Thursday, 27 March 2014

Under the Belt

OK, I am somewhat conscious of a couple of things here as I type this blog article. First: that my last post was another comment on another sermon I heard on SermonAudio. However, I have no intention of turning this blog into a virtual catalogue of sermons-I-have-heard-and-feel-I-must-comment-upon. Secondly: That I have already commented on some of Dr Monte's sermons. On the plus side to the last thought: At least I am listening to some of them and also, my last comments were largely positive.  I generally enjoy listening to Pastor Monte, which is why I download his sermons.

Now the downside: I listened today enroute to some door to door evangelism in Co. Monaghan to the above message. He got on to A Millennialism and we got his usual comments on how he is a Biblicist (So am I, BTW) and that lead him to pre Millennialism. OK, this strict Biblicist disagrees with his conclusion but that is neither here or there in the grand scheme of things. I am prepared to sit it out at the moment, unless someone can convince me otherwise. 

Then came to killer punch. The one under the belt. I am not an expert on the Kingsberry Rules of Boxing, but isn't the dig under the belt illegal? 

What saith Dr Monte? I transcribe from the relevant part from around the 25th minute mark:

"If you believe A-Millennialism, you are taking away the Blessed Hope of the church. There is no rapture of the church per se in the A-Millenial scheme. The literal fulfillment of the rapture passage [Quotes 1 thessalonians 4:13ff] in the A-Millennial scheme doesn't happen. You say, 'Pastor Monte, how do they interpret that?' As already happened! Most Evangelicals - let me put it this way - most Protestant Evangelicals, most mainline Protestant Evangelicals believe that there is no future rapture of the church, but that it already took place. How many know that? Did you know RC Sproul believes the rapture has already happened? How many know that? According to him, it hapened in AD70". {Funny whistle}.  

Excuse me!  but that's not right. It is blatantly untrue.  FTR: A-Millennialists believe that the literal and second coming of Jesus Christ, foretold by Himself in John 14:3, reaffirmed by the angels in Acts 1:11 and spoken of by Paul in 1 Thessalonians 4:13-17 is yet future. It did NOT take place in AD 70. It has yet to take place. It will take place at the end of time.

John Calvin was an A-Millennialist. This is how he interpreted John 14:3

"This return must not be understood as referring to the Holy Spirit, as if Christ had manifested to the disciples some new presence of himself by the Spirit. It is unquestionably true, that Christ dwells with us and in us by his Spirit; but here he speaks of THE LAST DAY of judgment, when he will, at length, come to assemble his followers.

On Acts 1:11, Calvin commented:

The other is straightway added as a consolation concerning his second coming. ... For this purpose was it that they said that he should not come again until he came to judge the world. ... But we are not here to dispute of his form; only the apostles are taught that Christ must abide in heaven until such time as he appear at THE LATTER DAY."

On 1 Thessalonians 4:13-17 Calvin observed concerning the Lord's return: 

"As to the circumstance, however, that by speaking in the first person he makes himself, as it were, one of the number of those who will live until THE LAST DAY, he means by this to arouse the Thessalonians to wait for it, nay more, to hold all believers in suspense, that they may not promise themselves some particular time: for, granting that it was by a special revelation that he knew that Christ would come at a somewhat later time, it was nevertheless necessary that this doctrine should be delivered to the Church in common, that believers might be prepared at all times." 

I forbear to quote other A-Mills. Dr Monte made a vague reference to Dr RC Sproule. What he attributed to Dr Sproul doesn't sound right and it wont do to say it without giving us actual and verifiable proof. It is a very serious allegation to make. Do you know what I did? I clicked my Bookmarked Google page and then I typed (I'm cutting and pasting here) rc sproul Lord's Return into Google and up came this page from RC Sproul's website just 4 entries down. Click number two and a quick scroll down gave me this: 

"The King’s glorious return still lies ahead of us. Many New Testament passages teach this doctrine with clarity, and even the a.d. 70 judgment of the Olivet Discourse probably finds another, consummate fulfillment in the second coming of Jesus.

Coram Deo

The sure hope of the Lord’s return has provided strength to many a suffering Christian. Knowing that Jesus will come again to consummate God’s kingdom helps us see the trials of life in their proper perspective and endure them for the sake of Jesus. When we are weighed down with illness or are suffering tribulation simply for being a follower of Christ, let us not focus on the pain of the suffering now but on the return of our Lord who will destroy death forever." (RC Sproul)

In less than 60 seconds, I could disprove with verifiable proof that RC Sproul believes that the King's glorious return, which he calls the sure hope of the Lord's return still lies ahead of us. Compare with Dr Monte's allegation:

"Did you know RC Sproul believes the rapture has already happened? How many know that? According to him, it hapened in AD70".

What can I say?  To be honest, I am very surprised and disappointed that Dr Monte said these things and that from a pulpit to his people. I thought better of Dr Monte than that. I dare say that his good people, of whom he speaks fondly in his messages, deserve better than that. Such a tactic can never be said to be Biblicism in any shape or form. 



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