The millennium is a thousand years of peace that Christians love to fight about
One of the things I love about speaking on eschatology (the study of the last days) is the substantial amount of questions that are raised whenever a person hears something they had never considered or finds out the history of some of the modern views. For example, we have quite a few folks who listen online that don’t live in San Diego County and one person wrote this week asking: “What are your thoughts about the millennium”? My reply was this: “The millennium is a thousand years of peace that Christians love to fight about”! I realize this is not what the person was asking but I do find it interesting that the question stated with: “what are YOUR thoughts” instead of: “what does the BIBLE say about the millennium”? I did walk them through their question after I convinced them that the only thoughts and opinions that matter are God’s. All of us are guilty on occasion of looking to align ourselves with our favorite teachers and so we ask what John MacArthur believes or what pastor so and so believes instead of saying what does the Bible teach and then studying it out until we are convinced in our own minds. It is this action of searching out the scriptures that God’s word constantly calls each of us to practice in order to prevent us from being deceived. Let’s be real here, every eschatological position cannot be true because they constantly contradict each other. All positions can be wrong, but they cannot all be right.
A pastor’s calling before God is not to speculate, hypothesize or sensationalize the scriptures but simply to teach the Bible line by line, precept by precept. When we do that it is amazing how quickly the Bible message becomes crystal clear. When we start with pre-conceived notions then it becomes extremely complex and, in some minds, it is better left for the “professionals” to figure out and then tell me what it says. That attitude only makes people’s faith as good as their last sermon.
A Church of Bereans
My desire is that we would become a church of “Bereans” who study everything we are taught to see if it is true and then to hold fast to what is good. This weekend we will have the opportunity to do this very thing as we continue in 1 Thessalonians 4 discussing the nature of the Lord’s return. We will explore what the Bible teaches regarding this event and even spend a few minutes seeing why some hold to a dual coming and why some deny it (which has absolutely nothing to do with the text by the way). What we will focus our attention on is what the Bible teaches in this text as it applied to the original Thessalonian hearers.
One question, on a different topic, that comes regularly is what the Bible teaches regarding salvation in regards to an Arminian view vs a Calvinistic view. I am going to teach an 8 week class in January called “The Doctrines of Grace”. This will be a thorough overview of salvation from the scripture. On top of that we will explore what the early church taught and believed and what they did when differing opinions were introduced to keep the doctrine pure. What is the history behind these opposing views? Most importantly we will see things from God’s perspective which quickly resolves any issues or perceived contradictions. Remember, there is always a context for any scripture and many “proof texts” actually prove a different point. There will be lots of time for Q&A as well as discussion. If interested drop me an email and we will begin signups.
Informal meeting with the Elders
This weekend after each of the services we are having an informal church-wide meeting with the elders. This is your opportunity to ask any questions you wish about any topic you wish and is intended to provide a forum for dialogue between the leadership and the body. This is for members and regular attenders only. The last one we had was very beneficial which is why we are doing it again.
Blessings to all,
Pastor Scott and the entire CBC Staff