Book Review: Kingdom Come by Sam Storms

17328232When I started my ordination process one of the areas of theology I knew I needed to firm up on was eschatology. I knew enough to get by but if I was going to really defend this area of theology and clearly state where I fall on some of the finer points of eschatology I had some work to do. One of the major areas of tension for me was where I stood on the issue of premillennialism versus other views of millennialism as well as the topic of dispensationalism and the views related to it. These were the views I was taught in my younger years as a student in a Christian school as well as my time as a student in Bible college. I was presented with the other opposing views but dispensational premillennialism was the one championed as the correct view. I basically accepted this view as the correct one and leaned heavily into it until the last few years.

As I started to rethink where I stood on this area of eschatology I read three books that started to reshape my views. The first one was What is Reformed Theology by R.C. Sproul. This book really helped me understand the strengths of Reformed Theology (which I confidently hold to now). One of the chapters in particular helped me see the difference between dispensationalism and covenant theology. This chapter started showing me some of the areas of dispensationalism I couldn’t hold with confidence anymore (one example would be the separation between Israel and the church). The second book was Four Views on the Book of Revelation which helped me see some of the different ways to interpret the book of Revelation. Then lastly I read Sam Storm’s book Kingdom Come which stands in my opinion as the best defense for amillennialism out there when it comes to books. All three of these books, especially the last one, has helped me not only better understand, but lean heavily towards amillennialism in my own view of eschatology.

I want to highlight of few things about this book as way of recommending it to you.

Critiques the popular view of dispensational premillennialism. He starts by explaining this view very clearly but then does a great job of showing some of the weaknesses of it. He does so with great humility and with great scholarship. In this critique he shows some of the weaknesses in both the pre-tribulation rapture view as well as premillennialism. Many people have grown up in a church culture that held and taught these views and they have come to adopt it as their own without any critical thinking. This section helps the reader do just that.

Gives clear explanation of views the author doesn’t hold as his own. Of course much of this book is a defense of amillennialism. However, Storms spends some of the book explaining other views that he himself doesn’t even hold as his own (as seen in the example above). I think this shows Storms scholarship as well as respect for others who hold different views. In one chapter he explains very clearly the view of postmillennialism. Many times this view is seen as an evil third view of millennialism but Storms does an excellent job at showing some of the things this view does well. As much as I disagree with this view my understanding of it and respect for those that hold to it grew. He also has a section where he explains view of preterism.

Honesty. Many times throughout this book Storms admits he hasn’t arrived at all the answers. By doing this it shows the complexity of eschatology. At points in the book he admits he is still searching for where he lands on certain issues. At the end of one chapter he says this about the difficult passage of 2 Thessalonians 2: “I had hoped to be more definitive in my conclusions concerning the meaning of this passage. I had hoped that by studying the text closely I might contribute something substantive to the never-ending attempt to identity the ‘man of lawlessness’ or at least expand our grasp of what he will do upon his appearance. Alas, I fear I have failed in this regard. As much as I hate to say so, I feel compelled to agree with Augustine and say, ‘I frankly confess I do not know what Paul means’ in this text!” That’s humility and it shows throughout the book.

Strong defense of amillennialism. As I said before, as far as books are concerned this seems to be the strongest defense of amillennialism. It’s thorough, clear, and compelling. I’d even argue the conclusion where Storms sums up all the points he made for amillennialism throughout the book is one of the best reference guides for this view.

This book is a must read for anyone interested in better understanding amillennialism and eschatology in general. I’d highly recommend this book no matter what view of eschatology you hold to. It will give you a great understanding of all the views as Storms covers a lot of ground in this book by explaining and critiquing many views found within eschatology.  It will stretch you and at times confuse you but will be worth the work to digest the material offered up by Storms.

Are You Ready?

I love this video! I ran across it a few days ago and the Lord brought to my attention some things concerning His coming. First, I do not totally agree with the end of the video. I do not believe that Christ coming is going to be quit like it is portrayed in this video. The Bible does tells us about the Lord’s return! 1 Thessalonians 4:16, 17(NIV) says, “For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever.”But, I am not here to judge this video and point out what I disagree about. God still used this video to encourage me and to remind me a few things about the Lord’s coming!

First, while I was watching this video, God reminded me of 1 John 2:28 (NIV) which says, “And now, dear children, continue in Him, so that when He appears we may be confident and unashamed before Him at His coming.”I love how the video shows people going about their normal day, the busy streets, the people getting their morning coffee while reading the paper, the meetings, and then unexpectedly the Lord comes back! This is one of the saddest things about us Christians today. We are so caught up in this life that we are no longer looking for the Lord and His return. We must remember that this isn’t our life really, we are just passing through and spending some time, because our real life and home is in heaven with our God! I love 1 John 2:28 because it remind us to continue in Christ, to be about His business, to be living for Him and staying out of sin, because if we do that than we will be confident and unashamed at His coming! There is a lot of Christians who are in sin and living worldly lives and soon when Christ return they are going to be unashamed! I believe us Christians need to get out of the routine of thislife and start being more business about the Lord’s work! We need to be excited about the Lord’s return and be looking for it! But while we are looking fellow Christians, let’s being busy about His work and lets not be ashamed when He comes!

Secondly, I started thinking about the unsaved person. At the end of the video there is a man running and saying “wait, wait!” I’m so glad I will not be one of those people! It amazes me that God has laid out His plain of salvation so clearly, but people are still rejecting it! I believe when the Lord returns, there will be a lot of people that are going to wish they would have accepted Christ when they could of! I pray that if your reading this, and you are not saved and do not have a personal relationship with God through Jesus Christ, than today will be your day of salvation! Don’t be the one running and yelling “wait, wait!” after the Lord has returned! Get saved now and be one of the ones taken up to meet the Lord in the clouds! If you are not saved or have questions, than find someone who is a Christians and ask them how you can get saved!

I hope this video speaks to other as it has spoken to me! Watch it a few times and let the Lord press on your heart about His coming. It’s getting closer everyday and we need to be ready!