Home > Uncategorized > Is Eschatology A Third Order Doctrine?

Is Eschatology A Third Order Doctrine?


Concerning the relative importance of eschatology, as compared to the so-called second-order doctrines of baptism and the Lord’s table, S. Lewis Johnson expressed this point well:

Did you know that the second coming of the Lord Jesus Christ is mentioned over three hundred times in the New Testament?  Now there are three hundred and something chapters of the New Testament.  In other words, in every chapter proportionately in the New Testament, we have some reference to the second coming of the Lord Jesus.  There are some of the epistles who specifically have not just one but more than one reference to the second coming in those epistles.

We have the second coming mentioned three hundred and eighteen times.  We have baptism, or we have the doctrine of baptism. mentioned only nineteen times in seven epistles.  In other words, the Second Advent should have a great deal more emphasis in our Christian thought and life than the doctrine of water baptism.  Yet observe the importance that the churches attach to baptism.

We have entire denominations called Baptist churches.  We have large denominations calling themselves, Baptist churches. . . . Did you know that there are over 20 different kind of Baptists?  But now how many denominations do you know that are named the Lord’s coming denomination, or the Second Advent denomination?  We do have the Seventh Day Adventist, but then they mixed up the truth with error in their title:  The Seventh Day Adventist.  And did you know that we have Seventh Day Baptists?  We have a denomination of Baptists that call themselves Seventh Day Baptists.

Did you know that the Lord’s Supper is mentioned six times in the New Testament, but it is not in twenty of the twenty-one epistles of the New Testament.  Not mentioned, and there are some groups that make a great deal over the Lord’s Supper.

The second coming of the Lord Jesus ought to enlarge in our Christian thinking.  I have wondered if the church is not making the same mistake about the second coming that the Jews made about the first coming—not all the Jews, but some of the Jews.  They did not make very much of the suffering and the cross and the literality of the first coming texts.

The earliest Christians made a great deal after they learned the truth of the suffering, the cross and the second coming of the Lord Jesus, and it seems to me that today we may be possibly, possibly erring a little too much by making a whole lot over the first coming and sometimes de-emphasizing the reigning, the crown, the literality of the second coming of the Lord Jesus.

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