Memorial Orthodox Presbyterian Church                                                                    2/28/2010

General Eschatology (utilizing the Westminster Shorter Catechism as a guide)


The Question before Us: When Shall He Come?


Christ's Return in Relation to the "Millenium" (Revelation 20:1-10)

        Two Broad Positions on the Timing of Christ's Return

                1. Christ will return BEFORE the "millennium."

                2. Christ will return AFTER the "millennium."

        Two Specific Schools of Thought within Each of These Positions

                Before the "millennium"

                        1. Historic (classic) pre-millennialism

                        2. Dispensational pre-millennialism

                After the "millennium"

                        1. Post-millennialism

                        2. A-millennialism


A Return Back to Our Initial Propositions Derived from NT data other than Rev. 20:1-10:

      1.   The Bible speaks of a singular return of Jesus Christ.

      2.   The Bible speaks of this singular return of Jesus Christ including the resurrection of both the just and the unjust.

      3.   The Bible speaks of this singular return of Jesus Christ ushering in the Day of Judgment in which all shall be judged.

      4.   The Bible speaks of this singular return of Christ ushering in the new heavens and the new earth.

      5.   The Bible Speaks of this singular return of Christ ushering in the eternal state.

      6.   Christ's return is the culminating event of history in which He and His cause shall be vindicated once and for all, and all opposition to His Kingdom shall be overthrown once and for all.

 

These propositions lead us to seriously question any position that would posit an additional stage of "history" after Christ's glorious return, especially a stage of history in which:

             1.   Sin still exists.

             2.   Death still exists.

             3.   The curse of Genesis 3 on the creation is still operative.

             4.   Rebellion against Christ is still present in the hearts of some.

             5.   The offer of salvation is still extended to sinners.

             6.   Satan is still in a position to lead a world-wide rebellion against Christ at the close of this stage of history.

 

According to the pre-millennialist these 6 things characterize the millennium while at the same time:

             1.   The glorified Christ reigns on the earth that is still subject to the curse of Genesis 3.

             2.   The saints who lived and died prior to the millennium have been resurrected, received their glorified bodies, and reign with Christ on earth.

             3.   Non-glorified sinful mortals live, propagate, and personally receive or reject the present and glorified Christ.


Revelation: Some prefatory comments (primarily from D. Johnson, Triumph of the Lamb)...

1. Revelation is given to "reveal."

2. Revelation is a book "to be seen" – a book of symbols in motion.

3. Revelation only makes sense in light of the Old Testament.

4. Numbers count in the book of Revelation as they are used symbolically.

5. Revelation is for a church under attack.

6. The basic message of Revelation is quite simple: "We W____!"


                           Basic Outline of Revelation (Pastor Judd)

 

1:1-8                           Opening Introduction

 

I. 1:9-3:22             Christ in the midst of the Seven Lampstands

                                 Christ and His church throughout the New Testament Era

 

II. 4:1 -8:1              Christ and the Breaking of the Seven Seals

                                 Christ's rule over the unfolding history of the New Testament Era

 

III. 8:2-11:19         Christ and the Blowing of the Seven Trumpets

                                 Christ's trumpets of warning throughout the New Testament Era

 

IV. 12:1-20:10       Christ, the Woman, and the Persecuting Dragon

                                 Christ's church persecuted, yet protected & prevailing until the end


            Chapter 12 – the dragon introduced


                     Chapter 13 – the beast and false prophet introduced


                                 Chapter 14a – the faithful with the Lamb introduced


                                             Chapter 14b – the doom of those with the mark announced

                                             Chapter 14c – those with the mark destroyed


                                                         Chapters 15-16 – The Seven Bowls of Wrath


                                             Chapter 17 – the doom of the harlot announced

                                             Chapter 18 – the harlot destroyed


                                 Chapter 19a – the faithful bride with the Lamb rejoices


                     Chapter 19b – the beast and false prophet destroyed


            Chapter 20a - the dragon destroyed




 

V. 20:11-15           The Final Judgment and the Abode of the Damned

 

VI. 21:1 -8              The Final Vindication and the Abode of the Redeemed

 

VII. 21:9-22:5        Christ and His Bride – The Eternal State

 

22:6-21                    Final Confirmation and Final Exhortations

 


Sections I-IV basically cover the entire New Testament era with an increasing focus on

the end of the era. This is what we might call "progressive parallelism."


Sections V-VII are the climactic capstone of the end and bring us into the eternal state.