We continue with the question from the last issue: "I'd be interested to hear your opinion on the age of the earth. Scientists believe it is millions of years old, but the Bible says God made it in six days. If we count up the generations mentioned in the Bible, we can conclude that Adam was created about six thousand years ago. This fits in nicely with the theological belief that the earth is now "six days" old (a day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day), and we are ready to enter into the seventh (Satan will be bound for a thousand years). The parable of the good Samaritan also fits in nicely with this theology. Both of these views make a lot of sense on their own, but they don't fit together. They seem to be mutually exclusive. Any comments?"
We answered the part of the question about the age of the earth in the last issue. We wish to comment briefly here on the suggestion that this new millennium will bring the coming of Christ and the end of all things.
It is indeed tempting to put II Peter 3:8 ("a thousand years as one day") together with the Biblical data concerning the age of the earth and to conclude that we have entered the seventh "day" with the dawning of a new millennium, and on that basis to predict and expect the coming of Christ in this millennium. Adding additional appeal is the fact that the world we live in is so corrupt that it is difficult for the believer who is eagerly waiting the coming of Christ to think that He will tarry yet another thousand years or more.
There are, however, several objections to this. First, there is the Biblical warning that no one knows the day or hour of Christ's coming, not even the Son of Man Himself! (Matt. 24:36). One might object that by saying Christ will come in this millennium we are not doing what Scripture warns against. We would point out, however, that our calling is not to count days or years (or millennia) but to believe that He is coming quickly (Rev. 22:7, 12, 20) and to watch and wait and work until He comes (Matt. 24:42-46).
Second, there is the fact that Scripture nowhere gives us any ground to conclude that this millennium is the last "day" of the world. The fact that 1000 years are as a day, or a day as a thousand years does not mean they actually are equivalent in God's plan.
Third, as we have pointed out and proved in previous articles, the thousand years in which Satan is bound do not begin in the future (or with the coming of the year 2000), but began with the first coming of Christ and the beginning of the New Testament era. That "thousand years," therefore, has already lasted about 2000 years of actual history, and who is to say how much longer it will last?
The fact that this "thousand years" of Revelation 20 has already lasted much longer than such a literal period of time is a reminder and warning to us, too, that we must be careful not to count days and years or to think that we have some inside knowledge (in spite of Scripture's warning to the contrary) of when Christ will come.
It is worth remembering, too, that through the history of the church it has always been a characteristic of a cult, a cult-leader, or a false prophet to make predictions (always unfulfilled) concerning the time of Christ's coming. There are numerous examples of this and every one of them stands as a reminder to us that our calling is not to count but to watch and pray.
But let us remember, too, that He comes quickly.
- Volume: 7
- Issue: 24
Rev. Ronald Hanko (Wife: Nancy)
Ordained: November 1979
Pastorates: Wyckoff, NJ - 1979; Trinity, Houston, TX - 1986; Missionary to N.Ireland - 1993; Lynden, WA - 2002Website: www.lyndenprc.org/sermons/
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