Brother, it is not my intention to be mean or anything like that. Those of us who have been on this board for any length of time know that you have a major hobby horse. I understand that it is not a hobby horse to you. However, in the greater context of things, I see no reason for you to not keep a lid on it, and get along with what you have available. I know, I have been in that position myself, where I had to swallow my pride, and attend a church that I did not agree with on some major issues - meaning they were major issues to ME, and my position was not very well received by the Pastor or leadership.
What did I do? I attended that church because it was the best church in the area (45 minutes away), and I told the PASTOR where I stood, and also promised him that I was not there to stir up trouble, but to receive instruction. I did it to be obedient to my Saviour who DIED FOR THE CHURCH. "Only by PRIDE cometh contention...." Sometimes we need a good dose of humility to please God. The end of the story is that when I left that church, I left on GOOD TERMS with the Pastor, who THANKED me for not causing him trouble. AND - I maintained my own convictions on those areas where we disagreed. I have a tremendous amount of respect for that Pastor and their ministry, although we are not in agreement on many issues. IT CAN BE DONE. IT SHOULD BE DONE. There is no "excuse" clause in the New Testament Scriptures. If there is no church "good enough" to attend, then invite people over to your house and hold a Bible Study or something. BUT DO SOMETHING with other believers, or set aside time on Sundays to worship God, and try to get others involved.... Whatever you do, don't sit around and do NOTHING, and then blame it on everyone else!
Simple Everything that is prophesied in the chapter comes to pass in ONE GENERATION. It all culminates with the physical, bodily return of Jesus Christ mentioned 7 times in Mt. 24, and described in detail in Revelation 19. Since this has not yet happened, we know it must be future. It COULD be our generation, but we don't know. NOBODY knows WHEN. The chapter is one prophecy. It is a series of events leading up to the return of Christ.
You can look at it any way that you want to. The fact is that Jesus Christ gave 7 specific statements about His physical return to this planet in the chapter. I listed the references earlier in this thread. The physical return of Jesus Christ to this planet is described for us very clearly in Revelation 19. He comes on a horse with His army, and physically destroys the army of the Anti-Christ. He takes the AntiChrist and the false prophet (both described in Revelation 13) thrown into the lake of fire. Revelation 20 continues the narrative by describing a reign of Jesus Christ on this earth that lasts 1,000 years, with Satan being bound in chains in the bottomless pit. There is a resurrection of SAINTS at this time. At the end of 1,000 years, Satan is loosed. He deceives the nations and gathers an army for one final attempt to dethrone Jesus Christ. It ends in utter failure, once again. This event is then followed by the final judgment, which is then followed by the New Heaven, New Earth, and New Jerusalem. That is the Biblical order of events. Matthew 24 and 25 prophecy of the events that culminate in the return of Jesus Christ as described in Revelation 19. The Lord Jesus Christ tells us that "this generation" would see ALL of the events in their lifetime. Perhaps the generation that heard Jesus Christ make this prophesy thought it would be THEIR generation. But the fact that not all of the events actually happened only proves that the physical return of Jesus Christ to this planet is yet future. As such, the rest of the events in Matthew 24 are also future, in that these were a series of events that lead to the physical return of Jesus Christ to this planet. Thus, the prophecies in Matthew 24 are a series of events that are all inter-related to one another, and that would all happen in a brief period of time (i.e. within in one generation), and would all lead up to one major event - the physical return of Jesus Christ to this planet. Therefore, it makes no difference if you try to make three questions from the verse - the answer to the (1) question or (3) questions are the same. The prophecy is the same. It is all related to the Second Coming of Christ as described in Revelation 19. The rest of the prophecies are confirmed by John the Apostle in Revelation 6-19. These prophecies are not scattered events over the last 2,000 years. These prophecies may have a partial fulfillment IN TYPE (say like in 70AD), but inasmuch as the entire series of events has not yet been fulfilled, nor has Jesus Christ physically returned to this earth as He Himself foretold in the chapter (7 times!), and as John the Apostle confirmed, then the only logical and sane conclusion is that these events are yet future. In Christ,
The "coming" in that parable is the same as the "coming" in Matthew 24. The Fact is that Jesus did NOT come at all in 70 AD. Thus, He has yet to return and fulfill these prophecies. The generation that is alive when the prophecies begin to be fulfilled, will see ALL of the prophecies fulfilled in their lifetime. 70 AD was just "batting practice."
Yes, the "coming" is His return."
I like how you complicate matters by introducing foreign elements into the text. Matthew 24 is self-explanatory. The other references you introduce are not necessarily parallel or related passages. Let's deal with Matthew 24 and what it says FIRST before we move on.
The text is clear. The only way you can come to your conclusion is by making it say something it does not say, with a very stretched interpretation of "clouds."
In previous discussions, we have discussed "this generation." The generation that is alive when these events begin to take place will live to see ALL EVENTS, including the coming/return of Christ.
Matthew 24:27 For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.
Matthew 24:30 And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.
Matthew 24:37 But as the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.
Matthew 24:39 And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.
Matthew 24:42 Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come.
Matthew 24:44 Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh.
Matthew 24:50 The lord of that servant shall come in a day when he looketh not for him, and in an hour that he is not aware of,
It looks like to me that the passage of Matthew 24 is a direct reference to the personal, visible return of Jesus Christ to this earth. I am just reading the text.
Given the fact that Matthew 24 is one continuous teaching describing events that culminate in the physical, visible return of Jesus Christ, it seems a bit of a stretch to divorce the prophecy of the destruction of Jerusalem from the 2nd coming of Christ. The events of 70 AD are only a PARTIAL fulfillment of the text, and not a complete fulfillment. Since it was not a complete fulfillment of the text, (i.e. Jesus Christ DID NOT RETURN at that time!), then the REAL fulfillment that includes all of the prophecies of the chapter must yet be future.
Maybe those listening to Jesus at that time did not fully grasp the significance nor far reaching implications of His prophecy. That is irrelevant. We have the luxury of hindsight, and can see much more clearly than they could.
If the fulfillment of Matthew 24 was the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD, then there is a major prOBlem. Matthew 24 refers to the "coming of the Son of Man" 6 times in the passage.
These verses are: 27, 30, 37, 39, 42, 44.
Furthermore, the chapter ends with a parable about the return of the Lord (v. 45-51).
This "coming" and "return" was a VISIBLE return.
Inasmuch as this teaching was given at one setting, and all of the events listed in the chapter are connected, Geneva's thesis about the "near, distant, and far distant" fulfillments are mere speculation. The chapter is ONE TEACHING about a succession of events that all culminate at the visible return of Jesus Christ to this planet.
If Jesus Christ did not VISIBLY return to this planet in 70 AD at the destruction of Jerusalem, then that event IS NOT THE FULFILLMENT of the passage. End of discussion.
Therefore, the events listed in Matthew 24 must be pointing to something that has yet to occur in the future. We don't know when it will happen, but it does appear that things are lining up very quickly for these events.
All of the pronouns are singular - "him, his, etc."
This beast has a deadly wound that is healed. The world WORSHIPS this beast - so they are going to worship a government??? No, they worship a PERSON.
He has a mouth that speaks great blasphemies.
The beast is a man - see v. 18 - the man of sin, the son of perdition, who rules over the 10 kinged federation. He is the Antichrist.
It is amazing how you latch on to the wrong parts of my posts.
Have you ever taught the Scripture, and taken a complicated passage, and restated it so that folks could grasp the meaning of it?
That is all I was attempting to do, so I don't know why you would be snarky about it.
Was all of Mt. 24 fulfilled?
Therefore, either Jesus was lying or it is all future. It is ONE TEACHING. It was meant to be taken as one teaching concerning one series of events culminating in the physical return of Jesus Christ. The text is clear on that point.
Jesus Christ did not return to the earth in 70 AD.
I am not going to go into a long dissertation here.
My view is that since many of the items in Matthew 24 have not yet been literally fulfilled, the entire series of events listed are interconnected, and yet future. It seems odd to me that anyone would take a chapter such as Matthew 24, which is clearly given by our Lord Jesus Christ as ONE TEACHING on these events, and then "slice and dice" the chapter to make it apply to 2 or more separate, distinct events. It is clearly ONE EVENT (or series of events which culminate in one event - the return of Jesus Christ to this planet to establish a combined kingdom over the physical and spiritual aspects of humanity) that is being prophesied here.
While it may appear that PARTS of the Mt. 24 prophecy has been fulfilled, many parts have NOT. Thus it is my conclusion that while these parts that have had a fulfillment have only been fulfilled IN TYPE as a picture of the entire series events that yet await fulfillment. Thus, the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD was a PICTURE of what is yet to come, and should serve as a warning sign to all humanity - saved or lost - of what is to come. In other words, it is as if the Lord is saying to us today, "Do you remember the Jerusalem destruction of 70 AD, and how it fulfilled some parts of Mt. 24? Well, it will be only so much worse than that event before I physically return to Earth to establish my Kingdoms!"
John, I agree with what you are saying. However, I respectfully disagree when you compare issues of doctrine to issues of liberty. I believe this is an "apples/oranges" argument. They are not the same thing. There is room for charitable disagreement on liberty, but not on doctrine. The NT is filled with warnings about false teachers and false doctrine. I do not believe it to be appropriate to say that since there are differences in liberty that therefore we should accept differences on doctrine.
I will say that allowing for minor differences on the nuances of dispensationalism gives us room to have good, sound, rational discussions to help everyone grow. But that is a far cry from saying that we should just accept those who are teaching a completely different method of interpretation. As Geneva noted, it affects the interpretation of every doctrine, and the application of Scripture.
Case in point.
1. In order for anyone to come to the preterist or partial-preterist position, they must have a working knowledge of extra-biblical history, that is history that is not recorded in Scripture.
The account of the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD is NOT recorded in Scripture - MAN HAS TO TELL US THAT. The preterist position READS extra-biblical historical events into Scripture (i.e. private interpretation) and declares those prophecies fulfilled.
2. God raising up a nation of people called Israel, and putting them in GOD's Land is in the Bible, so I don't know what your fuss is about that. It is as plain as the nose on your face. The OT is filled with prophetic utterances from Deuteronomy to Malachi about such things. The fact that these prophecies about ISRAEL being in their Land (GOD's LAND), is OBviously a future prophecy to be fulfilled. I know this because even the LATE prophets prophesied this, AFTER Israel had been there for over 1,000 years.
3. ISRAEL WILL BE SAVED - physically from the destruction of the Anti-Christ, and spiritually from sin through faith in Christ.
Hebrews 9:28 So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation.
Hebrews 8:6-13 has not yet been fulfilled ENTIRELY. A careful reading of the passage makes this painfully OBvious. If it were completely fulfilled, we would have no need of teachers.....but here we are, teaching one another at the express written command of the Apostle Paul! Therefore, there must be an element of this NT that has not yet been completely fulfilled!
PS - my sole appeal has been to the Scriptures, not my "education."
PPS - I have not been to seminary.
PPSS - I just read my Bible and study it. I have very little time to do more than that right now.
No, the basis of our disagreement is your treatment of the Scriptures. I find it highly OBjectionable, despite your faith in the true gospel of Jesus Christ for salvation.
I am thankful you have that one right.
And while I strongly oppose your system of interpretation, which could easily be misunderstood as some type of personal vendetta against you, I by no means hate or dislike you. You are a brother in Christ, and I am thankful you are saved and on your way to Heaven. Our differences will be resolved there for sure!
I am strongly opposed to the doctrine you teach.
It is nothing personal against you, or anyone else. It is the system that bothers me.
With all due respect, Bible Doctrine is important. We are to know the truth, love the truth, seek after the truth, teach and preach the truth. Jesus IS the truth, and so is His word - the KJV.
The difference between a futurist viewpoint of Scripture, and the preterist view is NOT MINOR. It is such a major difference that it cannot be overcome.
While many might think we from the futurist school of interpretation are the argumentative ones, the opposite is true. This forum is populated by MOSTLY those who hold to a similar viewpoint of eschatology. But the small handful of those who oppose what most of us believe cannot leave us alone to have good, sound, rational discussions about the futurist viewpoint without interrupting our conversations and completely derailing them. The INSIST upon forcing their false doctrine upon us, despite our best efforts to oppose them.
And, if memory serves me correctly, the Scriptures admonish us to not only beware of false doctrine, but also to warn others of false doctrine.
Yes, there are many things that are "minor" that we can agree to disagree on. But major Bible Doctrines do not fall into that category.
I whole heartedly agree that all of us can and should do more to serve Christ.