Is Dispensationalism Heretical?

Dispensationalism basically breaks up Biblical history into a series of times (dispensations) for various purposes of God.  Is this a heretical division of Scripture? Right now, I am on the fence about this.  I disagree  with dispensationalism on most of its conclusions and believe that God does not alter His will or purpose throughout the Bible.  God is very focused from beginning to end and I believe Scripture bears this out. Whereas a dispensationlist will break down a passage and conclude that it is speaking to Jews (or Gentiles) to the exclusion of Gentiles or vice versa, I believe that all of the Bible is written to believers.  Obviously, what we call the Old Testament was also and initially written for Jews, that does not negate that it was also intended for the rest of us since God’s plan is eternal.

Is dispensationlism heretical?

Is dispensationlism heretical?

By heretical on this blog I mean does it have salvific consequence? Does the erroneous hermaneutic of Dispensationlism  deprive them of true belief in Jesus Christ?

For instance, if I am right and they are totally off base in their belief in a pre-tribulation rapture will this affect these beguiled believers’ salvation when/if they realize they have been duped by their teachers?

I want to believe that God, in His great mercy, will see past the hoopla and cut them some proverbial slack.  Perhaps the question is, what does dispensationalism teach about salvation? Since it is so wrong about so much, maybe it’s teaching about salvation is skewed as well. I’m open to suggestions and comments before my next post on this subject in which I am going to examine the basis for their belief in a pre-tribulation rapture.  It sounds good as dispensationlists teach on it.  But, when one takes a step back and looks at what the Word really says, it’s pretty simple to debunk.  In fact dispensationalism is upside down on the whole subject.  Look for more by the end of the week.

Seriously though, give me some feedback on this.

Be Blessed,


10 thoughts on “Is Dispensationalism Heretical?

  1. I’m not sure whether being pre-trib is going to affect your salvation. My own experience with Dispensationalism is that it is an interesting, somewhat fictionalized, way to view Biblical history and some people carry it into heresy. But, ultimately, I don’t think what you believe about the order of Christ’s return will have any bearing on your salvation. Salvation is about a relationship with Jesus Christ that starts when we trust Him in faith to forgive our sins. I think it is entirely possible to have that one event correct and screw up most of the rest.

    For example, I cannot find anywhere in the New Testament where baptism was ever done by means other than immersion. I think we’re not fully obeying God when we wimp out and allow baptism to be done by pouring or sprinkling. But I don’t think being baptized in a less than obedient fashion is going to prevent someone who has a true salving faith from God’s heaven.

    I also think that you can be a fully committed Christian who God has not blessed with the gift of tongues and that won’t keep you out of heaven either. Conversely, being a Christian who insists that someone should speak in tongues to be a Christian isn’t going to keep you out of heaven, although it may result in people refusing your witness.

    You can be wrong about the window dressing and still show up at the right door and have the gatekeeper recognize you.


    • That said, I do know dispensationalists whose commitment to their scheme of the Bible has caused them to miss the gospel message. After listening to what they have to say, I can only conclude that they (usually) grew up in a dispensational church and somehow got the idea that if you just followed the rules of dispensationalism, you didn’t need to confess your sin to Christ, repent and accept His grace by faith. I’m not convinced that’s the inevitable result of dispensationalism because I also know people from dispensational churches who I believe are fully committed Christians — awfully narrow-minded and annoying Christians, but Christians none the less.


  2. Dispensationalism guts the Scripture’s powerful messages for all people. It attempts to fit a system on top of a God who defies systems and easy explanations. The pre-trib rapture is a relatively new idea that does seem to give Christians a false expectation that God will just rescue us out of any serious tribulation or persecution. It would leave most of Revelation as unimportant to a current believer (except for End Times Trivia night…). A great resource is Ladd’s “The Blessed Hope.”


  3. So apparently, I called dispensationalism heretical in the above article and thereby by ticked off a couple people. I don’t think I did. I said it is wrong. But I think the implication is that one may be wrong and still be saved. I hope so because I know that I’m wrong a lot.


  4. [Howdy, Christopher. I spied the following on the informative web. Enjoy.]

    Pretrib Rapture Pride

    Pretrib rapture promoters like Thomas Ice give the impression they know more than the early Church Fathers, the Reformers, the greatest Greek New Testament scholars including those who produced the KJV Bible, the founders of their favorite Bible schools, and even their own mentors!
    Ice’s mentor, Dallas Sem. president John Walvoord, couldn’t find anyone holding to pretrib before 1830 – and Walvoord called John Darby and his Brethren followers “the early pretribulationists” (RQ, pp. 160-62). Ice belittles Walvoord and claims that several pre-1830 persons, including “Pseudo-Ephraem” and a “Rev. Morgan Edwards,” taught a pretrib rapture. Even though the first one viewed Antichrist’s arrival as the only “imminent” event, Ice (and Grant Jeffrey) audaciously claim he expected an “imminent” pretrib rapture! And Ice (and John Bray) have covered up Edwards’ historicism which made a pretrib rapture impossible! Google “Morgan Edwards’ Rapture View” and journalist/historian Dave MacPherson’s “Deceiving and Being Deceived” for documentation on these and similar historical distortions.
    The same pretrib defenders, when combing ancient books, deviously read “pretrib” into phrases like “before Armageddon,” “before the final conflagration,” and “escape all these things”!
    BTW, the KJV translators’ other writings found in London’s famed British Library (where MacPherson has researched) don’t have even a hint of pretrib rapturism. Is it possible that Ice etc. have found pretrib “proof” in the KJV that its translators never found?
    Pretrib merchandisers like Ice claim that nothing is better pretrib proof than Rev. 3:10. They also cover up “Famous Rapture Watchers” (on Google) which shows how the greatest Greek NT scholars of all time interpreted it.
    Pretrib didn’t flourish in America much before the 1909 Scofield Bible which has pretribby “explanatory notes” in its margins. Not seen in the margins was jailed forger Scofield’s criminal record throughout his life that David Lutzweiler has documented in his recent book “The Praise of Folly” which is available online.
    Biola University’s doctrinal statement says Christ’s return is “premillennial” and “before the Tribulation.” Although universities stand for “academic freedom,” Biola has added these narrow, restrictive phrases – non-essentials the founders purposely didn’t include in their original doctrinal statement when Biola was just a small Bible institute! And other Christian schools have also belittled their founders.
    Ice, BTW, has a “Ph.D” issued by a tiny Texas school that wasn’t authorized to issue degrees! Ice now says that he’s working on another “Ph.D” via the University of Wales in Britain. For light on the degrees of Ice’s scholarliness, Google “Bogus degree scandal prompts calls to wind up University of Wales,” “Thomas Ice (Bloopers),” “be careful in polemics – Peripatetic Learning,” and “Walvoord Melts Ice.” Also Google “Thomas Ice (Hired Gun)” – featured by media luminary Joe Ortiz on his Jan. 30, 2013 “End Times Passover” blog.
    Other fascinating Google articles include “The Unoriginal John Darby,” “X-raying Margaret,” “Margaret Macdonald’s Rapture Chart,” “Pretrib Rapture’s Missing Lines,” “Edward Irving is Unnerving,” “Pretrib Rapture Politics,” “Pretrib Rapture Secrets,” “Pretrib Rapture Dishonesty,” “Pretrib Hypocrisy,” “Pretrib Rapture Secrecy,” and “Roots of Warlike Christian Zionism” – most from the author of “The Rapture Plot” (the most accurate documentation on pretrib rapture history) which can be obtained by calling 800.643.4645.
    Can anyone guess who the last proud pretrib rapture holdout will be?
    (Postscript: For another jolt or two Google “The Background Obama Can’t Cover Up.”)


    • I think that most Christians probably only really pick up two things from dispensationalism; the pretrib rapture and literal millennium kingdom, and the separate fate of the Jews. The first seems fairly harmless to salvation as long as the second chance part isn’t relied on, but the second is a real issue. First, it compromises proclamation to the Jews, which is an evangelical responsibility. Two it changes the nature of Jesus, who is thereby not theMessiah and is not the Kingdom of Heaven, and its antinomian quality renders real repentance and sanctification unnecessary. This would seem to make it a true heresy.


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