Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Contemporary Heretical Eschatology (2 of 4)

...continued from part one.

B. The Evangelicals

By Protopresbyter Fr. Basil Georgopoulos.
Assistant Professr of Theology at the University of Thessaloniki

Evangelicals are an important versatile and non-denominational movement of the modern conservative Protestant world that emerged after World War 2. They compete against Pentecostals in their numerical increase and do not lack heretical positions on the End Times. Basic eschatological heresies, despite a partial differentiation of various movements, that must be considered are:

1. The heretical eschatology of Evangelicals, to the greatest extent, has incorporated the so-called "theory of Dispensationalists", made by the founder of the heretical movement of Exclusive Brethren, J. N. Darby (1800-1882).

2. The basic parameter of Evangelicals is also the teaching of the Rapture of the Church, which will take place before the Great Tribulation. After the Rapture of the Church there will follow hunger, illnesses, earthquakes and wars throughout the earth. They disagree among themselves as to when the Rapture will take place, but they agree that it will take place. Some movements support that it will take place Pre-Tribulation, while others say it will be Post-Tribulation.

3. The Rapture will be followed by the period of the Great Tribulation, which they describe as the "time of Jacob's trouble". This period is the period of the Antichrist.

4. This is followed by the return of Christ with the faithful after the seven years of the Antichrist, and the establishment of the millennial Kingdom and the destruction of His enemies.

5. They formulate the claim, that the Rapture is one thing and the Manifestation of the Lord's Day is another. The Manifestation is identified with Christ's return in His millennial Kingdom.

6. They speak of three Judgements of people. The first is before the "Judgement Seat of Christ" and concerns the evaluation, assessment and reward of believers that will take place after the Rapture of the Church. The second is the "Great White Throne Judgment", which will take place in eternity after the millennial Kingdom. In this resurrected sinners will be judged and punished eternally. The third is called the "Judgement of Nations". This will take place on earth as soon as Christ comes to reign. The nations will be judged according to how they confronted the Jews during the Great Tribulation.

7. They speak of three resurrections of the dead. The first will be of the faithful before the Rapture, the second resurrection pertains to those who believe and die during the Great Tribulation of the Antichrist in order that they live in the earthly millennial Kingdom. And the third is of unbelievers at the end of the millennial Kingdom.

8. Essentially they accept three comings of Christ. The first took place during His earthly activity, the second will take place for the Rapture of the Church, and the third will take place for the establishment of the millenial Kingdom.

Source: Orthodoxs Typos, January 30, 2015. Translated by John Sanidopoulos.