Three events that could NOT have been fulfilled in 70 A.D. are The Abomination of Desolation, The Great Tribulation, and The Gathering of the Saints. I came across this objective view of the Olivet Discourse today. Read about it here. For those of you who have been following my posts on Preterism, it was quite timely. The poster makes some great points about how the events of 70 A.D. could not have fulfilled the Olivet Discourse. Those who try to hold that all the events of the Olivet Discourse are in the past and await no future fulfillment have some serious explaining to do. I was just about to write a post on these very things, so much of what I write below had already been formulated in my head, but there are a couple of ideas which were confirmed by the very well written post. Hopefully you realize I’m not plagiarizing.
The Abomination of Desolation ~ If we follow what Christ says and believe it is the abomination of desolation as spoken of by Daniel the prophet, and that it is to stand in the holy place where it does not belong, we know that it will be to replace the sacrifices to God with something abominable. Titus destroyed the temple. No false worship was set up at that time. You can look up the verses in Daniel 8:11-14, 9:27, 11:31, 12:11. To believe that the abomination of desolation occurred in 70 A.D. is to not understand what Daniel prophesied about. The Abomination of Desolation is accompanied by the cessation of sacrifices in order to replace it with something to be worshipped in place of the one true God. That never happened in 70 A.D.
The Great Tribulation ~ This is one of the few instances where the phrase "The Great Tribulation" actually occurs. The problem for Preterists is that it follows the abomination of desolation. Those who followed Christ’s words had left Judea some time before when Jerusalem was surrounded by armies, Luke 21:20. Following the destruction of the temple, there was no significant persecution of the saints which was unequaled even to this day. The persecution of the saints had been occurring since Jesus ascended into heaven and continued through this time period, but the persecution against Christians did not increase at that time. The element which resulted in much death was against apostate Israel and it actually preceded the destruction of the temple. Preterists have this backwards and inside out. The future Great Tribulation will be so intense that God will have to cut the days short otherwise no believers would be left alive. Again, no 70 A.D. fulfillment.
The Gathering of the Saints ~ Here is the part where Preterists have no leg to stand on. Jesus predicted He would come in power and glory with the holy angels. Some try to spiritualize this as Christ’s invisible reign over the church. But there can be no mistake about the error concerning the gathering of the saints. There was no gathering of the saints in 70 A.D. The context of what Jesus was saying would be that the exile of Israel would be over at that time. The prophecies concerning the gathering of Israel into the promised land would be fulfilled. Surely the disciples remembered Luke 13:24-29. Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and everyone else from the east, west, north, and south would be gathered together into the Kingdom of God. Instead, we have the inception of the longest exile ever beginning in 70 A.D.
As in my previous posts, I admit that 70 A.D. fulfillment is important. It completely validated Jesus’ ministry as a prophet to His generation. But there can be no mistake that the events of the Olivet Discourse were not completely fulfilled. Futurists have it right when we say we are looking forward to a future Abomination of Desolation, a future Great Tribulation, and a future Gathering of the Saints.
Have fun and stay busy – Luke 19:13
-The Orange Mailman