Letter to the Editor: No one knows the day or hour of Christ's return
Monday, January 29, 2018
This is in response to a recent letter from Pastor Glenn Lee Hill titled “Christians must think for themselves.”
Theologically speaking, there are three main evangelical views that can all be supported by Scripture. First there is the Premillennial view (literal millennium), and then there are the Post-millennial and the Amillennial views which perceive no literal millennium. Traditionally speaking, the majority of biblical scholars and churches, both contemporary and historical, hold a premillennial view, differing from the position of the author.
Pastor Hill’s letter is problematic on two theological fronts. First, the Bible does not teach independency, nor encourage people to think for themselves…it encourages dependency on God and reliance on the Holy Spirit for guidance, who teaches us in truth (1 Corinthians 2:12-14).
Yet another concern is that as Christians we are under the effect of the fall of mankind. We have adopted a sinful nature and ushered death into the world. If Jesus doesn’t return and defeat the adversary, then He will have lost the war…and all Bible believing Christians know that ultimate victory is in and by Christ. The fact is, Paul and the apostles were anxiously anticipating Christ’s return! There are at least 22 statements by New Testament authors that Christ will return and the fact that they write after His ascension can only be interpreted as a future coming. Although they felt He would return during their lifetimes, they were willing to die for gain (Phil 1:21).
I am not arguing for a particular view, as I am aware of the strengths and weaknesses in each of them. However, my point for this response is to strongly advocate that Christians keep their eye on the ball, or in this case, the Lord Jesus! Jesus tells us that no one knows the day or hour and I believe Him as a literal interpreter of Scripture (Matthew 24:36). That means none of the above-mentioned views have all the answers. If Jesus wanted us to know all the details, He would have told us. It doesn’t matter when the King comes, or even when He is coming, what matters is that He is coming! When He does return, EVERYONE will bend their knee to the King of Kings (Phil 2:9-10). You can bend it now or bend it later, but rest assured you will bow before Him.
Perhaps pan-millennialism is the best biblical view to adopt. You see, pan-millennialism is really quite simple. It advocates going all in for Jesus now, surrender, repentance, dedication and devotion, sacrifice and hope in faith through grace because everything will pan out in the end.
Dr. JEFFREY C. CHAPPELL