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cwv warrior

Hi Dory,
(This is exciting, yes? My only question is how will you do it all? I'm still at the dipping my toes in the pool stage! You are the diving type, huh.)
I just posted on the last Seven in Danial's Seventy Sevens (2 parts) and briefly mentioned the variety of views on this. It affects my blogging, life, thinking very little actually. He is coming, and that's all I need to know. Whatever happens in the meantime is in God's hands, and we are as well. I read about it a little but gave up trying to figure it out. What I like about Daniel is the affirmation it equips us with for living in hope. Optimism all the way! No matter what. Doom and gloom is not becoming a for a Christian :-)

Dwight

(Best of luck with this project)

As a premillennial, futurist I have been accused of promoting doom and gloom and pessimism as my end-times blog quickly evolved into a Drudge-like news site.

Personally, I don't consider end-times eschatology as doom and gloom at all but rather great reason for hope.

“And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh” ~ Luke 21:28

Jesus commanded us to be alert and watch, for we do not know on what day He is coming. He did tell us of the conditions that would precede his return and that they would increase in frequency and severity as the contractions of a woman in child birth.

The signs are all around us, history is heading for a dramatic climax with His restored people and land of Israel at the forefront. It is a great blessing to be alive today but it also comes with a responsibility to warn and reach out while there is yet time.

Scott Nichols

I am probably in the minority in this but I consider myself an Amillenial/Post-Millenialist. To wit, I don't believe in a literal thousand year reign, but I also believe that the Christ will build His Church and the gates of Hell will not prevail against it Today and into the Future. I just read an interesting article at WorldNet Daily that claims that Christianity is the wordld's fastest growing religion and that by 2032, there will be more Christian than any other religion.
http://www.wnd.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=44033
I take the Parable of the Wheat and the Tares (Matthew 13:24-29; 36-40)as my foundation for this view. Yes the weeds will grow, but the growth of the Kingdom will be greater and more evident.

btdhguy

I'm premillennial and I kinda see things this way: The world's a wreck and it gets WAY worse before it gets better. Just like with Israel, God is still giving man every chance to prove he can do it. He can't. It takes Jesus Christ Himself to make it better. But He doesn't really 'make it better,' He replaces the old with the new and transforms it from death to life.

So, the difference this makes to me is it challenges me to put my whole hope in Jesus Christ in everything. Lazarus was very dead. Jesus was very dead. This world gets very dead. Death is ugly, nasty, messy. Then when life comes, it's the biggest come-from-behind victory ever. If He can do that, how much more can He handle my little inner & outer ugly/nasty/messies?

(btw--is your time zone setting accurate? I think it shows I'm posting in a time zone 4 hours east of Eastern)

Steve Matten

I was always told, as a premillennialist, to plan as if you will live a full life and die of natural causes but prepare as if Christ were returning at any moment. This requires me to keep my spiritual life vital and recognize that every day is another opportunity to redeem the lost. Regarding plans that would not come to pass because of Christ's return, well who cares? We will be in a far better place!

Works for me!

Mark Olson

Dory,
I looks like people are dodging your question, and just confessing their partcular eschatological preference. When I've asked the same question about how our views of eschatology affect our ethics and praxis, my current feeling is that it doesn't affect it strongly at all. As a result, I (currently) take the view that the particulars of eschatology aren't important, sort of counting angels on pinheads, because there aren't real ethical consequences between choosing between the (pre/post/a)millenial viewpoints. I would be very interested in the response of someone who disagrees with that claim (and more importantly why).

Dory

My eschatology is very optimistic. I would say I am post-mil, though I must confess I see little difference between that and an optimistic a-mil position.

I think my eschatology has its biggest effect on my attitude, especially as I participate in the beginning of new projects, or suffer setbacks. I see the work of the church as ultimately prevailing as it labors under Christ, and the work that my little family or my little church, or our little school, etc., etc., being a small part of that huge success that Christ will accomplish. These things are small bits of leaven that will one day leaven the whole loaf. It gives even the smallest things added significance.

Also, I have optimism about missions, even to very spiritually dark corners of the world, because God says He will call His people from every tribe, nation and tongue and that one day we won't have to tell people to know the Lord, because they will already know Him. The knowledge of the Lord will fill the earth as the waters cover the sea. When I see the events in the Middle East right now, for example,I often analyze them in terms of how this or that development might be used by God to foster the spread of the Gospel in those areas. I'm sure He'll do it one day, and it is exciting to see if the seeds of it are being sowed in our day.

I do think that sometimes people of any of the eschatalogical views can spend too much time focusing on it--sometimes at the expense of the work God has given us to do here and now. And, of course, it's especially silly to let these doctrines interfere with fellowship among Christians who are united by faith in the essential doctrines of the Gospel of Christ.

Jeremy Pierce

I don't see how the rapture issue should affect anything, at least not in the way it's often claimed. Tim LaHaye frequently claims that you won't live as if Christ could return at any minute if you don't accept dispensational eschatology. The problem with this argument is that anyone could die at any moment regardless of the rapture issue, and anyone willing to recognize that has the same attitude as the rapturist, at least with respect to the fact that your time in this life could be over at any time.

On the other hand, those who oppose the dispensationalist view say that it's escapist, but I don't see how it need be. It certainly is for some people, but you can believe Jesus could come back at any time and believe that he might not come back during your lifetime. Anyone who is sure the second coming will be within the next millenium is, I believe, departing from scripture to the same degree as someone who is sure that it won't be in the next millenium. The signs are not here except the signs of normal life throughout scripture -- war, rumors of war, earthquakes, etc. are normal life, and normal life will precede the second coming.

Also, you can believe the church will escape the great tribulation without believing the church will escape all tribulation. Therefore, you should still expect tribulation, because we're told to expect it. The great anti-tribulation that is the United States, welcoming of free religion, etc., is a temporary lull in the normal persecution of believers throughout church history and throughout the world even in our time. Americans don't tend to be aware of this, and the attitude that the rapture will be soon does hurt, but as I've been arguing the dispensationalist view doesn't require that. It's consistent with that view of eschatology that one will expect great tribulation during one's lifetime.

Similarly, the postmillenialist disagreement with all other views seems to me to affect little of what happens in our own life. Unless you take a very wooden reading of the way that the church will increase over time, as if it's nothing but growth with never any increase in persecution and never any shrinking, I can't see how a postmillenialist will assume anything about our own time with respect to the great growth in Christianity at the end of this world. We might be in a period when the church's growth is minimized. In the same way, the premillenialist and amillenialist concerns that the world will increase while the church is persecuted more does not assume that we are in that time. It's a general tendency, but it affects little of how we should live, because we live with what's happening now, and we know only that the end time that is upon us began with the church age's beginning. We don't know if the end time is drawing to a close.

So my conclusion is that you can take any of these views and read the view in a way consistent with the biblical emphases. Eschatology in terms of these views thus should not affect how Christians live. All my arguments have assumed an eschatology that should be common to all the views, and thus eschatology is affecting how we live, but my point is that those eschatological elements can be common to all the views on things we tend to realize are unclear. The key Christian eschatology is consistent with all those views. The key Christian eschatology is that this world will end, Christ will return, we will be raised to new resurrection bodies, the dead and the living, we could die at any time, we might live full lives and thus need to live responsibly as if we will, and the times of the end are upon us since Christ's ascension, thus leading to a different quality of life for those who follow God than before Christ. That eschatology does affect how we live, but it's not part of what we commonly call eschatology that we dispute.

Rey

jeremy is spot on. We have a mission and we're to work at it as if this is a race. Eschatology may affect our flavoring of discussion but in the end we should be doing the same things, with the same eagerness and the same expectation.

DLE

I'm not purely any one eschatology, though I guess I lean amill.

My view affects everything since I believe the Church will go through most of the tribulation. As a result, I tend to call Christians to be wise about this and to prepare to come under enormous persecution. However, we have nothing in place to do this because too many in the Church are thinking they'll escape tribulation altogether. In a sort of Pascal's wager, I simply ask, what if you're wrong? What harm is there in our churches preparing to go underground if it never happens? Then turn that around and see how bad things can be if we are caught unprepared.

Steve Matten

It is hard to really know how a view of eschatology really impacts my life decisions. Mainly because my view of Christ's return came with the whole package of a 'New Life in Christ'. I can't separate the my eschatological view from my view of salvation and redemption. Only if I somehow by reason and study, change my view of Christ's return, will I be able to identify the impact of my eschatology on my Christian walk.

Richard Kindig

I'm a premillennialist, and I agree with those who see many signs of the impending Millennium. My main focus is trying to help my evangelical brethren be less concerned about the collapse of the world system, (yes, a lot of Christians are focused on doom and gloom) and more appeciative of the positive blessings God is preparing for the masses of mankind, currently still wrapped in unbelief.

I believe that when God's judgments are in the earth, the inhabitants of the world will learn righteousness. (Isaiah 26:9) I believe that the judgment day, the millennium, is a happy time, (Psalm 96) because it is the time when all people will come back to life on earth from the grave (Acts 24:15, Isaiah 35), all loved ones will be reunited, all past sins will be exposed, repented of, and a fresh start begun for all the willing and obedient. (Revelation 21:1-4) There will be plenty of discomfort; God will seek out and expose the wickedness of each person until he finds no more there. (Psalm 10:15) But I believe the hardest time in human history will be the next few decades, before God reveals himself to the world. (Luke 21:25) The trouble, like travail before birth, will intensify and grow faster. Everything that can be shaken will be. (Hebrews 12:25-29)

As I look at world conditions, I am struck with the realization that much of what is being shaken is our Christian institutions. The mainstream churches have been losing support and membership as the Lord's people look for more Bible study, more relevance, more accountability, more of the "Spirit of Christ" -- liberty. I believe we should all expect the next few years to expose the deepest and darkest secrets of historical and current failings of Christian institutions, teachings, and leadership -- the time of "recompences for the controversy of Zion." (Isaiah 34 and 63, compared to Revelation 16 through 19)
So my evangelistic efforts are not so much sowing seeds of the first advent Gospel (though that remains a part of it). My main focus is speaking to Christians and sharing information that helps my Christian brethren realize their own responsibilities, and also the breadth of God's love for the rest of the world -- the Gospel of the world's salvation during the Millennium.

Shawn Doud

I'm a new poster at the site but couldn't resist the eschatology theme! I was raised and trained as a dispensationalist (ThM, 1998 Dallas Theological Seminary). I left DTS as an amil, and am now a post-mill. What makes me post-mill and what "keeps it real" for me is several things. Jesus is reigning as king over his kingdom. Isaiah is all about kingdom growth and kingdom impact. I differ from other post-mills I guess in that I'm not so keen on Christianising the world. As a pastor trying to revitalize a plateaued church, is I want the Church to be Christianized and acting as an agent of the Kingdom. I'm 3 years into my pastorate and most of it has been brutally hard. I soldier ahead because I think we have a lot of time to do it right. God wants his will to be done his way. Being post-mill allows you the patient long view approach to biblical change. Our time on earth is also not all about "take as many people with you as you can." It's about faithfulness to GOd's means and seeking him to bring a harvest in due time. I am more intent on sowing well and reaping well. Members of my family refuse to watch the news because of the gloom and doom. By their theology they should enjoy the news because it shows the "clock" speeding up. I watch the news to see where the curse is needing to be reversed, since Jesus is seeking to reconcile all things NOW rather than with thermonuclear cleansing and starting over. THe newness that he promises is a renewal of all things. Your rebirth was a changing of YOU. It didn't make you into something else. It made you a restored you. GOd is seeking partial restoration now through his kingdom people, and final restoration at the Return of the King.

Jon Johnson

Hi, I enjoyed reading through the comments. I used to be typical pretrib. This influenced me life in a bit of a negative way. I found myself praying for the rapture as an escape from life. I switched to a view know as pre wrath. This view believes that Christians will pass through part of the 70th week of Daniel. It divides the week into a tribulation period, where the anti Christ will rule, and then an undefined time period at the end where God takes over and unleashes his wrath.

This position made me take my walk with God much more seriously as I saw that I could be persecuted for my faith. It helped me to take a deep breath and go through with living a Christian life in front of my friends and coworkers. It has cemented my faith in Christ as I am not afraid of what might happen.

My opinion. :) Hope it helped.

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