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They also taught about a coming great tribulation during which God will pour out His wrath, judging and destroying the earth. Most of the great leaders in Church history held to a more victorious eschatology. The pessimistic view did not enter into Christianity in any significant way until the publication of the Scofield Reference Bible , which proposed in its footnotes a very negative scenario of future end-time events.

Victorious Eschatology - Part IV

Since that time, hundreds of scary end-time books have been promoted within Christianity. Such books and the associated teachings have become so commonly accepted inthe modern Church that the negative eschatology has become the most popular view. It is important to note,however, that this view has been popular in Christianity for only the past 60 years. It reached its zenith of acceptance just before the close of the last millennium,when Christians became fascinated with the possibility of the world ending in the year Now that we have crossed into the new millennium,Christians are lifting their eyes to the future.


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Many leaders are discovering that the Scriptures give us a more optimistic view than they previously had believed. They are embracing a victorious eschatology that teaches that Jesus Christ and His Church are going to reign over this world, not Satan. The theological label that is used to refer to the victorious eschatology presented my book, Victorious Eschatology, is the partial preterist view.

In contrast, today's popular view is called the futurist view.

Victorious Eschatology: a simple summary | Martin Trench

These theological labels, the partial preterist view and the futurist view, refer to when the prophecies in Matthew 24 and the book of Revelation are fulfilled. The word "preterist" comes from the Latin praeteritus,meaning "that which has past. In contrast, the futurist sees virtually all of the prophecies in Matthew 24 and the book of Revelation fulfilled inthe future. As pastors, we Harold Eberle and Martin Trench used to believe and teach the futurist view. However,even as we taught our church congregations the related ideas, we both realized that there are many scriptures that simply did not fit into the scenario of events proposed by the futurists.

So, he expected THIS dispensation the Church Age to end with a great apostasy and a terrible world ruled by evil, with only a few true Christians left, who would be raptured away ….

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There was a man called Cyrus Scofield. He was a bit of a con artist and a charlatan and had been in trouble for fraud before. He also claimed to be a Christian. He arranged for young men who were graduating from Bible college to become pastors to be given a free copy each — so they started preaching from this Bible and using the footnotes in their sermons.

Victorious Eschatology: a simple summary

This shocked his disciples, and so they questioned Jesus about it, asking him: And what will be the sign of your coming and the End of the Age? Jesus answered that the Temple would be destroyed within one generation a generation in the Bible is usually 40 years — see Numbers Great period of time in between.

Between the time of Tribulation and the final return of Christ, there will be a long time period during which the gospel will be advanced — the church age. Then, there will be a long period of time when we are supposed to discover our talents and put them to use, parable of the talents , stay filled with the Holy Spirit parable of the virgins , and advance the Kingdom of God. The popular, left-behind, defeatist, Futurist view puts ALL of these prophecies into our future, contrary to what Jesus actually said. These were real, literal churches that existed at the time John wrote his Revelation and sent it to them and it was a warning to them regarding how soon this tribulation period would begin, and how it would affect the Christians in Asia Minor as well as the Jews in Jerusalem.

So, it was written to a group of Christians who lived in the 1st Century AD in Asia Minor to warn them about things which would happen soon, within their lifetime. Revelation follows the same pattern as the Olivet Discourse. It then shows that after this current age, Jesus will return, there will be the final resurrection and final judgment, and new creation.

Jerusalem was once a faithful city, but it became a harlot — Isaiah 1: What you see was predicted long ago by the prophet Joel: Their corrosion will testify against you and eat your flesh like fire.


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You have hoarded wealth in the last days. The wages you failed to pay the workers who mowed your fields are crying out against you. These are the people who divide you, who follow mere natural instincts and do not have the Spirit. Dear children, this is the last hour; and as you have heard that the antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have come. This is how we know it is the last hour. That is not true. The three big events that have still to be fulfilled are the Return of Christ, the Resurrection of the Dead, the Final Judgment.