Theses on Hope

1. The Bible teaches us to have hope, not despair; to expect victory and dominion for the gospel, not flight and defeat. (1)

2. Biblical prophecy is written in both literal and symbolic language. The choice is not between "liberalism" and "symbolism," but between a Biblical and a speculative method of interpreting the Bible. (2)

3. Salvation is re-creation. In redemption, Jesus Christ restores man to the image of God. (3)

4. Salvation and its blessings are presented in the Bible as definitive, progressive, and final. (3)

5. We are not saved out of our environment; rather, salvation works to restore the earth as a whole. God's Holy Mountain (the Garden) will grow until it fills the entire world. (3-7)

6. God blesses obedience and curses disobedience; this pattern will become dominant as history progresses. (3-7)

7. Through generations of obedience, the godly will increasingly become competent and powerful, while the ungodly will grow weak and impotent. (3-7)

8. The wicked are "raptured" first (i.e., driven out of the earth and disinherited), as the righteous increasingly come into possession of all things. (6)

9. Jesus Christ came as the Son of Man (the Second Adam), to setup God's Kingdom on the earth. (8)

10. The Biblical prophecies that Christ would reign as King were fulfilled in Christ's enthronement at His Ascension. (8)

11. Daniel's prophecy of the Son of Man "coming in the clouds" was fulfilled in the Ascension of Christ. (8)

12. Jesus Christ definitively defeated and bound Satan and the demons in His Atonement, Resurrection, and Ascension. (8)

13. The Kingdom was established during the First Advent of Christ (including the Judgment of a.d. 70); it is now in progress and will increase until the end of the world. (8-16)

14. Ethnic Israel was excommunicated for its apostasy and will never again be God's Kingdom. (9, 14)

15. The Kingdom is now made up of all those (Jew and Gentile) who have been redeemed by Jesus Christ. (9)

16. The Church is now the Temple of God, having been indwelt by the Holy Spirit at Pentecost and fully established at the destruction of the old Temple in a.d. 70. (10-13)

17. The Olivet Discourse (Matthew 24, Mark 13, and Luke 21) is not about the Second Coming of Christ. It is a prophecy of the destruction of Jerusalem in a.d. 70. (10-11)

18. The Great Tribulation took place in the Fall of Israel. It will not be repeated and thus is not a future event (although Christians in every age have had to endure suffering for the faith). (10-11)

19. The Bible does not prophesy any future literal Temple or sacrificial system to be set up in Jerusalem. The Biblical prophecies of the Temple refer to Christ and His Church, definitively, progressively, and finally. (10-13)

20. Although Israel will someday be restored to the true faith, the Bible does not tell of any future plan for Israel as a special nation. (14)

21. The Biblical language of de-creation (the "collapsing universe") is symbolic of God's judgment, especially reminiscent of the Flood and the plagues on Egypt at the Exodus. (15)

22. Antichrist is a term used by John to describe the widespread apostasy of the Christian Church prior to the Fall of Jerusalem. In general, any apostate teacher or system can be called "antichrist"; but the word does not refer to some "future

23. The "Great Apostasy" happened in the first century. We therefore have no Biblical warrant to expect increasing apostasy as history progresses; instead, we should expect the increasing Christianization of the world. (12-13)

24. The Last Days is a Biblical expression for the period between Christ's Advent and the destruction of Jerusalem in a.d. 70: the "last days" of Israel. (13)

25. Before the Second Coming of Christ, the vast majority of Jews and Gentiles will be converted to the Christian faith.

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Survival Basics

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