Wednesday, September 26, 2007

The A-mills have it

[updated]
My first pastor was a missionary pastor of the Assemblies of God who hailed from Springfield, Missouri, USA. I can say that he sincerely taught us the things of God he was convinced were true. One of them was that of the pre-tribulation rapture of the Church. It made me wonder one time when he warned us not to fellowship with self identified Christians who did not believe this way with regards to the Second Coming of Christ. Now, coming from an RC background, it was fascinating to me that the pre-tribulation rapture scheme was totally of a different schema of things, because as I was taught in the Apostles Creed, that when Jesus comes, that was the end.

So I wondered as I saw the lives of these anti-Left Behind Christians, why they ought to be shunned.

Through my study, over the years my pre-trib understanding came more and more under skepticism and I finally abandoned it as early as 15 years ago and wind up in what theologians might call the Historic Pre-millinialism. This shares the same scheme as the A-mills except when Jesus returns a 1000 year period still follows. I held to this view because I reasoned that the promise of God to David, that he should have an heir on his throne should have a physical fulfillment. What changed?

One path in my journey led me to studying the book of Acts to see how the Apostles preached, I was trying to see if there was anything similar to the way evangelicals did it. In summary my answer is "no", there is no preaching in Acts 2 like that of Whitfield - you must be born again. I saw none of that.

Remember the physical fulfillment idea I had? Well Acts 2:34-36 shot that idea down. Then there was the other idea, the theological idea. Why do I think the A-millinialists have it? Because of the Gospel, because of the Cross. It makes sense because of the logic of the Cross.

Over in Col 2:15 15(C) He disarmed the rulers and authorities[a] and(D) put them to open shame, by(E) triumphing over them in him.[b]

If Jesus' in his coming, in his living, in his dying and in his rising, God has forgiven us of our sins, then this as we have often said, is a done deal. No amount of hard work can the devil do could ever undo his defeat. Then, this means that a new order of things has come upon us men (and women of course) since Jesus died and was raised. God has peace for us as far as our relationship with him is concerned already, by virtue of the Cross; Jesus brought the kingdom of God with him at his coming (death and resurrection). Hence, the announcement of the angel to the shepherds - Luke 2.
14"(M)Glory to God in the highest,
And on earth peace among men [d](N)with whom He is pleased.
Through the lens of the Cross, all we have here in this world becomes a moping up operation, under the Lord's command.

Matthew 28:18 And Jesus came and said to them, (V) "All authority(W) in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19(X) Go therefore and(Y) make disciples of(Z) all nations,(AA) baptizing them(AB) in[b] the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20teaching them(AC) to observe all that(AD) I have commanded you. And behold,(AE) I am with you always, to(AF) the end of the age."


This certainly sounds like a moping up operation to me, doesn't it? But I can not see it with my physical eyes, I can only see it in the spiritual eyes of faith; in the eyes of Word of God. Because, that is what it says.

7 comments:

Steve Newell said...

There's another problem with the "Left Behind" view: non-believers may get a second chance after Christ's second coming. Christ's second coming isn't viewed as the end of human history, but the beginning of the final chapter. In this final chapters, those who weren't Christians have a chance to become Christians.

The result of this is that I can live like a sinner (Sex, Drugs and Rock'n Roll) then after Christ's second coming, it's my warning sign to clean up. Of course, I am taking the risk that I could either be wrong or just die too soon.

L P Cruz said...

Steve,

Exactly. There was a late evangelist of the A/G (AoG) here whose evangelistic message was in the tenor of Left Behind. Hence, the teaching was -- give your life to Jesus or you will get left behind ( not that you might die now and spend hell).


LPC

Steve Newell said...

What I find interesting is the many of the "Left Behind" group assume that this is the historic teaching of the Church. They are ignorant of that their belief system less than 200 years old. Also, they have little understanding of other views of the Christ's return.

L P Cruz said...

Steve,

A historian said that it was the popularity of Scofield Bible promoted this and so sad that people in America picked that out as the "true teaching" of Christianity.

It has become ridiculous.

LPC

David said...

One radical group of dispensationalists take it even further. Saying that Paul taught one Gospel. Jesus and the other Apostles another that depends more upon works. The antinomianism of this system gives rise of not the least bit interest in properly distinguishing law and Gospel.

What you do, and the left behind guys say this too, is scare people into belief in Jesus because He is coming again. This has worked in the past but to tragic results. As with any false conversion the lure of sin and worldliness many leave the faith. The same happens in decision Theology for it is of the same ilk. Many are out in the world with no interest in Christianity who have a history in this garbage.

Lord, have mercy

Anonymous said...

Thanks for your super great blog! You and your readers might enjoy reading historian Dave MacPherson's web pieces including "Famous Rapture Watchers," "Pretrib Hypocrisy," and "Pretrib Rapture Diehards." BTW, his bestselling book "The Rapture Plot" (the greatest hoax in evangelicalism since 1830) is now being carried by Armageddon Books online. Lord bless. Marge

L P Cruz said...

David,

I think I know what you mean, rather than establishing faith, it really in the end destroys faith in the Gospel.

I can not help but be angry when I see the effect of false teaching on me and on others.


Marge,

Thanks for your kind words, I will have a look - it is really a hoax and it is amazing sometimes when false teaching is invented, picked up and propagated without hesitation by those who promote it.

LPC