Unger’s Bible Dictionary is pretty sketchy when it comes to anything Jesus Christ said. They’re just fine in telling you where Ur is located, but anything deeper than that and they get weird quick.
Unger’s entry under Sermon on the Mount says the church can apply general principles, but certainly don’t need to do what Jesus says. It’s not consistent with the age of grace for some unstated reason.
If Unger doesn’t like the Sermon on the Mount, you can bet all your money he will do all he can to outright dismiss the Lord’s Prayer.
Here is what Unger has to say about the Lord’s Prayer:
“This prayer is in reality a prayer for the Kingdom and in the Kingdom. ‘Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven’ can only be realized in its contextual meaning in the coming Millennial Kingdom.”
Thus saith Unger.
Clearly God’s will is going to be done during the Millennial Kingdom, but the idea that a person cannot pray for God’s will to be done on earth as it is in heaven right now is just plain silly.
“Your will be done” is like the quintessential prayer of all time. You actually can do God’s will on this earth right now, you don’t have to wait for the Kingdom to come.
But Unger says you shouldn’t pray it now.
I just don’t even understand. This age, before the Kingdom fully comes in, is actually the only time this prayer does make sense! It makes no sense to pray this in the Kingdom at all because everything you’re asking for is already present.
I suspect the real reason people like Unger don’t like the Lord’s Prayer is for the “forgive us as we forgive those who trespass against us” line. Many construe this as being opposed to grace, putting a condition on forgiveness that sounds like a law type yoke of bondage.
Any time these sorts of dispensationalists get anywhere close to the Bible saying you have to do something to get something, they will immediately theorize their way out of the obligation.
This is a misunderstanding of grace, the Bible, and common sense (if you can’t forgive other people, in what sense do you understand the greatness of God’s forgiveness to you?).
Unger has no verses listed as to how he gets from Point A to Point B. He just states it. He relies upon a theory that theologian-types invented over the plain words of Scripture.
Rather than dealing with the tough teachings of Scripture, people get busy finding loopholes to defend their disobedience. I’d be curious to watch these people as they stand before the Lord to give an account.
Telling God you didn’t listen to Him because you determined you didn’t have to, doesn’t seem like a winning argument.
It does, however, seem very consistent with human nature. Church history is filled with human attempts to explain why they don’t have to listen to God. In fact, the Bible is filled with the same thing.
This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me.But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.
Jesus spoke this regarding the Jews of His day. It was originally said by Isaiah regarding the people of his day. It can just as well be said about people today.
Guess what? God doesn’t care about your theories. Listen to Him.