A Short Excerpt from “The Presence of the Future”Posted: January 28, 2009
I start an interesting class today Eschatology. Believing a Pre-mil, it should be quite interesting to say the least. I hope to keep my mind open, and thoughts to myself for most of the class. In my undergrad I was forced into studying the theology of this area in great measure being that I disagreed so strongly with a Pre-trib. view on end times. However, I believe the theology of end times to be quite a minor area of debate and nine times out of ten not to be discussed due to the number of major areas that are more important to the gospel. Anyways the class should be interesting being that I will be sitting along side 18 other students that none of take a historical approach when coming to the Book of Revelation (Thanks for leaving me hanging Shawn & Nate). With the 1st day of class I was preparing myself with reading overviews online, papers and a few systematic theology books on the different views when I came across this beautiful section on, “The Presence of the Future.”
The supernatural character of the present Kingdom is confirmed by the words found in association with it. A number of verbs are used with the Kingdom itself as the subject.
The Kingdom can draw near to men (Matt. 3:2; 4:17; Mark 1:15; etc.); it can come (Matt. 6:10; Luke 17:20; etc.), arrive (Matt. 12:28), appear (Luke 19:11), be active (Matt. 11:12). God can give the Kingdom to men (Matt. 21:43; Luke 12:32), but men do not give the Kingdom to one another. Further, God can take the Kingdom away from men (Matt. 21:43), but men do not take it away from one another, although they can prevent others from entering it. Men can enter the Kingdom (Matt. 5:20; 7:21; Mark 9:47; 10:23; etc.), but they are never said to erect it or to build it. Men can receive the Kingdom (Mark 10:15; Luke 18:17), inherit it (Matt. 25:34), and possess it (Matt. 5:4), but they are never said to establish it. Men can reject the Kingdom, i.e., refuse to receive it (Luke 10:11) or enter it (Matt. 23:13), but they cannot destroy it. They can look for it (Luke 23:51), pray for its coming (Matt. 6:10), and seek it (Matt. 6:33; Luke 12:31), but they cannot bring it. Men may be in the Kingdom (Matt. 5:19; 8:11; Luke 13:29; etc.), but we are not told that the Kingdom grows. Men can do things for the sake of the Kingdom (Matt. 19:12; Luke 18:29) but they are not said to act upon the Kingdom itself. Men can preach the Kingdom (Matt. 10:7; Luke 10:9), but only God can give it to men (Luke 12:32).
The Presence of the Future. George Eldon Ladd. Wm. B. Eerdmans Pub. Co. Grand Rapids, MI. Page 193.