There are two [overriding and] confusing areas for dispensational theology [to my understanding of Paul’s teachings in scripture], and I was raised baptist and attended Liberty University. [Had it drummed into me that there were different ages and modalities for salvation within those ages. Those modalities are never really explained from within scripture.]
My questions that I think need to be answered by the dispensationalists are [several]:
1. Is there any other way for man from the beginning of history including Israel to be saved other than [that provided in] the New Covenant sacrifice and resurrection of Christ Jesus? [There then would be a followup to that question — How was this gospel message delivered to God’s people, who had died and were housed in Sheol?]. This question [these questions] arises out of Paul’s teaching in 1Cor 15 where he makes Adam responsible for man’s fall, and Christ Jesus [being in Him] the only means [ever] for his resurrection. 1 Corinthians 15:20 But now Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who are asleep. 21 For since by a man [came] death, by a man also [came] the resurrection of the dead. 22 For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all will be made alive. (NASB1995). These verses state that “in Christ” all will be resurrected [made alive in Christ? Dr Reluctant never satisfactorily addresses this point]
2. [A second major area of concern] Where are the Jews [and the pre—Jewish people of God, who are] of [the] paradise [of Christ’s day] now located (remembering that this is where Jesus spent His three days and nights after His Crucifixion)? and why do you place these where you do as a Dispensationalist [teaching that they are not in Christ], when Paul [now] places the location of paradise in the third heaven? I knew a man in Christ above fourteen years ago, (whether in the body, I cannot tell; or whether out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth;) such an one caught up to the third heaven. How that he was caught up into paradise, and heard unspeakable words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter. 2 Corinthians 12:2,4 KJV
Here is my dilemma with dispensational theology. If paradise the holding place for OT saints was moved by Jesus to heaven — captivity led captive as evidenced by Paul as He visited paradise in the third heaven; then those in paradise must now also [they somehow must have learned the gospel and now] be of the dead numbered with or “in Christ” [who, then will only be subject for a future resurrection in Christ, because without being in Christ there is no future resurrection to life for these]. [They must be in Christ for two reasons: 1. Christ lead them free, and 2. They will not see the resurrection without being in Christ.] Does this not make Paul’s teaching in Eph 2 on one new man very clear and simple to understand for all but [except for] dispensational theology? And understand I’m not saying that I think that “A” and “Post” millennial theology are correct, but it certainly lends credence in my mind to at least a Premillennialist post-Trib return. Paul taught that the dead “in Christ” will or must be caught up before the Rapture. If all men to be resurrected to life in Christ as Paul states in 1 Cor 15 must [first] be in Christ [in order to be resurrected]; then does it not stand to reason that there can be no resurrection of the dead in Christ until after the tribulation’s dead are to die in Christ? In other words all men must come to the resurrection in Christ in order to be spared God’s wrath, which is [only] for all men not in Christ. What am I adding to or taking away from these scriptures?
Lastly I would just say that there is no covenant of grace specifically stated [as Dr Reluctant pronounced, making that fact a denouncement of Both A and Post millennial theology] , just as there is no specific statement of a church age [this fact Dr Reluctant ignored, and did not address this point]; still there is the specific promise [of the New Covenant] to Israel of the OT even as it is to what we call the New Testament era, and that promise is the new Covenant.
The following photo was taken offering proof that this was posted on Dr Reluctant’s site just in case he later removes it:
Dr Reluctant’s answer; and in that answer, notice that he is unable to answer or just won’t answer the main issue in this comment, which I will as you will see raise again as a later comment:
My position on your Question 1 is that the blood of Christ is all New covenant blood. However, It was not applied until after the cross. I do not believe the New covenant equates to one people of God since the NC is the salvation covenant, [note he does not answer the salvation for all men which is made clear by Paul, but makes it only for the church, yet all of God’s people are to be resurrected in the first resurrection. The first resurrection promise includes Israel, and those before Israel according to Paul, but not Dr Reluctant. He continues] yet the other covenants mean what they say and lead where they lead. No one is saved in the FINAL analysis other than by Christ. [ actually it’s in Christ, so what exactly is his point? Dr Reluctant then must have another modality for Israel’s salvation, which Paul I believe makes moot].
Question 2 is not easy to parse out, but saved Jews who have died are in heaven. So are all saved peoples from every age. However, this does not mean that they are all “in Christ.” [His answer refutes what Paul states:] To be in Christ is to be in the Body of Christ, the Church, [This is exactly my point, and I believe Paul’s] which is a post-resurrection entity. Therefore, there is no necessary link between being “in Christ” and every saint who is in heaven and your question is moot.
The following photo was taken offering proof that this was posted on Dr Reluctant’s site:
this is my full reply:
This is my full edited reply:
Can it be moot, when Paradise which contained the OT saints was moved to heaven only because of Christs [having been there, and then experiences ] resurrection? They were not there [in heaven] before that. Was Jesus’ time spent with OT saints not the evidence they needed to believe and thus [the reason for them to] be [placed] in Christ? Why did Paul make being in Christ a condition for resurrection in 1 Cor 15? It would seem that these things were important enough for Paul to include in his teachings. Here a little there a little, these [teachings by Paul] seem significant to our study of scripture?
Here is a link to Dr Reluctant’s original post on WordPress.