Final Destiny

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Final Destiny is a completely revised and 1123 page updated version of The Reign of the Servant Kings. It discusses eternal rewards, man's final significance, assurance of salvation, the warning passages, and eternal security.

Comments from reviewers.

This work is extensive in its argumentation, expansive in its canonical scope, and immensely expanded from its first edition. It is an exceptional work, and a majestic achievement of both exegetical and biblical theology. 

Fred Chay, Ph.D. Associate Professor of Theological Studies and Director of Doctoral Studies, Phoenix Seminary.  President of the Free Grace Alliance.

When I first read Reign of the Servant Kings many years ago it impacted my life and thinking powerfully.  This revised and greatly expanded  edition  is certain to become a standard discussion of the doctrines of grace and rewards. 

Kenneth R. Mitchell, Th.D. Teaching pastor, Westside Chapel, Jacksonville, Florida.  Author of “Justice and Generosity - The Teaching of the Bible Concerning the Poor.”

Dr. Dillow’s discussions of many controversial Bible verses and doctrines are thorough, fair, well documented, and thought-provoking.

Roy B. Zuck, Th.D.  Senior Professor Emeritus of Bible Exposition, Dallas Theological  Seminary,  and Editor, Bibliotheca Sacra.

Jody Dillow’s book, Final Destiny: The Future Reign of the Servant Kings, is a tour de force for anyone seriously interested in grappling with the biblical doctrines of salvation and  assurance, and becoming Christ’s partner in the fulfillment of human destiny. 

J. Paul Tanner, Ph.D.  Former Professor of Semitics and Old Testament at East Asia School of Theology and the Jordon Evangelical Theological Seminary.

With outstanding scholarship and thorough attention to exegetical and theological detail, Joseph Dillow has given us a magnificent vision of the final destiny of man.  Those who disagree with “Free Grace” soteriology will be uninformed if they have not read this work.

Earl Radmacher, Th.D. President Emeritus. Western Theological Seminary.

For anyone interested in deeper understanding of the important issues of salvation by grace through faith alone, eternal security, eternal rewards, and man’s Final Destiny, this  book is a must read!

Larry Waters, Ph.D. Associate Professor of Biblical Exposition, Dallas Theological Seminary.

 

Foreword by Dr. Earl Radmacher

It has been over twenty years since the publication of Joseph Dillow’s groundbreaking book, The Reign of the Servant Kings (1991).  In that work he contributed significantly to a new paradigm for understanding faith, works, assurance, eternal security and rewards.  We are pleased to see this comprehensive update and revision called Final Destiny: The Future Reign of the Servant Kings.  As the title indicates the final destiny of man is the reign of His servants, who serve, honor, and glorify God for all eternity.

When I first read The Reign of the Servant Kings, it really captured my belief that there needs to be something that will cause people who have received Christ as their Savior to realize that there is much more for believers to receive in the future than anyone can imagine today.  

In the fourth church that he was pastoring, Bud Strauss, a dear friend of mine, became aware of the fact that he had terminal cancer. His church in Escondido, California, had grown to several thousand during his ministry.  They had to have three services on Sunday morning and two on Saturday night.   In order to have enough strength, after preaching he would go immediately to his office to rest for a few minutes.  Then he would come back and preach the next time.  And the same for the third time.

His wife wrote me a note saying, ‘When my husband found out he had terminal cancer, he told the people, “I have been trying for many years to teach you how to live for Christ.  Now I would like to teach you how to die for Christ.”

At the close of the one meeting, I said to him, “Bud, have you ever thought about the Biblical doctrine of reward?”  He gave me a sick look and said, “No.  I think that is rather self-serving.”  I replied, “Well, self-serving is sort of like selfishness, isn’t it?   And selfishness is sin.  And if Jesus is encouraging us to sin, then he is a sinner, and we don’t have a Savior.  I’ll tell you what.  I have a book here, The Reign of the Servant Kings that I recently paid $23 for, but I would like to give it to you asking you to read it.  If you promise me that you will read it, I will give it to you.”  He did read it, and it marvelously re-vamped his thinking, to the point that he preached fourteen messages straight from week to week on the Biblical doctrine of reward. This was even put into a tape series.

Ever since the Council of Trent (1545) and the Westminster Assembly (1643) the relationship between faith, works, and rewards has been in the forefront of theological discussion.  The issue of eternal security in particular has been polarized between two options, the Arminian view that salvation can be lost and the Westminster view that God will preserve the elect in a life of God works to the final hour and bring them safely to heaven when they die.  Calvin’s cliché “faith alone saves, but the faith that saves is not alone,” has been accepted by many as gospel.

For many, the Reformed view has caused serious doubts about whether or not assurance of personal salvation is really possible.  Furthermore, how would their teaching that all “true” Christians always persevere in a life of good works square with Scripture and experience?  In the minds of many, it does not.  For years the church has wondered if there is another option between these two extremes.  There is.  Final Destiny beautifully presents, and thoroughly documents, the conclusion that salvation cannot be lost and additional rewards await the faithful Christian.  However, along with the wonderful promise of treasures in heaven, Dillow discusses the possibility of a negative consequence facing the unfaithful Christian as well.  This introduces the final accountability much needed in the Christian church today.

During the past decades, there has been an explosion of books, articles, and conferences discussing these issues which are so critical to the historical faith alone gospel  of the Reformers.  While the viewpoint Dr. Dillow calls, “the Partners” has received enormous praise and has demonstrated its explanatory power, opponents, particularly among those in the Reformed faith, have not been silent.

Web sites, blogs, journal articles, and books have proliferated indicating that a grenade has been lobbed into the house of Calvin.  Unfortunately the vast majority of critiques of the Free Grace viewpoint evidence a shallow acquaintance with much of the relevant literature.  From this time on, anyone interested in the doctrines of grace and the viewpoints of those who embrace this revolutionary Partner paradigm, must seriously interact with this seminal work or they are likely to be uninformed.

More importantly, Dr. Dillow has identified a disturbing movement among evangelical scholars who merge works into faith and claim they are a condition for final arrival into heaven.  This goes beyond the traditional Reformed position of Lordship salvation and introduces a convergence with Catholic theology into historical evangelicalism.  Final Destiny does a brilliant job of addressing this new trend.

The scope of this work is breathtaking.  Virtually every passage related to these critical issues are discussed.  Many difficult-to-explain verses of the New Testament have been capably clarified. For example, if faith alone is the requirement for entering heaven when we die, why is entrance into the Kingdom limited to those who “do the will of the Father” and who have surpassing righteousness?  How are these sayings which have been understood by some to teach that works are a necessary condition of kingdom entrance to be harmonized with the faith alone requirement of Jesus in the Gospel of John and the books of Romans and Galatians?

Recently, there has been a tidal wave of books advocating evangelical universalism and the abandonment of the doctrine of final damnation.  With a thorough acquaintance with the relevant extra-biblical literature, Dr. Dillow brings new light on both the certainty of final separation from God and the application of the warnings regarding gehenna to the life of Christians.

The thousands who appreciated Reign of the Servant Kings have long awaited the publication of a more complete discussion of the critical issues involved.  This updated and thoroughly revised version has more than met our expectations.  With outstanding scholarship and thorough attention to exegetical and theological detail, Joseph Dillow has given us a magnificent vision of the final destiny of man.

I heartily commend this work to the Christian community.

Dr. Earl Radmacher

President Emeritus, Western Theological Seminary

August 15, 2012