A Case for Amillennialism

The book reading group at our church is currently going through “A Case for Amillennialism” by Dr. Kim Riddlebarger.   It is a book about Eschatology- a combination of two Greek words, ‘eschatos’ and ‘logos’ which mean last and the word, respectively- or the doctrine about the last things.  The book begins with four major views of the Millennium, or a thousand-year period mentioned in the book of Revelation.  Those four major views are Dispensationalism (both classic and  Progressive), Historic Premillennialism, Postmillennialism, and Amillennialism. 

While all agree on one blessed hope of the second advent of Christ, each has its own distinctive interpretation of the millennial kingdom.  While Dispensationalism, popularized by Hal Lindsey’s “The Late Great Planet Earth” (I still keep a copy of it) in the 1970’s and lately by the Left Behind series by Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins,  is quite possibly the most widely embraced view in the American Christianity, is quite possibly the most embraced view in American Christianity it is not the faithful interpretation of the Scriptures.

In this book Dr. Riddlebarger takes his readers to see why he believes Amillennialism is the correct view.  Unlike Dispensationalists who are waiting to rebuild the temple in Jerusalem along with its Old Covenant rituals and to re-establish the throne of David,  Amillennialists believe that those were type of something greater.   Christ is the new temple (1 Cor. 12:12; 2 Cor. 6:16), the anti-type of the temple in Jerusalem.  All of the temple rituals were fulfilled in Christ active and passive obedience.  And the Heavenly throne is the anti-type of David’s throne.  On that grandeur throne is sitting Jesus Christ, the greater Son of David!

And unlike Dispensationalists who see two different plans of salvation- one for the Jews and one for gentiles, Amillenialists believe there’s only one plan of salvation unfolding in human history starting from the fall until its consummation in the second advent of Christ.  The nation Israel was the type of the church, “the Israel of God” (Gal. 6:16).

Finally I would like to quote a paragraph from the book: 

Contrary to the view of dispensationalists, the prescribed New Testament commemoration of the ratification of the new covenant will not be found in a new order of temple worship, which includes a new temple, a new priesthood, and animal sacrifices, supposedly in an earthly millennial kingdom. At the Last Supper, Jesus told his disciples, “This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me. . . . This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you” (Luke 22: 19– 20). He instituted the divinely approved method of commemorating his sacrificial work, the sacrament of the Lord’s Supper. In this way, the people of God feed on the Savior through faith and commemorate his dying on their behalf.

Riddlebarger, Kim. A Case for Amillennialism: Understanding the End Times (pp. 93-94). Baker Publishing Group. Kindle Edition. 

I encourage anyone who wants to learn more about Eschatology to read this book, and you can visit Christ Reformed Church’s website to listen and download Dr. Riddlebarger’s lectures on “Amillennialism 101″ here.

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