Systematic Theology II - Lesson 26

The Doctrine of Last Things (Part 2)

Within the premillennial position, there is a difference of opinion on whether the rapture will be pretrib, midtrib or posttrib. Regardless of your position on the millennium, there is clear teaching in Scripture about the final judgment and our eternal state. There will be a final judgment and everyone will spend eternity either in heaven or hell.

Bruce Ware
Systematic Theology II
Lesson 26
Watching Now
The Doctrine of Last Things (Part 2)

The Doctrine of Last Things (Part 2)

3. Views of the Tribulation (Applicable only to the Pre-millennial view)

a. Mid Tribulation view: Church is raptured in the middle of the tribulation

b. Post Tribulation view: Church is raptured at the end of the tribulation

c. Pre Tribulation view: Church is raptured before the tribulation

4. Final judgment (on both believers and unbelievers)

a. Unbelievers (works judged proportionate to evil done)

b. Believers: (works judged and given proportionate reward)

5. Eternal State

a. Heaven: the presence of God with His people, in new Eden on new earth

b. Hell: clearly described in Scriptures

  • Both the Old and New Testaments teach that Jesus Christ is both fully God and fully human. The Old Testament contains specific references to His pre-incarnate existence. The New Testament teaches that the incarnation is an historical event that was prophesied in the Old Testament. Christ fulfills the roles of prophet, priest and king. His deity is emphasized by the names of God that are ascribed to Him.

  • The Bible teaches that Jesus Christ had attributes belonging solely to God, and did works that were done by God alone. Christ was worshipped and accepted worship. He Himself claimed to be God.

  • Christ was fully human, as well as fully God. The Old Testament prophesied it and His historical life demonstrated it. Philippians 2: 6-8 uses the word kenosis to explain the relationship between Christ's human and divine natures.

  • The "impeccability" of Christ deals with the question of whether or not Christ could have sinned. The answer to this question has implications for both His life and ministry. (At the 51 minute mark, the reference to "John the Baptist," Dr. Ware meant to say, "John the Apostle.")

  • Delegates at the Council of Chalcedon tried to explain the hypostatic union of Christ's natures. The theological bases for the work of Christ on the cross focus on the sin of humanity and God's holiness and mercy. The atonement is God's self-satisfaction through self-substitution

  • Christ's atoning sacrifice was comprehensive. The different aspects of the atonement may be compared to light refracting through a diamond – you can see different colors, but they are all light. Three aspects of the atonement are sacrifice, substitution and redemption.

  • Three more aspects of the atonement are propitiation, expiation, and reconciliation. Christ's resurrection is a ratification of the efficacy of the atonement.

  • The most significant aspect of the past work of Christ is the atonement. Some people teach that the extent of the atonement is limited, while others teach that it is unlimited. Christ's present work is mediator and Lord. His future work is coming judge and reigning king.

  • Throughout Scripture, the Holy Spirit is referred to as having the attributes and performing the actions of a person. He is also shown to have the attributes of God, and is declared to be God. Both the Old and New Testaments cite examples of the work of the Holy Spirit in empowering people.

  • The work of the Holy Spirit in the Old Testament is characterized by the empowerment of selective individuals for a temporary period of time, for the purpose accomplishing a specific task. The Old Testament prophets record a vision of the role of the Holy Spirit in the latter days.

  • The Holy Spirit had a central role in the life and ministry of Jesus. Many Old Testament passages prophesied the coming of a Spirit empowered Messiah. The New Testament records specific examples of the involvement of the Spirit in Jesus' life and ministry. Jesus also promises the future coming of the Holy Spirit and describes what he will do.

  • At Pentecost, the Holy Spirit came into the world and filled the lives of every believer. The first great work of the Holy Spirit is bringing people to Christ. He also empowers believers for service in the Church where we are remade and conformed to the image of Christ. The purpose of the gifts of the Spirit is for us to serve one another.

  • The Holy Spirit has come to glorify Christ and bring attention to Jesus. He does this by empowering believers in the areas of evangelism and discipleship. There are specific gifts of the Spirit and He gives specific gifts to each believer. There is a question about whether all the gifts are still active today. There is also a distinction between people having a certain gift and God performing mighty acts.

  • The Holy Spirit accomplishes the work of regeneration in a person by bringing them new life. The Spirit also indwells and fills a believer, produces fruit and gives us the freedom to become what God created us to be. The Holy Spirit is also the guarantee of the hope of our eternal future in God's presence.

  • Rob Lister, a Garret Fellow, introduces concepts that are basic to the Biblical doctrine of salvation. Salvation is both physical and spiritual, includes all of creation, it is "already, but not yet," and the goal is the glory of God. Election is a key concept in Scripture. Some people think that there is a conditional aspect to election.

  • Rob Lister continues by reviewing the Arminian position (conditional election), then explains the Calvinist view. The Calvinist position is based on God's sovereign rulership over everything, salvation by grace alone, and God's love and justice. There are major differences between the ideas of conditional and unconditional election.

  • Among those who hold to the view of unconditional election, there are those who believe in single predestination, and those who believe in double predestination. There is also a difference between a "general call," and a "special" or "effectual call."

  • Continuing in the logical order of salvation, Rob Lister examines regeneration, conversion, justification, adoption and sanctification.

  • Christ is Lord of the Church and it is formed by the Spirit. As a community, we testify to what God has done in our lives through the ordinances, the proclamation of the word and the testimony of our lives. We worship God together, and Jews and Gentiles are united in one community, testifying to the preeminence of our identity in Christ.

  • The "mystery" of the Church refers to the truth that was formerly concealed, but now revealed. Another aspect of the "mystery" is the inclusion of Jews and Gentiles in one community of faith. There is some debate about whether or not Israel and the Church are the same. The "Body of Christ" and "Bride of Christ" are two metaphors used in the New Testament that refer to the Church.

  • An additional New Testament metaphor for the Church is a "Building," which is made up of the "Cornerstone," "Foundation" and the "Living Stones." "Christ's Flock" is also a metaphor for the Church and relates to Jesus as the "Good Shepherd." There are also passages in the New Testament that give us insight into local congregations by referring to elders as the leaders.

  • New Testament passages give specific instructions about the functions of elders in local congregations. There are also lists qualifications for elders that emphasize character qualities. The roles and qualifications for deacons are also given.

  • The question of the role of men and women in ministry is a significant issue. The main question is, "According to Scripture, is gender particularly and uniquely relevant in assessing whether or not a person is qualified for a given ministry in a church or home?"

    You can download the Roles Handout by right-clicking on the link and selecting the "Save Link As" option. 

  • Different denominations have chosen different models of hierarchy and leadership based on their understanding of Scripture. The two ordinances of the Church are Baptism and the Lord's Supper. They are ordained by Christ, point to the Cross, and are to be done in remembrance of what He has done for us.

  • There is value in studying eschatology besides curiosity about what will happen in the future. The three most common views of the millennium that can be supported by Scripture are postmillennialism, amillennialism and premillennialism. Also related to eschatology is the Scriptural teaching regarding physical death and the intermediate state.

  • Within the premillennial position, there is a difference of opinion on whether the rapture will be pretrib, midtrib or posttrib. Regardless of your position on the millennium, there is clear teaching in Scripture about the final judgment and our eternal state. There will be a final judgment and everyone will spend eternity either in heaven or hell.

The second of a two semester class on Systematic Theology.

Dr. Bruce Ware
Systematic Theology II
The Doctrine of Last Things (Part 2)
Lesson Transcript


But we do thank you at the end of this semester for your Sustaining Grace and your watch care over our lives through these weeks. We thank you also, Lord, for your presence with us as we have gone through these various doctrines of the faith. And we thank you, Lord, for the richness of so much of what we have looked at. Yes, some controversial some areas of disagreement. That's true. But so much of what we have looked at is the faith once for all given to the saints. We as Christian people can believe and embrace and count upon in our own lives and minister to other people. So we give you praise, Lord, for what we have had the privilege of looking at. And I do pray that as the students study for the final, it would be more than a classroom project and an intellectual experience, but they would reflect back on a number of things that have occupied our time through the semester in ways that can inform not only our minds, but our hearts and our lives as we live out what we believe to be true. So do this in this Lord, we pray. Thank you now for this last class period of the semester and help us to make good use of the time and benefit from this time. Together we pray in Christ Name. Amen. Okay. I'm going to continue using this chart that I did last time on the millennial views because now we're going to talk about the tribulation of use. But let me pick up where we left off last time with the pre millennial view, just to give you an idea of the difference between the historic pre millennial and the dispensation or pre millennial, because that becomes relevant when we take a look then at the views of the tribulation that will we'll take a look at next what's true for both of them as we put on the board last time is between the cross and the second coming of Christ is the church age which is not the millennium.


We are not in the millennium. And I went over this real quickly last time. I don't know how many of you caught it, but I gave you three reasons from Revelation 19 and 20 why pre millennials hold that Revelation 20, which speaks of a thousand year reign of Christ, why it is future. Let me just read for you because in my haste at the end of the hour, last time I didn't even read the passage, did I? I don't remember doing that. Let me read for you Revelation 20, the first six verses. 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 and I won't read later. In this chapter, it talks about his release. He is amassing people against Christ Christ's judgment of him throwing him into the lake of fire. That comes a little bit after what I read. Then I saw Thrones and they who 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 that is tribulation. Martyrs is what he's talking about. Those who had not worshiped the beast or his image and had not received the mark on their forehead or 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, I take it. That refers to verse for the first resurrection of those who had been beheaded because of their testimony of Christ. Blessed is the 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. Okay, So that's Revelation 21 through six. And what all pre millennials hold is that it requires this future pre millennial. So the return of Christ is not post millennial after the millennium period, but the return of Christ is pre millennial. It happens before the millennial period. And three main reasons that are given. Let me just summarize them for you again. One is the narrative flow or progression from Revelation 19 to 20. In Revelation 19, you have Christ returning on a white horse and the sword from his mouth and he judges the nations and brings complete destruction to them. And it says that the beast and the false prophet are thrown into the lake of fire. Well, of course, the big question, if you've read the Book of Revelation is what about Satan? I mean, he's the guy behind the whole thing. The beast and the false prophet are kind of his pawns. What about Satan? Well, chapter 20 begins with. Satan is bound for a thousand years. Those who have died are raised and reign with Christ for this thousand years. And then Satan is released. I didn't read this to you in Revelation. And then he is judged and thrown verse ten, thrown into the pit quote where the beast and false prophet are also.


So when you read in verse ten of Revelation 20, it looks as though the continuation of the story from the end of 19. Well, honestly, my friends, if you hold the 20, continues the story of 19. You're a free millennial list. Why? Because what happens in 19? The return of Christ. What happens in 20? The millennium? Well, so here you have it. The return of Christ is pre millennial. The other two arguments are number two, the binding of Satan, where he says in the beginning of Chapter 20 that the angel took him, threw him into the abyss, sealed it over him, shut it up, put him in chains that he may not deceive the nations any longer until the thousand years are completed. That's very difficult to reconcile. So says the pre millennium list with statements about Satan in this age after the cross and the resurrection. Second Corinthians four four. Satan is the God of this world who blinds the minds of the unbelieving that they may not see the light of the Gospel, of the glory of Christ, the image of God. Well, if that isn't deception of the nations, what is? He's the prince of the power of the air. He is the ruler of this age. I mean, these are all statements made of Satan in this age, post resurrection of Christ. So, boy, it looks like something is being said of Satan in this millennial period. That is not true of him here, that that will take place there. The third argument is the rising. The term come to life is used at the end of verse four. In the beginning of was five, those who were beheaded came to life and reigned with Christ for a thousand years. Well, what does that mean? If you hold that the millennium is happening in this age.


Well, so all millennial lists post millennials would hold that this coming to life must be a spiritual resurrection. But two problems with that. Number one is the subjects of this resurrection are those who had been beheaded for their testimony to Jesus. So they were already Christians. The coming to life can't be their conversion. They were put to death because they were witnessing of Christ. These are Christians who were killed physically. So they're coming to life. Must be physical resurrection. Well, obviously, that's not happening here. My grandma is in the grave with the Lord, but there's no resurrection that's happened, you know, of her in this life. That'll happen in a day to come. The other problem is that the same word is used in verse five. The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were completed. Everybody agrees that's physical resurrection. Well, so here's the problem of turning the very same term. A zazen come to life in verse four into a spiritual resurrection, which doesn't match the context. And number two, this very same word is used of these people who come to life at the end of the millennium and are judged. And everybody agrees that physical resurrection. So how much better to take them both according to a lexical study that indicates this anyway, the word means physical resurrection. Everywhere it's used, it means physical resurrection. How much better to take them both as the physical resurrection here of this is the first resurrection that he speaks of Revelation 20, verse four of those who come to life. Why don't have the tribulation in here yet? But I'll stick that in in a moment. Come to life at the end of the Tribulation and reign with Christ, and then the rest of the dead come to life at the end of the tribulation.


Okay. Those are the three main arguments. Exegetical that pre millennial is used to support the pre millennial view from this text of scripture. Now I saw a couple of hands up. Let me get questions answered Thursday. Suppose that after the second Christ on the millennial view I had seven years. Yeah that's coming up I'll put I don't have the seven up here yet the tribulation this is a really lousy chart for a pre millennial view because we got to put the tribulation in here that's coming in the second. Yes. Just wondering, this is the first resurrection in verse five. Yes. How does that fit with in verse six when it says the second left has no power over them? Because certainly this second death has no power over those who were raised that died before the tribulation, too. Right. So why is it just applying it to the first resurrection? This is the. First resurrection and the second death, because these who are raised here have if you keep reading in Revelation 21, they're thrown in the lake of fire. It says, this is the second death. Verse 14. Well, but I thought that the only ones that were resurrected in the first resurrection was the ones that died during the tribulation. Right. And that's these folks. This is the first resurrection. And over them, the second death has no hold. So when do the Christians who died before the formulation get resurrected? Okay, this is the. You'll see. Hey, hang on to that one till we get the tribulation up on the board, and we'll talk about these views that relate to it. Yes. I'm sorry you had your hand up earlier. Then I. I just wonder how you respond to. Predominantly. I've said it when it talks about faith.


Yes. It only means he was bound in a sense that now the gospel could go to the nature of the statement, the savior of the nations, and usually parallel that with the birth of the gospels, where you can't wonder. Strong man Counsel to you first. Fine. Right. Right. Yes. Well, I just think the language in Revelation 20 is too strong for that. It doesn't account for the language that's being used here. But that's what I say when I mean goodness, Look at how he sort of labors the point, the dragon, the serpent. It all was bound for a thousand years. He was thrown into the abyss. Shut it up, sealed it over him so that he would not deceive the nations any longer. I don't find a compelling to think that this is happening now. Granted, a marvelous work of redemption to the nations is taking place, but he is still the prince of the power of the air. Now he is the God of this world now. I mean, that's those statements are made after the resurrection of Christ in the Epistles. And so it doesn't come out of features. And I would assume, I think that with a pretty wide open here. Yeah. How would you interpret the scriptures that talk about Christ coming to them? Yeah, well, both. Yeah. Both would understand that this return of Christ could happen at any time. I mean, three millennia list. One of the advantages of a pre millennial view is a return of Christ. Could happen right now. It could happen before this class. It could happen before final exams next week. Yes, it could. And my what a wonderful thing that would be. Yeah. Actually, to get at that better, I really. So let me move ahead to the views of the tribulation, which is what? Roman numeral four.


And here we'll talk briefly about three positions, Mid Trib, Post Trib and Pre-trib. Now, the only ones who are interested in talking about the question of the rapture of the church in relation to the timing of the rapture, in relation to the tribulation are pre millennium lists. Because if you hold an all millennial view right now, the tribulation is taking place. Right now, the millennium is taking place and Christ comes at the end. There is no future tribulation period that is in question. If you hold an all millennial view or a post millennial view, you go from the return of Christ into the eternal state and that's it. It's a much simpler eschatology, there's no question it is. But ultimately, that's not the main question to ask, is it, if it's simpler or not? But if it's true or not. So what does a pre millennial told? Well, it holds that there is. Between the end of the church age and the beginning of the millennium, a seven year tribulation period, seven year tribulation that the Olivet discourse, Matthew 24 and 25, that the Book of Revelation, chapters six through 19, are talking about. When Jesus says in the Olivet discourse, such tribulation has never occurred before in the history of the world. He means a time of tribulation that will yet come, that will be absolutely astonishingly horrid, unbelievable death and catastrophe that will happen. I mean, just read Revelation six. This is just the beginning of it. You know where who's worthy to break the seals of the book and open the book? Remember that in chapter 4-5, who's worthy to do this? Well, the lamb who was slain from the foundation of the world. He is worthy to break the seals and open the book.


And look what happens when the lamb. Now, think of the significance of lamb bringing this judgment upon the world. You realize this lamb is also the Lion of Judah. This lamb is also the king of the earth who will bring judgment. You know, the irony, the irony of the lamb being the instrument of unlocking, unleashing these judgments. Read Revelation six and see what happens. Just total up in the in the first judgments that come upon the world there as those seals are broken, these seven seals tally up in your mind. How many people die? How much of the earth is affected? It's staggering. Okay. Now, what pre millennials hold? Is it the seven year tribulation period is a future reality. It is going to happen followed by the millennium. Christ comes at the end of this tribulation period. To Earth. That's Revelation 19. So is Revelation 6 through 19. And then, of course, this is Revelation 20, and then we have the eternal state, Revelation 21 and 22. Heaven and hell. Okay. Now, why do we have difference of opinion among premillennials on this question of Pre-trib post-trib midriff? The question has to do with the timing of the rapture of the church in relation to the tribulation. So a pre-trib position holds that the rapture of the church takes place. Pre-trib you get the meaning of that. Then before the tribulation begins, the rapture of the church takes place. So this is the pre-trib position, the midriff position. You can tell, can't you, is the rapture of the church. The reason I put the arrow from down here is because for the most part, I mean, the first Thessalonians four, the dead in Christ are raised first and then those who are alive and remain will join them and meet Christ in the air.


First Thessalonians four indicates this resurrection of the dead, joined by all who are alive and remain Christians, that is believers joining with them. So the people who are alive at that point, when Christ raptures the church, they don't experience death. They'd go straight to be with the Lord at that particular point. And some argue that it's in the middle of the tribulation. And others argue that it happens at the end of the tribulation, hence post at the end of the tribulation. The rapture of the church happens at the very same point that Christ returns. And so what would happen is, as Christ returns in the church, his Rapture, the church meets Christ and joins with him in coming down to Earth. That's the post-trib position that the Rapture only serves the purpose really, of the church joining Christ in the air and then coming with him to bring his judgment upon the earth. Okay, so you understand the three positions pre-trib, the rapture of the church is before the tribulation. That's the view I hold, by the way. It's a view that has been in American 20th century America, a very, very prominent view, because Louis Berry Schaefer taught it. And in the Scofield reference Bible, that was the only study Bible available for decades. King James version Scofield Reference Bible teaches a pre-trib position. So a lot of people. But then, of course, in 1948, with the return of Israel, it just to their own land and becoming reconstituting as a nation again. There were all kinds of sort of resurgence of primarily a pre millennial and pre-tribulation of view in relation to Israel and the church and the return of Christ and so on. How. Lindsay Lake Great Planet Earth.


And now of course this the Left Behind series is based upon a premillennial pre-tribulation or understanding. And you know as those novels sell as they are, you know thousands and thousands of people who are reading those are at least being entertained by a fundamentally pre-trib position in the scholarly world. Probably in fact not even probably. I just know this for a fact. Among premillennial lists, the view that is accepted by most scholars today is a post-trib position. This was true when I taught at Trinity Divinity School. There were probably five of us who were pre-trib and 15 to 20 in terms of ratio who were post-trib. Nobody was mid-trib. I mean this view has almost died out except in its variant form that you might have heard of as the pre wrath rapture view. It's a variation of the mid-trib view that I'll tell you about in a moment. Very, very popular. Hardly anybody holds it among scholars. It's the dominant view, but I don't hold the dominant view among scholars. I hold the pre review. Okay. Let me tell you just a bit about each one and why each is held. And that's about all we'll have time for. First of all, the midriff position. Let me do that one first. It's on the outline is Kaplan or a mid-trib rapture view? We'll talk about that one first just a bit. Obviously, it holds the view that the rapture, the church happens at the midpoint of the tribulation, the rapture, the church happens at the midpoint of the tribulation. They believe that at the midpoint is where you can kind of divide the tribulation in half. And for these first three and a half years, there is judgment, divine judgment.


But in the second three and a half years, there is the outpouring of divine wrath. And they hold the view that the church is promised to be exempt from the outpouring of divine wrath that comes upon the earth. And so it's at that point then that the church is raptured before that they see the middle of the tribulation as a significant point. For example, in Matthew 24:29, Matthew 24:29, they see this as kind of a transitional statement where Jesus says after the tribulation of those days. Well, so this stuff is over. Now comes the real wrath of God upon the earth. They also see the an indication of this in that you remember there's the what are the three kinds of judgments in the Book of Revelation. The first are the seal judgments. Then what? Then the trumpets and then the bowls of wrath, the bulls of wrath. And so they understand the seventh trumpet that brings in the seven bowls of divine Wrath judgment to be the trumpet. First Corinthians 15. A trumpet will sound and the Dead and Christ will be raised in a moment, in a twinkling of an eye. So they connect the seventh trumpet. And of course, if you ask why, well, it works well, there's not an exegetical connection made. But nonetheless, they do this. They connect the seventh Trumpet of Revelation with the Trumpet of First Corinthians 15:52, first Corinthians 15:52, where the church then is taken from the earth. The variation of this view that has been become popular. Marv Rosenthal wrote a book some years back called The Pre-Rapture View. Marv Rosenthal, Jewish Christian Man. And really the only difference is he doesn't identify these exactly as split in half, three and a half years each that what defines when the rapture take place is just before the wrath of God is poured out.


So, I mean, that might be two years into it. It might be four years into it. I mean, we don't know if it's exactly the halfway point of the tribulation, but the point is before the wrath of God is poured out, hence pre rapture view as opposed to middle trib view. Not sure if it's right, right in the middle, but it's the same basic idea is that the church is spared from the wrath of God. Let me comment now on the pre-trib position or do I which one do I have next on your post-trib? Kepler B poster. Let me comment on it and then I'll give some assessment when I'm done with this description of the three. The post-trib position holds that the rapture of the church happens at the end of the tribulation, and as the church is raptured, Christ meets the church in the air and hence the church comes with Christ. At the point of his judgment upon the nations. Some reasons that they have for holding this are the church is never told that we should expect to be spared catastrophe and tribulation. In fact, Jesus warns Christians that they will endure tribulation, and so they view the either the pre-trib or the mid trib positions as giving Christians a false hope that will escape the tribulation. And in fact, we should expect to endure the tribulation and only those who endure to the end will be saved. And so they really view this as having pastoral negative implications, giving people a frame of mind that they're going to escape this tribulation. And then when it happens, oh no, they're going to be horrified that they're having to go through this and they won't be prepared mentally to endure the tribulation period.


And instead, we ought to have a mindset that this is for us, the church, but God will be with us. We need to be faithful. We may be beheaded. We may be among those spoken of in Revelation 20, verse four who are beheaded because of the testimony of Jesus. Yes, that may well happen, but we are on the winning side. We are with the lamb who was slain and has been raised. And so we should expect the victory with him. They favor this view because it only requires two resurrections. Here's one right here and the other right here. So you have the first resurrection. This was your question. I think you have right here you have Revelation 20. Four. And Revelation 20, verse five. And that's all the resurrections you need. But if you hold a pre-trib view or a mid-trib view, you've got to have a third resurrection, don't you? Because you have also either here or here in one of those two places. You have another resurrection that takes place of all believers at the Rapture. Then you have during the tribulation period those who come to Christ during the tribulation, some of whom die, perhaps many of whom die because of their testimony of Jesus. They're martyred and they are raised at the end of the tribulation. And they believe that these two resurrections are taught in Revelation 20. And it's not clear that we should see more than this. I think their strongest exegetical or biblical case comes from Second Thessalonians 2. Second Thessalonians 2. Which indicates for them clearly that Paul himself was post-trib in his thinking. And why do they think so? Well, in Second Thessalonians 2, the question is raised that Paul addresses. Now we request you, brethren, with regard to the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ in our gathering together to Him that you not be quickly shaken from your composure or disturbed by a spirit or a message or letter from us to the effect that the day of the Lord has come.


Okay, what's the problem he's addressing? Well, you Christians are being taught that you are in the day of the Lord. Well, what's the day of the Lord? That's this. That's the tribulation. You Christians are being taught that you're in the day of the Lord. Now, here's how the argument goes. If Paul were pre-trib, what would he say to Christians who are being taught, you're in the tribulation, The persecution you're going through right now is the persecution of the tribulation. And if Paul were pre-trib, what would he say? I got good news for you. You're not going to go through the tribulation. You won't be in the day of the Lord. But he doesn't say that. Instead, he says, verse three, Let no one deceive you for the day of the Lord will not come about until the apostasy comes first. Which, by the way, is not rapture. Some pre-trib people have argued that that is rapture apostasy. The word is departure. So they take his departure from the earth. If that were rapture, it would be a clear cut text for Pre-trib absolutely drop dead clear. But it doesn't mean that that's the problem. It means apostasy. It means departure from the faith. So don't leave me to save you, for it will not come unless the apostasy departure from the faith comes first and the man of lawlessness is revealed. The one who opposes exalt himself against every so called God, object of worship and so on. Now I will keep reading. The point is this, though. Instead of saying to them, You'll be raptured before the day of the Lord comes, what instead he does is distinguish the persecution they're going through now from the persecution that will take place in the day of the Lord until the man of lawlessness is revealed.


You're not in the tribulation. The tribulation hasn't happened yet. Okay. Now I hold a preacher review. I do acknowledge this to be a strong support for a post-trib position. In my judgment, though, it is less than definitive simply because Paul doesn't say and you will be in that day of the Lord. He doesn't say that He clarifies. The tribulation they're in now is not the tribulation of the day of the Lord. Yes, he does that, but he does not say you'll be in it. So it still leaves the question open. In my judgment. You have to put all the pieces together. And what I put other pieces alongside this one. The others weigh in heavier, in my judgment, to lead to a pre-trib view. But those are the main reasons they hold it. Okay. Let me move ahead and do the pre-trib position, which holds that the rapture of the church takes place before the tribulation. First Thessalonians four first Corinthians 15, according to this view, refer to this future event where the dead in Christ are raised. Those who are alive and remain will join them and meet Christ in the air. And that chapter ends. Then we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them. That's with the dead who have been raised first in the clouds and meet the Lord in the air. So we shall always be with the Lord, therefore comfort one another with these words. And so it indicates in this chapter, not a going to meet Christ in the clouds and then coming with him. It indicates we go up. I mean, the whole direction of this thing is up to the clouds and we are with the Lord. Now, what the preacher position holds is that we meet the Lord and are with Him for this period of time, the seven year period of time.


And then when he returns, we come with him and accompany him on his return to Earth and his establishing of his kingdom upon Earth. Now, why you think this is happening here at the beginning? Well, a few reasons are given for this. One is there is a need. It seems to account for this. This is a bit complicated, so hang in there with me. A need to account for unbelievers in the millennium. Now, why do we need unbelievers in the millennium? Not that we need them, but why is it biblically demanded that there are unbelievers in the millennium? Do you know why? Pardon me? Because that being said, that's right. At the end of the thousand years, Satan is released, gathers people from four corners of the world together against Christ. So here you have this massive number of unbelievers at the end of the millennium. Well, where do they come from? Because if you read the end of Revelation 19, when Christ comes to Earth, every one who stands against him is killed. There are no remaining living unbelievers. When Christ returns in Revelation 19, that means there's no one living an unbeliever living who goes into the millennium. Well, okay, so how do you get unbelievers still? So who goes into the millennium? Only believers. But there are two kinds of believers who go into the millennium. One is believers who have been glorified. More on that in a moment. Believers who have been raptured, glorified, come with Christ in their glorified bodies to earth. There's also believers who are not killed by Christ. Unbelievers are, but believers are not believers who are not killed by Christ and enter the millennium in their natural bodies. They haven't been glorified. Well, what do human beings and natural bodies do? Yes, they sin.


That's right. Now, I doubt, though, do they really here? I doubt, though, that these believers can be the ones in the end, though, because if they're really believers, they will not. Apostasy is right. They will remain true to Christ. So where do we get these unbelievers who rebel against Christ? Well, believers in natural bodies, Mary, have children. And there is this long period of time that goes by thousand years in which a lot of generations are born. A lot of people are alive. And many, many of them do not come to faith in Christ. Now, get this mean what a testimony to the power of total depravity that in if this theory is true, this is something we just cannot be absolutely confident of, as we can be So many things. But this is obviously area of a real disagreement. But if this theory is true here, we have in the millennium with Christ reigning over the earth. Righteousness prevails in every institution. There is no war. There is no conflict. And yet, what do you have? Totally depraved unbelievers who given the opportunity. You know, Revelation 20, Satan is released. And what does he do? He says, sic them. And what are these unbelievers do? They rise to the occasion, raise their fists. So what it shows is the enormous power of total depravity, of sin upon the unrepentant heart that even in a perfect environment. So it's not the way you were raised. It's not behavioral, it's not genetic, it is sin. Despite that, you will shake your fist in God's face and rise up with Satan against Christ and be judged for it. Okay. Another reason why Scripture requires that we think there are unbelievers in the millennium is Isaiah 60. Five, which speaks of the new heavens and the new Earth also speaks of there being people who die in the well in what must be the millennium.


And he doesn't call it millennium, but what must be verse 17. Behold, I create a new heavens and a new earth former things that will not be remembered. Where come to mind. Be glad to rejoice forevermore in what I create. Verse 19. I rejoice in Jerusalem. I'm glad in my people There will no longer be heard in her, the voice of weeping or the sound of crying. Verse 20. No longer will there be in it an infant who lives but a few days, or an old man who does not live out his days for the youth will die. That's the key word. Now, his point is the youth will die at the age of 100. I mean, you're still considered a teenage kid with vitality of a teenager when you're 100 years old. Now, that's remarkable. That's not like it is now. It's remarkable. But you still die. Wow. The one who does not reach the age of 100 will be thought of first. Okay, well, granted, things are changed, but there still is death in the millennium. Well, how do you get death in the body? You've got to have unbelievers who do not have the gift of eternal life, who haven't been glorified. It just has to be. So in order to account for unbelievers in the millennium, it is argued that there must be people who survive the coming of Christ and his judgment that he brings upon the whole world. And in it he kills all unbelievers. So who are these people who come into the millennium in non glorified bodies, believers who have children, and so they constitute this group of people. Here's another reason that the pre millennial view holds I'm sorry, pre-tribulation review holds. What it does is the need up here for two things that take place for the church before the church comes with Christ.


One is the judgment seat of Christ. Corinthians 5:10 we will all stand before the judgment seat of Christ to give an account of what we've done in the body, whether good or bad. Well, what is this judgment see going to happen if the post review is true? Goodness. There just is no time for it to happen. If the post review is true, we meet Christ in the air. We come right back with him. And here we're in the millennium just like that. So the judgment seat of Christ. And with that in Revelation 19, you remember what happens just before Christ returns to Earth in Revelation 19. Mary Supper of the LAMB, the Mayor. So you have to have the married supper, the lamb where the church is purified, putting on white garments, you know, and it's pure. So what happens in this time period is the judgment of believers that takes place, their purification, their glorification, the merry supper of the lamb, and then they come with him. So, amazingly, if this view is true, amazingly, while all of this is happening with Christ in paradise, the judgment is taking place of believers. Their purification is taking place. The merits of what the lamb is happening at the very same time, what's happening down here, horrific tribulation upon the whole earth in massive doses. And at the very same moment that there are millions of people being killed and tremendous devastation taking place upon the whole earth like has never been seen. At the very same time, massive conversion is taking place. Massive conversion where primarily Jews remember Romans 9 to 11. What is the question that Paul presses in? Romans nine God, how is God going to fulfill his promises to Israel? He said all Israel will be saved.


What is he going to do this? Well, Paul says that after the Times of the Gentiles, then, see, so get this. This is the time of the Gentiles. The Gentiles reign over the nations of this world. Witness little old Israel in the Middle East and marvel at the fact the Gentile nations reign over the earth right now. But that age of the Gentile reign is going to come to an end. And then Paul says, I'll graft the natural branches back under the tree. That's Israel, That's Jews. So all Israel will be saved, he says in Romans 11. Well, once that going to happen, it's not until the times of the Gentiles are over. It's not until this age is come to an end. And then so here you have in this age, at the very same time, massive numbers are being killed, massive numbers are being converted. And so a lot a lot of the conversions that take place in this tribulation are Jews. So much so that you can say at the end of this time period all Israel was saved. God will fulfill his promise to do it, and then Christ will come and bring the final judgment upon the Gentile nations of the world as He establishes his kingdom. Okay, now, here, Kingdom, let me say one more thing, and then I'll pretty much be done with this. This is where you see the difference between dispensation of and historic pre millennial lists. Is on the question of what purpose does this millennium period serve? Historic pre millennium lists who generally are post trib also for the most part, they generally are usually hosting historic pre millennial post-trib go together. They believe that there is a future millennium but don't really know why that is.


There's not much reason theologically for it. What purpose does it serve? Is a hard question to answer for a historic pre millennial list. They believe the Bible teaches it Revelation 19 and 20. You know, it just establishes that it's going to be there. But why? And honestly, there's not much you can say. It serves me a transition between the life in this age and life in the eternal state. But why now? The dispensation also, though, has an answer to the question why? And the answer is because Christ promised in where? In the Old Testament. He promised way back here. Promises that have never yet been fulfilled. Promises that relate to Israel. When will these promises be fulfilled in the millennium, where Christ will reign upon the throne of Jerusalem, Israel will be brought back into her land. There will be worship of God from Jerusalem, in which the nations of the world come and participate. Isaiah to Isaiah 19. Remember, we looked at these passages in another context this semester in which Israel is in their land, in their land. I mean, the New Covenant promised to Israel. Jeremiah 31 indicates I will bring them back to their land. And so New Covenant is connected with land, with Messiah, with King reigning over his people. And that reign involves the other nations of the world. But for the most part, the then dispensation will say, this is what this millennial kingdom is about. It's about God coming true on his promises. It's sort of like he wants to go on record. See, I did just what I said. I brought him back to the land. I saved him. I set crises. The Messiah in Jerusalem over them. Covenant fulfilled with my people. Covenant fulfilled. Now, the beauty of it is this Jewish kingdom is also the kingdom in which we participate as Gentiles, because we're brought in by the seed of Abraham Jesus, and we become heirs with them in this promise.


But that doesn't change the fact that even though Gentiles and Jews are one together doesn't change the fact that he made this promise back here with Israel and he means to keep it with Israel. So this is where historic dispensation and dispensation list differ, because historic pre millennials tend to see these promises made to Israel fulfilled in the church in a spiritual way. I mean, they tend to be covenant theology in their outlook, in a dispensation which says, no, they're not fulfilled, at least not in their fullness. And this is where I don't want to confuse you, but this is where traditional classical dispensation will differ with progressive dispensation, just like myself, is that I hold actually, we need both these areas, just like we need just what's up here right now? It's both. And some of those promises are fulfilled in a partial preliminary way in the church, but some await future fulfillment in an age yet to come. Both are required from what Scripture teaches. So this millennial kingdom then, is primarily to fulfill Old Testament prophecy, but will see to it that he accomplishes is it also will be the way in which he brings the end of Satan. He shows sin for what it is as people rebelled against Christ in a perfect environment. And then when all of that is done, then the final judgment, heaven and hell. Okay, a few questions. Yes. The creation of the reaching of God's hand out to this. Okay. In traditional dispensation wisdom. This is what they said, that Christ came preaching the kingdom right here. Israel rejected it. Matthew 2143 is a key verse for traditional dispensation wisdom, where Jesus says, I now turn to another. People and turn away from you. Let me read it as it is.


Matthew 2143. Therefore, I say to you, the Kingdom of God will be taken away from you, Israel, you Jews, and will be given to a people producing the fruit of it Gentiles. So they argue that Christ came and He preached the kingdom. The Jews rejected it. So this is why they call the church age a parenthesis. A lot of covenant theologians make snide remarks about that idea. But what they mean by that is that the promise of a kingdom will be fulfilled. When God is done with the church age, He's going to go back to this and bring in the kingdom. Now, that's a classic dispensation of you. I hold the view, the progressive dispensation, as holds the view that the kingdom is fulfilled both in this age, in a preliminary, partial way. It isn't fulfilled completely. Isaiah nine six and seven. The government will be upon his shoulders. He will reign over the earth in righteousness. It isn't happening. Read the paper. I'm sorry, but it hasn't happened. So the kingdom is spiritually with his people fulfilled now, but it's partial and preliminary, and so it awaits a few. So the beauty of the progressive dispensation of view is that it is a both and view. It is both true that the church participates in promises made to Israel in a preliminary partial way. And it is true that those promises are fulfilled with ethnic national Israel in a day that is future. Both are true. Not either or. Yeah, he does. The pre millennial has to understand Jesus statement of the generation that this generation will pass. The dispensation list has taken that you know hell Lindsey and company has taken that to mean we should expect to see the rapture of the church before a generation has passed.


Now 1948, you do the math. That's where these predictions were given and people have been sobered by failed predictions. So I think the consensus now is that this is an elastic statement and we can't be sure how to pin it down in terms of this generation will not pass away. Plus, it's not certain that he meant by that, that they will see the rapture as the outcome of it. So, yeah. Excellent. Yes. On Thursday, Palestinians are the Sky TV and Barclays policemen decided that they wanted this guy. This Jesus is like no water in the same manner. How does that cancel out with this particular religion? Oh, okay. Right. That in scripture there are many cases of what appear to be a single kind of fulfillment that ends up being a coming of Christ is that way. Remember, we talked in here early about John the Baptist and John the Baptist. Question, Are you the appointed one or shall we look for another? Why did why was that question in John's mind? Because he read his Old Testament that indicated when Messiah comes, what is he going to do? Righteousness. Justice, right, is king and here's Herod and here's me a forerunner of Messiah in jail, about to get his head cut off, which he doesn't even know that's going to happen, you know, But it just goes worse. It gets worse, not better. Why would he think that way? Because remember, we talked about Isaiah 61 that Jesus quotes in Luke four. He quits quoting in Luke four halfway through verse two, Isaiah 61, to proclaim the favorable year of the Lord. What's the very next phrase and the day of the vengeance of our God? So doesn't Isaiah 61 verse to indicate when Messiah comes, both will happen? It doesn't look like both will happen right now.


Just like this. Yes, Yes. That's why the disciples ask, is it now you're going to restore the kingdom to Israel? Goodness. I mean, it's all got to come together. So my answer to that is, you know what? What looks like it will be fulfilled in one simple act, one simple event may, in fact, get divided, but may happen in a more progressive fashion than punctilious. And we ought not be surprised by that. Yeah. Okay. Yes. And then over here, you actually, it's kind of a twofold question as far as the tie problem for the Jesuits in Christ. Yes. Wedding Feast of Christ. I understand how that would be explained by a preacher, right? Mm hmm. Right. But does not assume. That there will be no additional deaths in in souls going to be with friends. Oh, okay. Otherwise, it would have to come at the second coming before the moment. Actually, I'd have to come here because there are going to be people in natural bodies who do come to Christ and die. And we're never told what's going to happen to them. My assumption is but it is only an assumption that the instant they die, they are raised and have glorified bodies. But I you know, I don't know that. Well, all I can say is that the wedding that takes place in this judgment that takes place is of everybody at that point. And then there will be other points of judgment and glorification that happen here and then happen at least here at the end. It would have to be at least here at the end of people who are born and become Christians. Yeah. There will be other times. There must be I mean, other times that are not spoken of in scripture.


Right. Yeah, they've written like a single 37 words I've been talking about since. I will be. Dear God. Yes. And this just may be a rather obscure reference in the Revelation 18, where he says, Come on, my people. Is there any significance to that? Or again, like during the church age, the girls no longer considered these people. And yeah, true people use that as support. I don't know that a lot could be built on it, except, I mean, if you see that as part of a bigger picture, then you could refer to it on its own. It's not going to prove it though, because the church is called the people of God as well. So it won't work. But it does indicate that there is a special calling out of Israel to be the people of God that takes place and fulfills prophecy. And that's demanded by Ezekiel 37. It's demanded by passages like that that indicate a, say, a future saving work of God for his people. Ezekiel 36 and 37, Jeremiah 31 and just a host of passages that indicate this. Yes. First Corinthians 15:52. Yeah. Was this anonymous version of the Revelation 11:15. Revelation 11:15. Okay, we're running out of time here, so let me spend the last little bit. I'll do just 2 minutes of assessment and then we'll spend the last 10 minutes on final judgment in internal state. Honestly, on a scale of zero being no confidence whatsoever and 100 or 99.9 absolute confidence. I put this doctor my own commitment to a pre-trib position at about a 52, you know, about a 52. I put my confidence in premillennial at about 85. I'm a pretty confident premillennial. I just have never been convinced by all millennial arguments to the contrary.


Although there are all millennials on our faculty here and who will make a strong case for it. All I'm saying is I weigh the arguments. I don't find them compelling, and I feel pretty confident in a pre-mill view. Pre-trib is much more difficult. It's an inductive case. It's built on a lot of little things. It's one of these weight of arguments, cumulative case kinds of things. And, you know, there's a lot of judgment calls that go into it. So all I'm going to say is I would not encourage you to put down your tent stakes on this one in concrete and have an unmovable tent. You know, if where you're going to dwell on this one, be open to look into this afresh from time to time. On the other hand, don't just hold it in limbo either. Work on it. Work on what you believe are the arguments for it, and try to come to a position that you believe handles the data the best. But I would encourage you to be open on this and certainly don't make it a point of fellowship as happened in our churches. You know, we still have Bible schools and seminaries out there in which unless you are pre-trib, you can't teach there. Now, how did this happen? Well, it's very simple. The pre-trib position became the litmus test for whether or not you held to a literal interpretation of the Bible. That is, Do you believe that God's promise to Israel means Israel will be saved and that requires a pre millennial and a pre-trib rapture review for this all to make the best sense. And if you hold a covenant view, well, covenant theologians believe that Old Testament promises are fulfilled spiritually.


That's a very dangerous way to think, says the dispensation list. Why? Because that's what liberals do with the resurrection. Christ was raised. Sure, but he was raised spiritually. He lives on in our hearts as we love other people and are compassionate to other people. That's Christ alive in us. But of course, his body is in a grave out there. So why did these things get written? An actual statement? Because dispensation. All schools viewed the covenant theology hermeneutic that allowed for spiritual interpretation of Old Testament passages to be toying with toying with liberalism. Not that they were liberal, but holding a hermeneutic that liberals used and that could be used for liberal purposes. So that's the reason. Okay. Last section, final judgment, an eternal state. We are at final judgment. First of all, the main thing in just a few moments we have on this that I want to communicate to you is that the Bible clearly teaches that there will be a future judgment on both unbelievers and believers. And it looks clear that the final judgment on unbelievers and believers will be proportionate judgment. That is, it will be proportionate to the work's done. Everyone is judged according to their works. Do you know this? Everyone is judged according to their works. Believer and unbeliever alike. This is the case. And therefore, when the judgment takes place, it appears as though the judgment upon unbelievers will result in a judgment or a punishment that corresponds to the level of their evil deeds, some receiving more severe judgment or punishment than others. The judgment upon believers evidently is also proportionate. That is greater rewards given to some than others. Let me give you a few passages that indicate this. First, for unbelievers and the judgment of Matthew 13, verses 39 to 42. Matthew 13:39-42 speaks about the harvest at the end of the age in which tares are pulled up and sinners are thrown into the furnace where there is weeping and gnashing of teeth.


But the others are harvested and go into eternal life. Now, is their proportionate judgment in this? Yes, it does look so, for example, Luke 12 verses 47 and 48, Luke 12:47 and 48. That speaks of the slave who knew received many lashes, but the slave who didn't know the masters will received few lashes. So one who knowingly did what was wrong received a greater punishment. Or Here's another text. Matthew 11:21-24. Matthew 11:21-24. What are you cause in best of the miracles performed among you had been performed in Tar and Satan? They would have repented and dust, cloth and ashes. It will be more tolerable on the day of judgment for them than it is for you. So proportionate judgment. What about for believers in reward? Yes, I think Scripture indicates this. For example, Luke 19:12-27, Luke 19:12-27. The parable of the miners. Ten miners are given to ten slaves. One slave makes ten more, and he's given authority. Over ten said he's one, slaves makes five, and he's given authority over five cities. So it looks as though that what you do with the gift given is rewarded correspondingly or proportionately or. Matthew 20:22-23. Matthew 20 verses 22-23. The mother of the sons of Zebedee came to Jesus with her sons bowing down, making a request. He said to her, What do you wish? And she said, Command that in your kingdom, these two sons of mine may sit on your right hand on your left. Now, notice Jesus did not answer. Wait a minute. In heaven, there's no one sitting on my right or my left. Everybody's in the same place. Everybody's at the same level. We have an egalitarian heaven. He doesn't say that.


He rather says, You do not know what you're asking. Are you able to drink the cup that I'm about to drink? They said, We are. He said to them, My cup, you shall drink. But to sit on my right hand on my left. This is not mine to give. It is for those for whom it has been prepared by my father. So you know what? There will be a right and left hand to Jesus. There will be recognition of greater honor for those who have given greater faithfulness in their service. You know, otherwise, what does it mean in the Sermon on the Mount where Jesus says, when you pray, don't do it in public, where you receive your reward from those who hear you, but go into your closet and pray in private, and your father, who sees in secret, will reward you. Now, if you and everybody else gets the same reward, what's the point? What's the point? It makes no point. I mean, it just destroys it. So the point is, you be faithful with your gift, your calling, whether anybody notices or not, is irrelevant. God will reward and the reward will be proportionate to the faithfulness and service that has been rendered. Teachers. James three. One. Do you not know that you will receive a stricter judgment? Boy, that's sobering. James three one. Okay. So the judgment then is on believers and unbelievers, and the form of that judgment is in the form of unbelievers, of punishment, proportionate to their works, believers, proportionate reward to their works. But in both cases, we are judged according to our works. Just one more comment on believers. Believers are not judged in terms of incurring punishment for what they have done. I take the judgment will be in the form of failed blessing or granted blessing, failure to receive reward that would have been received had there been faithfulness.


In other words, it won't be negative, punitive. It will only be positive. But the positive will depend upon the faithfulness. The amount of the positive will depend upon the faithfulness. Now you might think, Well, how is that going to work in heaven? Won't people be jealous that I mean, look, somebody gets to sit on the right hand in the left hand of Jesus, and if it's not you and me, what are we going to think about that? Well, what you and I will think about that then is different than what we think about that now, because we will be perfected. We will not have sin in us anymore. We will not be jealous. We will look at this and we will say, yes, it is right. And it is wonderful. I mean, we will have from our heart of hearts. Praise be to God for the disparate, proportionate bestowal of reward to those who get more than we get. Because we'll be made like Christ. We'll see things as he does. It will be okay. It will be wonderful. And you say, Well, wait a minute, are some people going to be more happy than others in heaven? Well, John Piper gave this analogy years ago that I've always liked. Suppose you had three containers of different sizes and they're all full. And by that I mean you can. You can how to draw out more. I mean, they are as full as they can be. So each one of them is experiencing fullness of water. But this one obviously has more. But each one experiences the fullness that it can. So, you know, something like this may be what rewards are like in heaven for believers. Okay, eternal state. There is heaven and hell.


And this is a reality. And the joy of heaven is one that believers ought to anticipate and longed for. The joy of heaven is a reality that we ought to anticipate and longed for, spoken of in so many places in the Bible. Let me just give you a few passages and I'll make a comment on this and then a few comments on hell. Isaiah 65:17 through 25, Isaiah 65:17 through 25 speaks of the new heavens and the new Earth in that. That's the passage though, that speaks of the infant who will die at 100 years old. And so obviously, I think it indicates that this all gets blurred together. This, as the end of the age, gets blurred together, much like the first and second coming of Christ get blurred together. Isaiah 61, verse two, blurs first and second coming of Christ. But it indicates this new heavens, a new Earth, which is picked up in Revelation 21 and 22, where the new heavens and the new Earth are made and we live in them. And it will be a place of presence of God with his people covenant fulfilled. Remember in Revelation 22, No need for the light of the sun, the light of a lamp, because God will be in the midst of his people and we will experience everlasting joy in His presence. In my judgment, I think it makes best sense biblically to think of Heaven as on Earth, the new Earth, the new constituted earth. But we we're going to have glorified bodies. Why would you have bodies if you live in some kind of ethereal realm out there floating around in the clouds, you know, playing a harp? I mean, when you read Revelation 22, you know where you are.


Again, in Revelation 22, you're back in the Garden of Eden. You know, the Bible has bookends. The Garden of Eden, that's where life began for Adam and and Eve. And that's where life ends for us. But it's a new Eden. It's better than before. It's restored in greater and more glorious. And in all likelihood, this is where we fulfill our creation mandate to be image of God. People who rain on behalf of God throughout the world that He has made. So heaven on earth in bodies and existence with Christ in our midst forever. Okay, just a couple of comments on hell and then we will be done. Yes, Hell is a reality. Attempts to argue against it are manifold in our age. You have Universalists, in fact. Chad Brand. Dr. Brand is editing a volume on or views on election, and I'm writing one of them conditional election from a in for lap Syrian view. There is another gentleman I don't even know if I should say his name. He's pretty well known, but he's writing. He has an evangelical defending universalism. Hard to imagine that this is the case. But here here's where we are today, where we have evangelicals arguing for universalism and certainly annihilation ism is a very widely held view among a number of evangelicals. But these views simply are not workable. There is a very fine book by Larry Dixon called The Other Side of the Good News. That would be helpful if you're interested in this issue of annihilation ism. The other side in that a great title. The other side of the Good News by Larry Dixon and also the book by Peterson and Fudge is helpful on this. Do you know that Jesus said more about hell than he did any other single subject? And what he said about hell is anything but encouraging to dismiss.


He said things like Matthew 24, Matthew 5 verses 22, 29 and 30, Matthew 5:22, 29 and 30. He speaks of doing evil and being thrown into hell or fiery hell. He spoke in Matthew 10:28. Matthew 10:28 Do not fear those who can kill the body, but fear him, who can destroy both body and soul in hell. And Matthew 18:89. Matthew 18:89. It is better to enter life lame than to be thrown in the eternal fire. The eternal fire. There is eternal punishment in Matthew 25:30. Matthew 25:30. Hell is spoken of as the outer darkness, where there is weeping and gnashing of teeth. What we ought to do as Christian people is meditate both on the glories of heaven and on the horrors of hell. And make that prominent in our thinking, rather then allow the culture we live in to force it always to the recesses. So when we are reminded about it, we go, Oh yeah, I believe that. But what place does it play in the value system of our lives, in how we meet and conduct ourselves with people? You have to ask that question about this, about this doctrine.