The cultures of the world are striving with all their might to redefine naturally logical definitions such as marriage, gender, race and, well, you get the idea. Everything is up for grabs. Nothing makes sense anymore. The world is gone, and the mind is lost.
Yet, for some reason many in the Church are surprised at the events taking place. Honestly, this cultural shift should come as no shock to worldwide Christianity because the Church has been redefining terms for centuries.
What do I mean? Well, for example:
The Thousand-Year Rule of Christ
Scholars, rejecting the reality of a thousand-year millennial reign of Christ, which seems to be just around the corner, have sought to redefine the definition of the numerical value of a “thousand” for well over a thousand years. This is because of a belief known as Amillennialism which states that there is no thousand-year reign. Thus, whenever Scripture directly states that Christ will come and rule for one thousand years upon this world, they have chosen to reinterpret the meaning of the word to fit their own preconceived ideas. Revelation 20 speaks of this future thousand-year period, both as having a beginning and an ending, yet the Amillennialist has chosen to redefine the meaning…six times in this passage.
The Coming Temple
Ezekiel 40-48 is a section in Scripture giving a detailed account of the exact measurements of the new temple that will be built in Israel in the coming years. Again, this is a passage that many tend to redefine because it does not fit into their end-times chronology. I agree that there are some things in Scripture which are confusing, but if we are to understand it accurately then we must take it at face value and allow it to speak for itself. I had a teacher in Bible college that said, “If your theology does not match Scripture, then change your theology.”
I was talking about this with my wife a few days ago and she said something very profound. She said, “the point of measurements is to be as exact and precise as possible.” However, scholars who believe differently than what I am presenting to you must change these passages and the terms found in them to try and somehow make sense of their apocalyptic model. Thus, if you perform even a little bit of research you will find theologians claiming these measurements to simply mean “full” and “complete” opposed to an actual description of a future construction project.
I congratulate men like C. I. Scofield who lived during a time when the belief in a literal return of Israel looked insane, both politically and historically. Under intense opposition, these scholars were willing to read and teach God’s Word at face value and their legacy has only been one of blessing and triumph for their courage.
While doctrinal disagreements in the Church can aid in the health of the Church in clarifying the basis for what we believe, we should guard against changing Scripture to fit into our preconceived ideas, lest the world continue following after our example by seeking to redefine Biblical terms to fit their own agenda. We must never forget the degree to which the Church really does impact the cultures around the world.
The main reason why Amillennialism has been so prevalent throughout Church history has been because there has not been an ethnic Israel. However, God has brought His people back into their land and the most recent step in God’s program has been to officially recognize Jerusalem as their capital. This will lead to a literal fulfillment of Ezekiel 40-48, Daniel 9:24-27, and a literal reading of Revelation. However, by the time the temple is rebuilt, the Church will be gone, so make sure you’re not left behind.