Memorial Orthodox Presbyterian Church 2/28/2010
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"
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____!"
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
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.