Carson Bledsoe: Theology Questions

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Carson Bledsoe: Theology Questions

Post by Carson Bledsoe on Tue Nov 20, 2018 7:51 pm

1.Share your summary of the epistle's contribution to eschatology.
1 Thessalonians
I just finished reading this Book as part of my devotions and hadn't realized, even when going through it, that there's a central theme of The Day of the Lord. Each chapter, except for 5, ends with a reference to Jesus' return. Chapter 5 starts with what scholars have labeled as The Day of the Lord. Until I went through Thessalonians specifically looking for references to Eschatology, I hadn't realized how central it was to Paul's theology.

Paul mentions in each chapter that the Lord Jesus is coming back. He has been taken up into heaven and left believers with The Great Commission but according to Paul, Jesus will come back. In chapter 1 Paul describes to the Thessalonians that Jesus saves us from the coming wrath. He saves us from a future judgement or trial because of our faith in Him. Chapter 2 also claims that Jesus is coming back. In chapter 3 Paul reveals that Jesus will come back “with all his holy ones.” These holy ones, he describes in chapter 4 are believers who have died before the return of Christ, The Day of the Lord. He also tells that believers who are still alive when Christ returns will be taken up with Christ. Paul finishes in chapter 5 by explaining no one knows when The Day of the Lord will occur except the Lord Himself. Paul is careful to build on his eschatological theology with each chapter.


2.Explain how the kingdom is both a present experience and a future hope.

A phrase we use a lot in Chi Alpha but also the Assemblies of God is that we experience “an already and not yet” Kingdom. “Already,” because we know and have experienced the grace and mercy of God. We can also experience the presence of God and have communion with His Holy Spirit who actively guides, speaks, encourages, and comforts us. The community and fellowship we that we experience with other believers is also a sign of Jesus’ Kingdom currently established on Earth.

“Not yet,” is what is obviously to come. What is most fresh in my mind is what Paul tells the Thessalonians is to come in the end times. Jesus will return on The Day of the Lord with believers who have passed on, and take with him believers who are still alive. Beyond this though when Jesus establishes his Kingdom on Earth we will see true unity and peace under the Lordship of Jesus Christ. All will bow before Jesus and God the Father and he will reign on Earth just as he has in Heaven.
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Carson Bledsoe

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Re: Carson Bledsoe: Theology Questions

Post by Jacob Gulka on Sun Dec 02, 2018 2:37 am

Splendidly put, Carson! As believers we do experience a taste of the future glory in the fellowship of believers with there still being a consummation in the “not yet” part of the kingdom of God. I believe that the fellowship of the saints is one of the primary ways that we as Christians can prepare for the coming glory that we have in Christ.
Also, Paul’s first letter to the Thessalonians is an excellent example of the centrality of eschatology to our theology. Paul continually refers to the Day of the Lord and its urgency. A believer always has a forward approach in their faith for future things of the Kingdom are hoped for since God’s plan for creation isn’t complete yet.
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Re: Carson Bledsoe: Theology Questions

Post by hstrelow on Mon Dec 03, 2018 3:34 pm

Yes, Carson! The "already not yet reality" has probably been shared with us since our freshman/sophomore year of college. And when Derek shared this with us, I still didn't quite understand what he was trying to say. But as I have grown in my faith, I have seen more and more the reality of the Kingdom here on earth. I love how this reality effects our prayer life! We can pray in faith with more boldness because we trust that there are Kingdom realities that can be grasped now. I believe there is a balance, and it can be difficult to strike, but finding the Kingdom now is life changing. Jacob, I am curious, did you experience this teaching at your Chi Alpha? How did they teach you the concept of an already not yet reality?
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Re: Carson Bledsoe: Theology Questions

Post by Katie A on Mon Dec 03, 2018 3:39 pm

Nicely put, Carson! I totally agree with you! I think that Chi Alpha/ The Assemblies of God has done well to really drill this concept into my heart, which is good, because it contributes to the clear Gospel presentation that I had never really received prior to coming. A verse that comes to mind for me here is the verse in the Lord's prayer that says "Your Kingdom come, your Will be done, on Earth as it is in Heaven." I love that verse because it shows us that we have the authority to proclaim the Kingdom of Heaven here on Earth, and we have the delegated authority to do so, because that's apart of God's plan.
Therefore, when we act out certain behaviors that are in scripture, we begin to see the kingdom unfold before us. For example, when we go and make disciples of ALL NATIONS, we are welcoming the Kingdom of heaven here on Earth, because every tribe, tongue and nation will be represented in Heaven! Pretty cool stuff!
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