The Parable of the Lost Son...A Prophetic Perspective By Jack Kelley Most of us are…
Why Should I Care?
By Jonathan C. Brentner
If you read my previous post, 7 Reasons why Premillennialism is a Biblical Necessity, you still might be wondering why it’s such a big deal. Does premillennialism really matter for my daily life? Why should I care whether or not God’s promise of a future kingdom for Israel remains in effect?
Please understand this is not a matter of salvation. Many people who dismiss what Scripture says about Jesus’ reign in the millennium are truly in Christ.
However, I believe with all my heart that one’s belief about the millennium truly matters! In this follow-up post, I explain why this aspect of our hope is such a big deal in the life of the believer and why we should care about premillennialism.
It’s Essential for a Biblical Two-World Perspective
It was perhaps the blandest depiction of end time events I had ever heard! The pastor told us that Jesus would return to the world at some point in the future, judge humanity, and initiate the eternal state of Revelation 21-22. Absent from his teaching was any mention of the tribulation (he believed the book of Revelation was mainly allegory), any signs that would warn anyone of the nearness of Christ’s return, and no New Jerusalem, which he told us was merely symbolic of God’s presence.
Not only does this depiction of our future represent false reaching, it glues the eyes of believers to the things of this world. It removes any sense of imminency regarding Jesus’ return for us and turns eternity into a continued existence on earth, albeit with glorified and eternal bodies.
With such an outlook, why wouldn’t believers focus their full attention on the things of this life? With Jesus’ return pushed to the distant unforeseen future, what is the incentive to set our sights on eternal realities or regard them as more important than one’s current life? While some might maintain an eternal perspective with such a perspective, most will not.
In 2 Corinthians 4:17-18, Paul instructs us to focus on eternal realities rather than the “transient” or temporal things we see in this life. In Colossians 3:2 the apostle adds this, “Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on the earth.” The reason for doing so finds its basis in Christ’s imminent appearing when we will suddenly find ourselves with Jesus in “glory” (see verse 4).
Premillennialism is essential to a proper perspective of life that places a greater value on eternal realities than on the fleeting things of this world.
It’s Essential to a Proper Interpretation of World Events
Since those who teach amillennialism do not believe that we live in the last days of human history as we know it, they put a much different spin on current world events. For example, as a result of dismissing the prophecies of a one world government in Daniel and Revelation, they misinterpret the world events that point to the nearness of the coming New World Order in fulfillment of God’s Word.
They also remain blind to the fact that the world is well on its way to the future time of wrath described in the Bible as the tribulation. “World events and wickedness have been this bad in the past,” they say, “and have always gotten better.” Amillennialists mistakenly believe that the pendulum will swing the other way apart from the direct intervention of the Lord Jesus in judging the earth.
This false narrative lures people into thinking that life will continue uninterrupted for the foreseeable future. Young parents look forward to being grandparents and perhaps great grandparents. Workers look forward to lengthy retirements. They fail to recognize just how close we are to the end.
Premillennialism provides the necessary base for recognizing that the world is on the brink of major changes such as the Lord’s return for His church and the tribulation.
In my experience, I have found that those who reject the premillennial worldview are much more prone to vote for leaders who wholeheartedly support abortion and the LBGTQ agenda.
It’s Essential for Recognizing the Signs of the Last Days
Amillennialists misinterpret world events because they remain blind to the many, many signs that tell us we live in the last days of human history as we know it.
Since they believe God has rejected Israel, they miss the significance in the Lord’s miraculous restoration of Israel as a nation. “This isn’t really Israel,” they tell us and with that they dismiss all the prophetic events now occurring in and around Israel. They say our problem consists of “reading the Bible in one hand with the newspaper in the other.”
My response to this accusation is that we know what the newspapers will say tomorrow because we know and believe biblical prophecy.
The convergence of signs point to Jesus’ soon appearing as well as the rapid approach of the tribulation. Amillennialists possess no true expectancy of Jesus’ soon return since they dismiss all the signs to either allegory or past history.
Only premillennialists recognize the signs of the time that include the nearness of the tribulation and hence to the rapture as well.
It’s an Essential Safeguard against Error
Although I mentioned this in my last post, it bears repeating. Amillennialism opens the door to greater false teaching. Whenever one assigns clear prophetic passages of Scripture to allegory, this pagan way of viewing God’s Word spreads to other texts, even those pertaining to the Gospel.
If Paul’s clear statement that “God has not rejected Israel” in Romans 11:1-2 does not really mean what the words say, then perhaps the same thing can be said of his statements regarding homosexuality as well. Apart from a strict adherence to the words of the Bible and the intent of the authors at the time they wrote, this downward slide away from biblical truth becomes inevitable.
That’s why throughout the history of the church, the allegorizing of Scripture has always led to doctrinal error regarding the Gospel and other key areas of the faith and will continue to do so.
Only premillennialism guards the original intent of the authors of Scripture in what they wrote about prophecy.
It’s Essential to Giving the Lord the Glory He Deserves
Amillennialism diminishes God’s glory in at least two key areas.
First, according to Isaiah 46:8-13 the Lord loves to reveal historical events in advance so that when they happen, He receives all the glory. God demonstrates his sovereignty over all things by “declaring the end from the beginning.” When history fulfills prophecy, it shows His intention for telling us in advance what will happen, “My counsel shall stand, and I will accomplish all my purpose.”
Amillennialism erases almost all of what God says will happen before Jesus’ return and the eternal state. This negates the key purpose of prophecy through which God warns believers and unbelievers alike of what is coming so that when His words prove true, men and women recognize His greatness and sovereignty! The Lord receives praise from believers and even those who reject Him see His power.
Second, amillennialism diminishes the future glory of the Lord Jesus. Yes, we will praise Him throughout eternity, but the millennium is the time when Jesus will rule over nations that once rejected Him.
Revelation depicts Jesus riding victoriously back to earth, defeating the armies of the world arrayed against Him, casting the antichrist and false prophet into hell, and locking up Satan for a thousand years (Rev. 19:11-20:6). The prophet Zechariah tells us Jesus will return to a repentant Israel who will receive their Messiah with open arms as He takes His rightful place on the throne of David (Zech. 12:10-13:1; Isa. 9:6-7). This is the time of Jesus’ great triumph when He receives all the great glory He deserves.
By reducing these great prophetic passages to allegory, amillennialists rob Jesus of the glory of reigning over the nations of the world that once spit upon Him and mocked Him as He hung on the cross.
My purpose is not to elevate the ire of the amillennialists, although it’s likely I have done so already. I am simply seeking to demonstrate why it’s so important to adhere to premillennialism. It’s not a matter of stale doctrine for theologians to debate in seminary classrooms. It has significant implications for the everyday life of those in Christ.
Without a belief in the coming tribulation or in a glorious kingdom for Israel, we lose the biblical perspective of where our world is headed at this moment in time. If all the signs of the approaching tribulation and Jesus’ return are just subjective symbolism, how can we properly interpret what read in the news every day? How could any generation know that the time of Jesus’ return was at hand?
God gave the Jews many signs by which they could recognize the coming of their Messiah and held them accountable for missing them (Matt. 16:1-4; Luke 12:54-56). Why would He not do the same with Jesus’ second coming?
Premillennialism is essential to a godly worldview that glorifies the Lord now and in the future. Its worldview reminds us that the things of this world are transient at best, keeps our eye focused on our eternal inheritance, and calms our hearts as read about the chaos and evil in our world.
Premillennialism does so because it alone provides a clear understanding of our future hope and enables us to recognize the signs of Jesus’ soon appearing to take us to the place He’s preparing for us.
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