11 Reasons Why MacArthur is not Amill

This is taken from a lecture John MacArthur gave at the Master’s College a number of years back.  These are my notes that (I hope) capture his major points…

Let me say up front this is not an issue that should divide true Believers.  This is not a mark of orthodoxy.  Case and point: MacArthur and Sproul are very good (personal) friends.   (There are many examples of biblical friendships between men who strongly disagree over eschatology).  The Together for the Gospel conference is a perfect example of how we should interact w/those who disagree with us over secondary matters.  Eschatology is a “secondary” Biblical issue because the heart of the gospel is not at stake.  This is an issue (none the less) because the Bible contains tons of prophetic passages.   Our convictions need to be interpreted through the grid of Scripture. All of us must strive to do biblical exegesis and thus have a truly biblical theology.

One things is certain: the Bible can not teach both Premillennialism and Amillennialism.  Realize upfront there are some mistaken notions of Premillennialism (and Amill. too).  Make sure you don’t build straw man arguments when trying to defend your convictions…

MacArthur thinks the following are some of the key passages that need to be understood: Study OT passages like Ezekiel 40-48; Zech 12-14, etc. And study NT passages like Rom 9-11, Revelation 20-21, etc.

Historically: Roman Catholic eschatology could be labeled Amillennial.  Luther did not reform completely from all of his R.C. heritage (see his views on baptism, eschatology, communion, etc).

If you use a consistent (normal) hermeneutic you come up with Premillennialism; even some Amillennialist state this (note what Floyd Hamilton, L. Boetner, and O.T. Allis say, all of whom are Covenant Theologians).  Historical grammatical hermeneutics need to be employed throughout all the genres in Scripture.

The promise in Gen 17:6 (of Kings) was literally fulfilled; Dan 2, 7, 8 predictions were also literally fulfilled. Spiritualizing prophetic literature is not prudent.  Habakkuk predicted the Babylonian captivity and it was fulfilled literally. The promise in Gen 49 (tribe of Judah) was fulfilled literally as were many other OT prophetic passages.

The future for Israel will be fulfilled literally as well!  Israel is only temporarily set aside as Romans 9-11 clearly teaches.

3 more things to consider:

1. The Earthly reign of Messiah (It is an EARTHLY Reign)
READ…… Rev 5:10; 11:15-18; 20:3, 8.

2. The Future Restoration of Israel (Jer 30:3, 11, 22; 31:35-37; Zech 12-13)

3. The Promises of the Davidic Kingdom (Psalm 89; Jer 33; 2 Sam 7; Is 7:14; Luke 1; Acts 1:8).

 To be continued (the 11 reasons will come tomorrow)…


5 responses to this post.

  1. Hi Caleb,

    I’m sorry – I’m a list kind of guy, and I’m having trouble extracting the 11 reasons from this post. Could you break them out for me? Thanks. I am also an amil kind of guy who sees a lot of merit in the premil viewpoint.

  2. Part 2 will include his 11 reasons. You were correct. This post was just an introduction (in typical MacArthur fashion). :)

  3. Thanks – I thought I was missing something! :-) I look forward to Part 2.

  4. Ah, for more honest days, when amills CANDIDLY ADMITTED that a normal hermeneutic could never yield their position. Now they dissemble, alas.

    Saddest thing to me about Mac’s speech (to which I’ve listened maybe four times, or more) is that those who so desperately need to re-think and re-assemble, haven’t. They’ve just said “Color me ‘offended,'” and shored up their traditions.

  5. I was brought up amil, now see value in premil in this sense: God plans to redeem the whole earth: prophecies like “the whole earth will be filled with the knowledge of the Lord–they will beat their swords into plowshares, etc.

    But dispensationalism and all that goes with it–is a crazy system of interpreting the Bible–all the date setting, the weird idea of a secret rapture, the “bring it on” attitude toward Armagedon, thinking we know what is going to happen next in the middle east, demonizing the Arabs, thinking any attempts to seek peace are part of a Satanic delusion–all this baggage that goes with popular dispensationalism has done a lot of damage.

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