Skip to main content

What did the church fathers believe about end times?

Church historians and theologians offer some reflections : 

Philip Schaff writes:
"The most striking point in the eschatology of the ante-Nicene [i.e., prior to AD 325] age is the prominent chiliasm, or millenarianism, that is the belief of a visible reign of Christ in glory on earth with the risen saints for a thousand years, before the general resurrection and judgment. It was indeed not the doctrine of the church embodied in any creed or form of devotion, but a widely current opinion of distinguished teachers, such as Barnabas, Papias, Justin Martyr, Irenaeus, Tertullian, Methodius, and Lactantius"
William Alger writes:
“Almost all the early Fathers believingly looked for a millennium, a reign of Christ on earth with his saints for a thousand years.”
William Masselink writes:
“The Chiliastic [Premillennial] conception immediately found acceptance in the Christian church. … The Apostolic history shows us that many of the old church fathers were leaning toward this view.”
Donald K. McKim writes:
“The eschatology of the early [patristic] theologians regarding the kingdom of God is marked by the development of chiliasm, a term that refers to the thousand-year reign of Christ (Rev. 20:1-10) connected with his second coming, the resurrection of the dead, and the final judgment.
Roger E. Olson writes:
“Augustine [in the fourth century] developed what has come to be known as amillennialism, whereas most of the earliest church fathers were premillennialists.”
Christopher Rowland writes:
“The Book of Revelation offers an example of theology which is at the heart of earliest Christian conviction rather than being marginal to it. Millennial beliefs were still widely held from the second century onward, as is evident in the writings of Justin Martyr, Irenaeus, Hippolytus, Tertullian, and Lactantius.”
Quotes taken from Christ's Prophetic Plans: A Futuristic Premillennial Primer (Edited by John F MacArthur.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Competing Spectacles, A Review

Over the last few weeks the country has been transfixed on the amazing run of the England football team in Euro 2020. I was initially put off watching the football after I saw the team shamefully bowing to BLM at the start of each game. But as the excitement has grown in the country, I have found myself irresistibly pulled to watch a few games in the tournament. The collective national gaze over England’s Euro 2020 is an example of what Tony  Reinke, the author of Competing Spectacles , calls a spectacle.   A spectacle is something visible that captures our collective attention. It is that moment when society’s eyes and brains focus on something projected at us. This may be a big political story, a sports event, a new film or a badly behaved influencer. We primarily experience spectacles through technologies we use. I have been experiencing the spectacle of Euro 2020 through our television, but others have consumed it on the mobile or in person.  Most spectacles are consumed through ha

Are we worth saving?

In the famous film The Fifth Element , Leeloo (Milla Jovovich) poses a challenging rhetorical question to Korben Dallas (Bruce Willis) : What's the use in saving life when you see what you do with it? (Watch  here ).   She is speaking 250 years in the future, where life as we know it is threatened by the arrival of Evil. Only Leeloo (the "Fifth Element") can stop Great Evil from extinguishing life. Leeloo is the vulnerable but "supreme being" that comes as human being to save humanity. To accomplish her task she has to activate the four elemental stones of earth, wind, fire and rain, with her self in the middle as the "fifth element" that is forged into the ultimate weapon against Great Evil. It is at this point of salvation, inside the temple of stones, that Leeloo becomes disillusioned and unwilling to perform the role. She comes to realise that human beings are themselves so evil that they are not worth saving. Any “salvation” will be tempor

Jesus Never Fails

Many a times in my life, the words of this childhood hymn has been a tremendous encouragement. I pray this may encourage you too. Keep looking to Jesus! Jesus never fails, Jesus never fails The man of the world will let you down, but Jesus never fails. Your mother will let you down Your father will let you down The man of the world will let you down, but Jesus never fails. Your husband will let you down Your wife will let you down The man of the world will let you down, but Jesus never fails Your brothers will let you down Your sisters-will let you down The man of the world will let you down, but Jesus never fails Your church will let you down Your work will let you down The man of the world will let you down, but Jesus never fails Your friends will let you down Your country will let you down The man of the world will let you down, but Jesus never fails Your wealth will let you down Your health will let you down The man of the world