July 11

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Five Things A Pastor Won’t Tell You 2

Note: In this material, the term “pastor” is used in its common usage; a leader of a denominational church. It is not used in the biblical sense as outlined and illustrated in the New Testament (Acts 20:17-32; 1 Pet. 5:1-4; 1 Tim. 3:1-7; Titus 1:5-9).

2. Jesus Will Not Rule On Earth For 1,000 Years. The overwhelming majority of denominations teach that Jesus will establish His kingdom on earth and reign for 1,000 years. The typical pastor will tell you at some point in the future there will be a rapture in which the righteous will be taken to heaven. Following this, there will be seven years of tribulation on earth when people get a second chance to receive Christ. At the end of the tribulation, Jesus will return with the righteous taken in the rapture, gather them with the tribulation saints, and establish His throne in Jerusalem. This is called Premillennialism and it has only one problem. It is utterly false.

There is too much in Premillennialism to answer in just one article. Thus, we will stick to some of the bigger points.

Neither the word nor the concept of the “rapture” is in the Bible. It is true the saints, both living and dead, will be taken with Jesus to heaven when He returns (1 Thes. 4:13-17). Note that these will remain with Him in heaven forever (1 Thes. 4:17). There will not be any returns to earth seven years later. Too, when the righteous are raised, the dead will be too; Jesus said the same hour. “Do not marvel at this; for the hour is coming in which all who are in the graves will hear His voice, and come forth—those who have done good, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of condemnation” (Jn. 5:28, 29). It also seems anti-biblical to teach that saints will go to heaven for seven years then return to earth for 1,000, and then go back to heaven for eternity. Something is wrong with that picture.

Connected to the Premillennial concept of the rapture and tribulation is that Jesus’ return will be invisible, but there will be signs indicating it is near. The return of Christ will be both visible and audible (Acts 1:11; 1 Thes. 4:16). A text used in support of “signs” of His return is Matthew 24. There the disciples commented to Jesus about the temple and He told them it would be destroyed (Matt. 24:1, 2). A little later they asked Him about it. They thought they were asking one question, when they were actually asking two. They said, “[1] When will these things be? And [2] what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?” (Matt. 24:3). They could not conceive of the temple being destroyed unless it was the end of the world and Judgment.

In answering these questions, Jesus explained there will two different events. First, there would be the destruction of Jerusalem (Matt. 24:4-35). He warned them to watch for signs leading up to this so they could escape the tribulation of those days (Matt. 24:15-21). This tribulation is not worldwide, but tied to Judea. “Then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains” (Matt. 24:16). If it was worldwide, no escape would be possible. They are also told to pray that their escape is not on the Sabbath. Why? Because the gates of Jerusalem would be shut on the Sabbath.

Some raise the issue of Jesus coming on the clouds in verse 30. This is similar to the language in Isaiah 19:1, when God is described as judging Egypt. It is prophetic language. In Matthew 24:4-35, Jesus is talking about God judging Israel generally and Jerusalem specifically.

In Matthew 24:36, Jesus makes it clear that no one knows when “that day” will occur; only God. This is where He answers the question about the end of the age, the Judgment. It will be like in the days of Noah when there were no signs (Matt. 24:37-39). The only warning people were given was that a judgment, the flood, was coming. This is all the warning we are given. We are to simply be ready at all times, “for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect” (Matt. 24:44). How can Jesus speak of the same event by saying watch for the signs (Matt. 24:15) and there is no way to tell when it will happen (Matt. 24:36)? He is either contradicting Himself (which He is not), or He is speaking of two different occasions (which He is).

As for one being taken and the other left, Premillennial pastors say that is the rapture, when people will all of a sudden disappear and those left on earth will wonder what happened (Matt. 24:40, 41). This actually fits right in with 1 Thessalonians 4:13-17. When Jesus comes back in final judgment, only the righteous will be “taken up” with Him to heaven. The unrighteous will be banished to hell. There is a separation on the last day. That is all Matthew 24:40, 41 is describing.

Finally, Jesus has already established His kingdom. Peter preached that when Jesus was raised, He was raised to sit on David’s throne (Acts 2:22-31). He is now “Lord and Christ” (Acts 2:36). He is “King of kings” (1 Tim. 6:15). There are citizens in the kingdom, having been conveyed there by God (Col. 1:13).

There is no way Jesus will have an earthly kingdom, reigning on David’s literal throne in the city of Jerusalem. Jeremiah prophesied no more descendents of Coniah would sit on David’s throne in Jerusalem (Jer. 22:30). Jesus is a descending of Coniah, also known as Jeconiah (Matt. 1:11). Hence, He cannot rule on David’s throne in Jerusalem without breaking Jeremiah’s inspired prophecy.

When Pilate asked Jesus about being a king, He said, “My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, My servants would fight, so that I should not be delivered to the Jews; but now My kingdom is not from here” (Jn. 18:36). Jesus’ kingdom is spiritual, not physical. The battle fought by and for Him is not carnal, but spiritual (2 Cor. 10:3-5). It is a cheap perversion of the Son’s kingdom to say it will be on earth; physical, carnal, worldly. If that is what He wanted, He would have done it the first time.

Much, much more could be said about the errors of Premillennialism. Pastors push it and people believe it. It contradicts the Word of God. Therefore, we must reject it.


Tags

Bible, Bible study, Christ, Christian, church, error, faith, false doctrine, false teacher, God, Gospel, Jesus, lies, Lord, New Testament, pastor, Savior, sin, Study, truth


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