Condensed Theology

A Primer in Systematic Theology

What does the Bible teach about last things?

• There is no indication in Scripture that there will be any significant length of time between the return of Christ, the resurrection of the just and the unjust, the judgment of the believing and the unbelieving, and the glorification of creation. • Every text we have seen, makes no such claim. • To the contrary, every passage indicates that the events of the end will happen simultaneously.

• At the same time, however, you will remember that this present age and the age to come share something in common:
– First, it is an age under the rule of Jesus Christ (Eph 1:20-21). – Second, it is an age in which believers experience blessings through the gospel (Mark 10:29-30). – Third, it is an age characterized by the presence of Christ with believers (Matt 28:20).

• The question, then, is this: How can this present age be both evil and good, characterized by sin and death, and by righteousness and life for believers? • The answer is found in the rule of Jesus Christ in the kingdom of God.

• We have not, however, looked at one text—and a significant one—that has been interpreted by some to teach that between the time of Jesus’ Second Coming and the Final Judgment will intervene a period of 1,000 years. • That text is Revelation 20.

The Question of the Millennium
Revelation 20:1-11

The Question of the Millennium
• Rev 20:1-5: Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven, holding the key of the abyss and a great chain in his hand. And he laid hold of the dragon, the serpent of old, who is the devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years; and he threw him into the abyss, and shut it and sealed it over him, so that he would not deceive the nations any longer, until the thousand years were completed; after these things he must be released for a short time. Then I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment was given to them. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of their testimony of Jesus and because of the word of God, and those who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received the mark on their forehead and on their hand; and they came to life and reigned with Christ for a thousand years. The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were completed. This is the first resurrection.

The Question of the Millennium
• Rev 20:6: Blessed and holy is the one who has a part in the first resurrection; over these the second death has no power, but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with Him for a thousand years. When the thousand years are completed, Satan will be released from his prison, and will come out to deceive the nations which are in the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together for the war; the number of them is like the sand of the seashore. And they came up on the broad plain of the earth and surrounded the camp of the saints and the beloved city, and fire came down from heaven and devoured them. And the devil who deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are also; and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever. Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat upon it, from whose presence earth and heaven fled away, and no place was found for them.

The Question of the Millennium
X Reasons Why The Millennium Describes the Present Situation

No Two-Stage Second Coming

• Premillennial Dispensationalists teach that there is a two-stage Second Coming.
– The first is at the “rapture”; when Christ comes for his saints; – And the second, is seven years later, following the “Tribulation Period,” when Christ comes with his saints.

• The following slides set forth five reasons why the Second Coming should be understood as a single event.

1. 2. 3. 4. 5.

The use of the NT words for Jesus’ return do suggest that it is one event. The NT passages describing the great tribulation indicate that the church will be present for the tribulation. The key NT passage used by dispensational premillennialists does not teach a pretribulational rapture. Christ’s Second Coming is both with his people and for his people. Although Christians are not destined to experience God’s wrath, this does not mean that they must be absent when it is poured out on mankind; nor does it mean that they do not suffer persecution at the hands of God’s enemies.

A Personal and Visible Second Coming

A Personal and Visible Second Coming
• Personal
– Acts 1:11: They also said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into the sky? This Jesus, who has been taken up from you into heaven, will come in just the same way as you have watched Him go into heaven.” – NAU Acts 3:19 "Therefore repent and return, so that your sins may be wiped away, in order that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord; 20 and that He may send Jesus, the Christ appointed for you, 21 whom heaven must receive until the period of restoration of all things about which God spoke by the mouth of His holy prophets from ancient time. – NAU Philippians 3:20 For our citizenship is in heaven, from which also we eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ; 21 who will transform the body of our humble state into conformity with the body of His glory, by the exertion of the power that He has even to subject all things to Himself. – NAU Colossians 3:4 When Christ, who is our life, is revealed, then you also will be revealed with Him in glory.

A Personal and Visible Second Coming
• Visible/Obvious
– NAU Revelation 1:7 BEHOLD, HE IS COMING WITH THE CLOUDS, and every eye will see Him, even those who pierced Him; and all the tribes of the earth will mourn over Him. So it is to be. Amen. – NAU Titus 2:11 For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all men, 12 instructing us to deny ungodliness and worldly desires and to live sensibly, righteously and godly in the present age, 13 looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus.

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