through this stuff very much as where I was before put little to no emphasis on these type of subjects and never had a reason to “stake out a territory” so to speak. So after reading other books prior to this class and in reading an excellent book by Cornelis Venema (an optimistic A-Mill) and beginning a work by Marcellus Kik (a Post-Mill) I have come to the following conclusions (for now)…

1) I believe in Partial Preterism.

What does that mean? Basically it means that I hold that the majority of the events prophesied in Scripture dealing with the “end times” refer to and were fulfilled in the destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple cult by the Romans in A.D. 70.

2) I believe the Millennium is symbolic.

The literal 1,000 years that Dispensational Pre-Millennialists push is not Scriptural or in keeping with the Biblical text. In other words the reference to 1,000 years in Revelation 20 is not meant to be taken as a literal 1,000 years.

3) I believe that Christ will come back at the end of the Millennium

Which makes me a post-millennialist (also one thing that A-Mills and Post-Mills share).

4) I believe that Revelation was written before the fall of Jerusalem in A.D. 70.

I would highly recommend Ken Gentry’s work here. Basically that the Book of Revelation was written during the reign of Nero. Also that Nero Caesar is the sixth king who is the one who is in Revelation 17:10.

Suggested Reading List

An Eschatology of Victory by Marcellus Kik

The Last Days According to Jesus by R.C. Sproul, Sr.

Before Jerusalem Fell by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.

He Shall Have Dominion by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.

Post-Millenialism: An Eschatology of Hope by Keith Mathison

Days of Vengeance by David Chilton

The Promise of the Future by Cornelis Venema

This will be the first of several posts on Eschatological issues that will help flesh out my beliefs and illustrate how and why the Scriptures teach what I have professed above.

Back to Business; Prayer For All Men

Moving back into the swing of things we will now take a look at the beginning of Paul’s second chapter in his first letter to Timothy. In this pericope Paul is teaching Timothy here to remember all things in his prayers, not just those things that seem enviable or close to him but all things in prayer. I often have heard people question the validity of praying for civil authorities and dignitaries but we will see that Paul expressly commands Timothy to lead prayers for these men as well. This has much to say in our day of political division and ideological causticity. So without further ado here is the first two verses of 1 Tim 2.

First of all, then, I urge that entreaties and prayers, petitions and thanksgivings, be made on behalf of all men, for kings and all who are in authority, so that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity.

Paul makes to me a fascinating statement here at the end of verse two concerning why it is we should pray for kings and all who are in authority. What does he say? He says, “…so that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity.” Wow! What a statement! Paul is calling for prayers on civil authority so that what? We can live in peace and solitude. Imagine that. Paul has such faith and trust in the power of prayer that he thinks if we pray for the authority we can be Christian without pagan intervention. Think on that for a second. Think what it would be like, since we have deluded ourselves into thinking we can live truly Christian lives in our pagan environment, to live in peace and tranquility. What does that look like for the Christian and why is Paul exhorting Timothy here to seek its finality in prayer? One of the first things that degrades in the Christian person after they have become complacent in their faith is an understanding of the supreme importance of prayer (I cannot stress that enough) in their cognitive daily routine. This is why Paul exhorts us in 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 to rejoice to the Lord always, to pray without ceasing. It is because Paul understands the TRUE POWER OF PRAYER. This is one thing that certainly has been atrophied in our churches is this focus upon prayer and its purpose in the Christian life. So I ask you know. If Paul believed that peace for the Christian could come through prayer for civil authorities and for all men why do we not?