March 15th, 2007
Today’s post is a continuation from yesterday and Tuesday. This concludes our Q&A series on eschatology (with one final post on eschatology to come tomorrow). Next week we hope to respond to some of the questions dealing with other aspects of theology.
8. I can see premillennialism in the Old Testament. But is there any New Testament evidence for premillennialism?
It is important to note that the New Testament writers do not abrogate the Old Testament promises to Israel — something which would be expected if the writers of the New Testament understood the Old Testament promises to no longer be valid.
Beyond this, there are New Testament passages that do point to Israel’s glorious future. Matthew 19:28 and Luke 22:30 (more info); Acts 1:6-8 (more info); Acts 3:12-26 (more info); Romans 9-11 (more info); Rev. 20:1-6 (more info) would be among these. Other passages could also be listed. One helpful resource in this regard is The Coming Millennial Kingdom (edited by Campbell and Townsend), because it presents an exegetical (rather than systematic) defense of the premillennial position.
9. My one “hang up” that continues to gnaw at me is the reinstitution of the sacrificial system in the millennium, as taught in Ezekiel. Isn’t that returning to the shadow now that the substance has come?
Dispensational premillennialists believe in millennial sacrifices because Ezekiel clearly says that they will take place. We believe that the burden of proof is on those who want to dismiss Ezekiel’s sacrifices when there is no exegetical reason to do so.
These sacrifices do not infringe in any way on the once-for-all, all-sufficient atoning sacrifice of Christ. They are no more efficacious than the sacrifices of the Old Testament. No sacrifice before or after Christ saves. They only point to Him as the one true Lamb who takes away sin. The Lord’s Supper is a memorial that looks back to Calvary and in no way diminishes the cross. Israel rejected their Messiah, but when they have received Him and are in His kingdom, they will have a memorial of sacrifices that point to Him. They will have missed the memorial of the Lord’s Supper, but will then have their own memorial sacrifices for the duration of the millennial kingdom.