The Start of a New Series (Preface)
October 28th 2017
We are starting a new Blog series here at HarpazoTV.com and we will be presenting it here within the Blog section to our site in the form of chapters to a book.
The subject is Biblical Eschatology. The series will include the various views that dominate the area within Systematic Theology known as Eschatology. This series will attempt to layout, in chronological order, the events that Scripture indicates will happen on our near horizon. We don't yet have an official name for this series, but rest assured that some catchy name will be determined in the weeks ahead. This series is intended to compliment our video-teachings and we are setting a self-imposed goal of one post/chapter per week. With that as the goal, acting as a forcing feature to organizing and publishing so much of what we already have written in various forms, we should have a very "meaty" collection of chapters that might end up forming a book one day. We'll leave that to the Lord ... as you've hopefully noticed, nothing is for sale and nothing is advertised to be sold through HarpazoTV.com. Everything we do is FREE for you. Our intention remains the same - to stay true to His Word, to preach the Gospel, to give Him the glory in all things, and to propagate His TRUTH in any way we can.
With that all said, let's begin our journey together...
As believers in the Lord Jesus Christ we are to be “looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ” (Titus 2:13). In Him we have an “inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you” (1 Peter 1:4). These truths concerning our future are secure because of the promises made by the perfectly trustworthy and sovereign God who created Heaven and Earth. This book will attempt to summarize the future truths documented within His Word, the Bible, and will attempt to present the various Eschatological views that are held to by good brothers and sisters in Christ.
The intent of this book is to equip the reader with a high-level understanding of Biblical Eschatology. I wish to assist you in your efforts with understanding, believing, and living in light of what God guarantees concerning the future. This book will expose you to various eschatological views and it will provide you with insight as to how those views shape one’s worldview. Through a careful reading of this book, I hope to generate questions and possibly conflicts in your mind. Ultimately, I intend to reinforce the joy, the comfort, the hope, and the blessings that are guaranteed to those who study this subject area. I also hope to leave you with a desire to investigate this area of theology further and to draw you closer to Christ through your increased understanding in Him and His plan for history.
As we begin this journey together, please heed a number of warnings – warnings that should be applied to every book your read and every teacher that you study under. My first warning is for you to not blindly accept anything that any teacher has to say, including myself. Scripture instructs the Christian to “be like the Bereans” and to search the Scriptures daily to investigate whether something is true or not:
These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.
The Thessalonicans were persuaded by argument and did not depend upon what was written as their source for truth. The Bereans believed, they spiritually apprehended, yet they searched the Scriptures daily to see if what was being taught was so. When we consider that it was the apostle Paul himself who was their teacher, and yet still the Bereans “fact-checked” him while he taught, we can see a clear warning here in Acts 17 for us to exercise the utmost diligence in confirming those things that are taught, written, or spoken of against what is actually contained within the Bible.
My second warning involves our reliance upon the “whole counsel of God” while studying any area of theology (Acts 20:27). Eschatology is a challenging subject area to study and it taxes the student’s need for understanding the totality of Scripture. Our intention, always, is to avoid heresy and one way we can do that is by avoiding “one-verse theology,” while applying the principle found in Deuteronomy 19:15 (repeated in 2 Corinthians 13:1) – "two or three witnesses shall establish every word." By requiring more than one “witness,” in this case more than one verse speaking to a certain theological subject, greater accuracy and objectivity is gained.
Thirdly, realize that one person cannot develop an eschatological “system” by themself. Having studied the writings of McClain, Walvoord, Shoulders, Fruchtenbaum, MacArthur, Ryrie, Vlach, Chafer, Showers, Clough, and others, one can only state that they are “standing on the shoulders of giants” when attempting to present an eschatological system that dares to interpret what the holy and omniscient God of all creation has documented will happen in the future.
The fourth warning I would like to provide involves presuppositions. Webster’s defines a presupposition as, “to suppose as previous; to imply an antecedent.” A presupposition is a thing tacitly assumed beforehand or at the beginning of a line of argument or course of action. For purposes of what we are discussing here, it means that each of us comes to any given topic with a presupposed position or definition for that given topic. Presuppositions are difficult to give up and my request would be for the reader of this book to approach each page with an attitude of exploration and a willingness to have the things that they presuppose as being open to correction or adjustment. The old adage is, “the only barrier to truth is the presumption that you already have it” and our desire, as Christians, is always to seek out the truth.
My fifth and final warning involves eventual disagreements. Realize that the subject of Eschatology has become a theological minefield within the 21st-century. Within Christendom, there are many theological minefields for the Christian to navigate through: Calvinism vs. Armenianism, Continuation vs. Cessationism, Inter-Faith Dialogue vs. Presuppositional Apologetics, the list goes on… The fact is that there is very little consensus among Christians in the area of Eschatology today. That said, this area of study should not cause division within the body of Christ. There will certainly be something for everyone within this book for me to create disagreements and possibly even offence somehow. Ultimately, let us refer back to Acts 17:11 and like the Bereans, let’s "receive the word with all readiness of mind."