Presbyterian Minister Teaching Dispensationalism
Rev. Angus Stewart
Jesus Christ is coming again on the clouds of heaven
with His mighty angels to raise the dead, judge the world and usher in
the new heavens and new earth! This is the "blessed hope" (singular) of
the church (Titus 2:13).
In his dispensationalist book Studies on the
Second Coming, Presbyterian Church in Ireland minister, Dr. Crawford
Ballentine posits two second comings of Christ, two resurrections and
two judgment days. The first second coming and the first judgment day
precede the second second coming and the second judgment day by 1,007
years (a literal 7 year tribulation followed by a literal 1,000 year
reign of the glorified Christ over glorified saints, non-glorified
saints and non-glorified sinners in a Jewish kingdom on earth in which
Old Testament laws and ceremonies will be restored—what the Reformed
faith calls "Jewish dreams" [Second Helvetic Confession 11]).
The Scriptures uniformly speak of the "day" (not
"days") of Christ’s bodily return (Matt. 24:36-37; I Thess. 5:2; II
Thess. 1:10) and the "day" (not "days") of judgment (Acts 17:31; Rom.
2:16) as the same day (II Thess. 1:7-10; II Tim. 4:8). Moreover, the
"day" of judgment (John 12:48) is the "day" of resurrection (John 6:39,
44), what the Bible calls "the last day." Scripture teaches, "there
shall be a resurrection [singular] of the dead, both of the just and
unjust" (Acts 24:15).
Dispensationalism attacks the unity of the church of
all ages by its radical disjuncture between Israel and the church.
However, true Jews (both in Old and New Testament days) are circumcised
inwardly and spiritually in the heart (Rom. 2:28-29) and the church in
the New Testament receives the same titles as the church in the Old
Testament: "a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar [i.e.,
special] people" (I Peter 2:9; Ex. 19:5-6).
How Dr. Ballentine’s dispensational notions could
possibly square with Presbyterianism’s Westminster Confession of
Faith is anyone’s guess. And that monies from the sale of a book
teaching Brethren views of the last things should go to a Ballymena
Presbyterian church building fund is amazing!