Whenever or whatever we learn, the process goes through a filter - of our own making, I might add - based on our previous experiences and understanding of knowledge gained. Rarely do we question or challenge those conclusions that we have made to see if they are actually true and correct. We often assume that what we have learned is factual - and often as not - we're wrong.
Discovering truth for us mortals is a process - not an end state! And so it has been for me as well and continues to be.
This segment of our CAP Lessons addresses a key misunderstanding within the Christian community.
If you just came upon this series of Lessons, you can backtrack here and catch up. - CL
Sooner or later, I knew that CAP would run into a major defining moment. Before I send out Study 3, we need to address the issue that makes it the defining moment. So, following the ancient wisdom of ‘fools rush in where angels fear to tread’, I have decided to wade into the matter.
There is a major theological dichotomy which exists in the Christian community, especially in the evangelical family, of which I am a member. There are literally millions of Christians, mostly evangelicals, who believe that the Kingdom of God will begin when Christ returns (the 2ndcoming) and will rule for a thousand years. This is further complicated by a belief by some that Jesus will ‘whisk’ Christians away from the coming ‘tribulation’, and then return them to rule over the earth with Him after a few years. I personally believed that for almost 30 years, having been taught that in my church.
Countless millions of books have been sold by various authors predicting when and how this will take place. I recall trying to prove this to myself during that time, but I could never do that from the Bible logically. It just seemed so convoluted biblically that I couldn’t follow it, but I accepted it as true.
About ten years ago, I was motivated to study the terms that I was vaguely familiar with – pre-millennialism, a-millennialism and post-millennialism. Frankly, at that time, I couldn’t coherently explain any of them.
After a few years, I finally discovered that I had been a pre-millennialist. Those are the guys I mentioned earlier who believe in the literal 1000 year future Kingdom of God, instantly created by a discontinuous event, when Christ returns. The problem with that concept is that it totally contradicts Christ’s own examples of what the Kingdom is like. In fact, after extensive study on this subject, I discovered that the post-millennialists have all the biblical logic on their side. It’s a little bit embarrassing to admit at this time that I couldn’t see how the Kingdom of God was explained by Jesus’s own words.
If you would like a further, detailed summary of my ‘conversion’ please send an email and I will send out a complete outline of the research I followed.
Suffice it to say, some might be offended by what they read here and in the next few studies. I can imagine that after years (or decades?) of believing something to be true, it would be a shock, to discover that it wasn’t. I know how that is. It happened to me also. It was a bit of a shock, but I wasn’t offended. Relieved actually, because it all made sense.
The ‘future instant Kingdom appearance’ (pre-millennialism) theory and the ‘Kingdom now, in time and on earth’ phase (post-millennialism) are diametric opposites. They are mutually exclusive – they can’t both be right. The Bible doesn’t allow us to choose our own interpretation. The Bible explains the Bible.
Another item, related to this subject, came to my attention from Dr. Marshall Foster’s DVD set “From Terror to Triumph”, when he stated that our view of the sovereignty of God is based on our theology. God is the ultimate authority. Every being in the universe is accountable to Him, believer and unbeliever alike. If that is the case, how can two dedicated Christians believe and act differently when they say they believe the same Bible and worship the same God? It’s their theology – their knowledge of God. We act on what we assume to be true. The trouble is not only what we don’t know, it’s what we assume to be true - but isn’t so! There is no greater pitfall than assuming that what we have learned is the final truth of the matter. We always must be ready to challenge our own beliefs and be able to defend them based on knowledge, wisdom, reason and logic. If we’re wrong, we must admit it. Christian life is not an ego trip. This is an ongoing lifelong assignment. Joel McDurmon, in his book “Biblical Logic”, defines it this way: “Logic is the systematic study and practice, of discerning and telling the truth.” It never ends, as in ‘prove all things and hold on to that which is good’. When information challenges our belief system, do we ask: Is that true? Or do we react emotionally to protect our pre-conceived opinion? The apostle Paul commended the Bereans for their willingness to always check the scriptures to see if what Paul spoke was true. So should we.
The only thing I can say is that you have to prove it yourself. The Bible is the standard.
If there is someone who thinks I have been deceived, please show me how – and in detail – from the Bible.
Keep in mind, any resources, like books, videos, etc. are a track for us to run on. Christian authors for centuries have written wonderful insights into God’s purposes, but they all must be tested against the Berean standard, to see if the scriptures back up what they say.
Study-3 will be out in a few days
I ask for your prayers always. May God bless all our efforts!
All comments are welcome!!!!! Email firstname.lastname@example.org