Yes very artificial – I set the questions and I give my answer. Oh to have sat exams like this in the past! I will give some real quick answers here to where I am at. Are the answers correct? Probably not all are, but they are a true representation of where I am at.
Do you believe in a personal return of Jesus?
Yes. There is a whole element of a movement from heaven to earth (New Jerusalem, heaven holding Jesus until, dead coming with Jesus etc.).
Do you believe in a millennial rule from Jerusalem?
Do you believe that there will be A future antiChrist?
Maybe but I do not see that as something prophesied in Scripture.
Do you believe that everything can be transformed without the parousia… a kind of optimistic post-millennialism?
No, but I am very optimistic.
And a tribulation?
The ‘great tribulation’ was in the years 66-70AD and has been repeated in different places / times since. Tribulation is also related to our location, standing in the squeeze (literal meaning) between what is and what we long for.
Do you believe that those who die (in Christ) go to heaven?
I do, tentatively. I do not wish to emphasise that as the resurrection of the dead is the central hope, and is so strong that (almost) nothing else gets a look in.
What about eternal destinies?
It is pretty impossible to know what Jesus believed about ‘hell’, although he mentions the word numerous times, but always in a context that is different to the one that we commonly use it. I settle on ‘eternal punishment’, not eternal punishing, and a very generous inclusion of as many as possible in the age to come.
What about ‘all Israel’ being saved?
Two responses to that one. There is not a temporal clause in the verse, it is not ‘and then all Israel will be saved’ but ‘in this way all Israel will be saved’ (kai houtos). ‘All Israel’ was a rabbinic term and then they went on to say who were not included, and the ‘who’ were the Jews by race who disqualified themselves, so the term is not a term that meant anyone descended from Abraham. (In Rom. 11:31 Paul writes of Jews receiving mercy NOW, not then at some future time.) Secondly, we need to go back to re-define the term ‘saved’. It is a saved from the falling short of the glory of God (not being human) to be saved for a reason. That reason is to be a channel and means by which the presence of God can be expressed within the world. So I do not see this Scripture as something that Paul is saying will happen before or at the end. It was his hope within his lifetime.
I am sure there are a thousand other important questions, but as these are simply my responses they are probably not worth asking. They do illustrate though that I am very conservative in my approach. The next post (maybe posts) will focus on being a little more speculative, realising that with their Scriptures in hand many Jews could not see how Jesus could be the Messiah. In the light of that it is not unreasonable to suggest that any attitude that says ‘I’ve got that one nailed’ could well be wrong.