Image – Waldensian Church of Pra Del Tor, Angrogna, Piedmont, Italy.
Come, Holy Spirit, God and Lord!
Be all thy graces now out-poured
On the believer’s mind and soul,
To strengthen, save, and make us whole.
20 Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven, holding the key of the abyss and a great chain [a]in his hand. 2 And he laid hold of the dragon, the serpent of old, who is the devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years; 3 and he threw him into the abyss, and shut it and sealed it over him, so that he would not deceive the nations any longer, until the thousand years were completed; after these things he must be released for a short time.
4 Then I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment was given to them. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of [b]their testimony of Jesus and because of the word of God, and those who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received the mark on their forehead and on their hand; and they came to life and reigned with Christ for a thousand years. 5 The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were completed. This is the first resurrection. 6 Blessed and holy is the one who has a part in the first resurrection; over these the second death has no power, but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with Him for a thousand years.
Dennis M. Swanson
Seminary Librarian, The Master’s Seminary Journal
“The notoriety of Charles Haddon Spurgeon has caused many since his time to claim him as a supporter of their individual views regarding the millennium. Spurgeon and his contemporaries were familiar with the four current millennial views – amillennialism, postmillennialism, historic premillennialism, and dispensational premillennialism – though the earlier nomenclature may have differed. Spurgeon did not preach or write extensively on prophetic themes, but in his sermons and writings he did say enough to produce a clear picture of his position. Despite claims to the contrary, his position was most closely identifiable with that of historic premillennialism in teaching the church would experience the tribulation, the millennial kingdom would be the culmination of God’s program for the church, a thousand years would separate the resurrection of the just from that of the unjust, and the Jews in the kingdom would be part of the one people of God with the church. . .”
“The transformation of persecuting Saul of Tarsus into the apostle Paul is a typical instance of the work of Grace in the heart.”
Thanks for posting this, Michael!
When presented with the method of salvation of God’s people in the scriptures whether it be Lydia or Paul, the haters of Sovereign Grace and the Total Depravity of man always retort saying, “Oh but those were stray instances you are quoting. Yes the Lord may have opened Lydia’s heart (Acts 16:14) to believe, but the rest of us are required to open the door of our own hearts and accept Christ! Yes the Lord arrested the Christ hating Saul of Tarsus and made him a Christian almost against his will, but the rest of us are required to choose Christ by exercising our own free-will!”
Here’s what the Apostle himself says of the Lord’s dealings with him – “This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ…
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38 “For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me. 39 This is the will of Him who sent Me, that of all that He has given Me I lose nothing, but raise it up on the last day. 40 For this is the will of My Father, that everyone who beholds the Son and believes in Him will have eternal life, and I Myself will raise him up on the last day.”
28 Peter said, “Behold, we have left [h]our own homes and followed You.” 29 And He said to them, “Truly I say to you, there is no one who has left house or wife or brothers or parents or children, for the sake of the kingdom of God, 30 who will not receive many times as much at this time and in the age to come, eternal life.”
I’m posting this because, though Amillennialism is probably new and strange to many Bible-believing Christians it deserves a hearing by those who love God’s Word. It has simplicity and clarity, and gives prominence to Jesus’ statements in the Gospel of John, the prominence that ought to be given. I pray this gives you something of value from God’s Word even if you disagree.
[The link in the title is to the page “From the Archives of Modern Reformation.” There, you’ll find this title with an embedded link to a pdf file. Using Windows 10 the pdf doesn’t open on the web but asks to be saved to your computer.]
By Dr. Kim Riddlebarger
Senior pastor, Christ Reformed Church, Anaheim, California
“Without a doubt, most American evangelicals are firmly committed to premillennialism–the belief that an earthly millennial age of one thousand year’s duration will begin immediately after our Lord Jesus Christ’s Second Advent. Since premillennialism is so dominant in American church circles, many who encounter Reformed theology for the first time are quite surprised when they discover that all of the Protestant Reformers, as well as virtually the entire Reformed and Lutheran traditions (along with their confessions), with a few notable exceptions, are amillennial. Amillennialism is that understanding of eschatology which sees the millennium as the present course of history between the first and second Advents of our Lord (the age of the church militant), and not as a future golden age upon the earth as is taught in premillennialism and postmillennialism. In the case of both ‘pre’ and ‘post’ millennialism, the millennium is thought to be the age of the church triumphant, not the age of the church militant. . .”
“. . .Yet another problem encountered when discussing this subject is that there is often a great deal of heat without very much light. One prophecy pundit (Chuck Missler) once quipped that the people in heaven with the lowest IQ’s will be amillennial. Hal Lindsey goes so far as to label amillennialism as anti-Semitic, demonic and heretical. Jack Van Impe called A-millennialism (to use his characteristic emphasis upon the A) the greatest heresy in church history. When I was growing up, it was not uncommon to hear prophecy experts label amillennial Christians as theological liberals who were a bit embarrassed by the bold supernaturalism required to believe in a sudden and secret rapture. Furthermore, amillennial Christians are often accused of not taking the Bible literally and of teaching so-called ‘replacement theology.’
“The result of such rhetoric is that American Christians cannot help but be prejudiced by such unfortunate comments and many reject outright (without due consideration of the other side) the eschatology of the Reformers and classical Protestantism–an eschatology which is amazingly simple, Biblical, and Christ-centered. . .”
The article is a little over five pages single-spaced and very helpful in understanding the Bible’s teaching on the last things.