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 ( 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 NIV version.)


  1. Hi Kim!

    Greetings from Malaysia again! Just want to say thank you for dropping by my blog on my SITS day. You can read the aftermath of my whole day SITting episode

    at this link:

    Thank you again and hope to see you back here sometime! :D

    Warmest Regards,
    Jenny aka I'm a full-time mummy

  2. Thanks For posting this (sorry it took me so long to get it read). The more I have studied, the more convoluted the dispensational view seems to me. The amil view seems so much simpler and concise. I'm not a scholar on it by any means, but from reading the Word, I can not make a dispensational view fit into it.