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Date Posted:03/12/2009 12:49 PMCopy HTML

Hi all, (Ian (the master debunker ;), forum regulars, strangers, revvers, ex-revs, interested random readers...),

I haven't had a chance to read or post here for a while but this new discussion link of Debunking Revivalist Theology sounds like a very useful category.

So, as I was just wondering today about 2 things in particular about the Lord's return, just thought I'd throw them in for 'debunking' :)

Number 1.In the various Revival groups the general consensus seems to be that when Jesus returns 'we will rise to meet him in the air'.So, just wondering, from the original Greek, does this actually mean that we (believers in Christ) will, in the twinkling of an eye, actually meet up with Jesus somewhere just above the jet-stream or something?

This belief, of course is nurtured by many choruses such as "we will riiiise, to meet him, in the skkkyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy-yy, we'll be changed in the twinkling of an eyyyye".Also, (OK, it seems qst 1. is actually double-barreled) as this day is referred to as 'that great and terrible day' of Judgement does that mean that every single person in the whole human race that ever lived will be judged in one second flat, or do you think (does the Greek infer) a different time frame ie. a day as in a day is like 1000 years?

Number 2.Re: The day of Judgement and salvation Vs. rewardsI know that there is much confusion in Revival groups about this day..."Will I be saved or won't I?" they ask themselves, because due to their confusing doctrine they are left with the answer "well, it depends!".This is because according to Revivalists even though they claim to preach that we are saved by grace not by works lest any man should boast (which actually is true according to scripture) they also preach that in order to be saved there are 8 steps which you must 'Do' to be saved -quite the contradiction!!

ie see link to Revival Fellowship website below: for their detailed 8 steps (theirs not God's ie. See Ephesians 2) which, should you measure up to and somehow meet each one of them, then, and only then, you might just be lucky enough to inherit eternal life. Talk about ripping people off with 'another Gospel'! :/http://www.trf.org.a/What_Must_I_do_to_be_Saved.asp

So, anyway, (side-tracked) my question re the day of Judgement and salvation Vs rewards is this:On the day of Judgement, will those sins that we have acknowledged, confessed to God and been forgiven of still be taken into account when determining one's reward versus loss of reward?

This is another great topic, I believe, to be discussed under this category, because it wasn't until I left all the false preachings behind did I discover that some wrong actions in life might lead to a loss of reward as opposed to loss of eternal life.

OK that's all for now

God bless,
RDP 
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Re:Revivalisms: 'Meeting the Lord in the air'

Date Posted:03/12/2009 10:37 PMCopy HTML

Good morning, RDP.

I'm hoping this new sub-forum will be a boon for people who wish to make sense of biblical passages, and "extra-biblical" ideas, used by the various Revivalist sects to bully, blame or befuddle others into accepting their heterodox and heretical points of view. And because it's moderated, by me, time-wasters won't have the opportunity to flood the threads with unnecessary and counter-productive "spam", an unnecessary fact of life that readers have no choice but to wade through in most other threads.

Anyway, onto the discussion at hand.

In the various Revival groups the general consensus seems to be that when Jesus returns 'we will rise to meet him in the air'.So, just wondering, from the original Greek, does this actually mean that we (believers in Christ) will, in the twinkling of an eye, actually meet up with Jesus somewhere just above the jet-stream or something? 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 is the pericope in question, one that's used by Longfieldians to justify their "meet the Lord in the air" mantra. When asked what is their great hope, othodox Christians invariably talk about being (1) forever with Jesus, or (2) being in the presence of God, or (3) sharing in a new heaven and earth; but Revivalists seem to want to make it only as far as the stratosphere! Furthermore, because they've inherited Pentecostalism's penchant for Arminianism, they don't even have the assurance that they'll get that far! Hence the oft-used threat: (do this; don't do that) "...or you won't meet the Lord in the air."

First point: the Greek text has been satisfactorily translated into English well enough. However, what's often not appreciated is that much of the language that one finds in Scripture is (a) phenomenal, which simply means that statements are made according to how things appear rather than how they actually are (e.g. the sun "rises" in the East, and "sets" in the west); or (b) metaphorical, in that particular words and phrases imply more than what they actually state. In other words, much biblical language is figurative, and is so because the biblical authors used the standard writing conventions of their times and cultures.

Let's consider verse 14 as an example. "Now we do not want you to be uninformed, brothers and sisters, about those who are asleep, so that you will not grieve like the rest who have no hope." The issue that underpinned Paul's pastoral teaching on the great hope for Christians, was an assumption made by the Thessalonian believers. They had mistakenly thought that their transformation in Christ was complete, and that it was indicative of living the very last of the "last days". They believed that Christ's return was on the brink, and consequently, the recent death of one or more of their number had severely shaken their collective faith. Physical death, you see, simply should not have happened under such circumstances as theirs, or so they thought. In Greek culture physical death was more or less permanent. Paul responded by explaining that the recently dead in Christ suffered no eternal impediment by virtue of their physical decease, that death of the flesh didn't equate to death of the spirit. Importantly, notice that Paul referred to death as "sleep". In both the Semitic and Greek cultures, a figure of speech we know as "euphemism" was commonly applied to certain physical functions, death being principle among them. Treating literally a statement that was figurative has led Revivalists into incorrectly assuming that the New Testament teaching was one of the human soul/spirit being unconscious pending the physical resurrection (cf. this position against Paul's very clear inference in Philippians 1:20-26).

When Paul went on to briefly explain the Parousia to them, he used phenomenal language coupled with a Greek figure of speech known as "merism". This feature implies referring to a complete thought by enumerating certain of its parts or sub-elements. Effectively, the early Christians accepted the predominant world-view with respect to the make up of the universe current in their day: gods above, hell and death below, life existing somewhere in the middle. Ergo, Jesus would descend from heaven (i.e. from above), and believers would ascend from the earth (i.e. from below) to meet with him somewhere in the middle, or "in the clouds", so to speak. The principle feature of our passage--the main point--relates to the sudden, or violent shift that would take place in their location and circumstances at Christ's return. In verse 17 the Greek word αρπαγησομεθα is used to describe the act of being "caught up", or (more properly) "snatched" away from their former existence (the same word is also used by Luke to describe Philip's miraculous relocation after his encounter with the Ethiopian Eunuch). What Paul sought to impress upon the Thessalonians was that the dead wouldn't be forgotten when Christ returned for his own. But by the same token, those who were alive to witness the event would experience precisely the same translation into Christ's presence. Paul's teaching was that the dead in Christ enjoyed the same hope as did the living, which was that one moment people would be going about their lives according to their former existence; in the very next moment they would be ushered into Christ's presence to begin their eternal existence. Where Revivalists envision a (hopefully) "floating heavenwards", Paul envisioned an immediate and permanent physical translation into the very presence of Christ.

Also, as this day is referred to as 'that great and terrible day' of Judgement does that mean that every single person in the whole human race that ever lived will be judged in one second flat, or do you think (does the Greek infer) a different time frame ie. a day as in a day is like 1000 years? Again, what's being applied in the phrase, "the day of the Lord" is figurative language. Time remains a created construct; God exists outside of time, hence time itself loses its referential meaning with respect to him. The main point is the fact of God's judgment, and not the duration taken to reach it.
Oh, and of course the statement (see 1 Peter 3:8), "...with the Lord a day is like a thousand years..." demonstrates yet another two literary devices shared by Hebrews and Greeks: the first being "similie", the second you would probably recognise by the term "hyperbole". It's important to understand that Scripture doesn't teach that one day with God literally equals 1,000 years of human reckoning!

On the day of Judgement, will those sins that we have acknowledged, confessed to God and been forgiven of still be taken into account when determining one's reward versus loss of reward? To begin with let me suggest that one is either redeemed by Christ's sacrifice or one is not. Forgiveness is either complete in its effects, or it's not. Revivalists lack assurance because Revivalist "salvation" is works-based and is consequent on human striving. Christians, however, can enjoy assurance because our salvation isn't based on anything that we might do, it's based solely on what Christ has done. Now with respect to final rewards versus the potential loss of reward (which, as you correctly pointed out is distinct from, and separate to, eternal salvation), it's at this juncture where human choice becomes operative. We can choose to repent of our wrongs, and change, or we can choose not to. I'd personally recommend that the best and safest course of action would be to keep very short accounts with God.

Blessings,

Ian

email: didaktikon@gmail.com
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Re:Revivalisms: 'Meeting the Lord in the air'

Date Posted:05/12/2009 11:07 AMCopy HTML

Hi Ian and readers,

as I posted in the chatbox, I thought I'd post it here as well for the record: thank you so much for your highly informative teaching re the Parousia. A great and thorough explanation.  I hope all Revivalists take heed and approach Christ humbly re their 'saved by works versus saved by grace' confusion, too. BIG thumbs up to the debunking thread and posts 
:glad: 

Like Revivalists like to say, "if its true you can prove it".. so, let's see if they're really up for the challenge ;)or if they just run away when someone actually knows what they're talking about, as opposed to them, who only have Lloydism (Lloyd's interpretation of scripture) to fall back on: the shallow, Lloyd-made doctrine, which they unwittingly (and I admit I did too!) have been conned into believing as 'the truth'. 

I hope and pray that Revivalists reading this will be encouraged not to give up on pursuing all the things about Revivalist doctrine that *don't* make sense, and that are consistently, inconsistent.

Here is the perfect place to raise your issues anonymously. Nothing to lose by asking, after all, you will only be suspected of 'falling away' if you ask your local pastor, who is not even qualified to answer such questions, so will give uninformed answers instead.

OK, that's enough from me

God bless,

RDP



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