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.