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Do You Have A “One Day Nearer” Mindset? – Part 1

The Christian Worldview / David Wheaton
The Truth Network Radio
December 2, 2023 4:00 am

Do You Have A “One Day Nearer” Mindset? – Part 1

The Christian Worldview / David Wheaton

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December 2, 2023 4:00 am

GUEST: STEVE MILLER, author, One Day Nearer

I recently watched a program on Fox News Channel that featured some of the sharpest conservative minds, including Thomas Sowell, Victor Davis Hanson, and Mark Levin. They were discussing the crumbling state of affairs in America and abroad with regard to overwhelming illegal immigration across our border, a takeover of the government school system by a Marxist worldview, crushing economic policies and inflation, political corruption, widespread anti-Israel sentiment, and several more.

They detailed the problems accurately but I was left wondering what these intelligent men believe is going to happen in the future. Do they think with a different president that we’ll pull out of this death spiral? Do they think that America is too big to fail and that the pendulum will swing back the conservative way at some point? Do they know and believe what God has prophesied in the Bible about the end times?

Only the born again Christian who is indwelt by the Holy Spirit and accurately interprets Scripture is able to understand what is coming. While God has chosen to not reveal every detail and precise timing of the future, He has put enough in Scripture that we should know what’s coming, most especially, the return of Jesus Christ to defeat His enemies and reign.

With each passing sunset, we are “one day nearer” to the return of Christ. And that is the best news! Why would the believer want to struggle on in this world—with sin, conflict, persecution, disease, and death—when we can live for eternity in perfection in the presence of Christ?

Steve Miller is our guest this weekend and next. He has studied Biblical prophecy for decades and is the author of Foreshadows: 12 Megaclues Jesus’ Return is Nearer than Ever and the 365-day devotional book that we will be discussing today, One Day Nearer: Daily Devotions in Anticipation of Jesus’ Glorious Return. One Day Nearer is our new featured resource available for a donation of any amount.

This week he will explain the purposes of Bible prophecy, the three major views (i.e. premillennialism, amillennialism, and post-millennialism),  and whether the idea of a “rapture” of church-age believers is a recent invention.
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Do you have a one-day nearer mindset? That is the topic we'll discuss today right here on the Christian Worldview Radio Program, where the mission is to sharpen the biblical worldview of Christians and to proclaim the good news of Jesus Christ. I'm David Wheaton, the host. We are able to reach believers and non-believers with that mission through the radio station, website, or podcast platform on which you are listening today because of the support of listeners like you.

So thank you for your support. You can connect with us by visiting our website, TheChristianWorldview.org, calling our toll-free number, 1-888-646-2233, or by writing to Box 401, Excelsior, Minnesota, 55331. Just a quick reminder before we get to the preview for today's topic. The Christian Worldview annual print letter that comes out once a year at the end of the year will be mailing in mid-December. This contains a letter in full resource catalog.

If you would like to receive our annual print letter, just go to our website to sign up or give us a call. I recently watched a program on Fox News Channel that featured some of the sharpest conservative minds, including Thomas Sowell, Victor Davis Hanson, and Mark Levin. They were discussing the crumbling state of affairs in America and abroad with regard to overwhelming illegal immigration across our border, a takeover of the government school system by a Marxist worldview, crushing economic policies and inflation, political corruption, widespread anti-Israel sentiment, and several more issues. They detailed the problems accurately, but I was left wondering what these intelligent men believe is going to happen in the future. Do they think that with a different president that will pull out of this death spiral?

Do they think that America is too big to fail and that the pendulum will swing back the conservative way at some point? But most importantly, do they know and believe what God has prophesied in the Bible about the future? Only the born again Christian who is indwelled by the Holy Spirit and accurately interprets Scripture is able to understand what is coming. While God has chosen to not reveal every detail and the precise timing of future events, He has put enough in Scripture that we should know what's coming, most especially, the return of Jesus Christ to defeat His enemies and reign. With each passing sunset, we are one day nearer to that return of Christ. And that is the best news.

Why would the believer want to struggle on in this fallen world, with sin, conflict, persecution, disease, and ultimately death, when we can live for eternity in perfection in the presence of Christ? Steve Miller is our guest this weekend and next. He has studied biblical prophecy for decades and is the author of Foreshadows – 12 Mega-Clues Jesus' Return is Nearer Than Ever and the 365-day devotional book that we will be discussing today titled One Day Nearer – Daily Devotions in Anticipation of Jesus' Glorious Return. One Day Nearer is our new featured resource, available for a donation of any amount.

We'll tell you how you can get a copy today. This week, in part one, Steve will explain the purposes of Bible prophecy and the three major views – premillennialism, amillennialism, and postmillennialism – and whether the idea of a rapture of church-age believers is a recent invention. Steve is a humble and godly man who knows the Bible well, and you will find him reasonable, I think, as he explains the premillennial view that he believes the Bible teaches while being charitable toward other views. You will notice that Steve's voice sounds different, and that's because he has been deaf from almost birth.

My questions to him were transcribed on a screen in front of him with his wife, Becky, sitting beside him, helping him by using sign language. Steve, thank you for coming back on the Christian worldview radio program. Early in your book, One Day Nearer, on page seven, you talk about the purpose of prophecy, and that the purpose of prophecy isn't primarily just about knowing the future, but it's about growing in our love for Christ and His return. Here's what you write right in the opening of this devotional. You say, With every rising and setting of the sun, we draw one day nearer to the return of our Lord Jesus Christ. Every believer should look forward to his triumphant coming with eagerness because of what it means to this world and to all who love the Lord. On that day, on His return, all the imperfect kingdoms of mankind will be swept aside and replaced by His perfect kingdom. At long last, the government will rightfully be on the shoulders of the One who created and owns this universe, and He will rule over all with perfect wisdom and righteousness and love. As the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, He will bring about a global kingdom that is heaven on earth. For the first time since Adam and Eve fell into sin, true peace will exist because He is the Prince of Peace. No longer will Satan be ruler of this world. No longer will evil and its effects plague us. Scripture tells us that during Christ's earthly kingdom, the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of God.

That's from Habakkuk 2.14. People will know gladness and joy and sorrow and sighing shall flee away. Even all the animals will know harmony at last.

The Lamb will lie down with the Lion. With Christ on His throne in Jerusalem, we will experience our first taste of life as God meant for it to be. Our existence will no longer be defined by struggles with sin, trials, pain, and mortality. Instead, it will be defined by light, love, and the joy of serving alongside the Lord as He rules. Life under Christ's reign will be far greater and more fulfilling than we anticipate.

This is an interesting beginning to the book, Steve, because sometimes we can think of the end times, eschatology, prophecy about what's going to happen in the future. But you say straight off that prophecy is really about how to grow in our love for Christ, which is what the Ephesians Church had lost, by the way, in Revelation, which Christ reprimanded them for. And so, how does prophecy do that, and how should we approach prophecy that way with that motivation to grow in our love for Christ?

That was one of my desires in writing One Day Near. My desire was that this book would help highlight the fact that Christ is at the center of so much Bible prophecy and that is intentional. God wants us to grow closer to Christ. And by giving us Bible prophecy and by so much of it focusing on Christ, it enables us to learn more about Christ and draw closer to Him. And one of the best ways to grow in our love for Christ is to get to know Him better.

And one of the best ways to get to know Him better is to read God's Word. And an amazing amount of information about Christ is found in the context of Bible prophecy. There are hundreds of prophecies about Him, prophecies about His first coming, why He came, how much He loved us, the purpose for coming was to save us, and then prophecies about the second coming, which is to return, to set things right, to bring us home with Him so that we might live together in His Kingdom and we would co-reign together in the Millennial Kingdom, and that we would live with Him for eternity.

This is how much He loves us. All of this is conveyed in Bible prophecy. And because Christ is the main theme of Bible prophecy, the more we study prophecy, the more we grow closer to Him. Now, Steve, when you talk about one day nearer to the return of Christ, are you referring to the rapture of the church, church-age believers, or are you talking about the return of Christ as in at the end of the tribulation period, which we'll get more into that timeline in a bit, but which one are you referring to? Primarily, I do have the rapture in mind.

Ultimately, all of God's schedule, His timeline for the future, is set in stone. There will be the rapture, there will be the tribulation, there will be the return of Christ. At the rapture, we're taken up to heaven and we will dwell with Christ in heaven while the tribulation is unfolding here on the earth. Then when the tribulation ends, we will return with Christ from heaven and come to earth with Him.

So it's two different phases. There's the rapture is the first phase where we go to heaven. The second coming is where we return with Him. So because all of that's set in stone, we could say that we're one day nearer to both events in time, but primarily I do have the rapture in mind. And that's because scripture calls us to live in anticipation of Christ's return. In Philippians 3.20, when it talks about us being citizens of heaven, it says that we are citizens of heaven who wait for a Savior who's coming from there. And in Titus 2.13, the apostle Paul encouraged us to be watching for the blessed hope and even Christ Himself said, watch and be ready.

So yes, primarily for the rapture, looking forward to that moment when our beloved Lord returns to take us home to be with Him. Now we're going to get to that event, the rapture and some of the different views and the end times coming up here on the program. Our guest today is Steve Miller, the author of a devotional we are featuring here, One Day Nearer, Daily Devotions in Anticipation of Jesus' Glorious Return. You can get this for a donation of any amount from the Christian Real View.

We'll tell you how you can do that today. Now I'm sure there's one or two people listening to the program today saying, well, Christians are always talking about the return of Christ and yet it's been 2000 years since He left this earth. There's always been this message of imminency that Christ could return at any time.

So how would you answer that person? Like, why is there this imminent message of the return of Christ when it's been 2000 years? And how do we live knowing that what believers in earlier ages believed that Christ was coming back soon, it didn't happen actually in their lifetimes?

Well, there are a couple of different points of clarity that could be really helpful here. The idea of imminency, all it means is that the rapture could happen at any time, be taken to heaven any time. To say that something is imminent doesn't necessarily mean that it is soon. It's not necessarily saying that it will be, it's hanging right there.

It simply means that it could happen at any time. We get a clearer sense for it when we compare the rapture and the second coming. If we look at scripture, we notice that there are no prophecies that have to be fulfilled before the rapture happens.

There are no requirements. It doesn't say, this has to happen first, this has to happen next, and then the rapture will occur. By contrast, the second coming, we do see a long list of things that have to happen before Christ's return.

Part of that long list is found in Revelation chapter 4 through 18, which walks us all the way through the tribulation. All those events in the tribulation have to happen before Christ's return. But the closer we get to the end of the tribulation, the more imminent Christ's return will become and the fewer prophecies that will have to be fulfilled in order for Christ to return. But with the rapture, there are no prophecies that are required to be fulfilled. That's why we can say it's imminent.

That's why we can say it could happen at any time. And what's helpful is to look at 1 Thessalonians chapter 4, where the apostle Paul talked to the Thessalonians about the rapture. The reason he wrote to them about it was because some of the Thessalonians were concerned that their brothers and sisters in Christ who had died would miss the rapture.

That's a clue to us that Paul apparently had taught them that the rapture was imminent. It could happen at any time. And so as brothers and sisters in Christ started dying, they started thinking, my goodness, they're going to miss the rapture.

It could happen at any time. Paul writes to them and says, no, in fact, what will happen at the rapture is that the dead in Christ will rise first. And then we who are alive and remain will be taken up. So he offered this encouragement to the Thessalonians who were expecting the rapture to happen in their lifetime. But God wants all of us to live with an expectation, with a sense of readiness that helps us to realize we don't know how much time we have left to be sharing the gospel with others. And the sense of eminency helps to motivate us to live pure lives for Christ, to live holy for him and to always be ready. That is God's intent for biblical prophecy that we eagerly anticipate and look for the return of Christ.

Our guest today is Steve Miller. He is the author of One Day Nearer Daily Devotions in Anticipation of Jesus' Glorious Return. This is a softcover book, 1984 pages, $19.99 retail. For a limited time, you can order this devotional for a donation of any amount to The Christian Real View. Just order at our website, thechristianrealview.org, or give us a call toll-free, 1-888-646-2233 or write to Box 401, Excelsior, Minnesota 55331. We have much more coming up on Do You Have a One Day Nearer Mindset? with Steve Miller. You are listening to The Christian Real View radio program.

I'm David Wheaton. We've largely lost the honor and the nobility and the glory of biblical manhood. And so many young men are not trained to be a leader, a protector and a provider in a Christ-like way. That then creates the actual end product of young men who don't know how to be a man. So we've largely lost the script for what being a biblical man is. That was Owen Strand, author of the excellent book, The War on Men. This is a book for the entire family to read, understand, and then pursue what biblical manhood is.

The War on Men is hardcover, 256 pages, and retails for $29.99. For a limited time, you can get a copy for a donation of any amount to The Christian Real View. To order, go to thechristianrealview.org or call toll-free 1-888-646-2233 or write to Box 401, Excelsior, Minnesota 55331. Scripture commands that children are to be brought up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord. Offering biblically sound resources for children is one of our top ministry priorities. At our store at thechristianrealview.org, you will find carefully selected children's Bibles and books, along with video and audio resources. Check out the Bible infographics for kids books, Little Pilgrim's Progress, and the popular Adam Raccoon set. Theo is a 15-episode video series addressing key doctrines of the faith that is a must-see for children and adults. Satan and the world are bent on capturing the heart and mind of your child.

Instead, get sound resources that will train them up in the way they should go. Browse an order at thechristianrealview.org or give us a call for recommendations at 1-888-646-2233. That's 1-888-646-2233 or thechristianrealview.org. Welcome back to the Christian Real View, I'm David Wheaton. Be sure to visit our website thechristianrealview.org where you can subscribe to our free weekly email and annual print letter, order resources for adults and children, and support the ministry. We are discussing biblical prophecy today and our guest is Steve Miller, author of the book One Day Nearer. One of the things I like about this devotional, Steve, is that there's almost little series of devotionals.

I'll just give you an example. I'm going to read this next, that early on in the devotional you say the purposes of Bible prophecy, and you have about six or seven of them, and I'll just list them and I'm going to talk about one of them. You say the purposes are to give hope, to give us eternal purpose, to motivate us to purity, to spur us to share the gospel, to confirm that God is God.

And so let me just give an example here on page 11. The first purpose you give of Bible prophecy is to give hope where you write, imagine the Bible with no prophecies in it. Suppose God had decided not to tell us anything about the second coming, his ultimate victory over evil in our future home in heaven and eternity.

If God had left prophecies out of his word, we would have no idea of what the future holds. Instead, all we would know is that the world we live in is descending deeper and deeper into darkness, evil, and hopelessness. With no knowledge of what is to come, life would be bleak.

We would have nothing to look forward to. We would go from day to day filled with dread and uncertainty. But because God chose to provide us with glimpses of the glorious future that await us, we can live with hope. This is a major reason God filled the Bible with so many prophecies about what is to come to give us hope. And you say somewhere else in the book, Steve, that I think you said up to a quarter of the Bible is actually biblical prophecy. So God wants us not only to know what's going to happen in the future, but to live in light of what is going to happen in the future. As I read about this first purpose of biblical prophecy, to give hope, why are there only glimpses, even though there's much about it in Scripture, but there's glimpses of the glorious future as you write about there? Can you conjecture, I should say, why God didn't provide precise clarity, details, timing? Because I think it leads some people to respond, well, there's just no way to understand. There's too many prophetic things.

It's too shrouded. There's so many differing views. I just don't want to go down that road.

Why do you think that is? A big reason, and I would say this is specific to the rapture, a big reason we aren't given more detail, like time when the rapture will happen is because we know how people react to that. They would say, well, I don't have to wait until that time before I get myself right with God. And that would give us a wrong motive for getting right with God. God doesn't want us to have wrong motives for how we view Bible prophecy or what's going to happen in the future.

So there are things that God purposely that's vague or didn't give us information on for some reason or other. And specifically with the rapture is because he didn't want people having a wrong motive for getting right with him and waiting until the last minute. However, at the same time, when Christ thought about the end times, he did talk about what it would be like as we approach the last days. He did reveal information in Matthew chapter 25 to talk about the last days will be like the days of Noah.

And he gives some explanation as to what those days will look like. And so as we look at that, we can say, well, Christ helps us to know the general season of his return. He helps us to know just enough to be anticipating it, but he doesn't give us enough information that people can go forward with the wrong motive and abuse his grace and wait until the last minute for the rapture to happen. As far as other prophecies of the Bible, he has intents and purposes for what he does reveal to us and what he's chosen not to reveal to us. But what he has chosen to reveal to us, and there's a lot, is that they have to let us know that we have an amazing future ahead, that God will correct all the wrong in this world. He will make things right, that evil will someday be banished, that Satan will someday be banished, that someday every tear will be wiped from our eyes. We have a wonderful future and a wonderful inherentist awaiting us in heaven, a wonderful future in which we will live with Christ for eternity. There's such a wealth of information about the inheritance we have awaiting us. Again, there are some details we don't know, but we can trust God that he has revealed the right information for us so that we can have our eyes set on the future with hope.

That's exactly right. God has revealed just what we need to know for our good and his glory and how he's going to reveal things in the future so we can trust him. He didn't leave anything out. He's not trying to leave us in the dark. But just as there are mysteries that are revealed throughout Scripture, even the mystery of the church that the Old Testament time really didn't have clarity on, it was revealed in God's time, which is the perfect time. Steve Miller is our guest today here on The Christian Real View, the author of this excellent devotional, One Day Nearer, Daily Devotions in Anticipation of Jesus' Glorious Return.

This would be a really good book to get. We're offering it for a donation of any amount to The Christian Real View, not in lieu of your Bible reading in the coming year, but just in addition, just read a page a day and this will help you focus, have a mindset of looking for the return of Christ. Steve, I obviously am not visiting or attending all kinds of evangelical churches all the time because we go to our own church, but what is your sense? I know you travel and speak and you hear about things going on within the evangelical church today. Do most evangelical churches preach on these prophetic parts of Scripture?

And if not, why not? I do have the opportunity to travel. I have the opportunity to attend prophecy conferences. And an amazing number of the people who attend these conferences are hungry for teaching on Bible prophecy because they can't get it in their churches. And I can't give a percentage on how many churches that might involve.

But it's pretty widespread. Even I myself growing up, went to several churches where Bible prophecy simply was not taught. And it wasn't until I was in college that I attended a church where prophecy was taught because that pastor happened to be convinced that preaching God's word expositorily, meaning book by book, verse by verse, was an important way of teaching Scripture and helping people to know the Scriptures well, which is true. So yes, there are a lot of churches that are reluctant to teach Bible prophecy.

And there are a couple reasons for that. The perception is that prophecy is difficult to understand. Or they look around and they see all the controversy or the sensationalism that surrounds Bible prophecy. And they say, well, I don't want to do anything that's going to generate controversy in my church, or I don't want to do anything that smacks of sensationalism. So they hold Bible prophecy at arm's length.

And my encouragement to them would be, well, we can't do that. Because prophecy is a part of God's word. If we love God, we're going to teach every part of his word. And some scriptures to have in mind when we talk about this are, for example, in First Thessalonians four, when the Apostle Paul talked about the rapture, he wrote, we do not want you to be uninformed about this brothers. So there's a sense in which we can say, if we don't talk about prophecy, if we don't talk about the rapture, then we're keeping Christians uninformed. And in Revelation one, three, we are told that blessed is the one who reads the words of this prophecy. So prophecy is meant to bless us. So if we don't teach prophecy, then we're holding blessing back from Christian. And then in Second Timothy three, 16 and 17, we're told that all scripture is profitable for training and righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work. And that includes Bible prophecy doesn't say except Bible prophecy. So if we hold back prophecy, we're keeping people from being complete and being equipped for every good work. And most important of all, Jesus himself taught Bible prophecy. If he taught it, then surely we should be teaching it too.

Absolutely. That's really well answered. Steve Miller with us today on the Christian real view. We don't just leave out parts of the Bible that we don't think are going to be palatable to those who are hearing it or we don't like or can't understand. God put the whole Bible together for us to dig into it, understand, and it should be preached in prophecy being part of that. Let's move on to some of the irrefutable prophecies that have already been made and fulfilled.

You say on page 15 of your devotional, One Day Nearer, and you always start each one with a passage of scripture. This one from Isaiah 46 verses 9 and 10, you say, I am God and there is no other. I am God and there is none like me, declaring the end from the beginning and from ancient times, things not yet done. And you write in this particular page up to this point in time, every one of God's declarations about the future in the form of Bible prophecies has come to pass with precision. This helps us to realize that prophecies are not merely guesses or predictions, like they may happen and they may not happen, rather they reveal exactly what God will do. Prophecy is history written in advance.

I thought that was a really powerful line. So it's like you're reading future history when you read biblical prophecy. Now, in 2 Peter chapter 3, you're well aware of this passage. Peter writes, Know this first of all, that in the last days, mockers will come with their mocking, following after their own lusts and saying, Where is the promise of His Christ's coming?

For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all continues just as it was from the beginning of creation. Verse 5, For when they maintain this, it escapes their notice that by the word of God the heavens existed long ago and the earth was formed out of water and by water, through which the world at that time was destroyed, being flooded with water. Verse 7, But by His word the present heavens and earth are being reserved for fire, kept for the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men. Verse 8, But do not let this one fact escape your notice, beloved, that with the Lord one day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years like one day.

The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish, but for all to come to repentance. And so you write about prophecy being history written in advance, and 2 Peter here, Peter writes about those who mock and say everything's just continued as it always has, nothing's going to change. If you had to try to convince or persuade someone, Steve, of saying, Well, look at these three fulfilled Bible prophecies. These are just irrefutable.

What would you say those are? And why is the response to Bible prophecy even fulfilled Bible prophecies? For believers, it's an increased faith.

But for non-believers, it somehow results in a mocking doubt to Bible prophecy. You quoted 2 Peter 3, 9, where it talks about how God is patient, not wanting people to perish. And that ties back to what we were talking earlier about imminency, about the rapture being imminent, about it being able to happen at any time. And you asked the question, Well, why is God waited 2000 years? Well, we find the answer to that in 2 Peter 3, 9. God is patient, not wanting people to perish. He is still filling up the kingdom with people. He wants more people who will occupy heaven. And so that is why God is waiting.

As far as prophets of themselves, yes, they are a powerful indicator of God's sovereignty, and they are powerful indicator that God truly does know the future. If I were to point to 3 prophecies, and this is tough because there are so many amazing prophecies in scripture, but I guess among them could be one that Jesus would be born of a version. That's a prophecy given in Isaiah 7 and 14, and it's fulfilled in Matthew 1-23. And the reason that's so amazing is that for a baby to be born of a version is impossible.

It can't happen. So for this to happen would really stand out as something that only God can do. And then another prophecy would be that Jesus' hands and feet would be pierced at the cross. We find that prophecy in Psalm 22 verses 14 through 16. Now Psalm 22 was written a thousand years before the crucifixion, and it was also written before anyone came up with the idea of punishing people through the crucifixion.

So before the crucifixion even existed, we see a description of the crucifixion in Psalm 22 where Christ's hands and feet would be pierced, and we see the fulfillment of that in Luke 24 when Jesus is on the cross. Another one that's really amazing is the fact that Jesus would be born in Bethlehem. There's three amazing things about this prophecy. One is God gave this prophecy 500 years before Christ was born. He gave that information with such precision that, yes, Christ would be born in Bethlehem. What makes this prophecy more amazing is that there were actually two Bethlehems in Israel at the time. So Micah 5, 2, where this prophecy is found, God gets specific, and he says it is Bethlehem Ephrathah where Christ would be born. And we see that fulfilled in Matthew 2, 6. The third thing that makes this prophecy so amazing is that Joseph and Mary did not live in Bethlehem at the time of Christ's birth.

Instead, a Roman ruler had to require a census where people would move and go to the place of their birth in order to fulfill the requirements of the census. And this required Joseph and Mary to travel and go to Bethlehem at the very time that Jesus would be born. So in multiple ways, this prophecy about Christ being born in Bethlehem is just absolutely amazing that God could have such precision so far in advance, and then over the next 500 years, orchestrate all those events, all those people, all those places, so that these things really happened exactly as he said they would happen. And as far as people scoffing and mocking prophecy, well, a lot of it comes down to what perspective people have of God in the Bible. If you have a wrong perspective of God, if you have a wrong perspective of Scripture, if you see God as just another mythological figure, if you see the Bible as just another mythological book, then yes, your tendency will be to refuse the possibility that God is supernatural, to refuse the possibility that Scripture could have been written with such great precision and advance. And so there are people who just flat out deny, they say, well, it couldn't have been written in advance, it had to have been written after the fact. And this is very common with the Book of Daniel, the Book of Daniel's prophecies are so specific, so precise.

There are many scholars who say no, that couldn't be possible. And so it depends on what our perspective of God is. But for those of us who believe Scripture and we believe God, we find him to be trustworthy for us. These prophecies and their fulfillment are incredible evidence that God really is supernatural, that God really does know the future, and that he really is sovereign over history and all of that helps to bolster our faith. Amen to that fulfilled prophecy is the greatest, right at the top of the list as bolstering our faith that God is trustworthy and true and we can base our life on his word. What took place in the past has been fulfilled. The things that are to be fulfilled in the future will be fulfilled.

You can just count on it. And Steve Miller is our guest today. We're talking about his brand new devotional, One Day Nearer, Daily Devotions in Anticipation of Jesus' Glorious Return. And it's our new featured resource here on the Christian Worldview.

Its soft cover, 384 pages, retails for $19.99. And for a limited time, you can order it for a donation of any amount to the Christian Worldview. To order, go to our website, thechristianworldview.org.

Give us a call toll free, 1-888-646-2233 or write to Box 401, Excelsior, Minnesota, 55331. Much more coming up on Biblical Prophecy with Steve Miller. You are listening to the Christian Worldview radio program.

I'm David Wheaton. When Jesus is laying out the Holy Spirit's job description in John 16, and he says it's to your advantage that I go, think about that for just a second. Jesus, the Christ, tells his disciples, it's actually advantageous that I go. And they're thinking, what? We don't want you to go.

Who could be better for us? What does he then explain? That was Pastor Costi Hinn, who was raised in and then saved from the distortions of the Holy Spirit that are so prevalent today. Costi's new book, Knowing the Spirit, Who He Is, What He Does, and How He Can Transform Your Christian Life, graciously clarifies truth from error and is available for a donation of any amount to the Christian Worldview.

To order this 261-page soft cover book that retails for $19.99, go to thechristianworldview.org or call toll-free 1-888-646-2233 or write to Box 401, Excelsior, Minnesota, 55331. We've largely lost the honor and the nobility and the glory of biblical manhood. And so many young men are not trained to be a leader, a protector, and a provider in a Christ-like way. That then creates the actual end product of young men who don't know how to be a man. So we've largely lost the script for what being a biblical man is. That was Owen Strand, author of the excellent book, The War on Men. This is a book for the entire family to read, understand, and then pursue what biblical manhood is.

The War on Men is hardcover, 256 pages, and retails for $29.99. For a limited time, you can get a copy for a donation of any amount to The Christian Worldview. To order, go to thechristianworldview.org or call toll-free 1-888-646-2233 or write to Box 401, Excelsior, Minnesota, 55331. Welcome back to The Christian Worldview.

I'm David Wheaton. Be sure to visit our website, TheChristianWorldview.org, where you can subscribe to our free weekly email and annual print letter, order resources for adults and children, and support the ministry. We are discussing biblical prophecy today, and our guest is Steve Miller, author of the book, One Day Nearer. Steve, you have a very interesting page here in the book on a complete panorama of Bible prophecy.

I'm just going to tick off the eight points. Number one, you say, here's the panorama, that Christ will come to save the lost. In other words, as soon as Adam and Eve sinned, you write, God promised that someday a savior would come who would bruise, provide a fatal blow to Satan's head.

Satan won in Eden, Garden of Eden, but he would be defeated by Christ's death and resurrection, which makes our salvation possible. So point two here is that the church will spread the gospel. Again, a complete panorama.

What's taking place? Christ entrusted the disciples to proclaim the gospel and take it far and wide. The church will grow. It also face persecution. The third aspect of a complete panorama of Bible prophecy, that Israel will be reborn.

And we saw that take place in 1948. You say this was necessary because Israel is the stage on which the end times will play out. Point four is the church will be taken up in the rapture.

And you've referred to this already. And you say that Jesus promised that someday he will come to take his own believers of the church age to be with him in the Father's house. That's from John 14. We're going to read a couple of these passages coming up, by the way, to point five on the complete panorama of Bible prophecy. After the church is taken up in the rapture, during the tribulation, God will bring judgment upon the world.

And we read about that in the book of Revelation, with the seal judgments, the trumpet judgments, the bowl judgments, and so forth there. Point six is that Christ will come again to establish his kingdom. And you say when Christ returns he will destroy his enemies and set up his millennial kingdom. This is a literal thousand year reign of Christ on earth, which we will live peacefully. Point seven in this panorama is Christ will defeat Satan one last time before eternity. This is at the end of the thousand years.

Satan will rebel one last time, and then Christ will crush Satan, cast him into the lake of fire. And that's where the final judgment is for all non or unbelievers. And finally, the eighth point is God will bring forth the new heavens and the new earth.

This will usher in eternity, and Christians will dwell with God forever in perfect, peaceful bliss. And I want to read that whole thing, just because I think it's helpful for all of us to have a overview, to know the meta-narrative of what is taking place, this story, God's story, his story that we're living in, and how things are going to play out. Now, that complete panorama that I just read from your book, Steve, is what's called a premillennial eschatology view of the end time.

So you understand the Bible to teach just what you wrote in those eight points with regards to the future. But there are really two, there's many more, but just two other major eschatological viewpoints, and that's amillennialism and postmillennialism. So maybe you could just briefly talk about some of the differences between premillennialism and then amillennialism and postmillennialism, and how do they read the same scripture and arrive at different conclusions with regard to the end times?

Yes, those are the three major views, the three different approaches that people have to eschatology. And the main difference, the biggest difference is this, the premillennial view, which is the view taught in One Day Near, which I believe is the view that is best supported in scripture. So the crucial points to remember for the premillennial view are the rapture, the tribulation, Christ's return, the literal physical kingdom here on earth where Christ rules from Israel, from Jerusalem on the throne of David, and then eternity.

The amill view, amill, amillennial literally means no millennium. What they're saying is that there's no literal future physical kingdom that will come here on earth. What the amillennial view is saying is that the millennial kingdom, which is Christ's rule, is symbolic and that we are living in it now. They say that Christ rules through the saints here on earth between the first and second comings, and then they say that after Christ returns, we'll go directly into eternity. So they don't see a time in which we as saints live here on earth, and then Christ returns, and then there's a kingdom. Afterward, they say that that kingdom is here on earth now, and that Christ rules through us. And then the post-millennial view has a similar presentation.

It sees the kingdom is happening now. Post-millennials believe that what will happen is that the church will continue to grow, the world will become more Christian, the world will become better, and it will eventually reach a point at which we will usher in the second coming, and we set things up for Christ to reign, and that he will return at the end of this symbolic millennium that we're in now, and again we'll go directly into eternity. So the pre-mill view is saying Christ will return, then set up his kingdom. The amillennial and post-millennial views are saying no, the millennium is right now, we're in it, it's symbolic. There's no literal kingdom where Christ will literally reign from his throne in Jerusalem. Instead, we're just going to go directly into eternity.

So those are the three views, two of them very similar, and I would say that's a major thing that gets lost with the other two views is this. The pre-millennial view is saying Christ will return and set up his kingdom in Jerusalem. If we look at the prophecies of the Old Testament carefully, God laid out the boundaries, the borders of Israel.

He said, this is how big Israel will be, this is the land I'm giving to Israel. Well, if we look at those borders, we'll notice that those borders were never fulfilled, and Scripture also promised, God promised to David that someday a descendant of his would rule on his throne in a literal kingdom. Well, the pre-millennial view allows for that. The pre-millennial view allows for Christ to come back to the Mount of Olives, set up Israel, at last those boundaries that God determined to give to Israel at last will be fulfilled, and David will have a descendant who is Christ rule on his throne in a literal kingdom in Jerusalem.

All of that is allowed to be fulfilled. Whereas the post-millennial view is saying, no, that's not going to happen. There isn't going to be a nation of Israel someday within new boundaries, and there isn't going to be a literal kingdom, a physical kingdom through which Christ rules. But in saying that, what we're doing is any prophecy that has to do with Israel in the future is just wiped away, is disregarded, which is very sad because Scripture makes it clear that God does have future plans for Israel, and the only way that those plans can be fulfilled is for there to be a literal, physical kingdom here on earth in which Christ reigns. That was well answered, and thank you for clarifying that the differences between pre-millennialism, amillennialism, and post-millennialism. And as we think about those, there are ramifications for what position you land on, which position you understand the Bible to preach.

And we at the Christian Real View definitely take the pre-millennial position for sure as well. But what are some other ramifications? You just mentioned one on your view of Israel. You're going to look at Israel and think this is not significant anymore for the Jewish people. You're not going to think there's going to be any rapture of the church. You're going to believe there's not going to be, I guess, a literal tribulation period as it describes in Revelation, or at least in the way it's described. It seems like there are real ramifications on how you would think and live. Now, I say that knowing that there are many amillennialists and post-millennialists.

They're not that they're unsaved. They believe the gospel. But what are some of the results or ramifications, besides the view of Israel, which you just mentioned, that's a very important one, of holding to a non-premillennial viewpoint and not amillennial or post-millennial viewpoint? And what do you do with the charge that you constantly hear, Steve, that well, premillennialism, the idea of the rapture, this is something that's relatively recent view. This was not the reformers didn't believe in this. They were amillennialists.

This was a recent invention by John Darby, who was a man back, I believe, in the 1800s. And even the Schofield Study Bible, that this premillennial viewpoint was something that wasn't believed historically in Christianity. Yes, there are ramifications for the view that we hold to. I just mentioned one of the ramifications of having a wrong view of Israel, and basically sweeping under the rug, everything that God says in the Old Testament and in Revelation 20 about how Christ will rule from a literal throne and that we will rule with him, we're sweeping that away. I would say another consequence is that we undermine God's promises about the future.

We short-sell him on what he has said will happen. When you say that prophecy will be fulfilled symbolically, usually what you do is you say, well, this isn't really going to happen the way it says it will. And the other danger of interpreting Bible prophecy symbolically is it opens it up for pretty much any interpretation you want.

There is no real guideline we can use for saying, well, if this is symbolic, if this is just figurative, how should we understand it? Scripture makes the most sense when we approach it and let it speak for itself in its plain language. And when we let prophecy speak for itself in its plain language, that's when it makes its most sense. But a couple of other consequences that occur from this, but the premillennial view, we as Christians have a sense of urgency.

We have a sense of expectation. We have a sense that time is running out, that there's going to come a day where it's too late to share the gospel, to bring people to Christ. The expectation that Christ could call us home anytime is something that encourages us to purify our lives, to be ready in anticipation. We don't want to be caught at the wrong moment with sin in our lives when Christ calls us home. So the sense of imminency, the sense of urgency that are offered in premillennialism is something that we have, whereas with an amillennial or a post-millennial view, there just isn't quite that same sense of urgency.

There's a sense of which time is open-ended. There isn't a real sense of, well, Christ has to return when this happens. Christ has to return to punish evil. With the post-millennial view, the whole idea of the world gradually getting better and better and then entering into a golden age which will usher in the kingdom, I think that gives us a false confidence where we say, well, things are getting better, so it's not that urgent for me to be sharing the gospel. That's something that we lose, and then also we lose the sense of just how amazing Bible prophecy is. We make it symbolic or figurative. We undermine the power and the truth of what prophecy is saying.

That's true what you say, Steve. I've heard post-millennialists talk about things in terms of, well, we're on a 500-year plan, and that does take away the urgency. But even more than urgency, it really is about, well, what does Scripture say?

If we accurately interpret it, which view does that lead to? But answer the charge that premillennialism was invented somewhat recently by John Darby and others. Yes, there are people who think that premillennialism, they believe that the rapture is a recent teaching, and a lot of people point to John Darby, who started his teachings in the early 1830s, and from there onward rapture teachings developed. But if we go back in history, if we look back at what people have written through the ages, we can find writings from every period of church history that reveals people who believe in the rapture, they believe in pre-tribalition, or they believe in imminency. It's always been taught, and it's not under development.

And I'll just give a few examples. The early church fathers, Clement of Rome and Ignatius of Antioch, both of them taught imminency. And we have to keep in mind that imminency is connected only to a premillennial rapture view.

It's not connected to the other two views. And then there were books called the Epistle of Barnabas and Shepherd of Hermas. Both of those taught imminency. This means they taught a pre-trib rapture. That comes from the days of the early church fathers.

In the medieval era, there's a 14th century text called the History of Brother Docino. And in that text, it talks about a translation or a rapture. In the Reformation era, while the reformers themselves, by and large, did not teach a rapture or premillennialism, there were Anabaptists who did teach about imminency. And one of the reasons that the reformers didn't teach about the rapture and imminency, we have to keep in mind that many of the reformers came out of the Catholic Church, which itself is all millennial.

So the good that the reformers did for us was that they helped to get the doctrines of salvation and the gospel straightened out. But in their major focus on that, they weren't focusing on the more peripheral things like Bible prophecy at that time. And then we have increased Matthew, who was an American Puritan in the late 1600s, who wrote about being caught up in the air before the tribulation, and John Gill, who was a British minister in the 1700s. And he wrote in his commentaries about the rapture. So all of those are just examples of people who wrote about the rapture or imminency before John Darby. And one book I would recommend for anybody who wants to research this a little deeper is a book called Can We Still Believe in the Rapture by Ed Hindson and Mark Hitchcock. They provide an excellent overview of the historical teaching of the rapture through the ages. Well, I hope you join us next week for part two on biblical prophecy with Steve Miller. In the meantime, you can order his book One Day Nearer for a donation of any amount to the Christian Real View. Just get in contact with us. The usual ways our contact information is given immediately following today's program. Be sure to sign up for our annual print letter.

Which is going out in mid-December as well. Let's close with Paul's exhortation to Titus in Titus chapter 2, where he tells him to look for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus. If you are not looking for Him, if you are not born again, please go to our website and click on the page, What Must I Do to Be Saved?

or just give us a call. You certainly don't want to be left behind when Christ returns. Thank you for joining us today on the Christian Real View.

Until next time, think biblically, live accordingly, and stand firm. The mission of the Christian Real View is to sharpen the biblical worldview of Christians and to proclaim the good news of Jesus Christ. We hope today's broadcast encouraged you toward that end. To hear a replay of today's program, order a transcript, or find out What Must I Do to Be Saved?, go to thechristianrealview.org, or call toll-free 1-888-646-2233. The Christian Real View is a listener-supported, non-profit radio ministry furnished by the Overcomer Foundation. To make a donation, become a Christian Real View partner, order resources, subscribe to our free newsletter, or contact us, visit thechristianrealview.org, call 1-888-646-2233, or write to Box 401, Excelsior, Minnesota, 55331. That's Box 401, Excelsior, Minnesota, 55331. Thanks for listening to the Christian Real View.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-12-02 06:19:59 / 2023-12-02 06:40:07 / 20

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