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The Eschatology of Christmas

Page history last edited by PBworks 12 years, 8 months ago

 The Eschatology of Christmas

by Brandon Vallorani

 

 

 

An article that I wrote earlier this year, Hymnbook Eschatology, made the case that Dispensational theology is hard to find in the hymnbook. Of course, it is not found in the pages of Scripture either. Dispensationalism is a theological persuasion that believes Christianity will shrink from the earth until the "Rapture" comes and rescues a few remaining Christians from final destruction.

Dispensationalism does not inspire the Church to greatness. Neither does it inspire great hymns. Ironically, even in the most dispensational churches you'll hear the singing of hymns which speak of the advancement of the Gospel and the Kingdom of Christ on the earth.

One of my favorite things to do during the Christmas season is listen to the old Christmas hymns. These hymns have a lot to say about eschatology (study of the end times). Consider the fact that defeatist or retreatist language is nowhere to be found in their verses. Rather than the usual dispensational doom and gloom, you hear words of glorious victory.

Reread verses 2-4 from Joy to the World by Isaac Watts:

Joy to the earth, the Savior reigns!

Let men their songs employ;

While fields and floods, rocks, hills and plains

Repeat the sounding joy,

Repeat the sounding joy,

Repeat, repeat, the sounding joy.

No more let sins and sorrows grow,

Nor thorns infest the ground;

He comes to make His blessings flow

Far as the curse is found,

Far as the curse is found,

Far as, far as, the curse is found.

He rules the world with truth and grace,

And makes the nations prove

The glories of His righteousness,

And wonders of His love,

And wonders of His love,

And wonders, wonders, of His love.

Unlike many dispensationalists today, Isaac Watts recognized that Jesus IS ALREADY on the throne of his father David ruling and reigning (Acts 2:29-35)1.

 

Joy to the earth, the Savior reigns!

Let men their songs employ;

 

He also understood that Christ is gradually extending his righteous rule and putting all of his enemies under his feet (1 Cor. 15:25-26)2

 

He comes to make His blessings flow

Far as the curse is found

 

Lastly, he reminds us that all of the world's governments rest on Christ's shoulders and that His government will increase forever (Is. 9:6-7)3.

 

He rules the world with truth and grace,

And makes the nations prove

The glories of His righteousness,

And wonders of His love,

 

As you celebrate the advent of our King this season, I remind you to reflect on the fact that Jesus did not stay in the manger, nor did he stay on the cross. Rather, he ascended to the throne and rules as King of Kings. The eschatology of Christmas in one of hope and victory.

 

"His dominion shall be also from sea to sea and from the river unto the ends of the land." (Psalm 72:8 — 1599 Geneva Bible).

 


1 Acts 2:29-3529 "Brethren, I may confidently say to you regarding the patriarch David that he both died and was buried, and his tomb is with us to this day. 30 "And so, because he was a prophet and knew that God had sworn to him with an oath to seat one of his descendants on his throne, 31 he looked ahead and spoke of the resurrection of the Christ, that He was neither abandoned to hades, nor did his flesh suffer decay. 32 "This Jesus God raised up again, to which we are all witnesses. 33 "Therefore having been exalted to the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, He has poured forth this which you both see and hear. 34 "For it was not David who ascended into heaven, but he himself says: ‘The Lord said to my Lord, "Sit at my right hand, 35 Until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet."'

 

2 1 Cor. 15:25-26

25 For He must reign until He has put all His enemies under His feet.  26 The last enemy that will be abolished is death. when he wrote,

3 Is. 9:6-76 For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us; And the government will rest on His shoulders; And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace. 7 There will be no end to the increase of His government or of peace, On the throne of David and over his kingdom, To establish it and to uphold it with justice and righteousness. From then on and forevermore. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will accomplish this.

 


Brandon Vallorani is the Executive Vice President of American Vision.

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