There were more than 23 text questions that were sent in yesterday. In the span of time we had, I think we answered 7-8 of them live. Most of the rest will show up here in the next few days. (Thanks to Jon Stead & Peter Spiers in advance for tackling these!)
In between services and after church, I heard & saw a number of conversations about the message happening around the courtyard. In one sense, I am JOYFUL that so many people were talking about the sermon, but there is a DANGER that also lurks. To that end, I wanted to share some thoughts with you to meditate on as we continue to move forward through the prophetic section of Daniel.
- Do you value eschatology more than the gospel? By that, I mean that you think about and talk about the end times and millennial views more than you do the gospel, the atonement and the resurrection. I fear that some of you have focused too much & too long on the wrong things.
- Know that the FBC elders and leadership hold to a premillennial eschatology. We believe that God still has a plan for Israel and that there will still be a literal kingdom where Christ physically returns and reigns on earth for a 1,000 years, prior to the establishment of the new heavens and new earth. And all of us are pro-rapture (that’s not a misspelling.) If you’re surprised by this, or want to know more, then please read through What We Teach.
- If you’re a member of FBC, you have committed to not causing strife or division. Please realize that you are sowing such discord when you…
- feel led to tell others how you understand the passage differently
- give backhanded compliments
- send in a text message with bite/sarcasm/edginess — it reveals the heart!
- try to win others to your position
- go looking for others who have the same perspective opinion
- Have you gotten so caught up in discovering (or declaring) the fulfillment of certain prophetic passages, that you forget to consider how they should impact your life? I’m concerned that some of you have. Chris did a great job helping us with this at the conclusion of his message.
- Please know that we WELCOME questions! Ask them to get clarity on something, to better understand what we believe, or to get help with application & ramifications… But please allow me to assure you that we have studied prophecy & eschatology sufficiently that your question is not going to suddenly make us rethink premillennialism. (The reason is that our commitment to premillennialism flows out of a literal, grammatical, historical, contextual hermeneutic.)
- We do believe that gracious discussion and conversation together will help all of us understand God’s Word better. This is part of the reason that we’re doing Q&A every Sunday. A biting tone does not help you win friends or even hearers. There were a couple questions that came in via text message this Sunday that felt ‘edgy.’ If you sent one in, please consider your heart and recognize that Ephesians 4:29 calls you to speak/write/text in a way that “gives grace to those who hear.”
- I LOVE how the people of FBC look carefully at the text of Scripture. You guys are the best! There are almost always questions that come in about the actual text — this shows that you’re being Bereans. We praise God for that!!
- We SHOULD focus on Christ’s return. Regardless of when or how you believe that He will return… Many, many biblical exhortations are made for us to live with the expectation that He is coming back soon! The whole Bible finishes with this thought = “(Jesus) who testifies to these things says, ‘Yes, I am coming quickly.’ Amen. Come, Lord Jesus” (Rev 22:20).
- If you’re on a different page from FBC eschatologically, know that we love you. We want you to feel at home here. You are welcome to serve here. You are welcome to be a member here (so long as you commit to not teaching contrary to what we believe). At the same time, please understand that we are bound by our conscience before God to teach what we believe the Scriptures proclaim. We are okay with theological diversity in the church over secondary issues. And we are committed to you hearing from the pulpit a singular message of what we believe the Bible says.
There are still a number of weeks left in Daniel. That provides plenty of time to think through and apply these things. In fact, due to Chris’ travel schedule, we are not returning to Daniel until July 12 so you really do have some time to prepare your heart for the remainder of the book – to listen to, learn from and rejoice in the plan of God for the end of the ages.