Contemporary Amillennial Literature Part 3 -- By: Homer Lemuel Payne

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 106:424 (Oct 1949)
Article: Contemporary Amillennial Literature Part 3
Author: Homer Lemuel Payne


Contemporary Amillennial Literature
Part 3

Homer Lemuel Payne

(Continued from the July-September Number, 1949)

{Editor’s note: Footnotes in the original printed edition were numbered 83–114, but in this electronic edition are numbered 1–32 respectively.}

The Tribulation

Contemporary amillennial writers generally reject or belittle the fact that throughout the Bible the tribulation is distinguished as peculiarly related to Israel (Jer 30:7; Luke 21:25), and is also characterized as a unique time of divine wrath (Luke 21:22–23; Rev 14:19; 15:1; 16:1). They also reject the mention of the “abomination of desolation” (Matt 24:15) as indicating connection between the tribulation and the seventieth week of Daniel. Amillennial authors minimize the eschatological importance of the tribulation. This may be said to fit in with, if it does not result from, their rejection of a national future for Israel and a futuristic interpretation of Revelation. Roman Catholic and liberal writers practically ignore the tribulation, though they give definite recognition to the Antichrist who will be a leading figure in it.1 Conservatives are divided here as elsewhere: some holding the tribulation is past, others that it is future.

Allis takes the verse “In the world ye shall have tribulation” and like passages, and argues that it is therefore shameful to speak of the church escaping the tribulation. He concludes, “There is nothing said about the great tribulation which indicates that the Christian, who through much tribulation is to enter the kingdom of God, will be exempt from it.2

Berkhof stresses the Biblical doctrine in opposition to postmillennialism, speaking of an end-time of “tribulation and persecution…when they who are loyal to Christ will be subjected to bitter sufferings.”3

Hamilton takes essentially the same position and even accepts the likelihood that the removal of the “restrainer” refers to the Holy Spirit.4

Lenski views the tribulation predictions (Matt 24:9–21) as referring to th...

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