Hidden Treasures

The Bible is much more than a book of religion.

Prophecy series #14: Pre, Post or A-Mill

When it comes to prophecy, all of us fall into one of three camps.

1. Premillennialists, of which I am one, believe that Jesus will imminently come for His Church of born-again believers and that following this rapture of the Church to Heaven, the world will be plunged into the Great Tribulation and the reign of Anti-christ for a seven year period. Following the Tribulation, Christ will return to this earth to reign for one thousand years (a Millennium)

I also believe that as a Christian, Christ's Kingdom is already in my heart; but I have already made clear my position on this in a previous article in this series.

Study the previous articles of this series for a more complete explanation of the Pre-Millennial position.

2. Post-Millennialists believe Jesus established His Kingdom at His resurrection. Since then His Kingdom has been growing and prospering as the Gospel continues to be preached throughout the world. One day Christ will return to judge this world and reign forever. For the Post-Millennialist there is no rapture; only one resurrection for the saved and the unsaved. They believe the Tribulation took place in the first century when Christian's suffered for their faith under Roman persecution.

3. A-Millennialists believe much like the Post-Millennialists, that there is no Millennial Kingdom of 1000 years now or in the future. They believe that when Christ returns to this earth it will be to usher in the eternal state; not another period of time on this earth.

Though a Pre-millennialist, I have no desire to be divisive over these convictions. I value the unity of the Body of Christ, more than my prophetic position. In this article I simply show from God's Word why I take this position.

THIRTEEN REASONS WHY I AM A PRE-MILLENNIALIST

1. Jesus taught us in the Lord's Prayer to pray for His Kingdom to come to this earth. Would that not imply it has not yet come?

2. Jesus stated in John 18:36 that His Kingdom was not of this cosmos (world system). It's true that Christ reigns in the hearts of true believers today, and that as believers, we have an influence on those around us; but we are not Christianizing this Satan-controlled, sinful world system. We are not "ushering in the Kingdom" today. Rather, we are evangelizing the lost and bringing people to know Jesus as Saviour and Lord. He hints in this verse that when He comes to set up His Kingdom, that He will by force put down His enemies.

3. Jesus' Kingdom was evidently not inaugurated between the resurrection of Christ and His ascension. In Acts 1:6-7 the disciples were asking the resurrected Jesus when the Kingdom would come. If the Kingdom had already come, they would not have asked this question. Jesus did not answer their question, but rather, directed their attention to fulfilling His Great Commission of being witnesses of Christ to the whole world.

4. The Kingdom did not come at Pentecost. There is no mention of the Millennial Kingdom in Acts nor in the Epistles to the churches. Their only commission was to preach the Gospel and edify the saints. That, of course, is our commission today. Any references to the Kingdom in the Epistles are clearly speaking of the spiritual kingdom of Christ reigning in the hearts of believers.

5. In Luke 19:12-27 Jesus illustrated truths about His millennial kingdom by telling a story of a nobleman who went to a far country to receive His Kingdom. In this story Jesus is teaching that He is about to leave this earth for a long period of time and that His servants are to faithfully serve Him in anticipation of being rewarded for their faithfulness when He returns to set up His Kingdom.

6. Following a description of the Great Tribulation in Revelation 6-18, an angel announces in 11:15 the coming Kingdom of Christ. Evidently, the Great Tribulation comes before the Kingdom. Note that the inauguration of Christ's Kingdom is prophesied in Revelation 19-20 after the Tribulation of Revelation 6-18.

7. In II Timothy Paul charges Timothy and all pastors in this church age to faithfully preach the Word as we anticipate the return of Christ to judge and to set up His Kingdom. II Timothy 4:1 teaches us that the Millennial Kingdom is yet to come. It was not established at Christ's resurrection.

8. James, pastor of the church in Jerusalem, speaks in James 2:5 to Christians who are "heirs of Christ's Kingdom which He has promised to them that love Him." To be an heir of the kingdom is to be a part of something that has not yet taken place.

9. Peter in II Peter 1:2-11 challenges Christians to grow and come to maturity so they will enjoy an abundant entrance into the everlasting Kingdom of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. Here Peter speaks of something that has not yet happened.

10. Paul writing in I Corinthians 15:50 explains to us that we Christians living in our natural human bodies cannot inherit the Kingdom of God. There must come a change first. We must leave our mortal human bodies and receive our new glorified bodies first.

Then in the rest of that chapter and also in I Thessalonians 4:13-18 , Paul describes what is known as the Rapture of the saints. This is the Blessed Hope that Paul wrote about in Titus 2:11-13. That's why I am so excited about being a Pre-Millennialist and that's why I anticipate the rapture. I pray with John in the last chapter or Revelation, "Even so come, Lord Jesus!"

The Revelation was written by John about 95 AD, about sixty years after Jesus had risen and ascended back to Heaven. Jesus Millennial Kingdom will not be set up in this world until King Jesus arrives.

11. Revelation 20:1-6 speaks of Christ's coming Kingdom coming AFTER Satan is bound and cast into a bottomless pit for a thousand years. Is there anyone today who believes that Satan is presently bound and can no longer tempt people to sin?

12. Isaiah 11 and 35 describe the perfect condition that will take place on this earth during the Kingdom of Christ. With all the crime, natural disasters and heart ache in this present evil world today, are we really living in the Kingdom Age? I doubt it.

13. God promises in Ezekiel 36 and 37 and in Zechariah 12-14 that in the Kingdom Age the Jews will recognize and receive their Messiah, Jesus Christ. Although individual Jews have received Christ today and are a part of the Church, the Jews as a nation still reject Christ.

In the meantime, in this Church Age, thank God that anyone, Jew or Gentile, can receive Christ and be born again into His Heavenly Kingdom. John 3:3-5 Christ Jesus reigns in the true believer's heart.
We know Him now as our Saviour Psalm 22, Shepherd Psalm 23,
and King Psalm 24. According to Jesus' statement to Peter in Matthew 16:17-19 the Church and the spiritual Kingdom of Heaven are identical.

Let us rejoice in the truth that we Christians can presently enjoy His Kingdom in our hearts. How dare a believer in Christ refuse to bow to the Lordship of King Jesus!

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June 3, 2006 - Posted by | Prophecy Series

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