Logical consequences of realized eschatology

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Looks like some of the posts that went up in the few days before the board went down are gone. Fortunately I still had this one saved on my computer!

Someone on the forum asked:
What are the logical consequences of all prophecy having been fulfilled already? Nothing else to look forward to! The whole basis of faith is looking toward those promises and grace being fulfilled for us. If everything is already fulfilled then why is the world the way it is?
This is a great point. I have been thinking about it much since it was brought up. Here are a few thoughts:

As to the whole basis of faith being looking forward to promises being fulfilled, even those who believe the fulfillment remains in our future do expect them to someday be fulfilled. When they are, what will you have to look forward to?

What is worse? Waiting indefinitely for an unfulfilled promise, or knowing that God has been faithful and fulfilled His promise?

That brings me to what the promise is that we are talking about. I know futurists love to talk about how they look forward to their mansions and seeing the streets of gold. I don’t believe affluence and luxury beyond anything in this earthly life are what God promised the faithful believers.

Gal 5: 5
For we through the Spirit wait for the hope of righteousness by faith.
This is a verse I have never heard a sermon preached on. For many years I didn’t know what to do with it. It seems to be saying that the early church was still waiting to be made righteous. It is saying that! But Christ had died and rose again. And they’d believed. Why were they still waiting to be made righteous?

The promise that the earliest new covenant Christians waited for was not opulent splendor, but righteousness. To be declared the chosen people of God.
Have a look at these verses:
Luke 21:28
And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh.
Romans 13:11
And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed.
They had plainly believed, yet still their salvation hadn't arrived, but they waited for it expectantly knowing it was near?
I thought salvation came when we believed!! Perhaps for us today. Evidently not in the days when the new testament was written.

The cross and resurrection had been accomplished. Jesus had shown He was the Savior. The early church was preaching Him as Lord and Savior. But they were waiting to be saved, waiting for the promise of righteousness.

Since the poster who brought up the points I quoted above is fond of seeing how the old covenant rites given to Israel foreshadow the plan of salvation, I will point out both for his and everyone else’s edification, that at the time of the writing of the new testament, the sacrifice had been offered on the altar. The blood had been shed. By Jesus’ resurrection, it had been shown to be a pure and acceptable sacrifice, pleasing to God. The writer of Hebrews wrote that as the high priest did under the old covenant, Jesus interceded in the presence of God for us, offering His blood and His spotless sacrifice.

But the Israelites expected that the high priest would finish the rite of obtaining forgiveness for their sins and re-emerge from the tabernacle. If the priest did not emerge again from the tabernacle, it was presumed that he’d failed to obtain forgiveness for the people and had died in the presence of God.

Likewise, we must wonder what the holdup is if Jesus has not finished His high priestly work yet. And yes, the coming of Christ was the completion of the work of salvation, it was not a separate work or plan of God to end this planet or our lives on it. It was the completion of what began with the cross and resurrection.

If the work of redemption is not yet complete, then Christians must acknowledge that they are not yet righteous, not yet saved. If our High Priest has not emerged from the tabernacle, our righteousness and salvation is in doubt.

I suggest that perhaps the promises that futurists await fulfillment of are not what the writers of the new testament awaited, nor what God planned to fulfill. God intended to fulfill His promise of making those who come to Him by faith holy and righteous. I believe this promise stands fulfilled. Why? The covenant of the law passed away in total with the destruction of the temple and priesthood in 70AD. When these things passed away, all that remained is God’s everlasting kingdom of peace and righteousness. Just as on the mountain, when Moses and Elijah were gone, they saw no man save Jesus only.

It is under the old covenant, under the law that men were guilty as sinners. The scripture concluded all under sin. This is why God needed to make it pass away to have a people who were righteous. This was His promise.

This promise was spiritual. Jesus said the kingdom would come without outward show. There do not need to be literal stars falling from heaven and the sun going out to complete the work of redemption in the spiritual realm.

OK, long enough discussion on the nature of the promise we’re looking for fulfillment of. I am quite happy having no streets of gold to look forward to but knowing I am without sin forever before God.

Now as to the state of this world. I had to wonder: Is it God’s job to clean up this mess? Do we need a supernatural act to straighten things out? What do we want Him to do? “Prophecy experts” who I’ve seen as guests on the 700 Club speak longingly of a 1000 year reign in which Jesus, being here on earth personally, punishes all sin instantly. No sin is allowed in the millennium. Violations are strictly punished and fully enforced. Does this sound like a future to look forward to?

I have a problem seeing my loving, gentle Savior being dictator of a police state. I have difficulty seeing Him killing millions in a fiery nuclear war. And after this He rules for 1000 years with an iron fist? I have difficulty seeing Him resorting to this as a solution to bring peace and harmony to the world.

Let’s say the transformation is not quite that brutal and His reign not quite that draconian. Still, is it God’s place to clean up our natural world? I think the scriptures prove that His promise to us concerns our spiritual standing before Him, not our natural state.

Isn’t it for us to learn to live in peace and harmony? Do we want a diety forcing this on us? And it isn’t just futurist Christians who want that. Atheists ask “If there’s a God, why does He allow all the suffering and injustice?” Do we want a God who forces His ways, even if they are just, on us?

This has sparked a lot of thought on my part, and I wish I could remember all the ideas that have come to mind. If more occur to me and I can get to a computer, I’ll keep posting under this thread.
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