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The Promise of the Future (Venema)

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‘I believe that you will find the study on which you are about to embark both intellectually satisfying and spiritually enriching. It will certainly inform you; more than that, it will help you to see what a glorious thing it is to be a Christian.’ — SINCLAIR B. FERGUSON

Though we can never, in our time-bound state, know the future in detail, God in his mercy has not left us in complete ignorance of what is to come. His revelation in Holy Scripture has cast a flood of light on what would otherwise remain an impenetrable mystery.

Even among those who accept the Bible’s authority, however, there has never been complete agreement on what Scripture teaches in this area.

This major new examination of biblical teaching on the future of the individual, of the church and of the universe as a whole will be useful both to theological students and to informed non-specialists. Ranging over the whole field, it interacts extensively with recent literature on disputed issues, such as the nature of the intermediate state, the millennium of Revelation 20 and the doctrine of eternal punishment, always seeking to answer the fundamental question: ‘What do the Scriptures clearly teach?’ The Christ centred nature of biblical teaching on the future is emphasized, as is the importance of the church’s historic confessions for an understanding of eschatology. The chief note sounded is one of hope: ‘God’s people eagerly await Christ’s return because it promises the completion of God’ work of redemption…The future is bright because it is full of promise, the promise of God’s Word.’ 

Table of Contents: 

Part One: The Future Is Now 

1. Hope Nurtured by the Word 

2. The First Coming of the Lord 

Part Two: The Future Between Death and Resurrection

3. The Intermediate State 

Part Three: The Future of Christ 

4. The Second Coming of Christ 

Part Four: The Future Marked by the ‘Signs of the Times’

5. Signs of God’s Grace 

6. Signs of Opposition and Judgement – I 

7. Signs of Opposition and Judgement – II

Part Five: The Future of the Kingdom 

8. Premillennial Views 

9. Postmillennial Views

10. Evaluating Premillennialism 

11. What About Revelation 20?

12. Evaluating Postmillennialism

Part Six: The Future of All Things 

13. The Resurrection of the Body 

14. The Final Judgement 

15. The Doctrine of Eternal Punishment 

16. The New Heavens and New Earth