Historic Pre-mil

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by Amy.G, Oct 6, 2008.

  1. Amy.G

    Amy.G
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    I posted this question in the other denoms section, but didn't get any responses, so I would like to post it here. This subject gets so little response that it has been very hard to have a discussion, so after this question, I'm going to move on and stop bothering you guys. :)

    The question is:
    Here is the "Historic Pre-mil" view:

    Historic Pre-mil
    The earliest view held by early church fathers, Lactantius (AD 240-320), Irenaeus (AD 130-200), Justin Martyr (AD 100-165), and probably Papias (AD 60-130), a disciple of the apostle John.

    Events in order:
    Church age
    tribulation (the church remains during this)
    second coming of Christ
    millennium
    eternity

    Since Irenaeus, Justin Martyr and Papias were disciples of the apostle John, they surely learned from him the correct end times view. Why after 500 years did the church suddenly say that view was wrong? Why after 1800 years did yet another view, "Dispensational Pre-mil" (pre-trib rapture) take over the church?
    Is it more likely that the disciples of John got it wrong or that modern day theologians got it wrong?
     
  2. preachinjesus

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    I'm a historical premil guy. I believe it is a biblically tenable eschatological position and one I have prayerfully considered.

    I hope you get some good conversation out of this thread!

    I might suggest that the "dispensational Pre-mil" position hasn't completely taken over the church. Many of my friends are amill or historical premill or just don't care (I do have two friends that are hopefully post-mill and that makes me happy.) In fact many of my Catholic and Lutheran friends hold an amill position as part of the teaching of their denomination.

    The poor writing and theology of Left Behind has ravaged the eschatological landscape in recent years. The traditional pre-trib/pre-mil position is one that many have adopted, particularly since a large number of preachers and teachers have adopted the position. Most members of our churches will default to the theological position they heard last Sunday when querried about theology.

    Why the sudden shift in theology in recent years? I'm not certain but it happens all the time. If we had this conversation at the beginning of last century we would have been talking about how many people held the post-mill position. The great change happened when the veterans of WWI came home and told horrible tales of the grim reality of the warfield. What is the next shift?

    I'll take a position that will get rocks thrown at me (but this isn't anything new.) I'm going to suggest that so long as we believe that Jesus Christ is coming back we have fulfilled the hope of eschatology. I don't believe there is a "right" position on the details. It seems to me the Jewish theological leaders had convinced their people of the particulars about Jesus' first coming. Reading the Messianic literature of 2nd Temple Judaism (which was contemporary of Jesus Christ) we see amazing tales of wars and Jesus parading around on a golden chariot. Seems they had an overdeveloped eschatological expectation. God's ways are mightily different from ours. Maybe we shouldn't worry about the details but rejoice in the hope of Christ's second coming. :)

    Just my $.02, keep the change. :laugh:
     
  3. TCGreek

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    The Historic Premillennial position commends itself at various points. Some wonderful scholars and theologians are of this position today: Grudem, Erickson.
     
  4. webdog

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    Most of the early church fathers werre amill, and many of them sat under the Apostle John, too. Fact is, there were a number of early church fathers who held to historic premill, dispensational premill, and amill. The fact the RCC deemed dispensational premill heresy is encouraging :) Anything they tend to disagree with is usually the truth. This will be a point of disagreement amongs believers until Christ raptures us pre trib :laugh:

    When studying eschatology, one has to start with the question "what is the purpose of the great tribulation"? If it is God's wrath on an unrepentant world (what I believe it is)...what role does the church play into that? Where does Israel (God's chosen people) fall into this (Romans 11)? Since the Great Commission doesn't cease...why are we not mentioned in spreading the Gospel? What reason will the 'world' be given to follow the antichrist if life as we know it doesn't change, considering the world's bent on following nobody but themselves? Where does the fastest growing religion (Islam) fit into all of this? Something drastic must happen to break their faith, as if you are not for them, you are against them. Unless the AC is reincarnated Muhammed, they will not compromise with a one world religion without drastic circumstances.
     
    #4 webdog, Oct 6, 2008
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 6, 2008
  5. Amy.G

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    This is contrary to the information that I have been able to gather. The early church fathers were Historic Pre-mil.

    A-mil did not appear until the 5th century.

    Dispensational Pre-mil did not appear until the 1800's

    I don't even include Post-mil because I think that view is wrong. Anyone who thinks the world is getting better must be in a coma. :laugh:


    I tend to agree with preachinjesus in that the most important thing to believe is that Jesus is coming back. The fact that so many well respected preachers and theologians disagree about the details tells me that it is not cut and dried and we should not allow to our varying views to cause divisions amoung us.


    Personally, I have tried and tried to see a secret, silent rapture of the church followed by the great tribulation, but frankly I just don't see it. I see Jesus coming back once. And it doesn't matter that according to pre-trib His feet don't touch the ground. If He is in the sky, He's back.



    Thanks for the disucussion guys! Keep it going!
     
  6. Jim1999

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    History is a good teacher, but often distorts truth by personal opinion.

    Remember, the followers of Christ expected a military type rule of Christ when He returned. This idea was somewhat quashed with the destruction of the temple in AD70.

    Remember also, that many cults came out of the first century church. These were also disciples of the apostles. Direct disciples of John also fostered false doctrines, as we perceive them to-day.

    Modern thinkers presume the named disciples as holding to an historic premill viewpoint, but it is a later-day historians viewpoint and not necessarily fact.

    Some 2nd century disciples believed Paul to be mistaken and that his letters should not be read.

    All these things within sight of the early disciples.

    We draw our eschatological viewpoints from our best understanding of the scriptures and eschatology is no different than all the other theological viewpoints we differ on.

    Believers were immersed in scripture, yet as early as the first century some disciples were either pouring or sprinkling and infants as well based on circumcision being replaced by baptism as the covenant equivalent.

    These fact bring us back to square one, and the development of how we understand last things, including the second coming of Jesus.

    There remain a lot of questions and few concrete answers. We know that Jesus is coming again. We know that there will be a judgement, and are we ready!

    Cheers,

    Jim
     
  7. webdog

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    While premill was very popular, it wasn't the only view held. Justin Martyr wrote in Dialogue with Trypho the Jew, chapter 80: "I and many others are of this opinion [premillennialism], and [believe] that such will take place, as you assuredly are aware; but, on the other hand, I signified to you that many who belong to the pure and pious faith, and are true Christians, think otherwise."

    I'm with you about a "secret rapture". There will be nothing secret about it! It will be quite a loud raucus, to be sure. Those who are not raptured will KNOW for certain something definately happened!

    Don't let the feet touching the ground get you hung up. Christ's first coming included Christ's birth, death (and Christ's return to be with the Father for 3 days), return to the grave, and bodily resurrection. This is all ONE coming.

    Even if Christ's feet did touch the earth during the rapture, it would make little difference, as His feet touched the earth twice during the "first" coming. Christ coming for those who will meet Him in the air, return to the Father for 7 years, and earthly return with Christ are also considered ONE coming. As in the first, so is the second.
     
    #7 webdog, Oct 6, 2008
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 6, 2008
  8. webdog

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    Excellent points. Church history is to be only one method used to determine truth, and not the deciding factor.
     
  9. Amy.G

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    You know what the problem is?

    You're all right! :laugh:

    Do you think that as time goes on that we will understand more and more? Maybe we just need more developments to make sense of it all?
     
  10. webdog

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    I think you are right, and one reason the pre trib position has taken off in recent years ;)

    I'm holding to the "blessed hope". That is Christ, who bore my wrath on the cross, will come for me to save me from the wrath to come. The pre trib position is the only one who can claim this "blessed hope".
     
  11. Marcia

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    Amy, if you read the chapters of Revelation that describe the Lord's wrath, notice that the church is not mentioned anywhere here. I believe this is a wrath on unbelievers, and the church has been taken away.

    My sister said as she studied scripture more and more closely in seminary, she became convinced of the pre-trib view. This was around '97 and, at the time, I was still skeptical and did not hold any particular view on the endtimes.

    After doing a study of Daniel and Revelation, and then Thessalonians, about 2 years ago, I became more convinced of the pre-Trib view. I am about 95% convinced, which may be as far as it goes. I am not sure anyone of us can know 100% for sure although I think there are enough clues in scripture to support the pre-trib rapture. I also see where others get their views (except postmill; and I think the support for amill is really weak).

    You really can't decide without doing an in-depth study - and I mean in-depth, on your own with some helpful study guides. Also, a few of those books like 3 Views on the Rapture and The Millenial Maze and other books giving several views of the endtimes, might help. But I feel very unqualified to discuss this in detail as I'm still learning myself. I have not had eschatology in seminary yet.
     
  12. Amy.G

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    Thank you Marcia. I was looking at books last night on Christianbook.com and I saw "The Millennial Maze". I will probably order that since you recommend it. I have also started a study of Daniel. Interesting that you mentioned those things. :)
     
  13. Marcia

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    Good for you, Amy!

    Let me know how you like The Millenial Maze. I need to confess I have not read it yet but it had some good reviews and looked good. It is one of many I want to read but can't right now. I'm reading several others at the moment more directly concerned with my ministry.
     
  14. TCGreek

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    A Millennial maze indeed:

    1. The Amils claim the Fathers.

    2. The Historic Premils claim the Fathers

    3. The Dispensational Premils claim the Fathers


    I guess we have enough Fathers to go around. :thumbs:
     
  15. Jim1999

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    In my Father's house there are many mansions. If it were not so, I would have told you.

    Even after the second coming and judgement completed, the mansions will be labelled for each eschatelogical viewpoint to keep them from fighting!

    Cheers,

    Jim
     

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