What if I am a Preterist?

In my series showing why the Preterist position is scripturally untenable, I have conceded some points of prophecy that were fulfilled in 70 A.D. But what if this is leading us down a road whereby we would say that all prophecies were fulfilled in 70 A.D.? Here is where the epistles will demonstrate that Futurism is the eschatology position that we must hold today.

We must remember that these same disciples who heard the prophecies of Jesus the Messiah at the temple and on the Mount of Olives were transformed by the power of the Holy Spirit and wrote a number of epistles that we know to be the inspired Word of God. These epistles contain what may safely be termed "prophecies" in the sense that they predict the future. We know that there are prophecies which simply testify to the witness of Christ and others that are predictive in nature. There are subjects that the apostles touched on which they believed would happen at a future date.

If the disciples expected everything to occur at the destruction of the temple, why did they not expound (by the revelation of the Holy Spirit) one word about the destruction of the temple? Instead, they prophesied concerning the coming of our LORD Jesus Christ and events that would occur in conjunction with that coming. Let us look at a few of these things and realize that if you are a Preterist, that you must concede that these things to not belong to our future hope, but are in the past. Preterists believe that the coming of the Son of Man occurred in 70 A.D. along with the gathering of the elect, so anytime the apostles wrote of this in their writings, anything connected with the coming of Christ must have been fulfilled at this time as well. Here are a few of these subjects.

The Resurrection ~

The resurrection of the righteous was something yet in the future as the apostles wrote the epistles. I Corinthians 15:23 tells us it would occur at His coming in such a way that all in Christ would partake in a heavenly glory in a spiritual body, and even those living at the time would be transformed as well. I Thessalonians 4:13-17 testifies to these same truths adding that those who are alive at that time would be caught up to meet Christ in the clouds as He descends. Philippians 3:21, while not directly mentioning Christ’s coming, tells us that we are looking for the Saviour who will change our bodies to be like His glorious body; this can only refer to the glorification of our bodies which will happen at the resurrection. Colossians 3:4 tells us that when Christ appears, that we will appear with Him in glory. If you are a Preterist, you must believe these things are in the past, not the future.

Rewards ~

The apostles wrote a time when all believers would stand before God and give account of their stewardship. I Corinthians 3:13-15 touches on this stating that those whose work endure the fire would be rewarded. The Judgement Seat of Christ occurs at this time, feel free to read my post here, which covers Romans 14:10-12 and II Corinthians 5:10. The Apostle Paul looked forward to a crown of righteousness which the LORD would give Him, and then he notes that Christ would reward not just him, but all who love His appearing, II Timothy 4:8. Peter believed this same event would happen to all who had spiritual authority at the appearing of the chief Shepherd, I Peter 5:4. If you are a Preterist, then you believe that the apostles were looking forward to the appearing of Christ as the temple was destroyed, then all rewards were given at that time.

Judgement on the ungodly ~

While not quite as prevalent, the apostles believed in the judgement of the ungodly, specifically those who were persecuting Christians at the time of Christ’s coming with His mighty angels, II Thessalonians 1:6-10. This is actually a more detailed exposition of what Paul wrote to them in his former epistle, see I Thessalonians 5:1-10. II Timothy 4:1 gives a brief mention of this event as well. Peter believed this same thing as he explains in II Peter 3:7. The ungodly mentioned here have been described in chapter 2, and now Peter is unfolding the judgement that shall fall on them. The surrounding context in chapter 3 leads into the next hope that the apostles held.

New Heavens and New Earth ~

The apostles looked forward to the heavens and earth being transformed at the appearing of the Kingdom of Christ. Romans 8:19-22 explains this hope of creation being freed from bondage in quite literal terms. Then II Peter 3:10-13, as mentioned above, gives us hope that the new heavens and new earth will arrive at the time of the judgement. Now if you are a Preterist, you must believe that we have already entered the age in which the new heavens and new earth have been established since that occurred in 70 A.D. just like these other events which are connected with the coming of Christ.

But here is the thing that I find most astounding. John’s writings were written after 70 A.D. Yet in these writings we find the same hopes expressed as in the writings before 70 A.D. That is why Preterists have to dismiss the fact that these epistles were written after the destruction of the temple. I John 3:2-3 gives a FUTURE hope of being like Christ when He appears. I John 4:17 tell us of a day of judgement during which we will have boldness. II John vs. 3 encourages us to pay attention to our Christian work that we might still receive a full reward. After all this, writings before the destruction of the temple, writings after the destruction of the temple, and yet the apostles still haven’t written one word about the destruction of the temple. I think it’s safe to assume how much importance they placed on the event in relation to the coming of Christ. All of this I have concluded before even consulting the book of Revelation. When we come to Revelation, we are not doing the book a disservice if we come with a Futurist mindset.

Here are some tests to see if you are a Futurist or a Preterist? Do you believe the prophecies are yet to be fulfilled in the future, or are they in the past? Is Christ’s coming yet future, or is it past? Is the resurrection yet future, or is it past? Will our rewards be in the future, or is this in the past? Is the judgement on the ungodly yet future, or did it occur in 70 A.D.? Do you look forward to a new heavens and new earth, to a city whose builder and maker is God, or were they ushered in sometime in the past?

As I stated when I first began this blog, I am a Futurist, and now you understand the reasons why. While Preterists can make some good points concerning 70 A.D. fulfillment, the coming of the Son of Man, the Great Tribulation, the Abomination of Desolation, the Gathering of the Elect, the signs in the sun, moon, and stars, all these remain yet in the future.

Have fun and stay busy – Luke 19:13

-The Orange Mailman

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7 Responses to What if I am a Preterist?

  1. pjmiller says:

    Hi Orange!Forgive me if i\’ve picked a wrong post to ask my question under–i searched around looking for one which might somewhat be on the topic of my question. This one seems to be the closest. I want to say before asking, im not a preterist. But i have always been somewhat confused by the fact that most of those studying prophecy, outside of the preterists, would never look at the possibility that the 3 accounts of the Jesus\’ Olivet discourse in Matthew, Luke, and Mark, might include both prophecies which were to be fulfilled within the generation of those living then, [the disciples etc] AND others which would be fulfilled much later, as in directly prior to the Lord\’s return. You stated in the opening paragraph: "I have conceded some points of prophecy that were fulfilled in 70 A.D….." Which ones would that be? You may have a post on this, but i wasn\’t able to locate it. LOL…so if you could point me to it, if you\’ve addressed it, i\’d love to read it.OK, to my question…Have you ever heard of Ronald W. Leigh & an article he wrote called: \’Jesus\’ Olivet Discourseabout Two Future Events\’ ?If you have, i\’d appreciate your opinion on the points he makes in the diagram[s] he included on  "These things" and "those things". Here\’s the link- "These things" and "those things"I\’ve never heard of him or read anything else he wrote, so don\’t know how reliable he or his teachings are, but the diagrams kinda made sense to me. No hurry..i\’ll check back next week…I\’ve always appreciated your in-put and respected your thoughts, opinions, etc…from back in the days on FulfilledProphecy.God bless..pj  

  2. Darrin says:

    Hey PJ-
     
    You can try the Mark Dilemma, or my two posts which point out the difference between the Olivet Discourse and the temple discourse that Luke records here and here, and I always did like the post on the church was in God\’s plan.  My series was actually a critique of Scot McKnight\’s views on Preterism.  When I first started my series I was quoting a piece by him.  Here are links to The Preterist\’s "This Generation" and here\’s one on Prophetic Tension.
     
    Just briefly reviewing your friend Ronald\’s work, it seems as if he is more Preterist than I am.  Which, if we concede to any 70 A.D. fulfillment we are Preterist to some extent.  Preterist means "past tense" and there are some prophecies which were fulfilled before this moment in time in 2007; that\’s in the past.  I haven\’t given consideration to the "these things" and "those things" language that he points out is quite important.  I have instead focused on Prophetic Tension since I believe that Jesus is a prophet and spoke prophetically.  This means He had the authority to see things from God\’s perspective where time is not a factor.  God\’s heart is set on winning our hearts over to Himself.  He warns of ultimate judgement in such a harsh way that it seems as if it would break forth into the here and now.
     
    I may look over his chart again and if so I will post something where you can see it.  Probably right here.  I\’m holding up one hand right now.  How many fingers do you see?  BTW, what was your moniker on Fulfilled Prophecy?  Would I remember you?
     
    Have fun and stay busy – Luke 19:13
     
    -The Orange Mailman

  3. pjmiller says:

    Thats right! I recall now reading the post on the differences in the Luke discourse you had posted. I thought i had read something over the last couple months here which was in the ball-park of my question. Thanks for the links!You said: "..if we concede to any 70 A.D. fulfillment we are Preterist to some extent" I didn\’t know that! But maybe thats why i hit the stone wall of silence (on boards) every time i bring up the possibility that some parts of last day prophecy in the Olivet Discourse may have had to do with the destruction of Jerusalem & the Temple in 70AD. I\’m not a preterist by what i\’ve always thought the term meant…Which was that all prophecy has been fulfilled already. I\’ve always considered myself a futurist. Perhaps im a mongrel. LOL!! If you do go over that guys charts, i\’d like to know what you think about them. You may not recall me from over on Fulfilled Prophecy..i only moderated for a year or so. Things started getting hairy so i left. My user name was Kentucky Hunter. Ring any bells? .

  4. Darrin says:

    Jaunita?  How are your initials PJ then?  Yes I remember Jaunita the Kentucky Hunter.  It\’s funny how words on a screen give you different mental pictures.  Anyway…
     
    Ronald Leigh\’s charts may contain some good things, but too many things are a little off for me.  The abomination of desolation he equates with the destruction of Jerusalem, which I differentiate.  The abomination of desolation is yet future.  The context of Matthew 24 tells us that the gospel will be preached throughout the world and then the end will come.  The gospel is still being preached by the church.  Then Christ gives us the abomination of desolation as the sign which will be immediately followed by the great tribulation.  The abomination of desolation immediately precedes the great tribulation which immediately precedes the glorious coming of Christ.
     
    Items where he is more Preterist than I am, the preaching of the gospel.  I believe that is yet future, he believes it was fulfilled in 70 A.D.  "This Generation" I believe is a future generation to witness the sign of the abomination of desolation and coming of Christ, he believes it was Jesus\’ followers.  The Great Tribulation he believes is past and present, but I believe it is future.  The book of Revelation speaks of a group of people coming out of the great tribulation as if it is a very specific point in time.  Matthew and Mark are specific that it is a limited amount of time never to be equaled by any other period in time, so bad that if it were not cut short, no flesh would be saved.  So it really can\’t be the general ongoing struggle of Christianity throughout the centuries.  As far as Christ\’s coming, he waffles on the issue.  He falls just shy of Full Preterism.  He believes His coming did occur in some way in 70 A.D., but not the glorious coming.
     
    The words he points out as very important "these" and "those" may very well be.  But the context of each sentence must determine the usage.  For instance, the words "these things" are used in Matthew 24:33.  This could be referring to something close at hand, but the context is one of the sign just before Christ\’s coming, which he concedes has not yet happened.  So the "this generation" that Jesus speaks of in Matthew 24:34 would be the generation that sees the sign of the abomination of desolation.  In the context of that sentence, it would be close at hand since they won\’t pass away until it all comes to pass.  But this doesn\’t mean that "these things" were fulfilled in the first century.  If you notice his section "H" has some apparent inconsistencies, but he sort of explains them away.  I just can\’t buy the entire scheme he sets forth.
     
    My advice, stick with Futurism and let people think your are strange when you bring up 70 A.D. fulfillment.  I don\’t go around saying that I am Preterist, but I used that as a point to show where I fit concerning 70 A.D. fulfillment.
     
    Have fun and stay busy – Luke 19:13
     
    -The Orange Mailman

  5. pjmiller says:

    "My advice, stick with Futurism and let people think your are strange when you bring up 70 A.D. fulfillment"ahaha! Yes im a futurist..just one with a twist.I finally got through this guys presentation as a whole, and i didn\’t agree with the same points you didn\’t…(Christ coming in 70AD, the preaching of the Gospel, etc..)  I guess i wanted to think i had finally found some teaching i could agree on, when i saw the "these" and "those" charts, only because its how i\’ve always seen the Olivet Discourse. Thanks for taking the time to look at it all too. It is good to get confirmations So you DO remember me?! I was afraid you might not–there was so many people on that board at the time. The PJ…that\’s a nickname from my childhood….Some family members still refer to me as PJ..Did you think i was a guy? I ask because over on my blog i \’think\’ a few do, for im called \’brother\’ lol.  

  6. Darrin says:

    Hello Jaunita-
     
    When I first came across Sola Dei Gloria I thought that "PJ" was male, but after keeping tabs with the blog, I quickly figured out you were female.  There were a lot of personalities over at Fufilled Prophecy, so I had sort of been wondering in the back of my mind who you might be.  I contemplated "PJ" trying to link it up with some of the ones I remembered but to no avail.
     
    Mystery solved.  BTW, you sure stay active on the internet.  There\’s so much out here to keep up with.  I sort of skim your blog and zero in on the things that pique my interest.  Keep up the good stuff.  Not every post is my particular nitch, but it\’s all good.  If I had time I would read it all.
     
    Have fun an…..  awwwwww you know.
     
    -The Orange Mailman

  7. Pingback: Me? A Preterist? No, No, No. | The Orange Mailman

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