I have been seeing more and more about the Kingdom Gospel vs the Gospel of Grace.
Dispensationalism is becoming very popular on YouTube, and people are actually turning toward this teaching. I have seen comments that the churches of Christ intertwine the kingdom gospel and the grace gospel.
Basically, they are saying that Paul teaches a separate Gospel that was revealed to him by Jesus. A mystery that was for the Gentiles only. They say that verses, such as Acts 2:38, were for the Jews only and not for us today. These dispensationalists seem to have a rebuttal to everything and are stern on their belief.
Why do I care, you may wonder? Well, my brother, who was baptized in water at around 18 but now is in his 40s, no longer believes in water baptism and that one is saved through the waters. Instead, he believes that one is saved once he believes. Then the believer is sealed by the Holy Spirit. Because I care, it is quite frustrating as we have been in a debate for about two years. We were raised in the churches of Christ and so he will say that he knows everything that I have to share and that what I share was basically for the Jews and not for the Gentiles.
Do you have any insight on this topic? I think the thing that needs answering for the topic at hand is the whole Kingdom Gospel "vs" The Grace Gospel. Paul taught grace "alone".
Thank you for your time.
Dispensationalism technically is the view that history is divided into distinct dispensations and that in each dispensation, God dealt with mankind in a different manner. Thus, to talk about the patriarchal age, the Mosaical age, and the Christian age is technically a dispensational view.
Dispensationalism, however, goes further. It is a key part of premillennial theories. The two terms, dispensationalism and premillennialism, are often used interchangeably. The number of breakdowns varies with the views held, but a typical set of dispensational ages are:
- Innocence - The time from the Creation to the fall of man.
- Conscience - The time from the fall of man to the Flood
- Human Government - The time from the Flood to the scattering of the people
- Promise - The time from Abraham to Moses
- Law - The time from Moses to the death of Jesus
- Grace - The Time from the cross until the imagined rapture
- Millennial Kingdom - A 1000 year reign of Christ on earth from Jerusalem
A period of tribulation is typically placed at the end of the Grace Age or the Millennial Kingdom. However, remember that this sample breakdown is only a sample, the variety of divisions of history varies a lot.
Dispensationalism also varies in its views of the church:
- Classic dispensationalism sees the church age as an interruption to God's saving of Israel. The promises in the Old Testament, in their view, remain to be fulfilled.
- Progressive dispensationalism acknowledges that some of the prophecies in the Old Testament are about the church, but they still claim that most are remaining to be fulfilled.
- Grace-Movement dispensationalism claims that the church age did not start on the day of Pentecost in Acts 2, but later with the teachings of Paul. This is even split between those who claim it started somewhere between Paul's conversion and his being sent to the Gentiles, while others claim it started at the end of Acts when Paul announces that since the Jews reject the Gospel, salvation would be taught to the Gentiles (Acts 28:28).
I suspect that your brother is following a variation of the Grace-Movement dispensationalism. See What do you believe in regards to premillennial and dispensational theories? that reference several items on premillennialism and dispensationalism.
The idea that there is a different gospel for Jews and Gentiles is shared by dispensationalism and Messianic Judaism. See:
- The Gospel of the Circumcision and the Uncircumcision
- Where are Gentiles commanded to be saved by baptism?
Paul did not teach that salvation was by grace alone. See Is it by grace or by law?
Thank you. I will check out all that you shared. I have really appreciated all of your sermon outlines and discussions on the La Vista Church of Christ site thus far.
Thank you for your time!