Tuesday, May 25, 2010

What the Bible Doesn't Say: Matthew

I am going to start with Matthew 12.  Matthew 1-11 is the journal of Jesus' physical journey, miracles, and the Sermon on the Mount (Matt 5-7).

Verses 46:50
Jesus' Mother and Brothers
 46While Jesus was still talking to the crowd, his mother and brothers stood outside, wanting to speak to him. 47Someone told him, "Your mother and brothers are standing outside, wanting to speak to you."  48He replied to him, "Who is my mother, and who are my brothers?" 49Pointing to his disciples, he said, "Here are my mother and my brothers. 50For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother."  

It does not say:  Whoever asks Jesus into their hearts is my brother and sister and mother.

Matthew 16:16
Peter's Confession of Christ
 13When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, "Who do people say the Son of Man is?"  14They replied, "Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets."
 15"But what about you?" he asked. "Who do you say I am?"
 16Simon Peter answered, "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God."
 17Jesus replied, "Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by man, but by my Father in heaven.

It does not say, you know this because you've asked Me into your heart. 

Next, recall the parable of the Rich Young Ruler in Matthew 19?  Matthew 19:16-26
The Rich Young Man
 16Now a man came up to Jesus and asked, "Teacher, what good thing must I do to get eternal life?"  17"Why do you ask me about what is good?" Jesus replied. "There is only One who is good. If you want to enter life, obey the commandments."
 18"Which ones?" the man inquired.
   Jesus replied, " 'Do not murder, do not commit adultery, do not steal, do not give false testimony, 19honor your father and mother,' and 'love your neighbor as yourself.'"
 20"All these I have kept," the young man said. "What do I still lack?"
 21Jesus answered, "If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me."
 22When the young man heard this, he went away sad, because he had great wealth.
 23Then Jesus said to his disciples, "I tell you the truth, it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. 24Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God."
 25When the disciples heard this, they were greatly astonished and asked, "Who then can be saved?"
 26Jesus looked at them and said, "With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible." 

In verse 21, it does not say, you need to ask me into your heart.   Jesus is pointing out the young man's idolatry.  Even more informative in verse 26, Jesus is informing them it's impossible for man to "save" himself by works.

Skipping ahead to verses 28 and 29:

 28Jesus said to them, "I tell you the truth, at the renewal of all things, when the Son of Man sits on his glorious throne, you who have followed me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. 29And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or fields for my sake will receive a hundred times as much and will inherit eternal life.

It does not say:  And everyone who has asked me into their hearts will inherit eternal life.

I am going to make one final point about the book of Matthew (25:1-13) by looking at the Parable of the Ten Virgins.  To sum it up, there were five wise virgins and five foolish virgins.  The five wise virgins were ready for the bridegroom because they had faith.  Not because they asked Jesus into their hearts.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

The Case For Amillennialism - This Blessed Hope

Since I am by no means a theologian (drat), I am passing along some notes I've taken from Dr. Kim Riddlebarger's lecture Christ's Return, Our Glorious Hope (fightingforthefaith.com March 25, 2010).

My previous suppositions are from my life-long learning as a dispensationalist.  

Titus 2:11-14  11For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men. 12It teaches us to say "No" to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, 13while we wait for the blessed hope—the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, 14who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good.

The heart and expectation of New Testament eschotology is the second advent.  Paul does not speak of a Golden Age to come or within the lifetime of his hearers.  Paul doesn't point us to  a secret rapture (before God's wrath is poured out).  Which is a major criticism of dispensationalism.

I'll take a minute and explain that dispensationalism teaches that believers will be raptured, taken out of the earth, and leave everyone else on earth undisturbed to live through the tribulation--which lasts for seven years.

Nor are there two ends:  Christ coming back, establishing a 1,000 year reign, followed by the final judgment.  Believers and unbelievers are judged at the time Christ returns (No millennial explanation.)  Paul is not a postmill, preterest nor disp  Rom. 9-11, but looks forward to one great future event.

The dispensationalist view is "get ready now" or be left behind to face the anitchrist.  Therefore, dispensationalism would not be the source of hope (gospel), but justice.  In other words "be ready" turns the second coming into law.

For Christians, the second coming is the day of gospel; for the non-Christians, it is total law and judgment and something to be feared.  Not to escape the tribulation.

The second coming is the final consummation of all redemptive history, final order of things established, and the curse removed.  The differences between amil and postmil surface here.  Christ's return is the end, NOT a one halfway step, not to set up another kingdom.  There are TWO eschotological ages:  THIS AGE, temporal, and the AGE TO COME, eternal.  There is no room for an earthly millennial age.  IF there is a rapture, then Christ returns after seven years, that's a 3rd advent.  We read where Christ's return is loud with trumpets, so with dispensationalism, the rapture would be quiet, or only heard by Christians.

Three specific things happen at once in scripture:  1) Resurrection of the dead; 2) Judgment of believers and unbelievers; 3) Final consummation--make all things new.

The resurrection of the dead is the body and soul being put back together again.  The separation of the two was due to sin.

II Thes 1:6-9   6God is just: He will pay back trouble to those who trouble you 7and give relief to you who are troubled, and to us as well. This will happen when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven in blazing fire with his powerful angels. 8He will punish those who do not know God and do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. 9They will be punished with everlasting destruction and shut out from the presence of the Lord and from the majesty of his power.  Direct link between resurrection and day of judgment.

I Cor. 15:50-54   50I declare to you, brothers, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. 51Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed— 52in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. 53For the perishable must clothe itself with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality. 54When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: "Death has been swallowed up in victory."

See also:
John 6 and 11:24

Dreadful time of judgment no longer delayed by the mercies of God
Matt. 25:35-46  ALL NATIONS - NO GAP
If this is the final judgment, what do we do about a millennial.

Rev. 20:11-15  Great white throne judgment, general resurrection already done, cosmic renewal at the same time (fleeing from God's presence.)
John 12:45 Glorious inheritance.

(Bible verses from biblegateway.com NIV version.)