I wrote a bit about this a while back, but was reminded of the importance of this yesterday. A friend of mine was preaching since our pastor was out of town, and he spoke on Hebrews 10:11-18. He didn't address Dispensationalism, but this immediately came to mind.
One of the tenets of Dispensational eschatology is that the millennial kingdom will include legitimate temple sacrifices. A simple reading of Hebrews 10, or even just a small portion of it, will show us that this cannot be the case! Such a belief minimizes what Christ has done with his once-for-all sacrifice. How can there remain any more need for sacrifices after the perfect lamb has been sacrificed for us?
Hebrews 10:1-4: For since the law has but a shadow of the good things to come instead of the true form of these realities, it can never, by the same sacrifices that are continually offered every year, make perfect those who draw near. Otherwise, would they not have ceased to be offered, since the worshipers, having once been cleansed, would no longer have any consciousness of sins? But in these sacrifices there is a reminder of sins every year. For it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins.
Hebrews 10:11-14: And every priest stands daily at his service, offering repeatedly the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. But when Christ had offered for all time a single sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God, waiting from that time until his enemies should be made a footstool for his feet. For by a single offering he has perfected for all time those who are being sanctified.
A key point that Steve made in his sermon in relation to this is that we cheapen the sacrifice of Christ every time we think that we need to make up for something we've done before God will forgive us. The very point of Christ's sacrifice is that we can do nothing to atone for our sins, and He has done everything to atone for our sins already. There is nothing we can do—no penance, no self-flagellation—that can add anything to Christ's sacrifice. You can download the sermon file from the Desert Springs sermon archive page.
As an interesting footnote, when I looked up “egregious” to make sure I really had the right word, I discovered that it originated as a word meaning exactly the opposite.
July 7, 2008