Okay I’m frustrated and about to rant … Why is it most in the dispensational camp seem to make it their life-long mission to make sure everyone has what they consider to be the right understanding of the end-times and won’t even give a decent bit of consideration to the other three major positions within the larger evangelical church on eschology? I mean a lot of “trying to understand the end-times” is speculation anyway, as to whether or not things will turn out exactly how it is proposed. Right? So why invest so much time in this as a church? A whole year or more even? Prior to the 1800’s, this was not even at the forefront of pastors and theologians minds. Christ, and faithfully proclaiming Him to a lost and dying world was the main task at hand. Sure they may have exposited a bit on the end-times, but a majority of historical writings from before that time talked very little about eschatology, simply because of the fact that much is speculation and not worth trying to figure out.
I suspect many church theologians from the past had greater tasks to tackle, like preaching correct, Biblical doctrine, and refuting errors that harm the Gospel and its cause. Am I wrong? Why is it so important to try and figure out what happens in the end-times? I’m still trying to figure this out. How much does this bear on the Gospel and the preaching thereof for the edification of the congregation within the dispensational camp? Is it fascinating? Sure. Is it the absolute necessity of the church to focus on eschatology so much that you neglect the greater things in scripture, namely justification, sanctification, substitutionary atonement wrought through the person and work of Christ? No. I mean whatever is going to happen will happen, right? Should it not be our job, first and foremost, to faithfully proclaim the Gospel, to grow people in the Gospel, to show them how the Gospel bears on every area of our lives so that we grow in the knowledge of the grace of Christ?
If our eschatology doesn’t ultimately point to the person and work of Christ in His glory, then our eschatology is fatally unbiblical. The point of Revelation wasn’t for God to merely get us excited about what’s going to go down. Sure that’s there. But if that’s the primary focus we’ve missed it. The point is to show us Christ in His majesty, in His glory and how this Jesus, who is the lamb-like lion and lion-like lamb, who suffered and died for sinners, will come and do wreckshop on the world. Revelation is a call to repentance and faith in this Christ who will do all these things to sinners who continue in their rebellion, and that He will be glorified in it. That’s the point. For now, isn’t preaching Christ crucified, risen for sinners in every message a much more important task for preachers to grow people spiritually than trying to figure out Bible Code (if there really is such a thing), or the end-times and how things are going to unfold, much of which is speculation anyway? And since when did the Scriptures speak that secular/non-ethnic Israel is the barometer for when everything is going to go down? I mean there are more ethnic Jews in the U.S. than there are in Israel … explain that one to me.
I hear dispensationalists say that, “You reformed people focus entirely too much on election and the mysteries of God.” My response to them, oh really? Not anymore than you dispensationalists mostly focus on eschatology in your preaching and writing. And in addition, we’re not trying to figure out the mysteries of God but merely pointing them out, in order that we may marvel at this awesome Jesus who has called us into His kingdom through the cross.