The following is a list of some New Testament verses which many Christians have no adequate explanation for. If you can step into the shoes of those being addressed here, nearly 2000 years ago, you would be led to believe that you were living in the end times and that you might live to see the Son of Man coming in His Kingdom. Clearly, Jesus taught that the timing of His "second coming" would be in the first century. His disciples also believed He would come again in the first century. Clearly, those were the last days.
John the baptist to Jews:
Matthew 3:2, "...Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven has drawn near."
Luke 3:7,9, "Then said he to the multitude..O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath about to come? And now also the axe is laid…every tree therefore which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire."
The Teachings of Jesus
Jesus to His twelve apostles (telling them to preach to Israel):
Matthew 10:7, "...preach, saying, The kingdom of heaven has drawn near. "
Matthew 10:23, "...In no wise will ye have completed the cities of Israel, until the Son of man be come."
Notice Jesus told these 12 apostles that they would not have completed preaching to first-century Israel when the Son of man comes, which was during the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD.
Jesus to Peter, James, John and Andrew…privately:
Matthew 24:30,34, " they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory…This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled."
Mark 13:24,25,30, " But in those days, after that tribulation, the sun shall be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, And the stars of heaven shall fall, and the powers that are in heaven shall be shaken....this generation shall not pass, till all these things be done. "
Luke 21:22,26,32, "For these be the days of vengeance, that all things which are written may be fulfilled... for the powers of heaven shall be shaken…This generation shall not pass away, till all be fulfilled. "
"This generation" refers to the generation then living at the time Jesus spoke these words.
Jesus to His disciples:
Mark 8:38, "Whosoever therefore shall be ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation; of him also shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he cometh in the glory of his Father with the holy angels."
What "generation" was Jesus referring to in this passage? Jesus said it was the adulterous and sinful generation that was then living while Jesus was alive! The above passage was spoken before this next passage (the following are all parallel verses):
Jesus to His twelve disciples (who were standing in front of Jesus):
Matthew 16:27-28, "For the Son of man is about to come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works. Verily I say unto you, There are some of those standing here, who in no wise shall taste of death, until they have seen the Son of man coming in his kingdom."
Mark 8:38 - 9:1, "…when he cometh in the glory of his Father with the holy angels....there are some of those standing here, who in no wise shall taste of death, until they see the kingdom of God having come in power. "
Luke 9:26-27, "... when he shall come in his own glory, and in his Father's, and of the holy angels…there are some of those standing here, who in no wise shall taste of death, until they have seen the kingdom of God. "
Notice how Jesus said that some of his disciples, who were standing right there in front of him, would not physically die by the time He came with his angels to reward every man according to his works (Revelation 22:12). John was one of these men who lived to see it...as you can see by the following verse...
Jesus to Peter:
John 21:22-23, "...If I (Jesus) desire him (John) to abide till I come, what is that to thee?" [John was one of the twelve apostles who was never martyred, and abided on earth well after 70AD. Therefore, John did abide until Christ came in 70AD, just like Jesus desired him to!]
John 14:3, "And if I go and prepare a place for you, I am coming, and will receive you unto myself;"
Jesus to the high priest:
Matthew 26:64, "...Hereafter shall ye see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven. "
Jesus to Nathanael:
John 1:51, "...ye shall see heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of man. "
Jesus to Jews:
Matthew 4:17, "...Repent: for the kingdom of heaven has drawn near. "
Matthew 23:36,38, "Verily I say unto you, All these things shall come upon this generation. Behold, your house is left unto you desolate."
Mark 1:15, "...The time has been fulfilled, and the kingdom of God has drawn near: "
Jesus to the daughters of Jerusalem:
Luke 23:28-29, "…weep not for me, but weep for yourselves, and for your children. For, behold, the days are coming,"
Jesus to the Jews who sought to kill him:
Matthew 3:7, "...O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath about to come? "
John 5:25, "The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God: and they that hear shall live."
The Revelation of Jesus Christ, communicated through John, to the seven literal churches which were in Asia in the first century:
Revelation 1:1, "The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to shew unto his servants things which must take place shortly."
Revelation 1:3, "...the time is near."
Revelation 1:7, "Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him." (Those Jews who had crucified Jesus in the first century would see his coming!)
Revelation 2:16, "...I am coming to thee quickly, "
Revelation 2:25, "…hold fast till I shall come." (To the church in Thyatira, 1 of 7 real churches that existed in Asia Minor between 61 and 65A.D.)
Revelation 3:11, "Behold, I come quickly:"
Revelation 10:6, "And sware by him that liveth for ever and ever…that there should be no more delay:" (Jesus said he would not delay his coming to those living in the first century!)
(The remaining verses are from the very last chapter of Revelation, after all these prophesies have been revealed. Just when will all these things come to pass? This chapter tells us!)
Revelation 22:6, "…God of the holy prophets sent his angel to shew unto his servants the things which must come to pass soon."
Revelation 22:7, "Behold, I am coming quickly:"
Revelation 22:10, "...Seal not the sayings of the prophecy of this book: for the time is near. "
Revelation 22:12, "And, behold, I come quickly;"
Revelation 22:20, "...Surely I am coming quickly. Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus."
The Teachings of the Apostles
Paul to all who were beloved of God in Rome:
Romans 13:11-12, " And that, knowing the time,...now is our salvation nearer than when we believed…the day has drawn near: "
Romans 16:20, "And the God of peace shall bruise Satan under your feet shortly." (See this prophesy in Genesis 3:15).
Paul to Timothy:
1 Timothy 6:14, "That thou keep this commandment without spot, unrebukeable, until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ:"
2 Timothy 1:18, "The Lord grant unto him that he may find mercy of the Lord in that day:"
Paul to the Hebrews:
Hebrews 1:1-2, "God…Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son," (The scripture says the last days were in the first century, not 2,000 years later).
Hebrews 9:26, "For then must he often have suffered since the foundation of the world: but now once in the consumation of the ages hath he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself."
Hebrews 10:25, "...ye see the day drawing near. "
Hebrews 10:37, "...he that shall come will come, and will not delay." [Paul said that Jesus would not delay his coming!]
Paul to the Philippian church:
Philippians 4:5, "...The Lord is near. "
Paul to the church of Corinth:
1 Corinthians 1:7-8, "So that ye come behind in no gift; waiting for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall also confirm you unto the end, that ye may be blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ."
1 Corinthians 7:29, "...the time is short: "
1 Corinthians 7:31, "...the fashion of this world passeth away."
1 Corinthians 10:11, "Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the ages are arrived."
Paul, Silvanus and Timothy to the church of the Thessalonians:
1 Thessalonians 3:13, "To the end he may stablish your hearts unblameable in holiness before God, even our Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all his saints."
1 Thessalonians 4:17, "Then we the living who remain shall be caught away together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord."
1 Thessalonians 5:23, "...and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. "
2 Thessalonians 2:2:, "...the day of Christ is present. "
Paul to the Galatians:
Galatians 4:4, "But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law,"
Galatians 5:5, "For we through the Spirit wait for the hope of righteousness by faith."
James to the twelve tribes who were dispersed abroad:
James 5:7-9, "Be patient therefore, brethren, unto the coming of the Lord. …the coming of the Lord has drawn near…behold, the judge stands before the door."
Peter to the elect scattered abroad:
1 Peter 1:7, "That the proving of your faith…might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:"
1 Peter 1:9-10, "Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls. Of which salvation the prophets have enquired and searched diligently, who prophesied of the grace that should come unto you:"
1 Peter 1:13,20, " Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the appearing of Jesus Christ; Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you," (Now Peter confirms that the last days were during the first century).
1 Peter 4:5, "Who shall give account to him that is ready to judge the quick and the dead."
1 Peter 4:7, "But the end of all things has drawn near:"
1 Peter 4:17, "For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God:"
2 Peter 3:9, "The Lord does not delay concerning his promise" (What promise is this verse talking about? The very next verse reads, "But the day of the Lord will come..." Peter wrote the Lord would not delay his promise concerning the Day of the Lord!]
2 Peter 3:12, "Expecting and hastening the coming of the day of God,"
Peter to the men of Judaea:
Acts 2:16-20, "But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel; And it shall come to pass in the last days…The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before that great and notable day of the Lord come:" (This confirms that the "last days" the Old Testament prophesized about took place in the first century).
Acts 3:24, "Yea, and all the prophets…have likewise foretold of these days." (Peter said ALL the prophets foretold of which days? "These days" of the first century, which were "the last days" of the Old Testament era).
John to those who believed in the name of the Son of God:
1 John 2:17-18, "And the world passeth away…Little children, it is the last hour…we know that it is the last hour." (John wrote these epistles sometime after 60 AD. Notice how, as 70.AD was very nearly approaching, John wrote that it is the "last hour", instead of the "last days.")
1 John 2:28, "And now, little children, abide in him; that, when he shall appear, we may have confidence, and not be ashamed before him at his coming."
1 John 3:2, "...when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. "
We saw that Jesus said he would come -- while some that were standing there were still living; in that generation; soon; quickly; at hand, has drawn near; he said his coming was near. Everywhere the scripture talks about the Lord's coming it gives us a time statement. The New Testament saints fully expected the Lord to come in their lifetime. How could we possibly miss this? Yet the majority of believers today, some two thousand years later, are still saying that the Lord will return soon. Can the same event be imminent at two different periods of time separated by two thousand years?
Someone said to me that they felt that the Lord said he was coming soon because he wanted every generation to be watching for Him. Think about that. What that means is that when he told the first century believers that he was coming back soon, he really didn't mean it; he was giving them false information to keep them looking for Him. Can you live with that? If that was the case, what else did he tell them that wasn't true? Do we have a God who intentionally deceives men? Isn't it much easier to simply believe what Jesus said and believe that he came back in the first century, just like everyone said he would?
What is at stake here is the inspiration of Scripture. If Jesus was mistaken, or if he lied to us, then what good is the rest of the scripture? There are those opponents who say that if you believe that Jesus came back in the first century then you don't need to read your Bible any more. I don't understand that argument, but if Jesus didn't come back in the first century when he said that he would, then you might as well throw your Bible out, because if it isn't inspired it isn't any good. I believe that the scripture is the inspired Word of God and therefore without errors.
Christianity is intellectual, faith is understanding and assent to what God has told us. God says in Isaiah chapter 1:18, "come now, let us reason together." This is important because you are a product of your thinking. Proverbs 23:7 says, " For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he:."
What is really frightening about this, is that, in our culture, thinking is not really that important. Do you realize this? We are not so concerned about thinking as we are about two other things, emotion and pragmatism. We're concerned about feelings, and we're concerned about success. We're not so concerned about thinking. People don't ask the question, 'is it true, is it right'? They ask the question, 'does it work' and 'how will it make me feel?'. Emotion and pragmatism. This is tragic, especially because it has taken over the Christian Church.
Even in theology, it's sad to say, the issue is not always is it right or true, but will it offend or upset someone. We worry about how the truth will make people feel. In Acts 17:11, the Bereans were noble because they searched the scriptures, not to see if these things felt good, or to see if these things worked, or even to see if these things would offend, but to see if these things were "so," to see if they were right and true.
Some folks have said to me, "If I believe that Jesus came back in 70 AD, it might effect some areas of my life. Such as; will a mission board take me, will I be accepted at certain colleges, could I work in a prestigious program?" Listen, please listen to me carefully. Those are the wrong questions! The first, the foremost, the only important question that we need to ask is: is it true? If it's true we'll have to live with the consequences that the Lord gives us, but the issue here is Truth. Is it true?
Preterism in the NIV Study Bible! - Notice the change under "Matthew 10:23"
Mathew 10:23, "But when they persecute you in this city, flee ye into another: for verily I say unto you, Ye shall not have gone over the cities of Israel, till the Son of man be come."
NIV Study Bible Notes (1985 Edition)
"The saying seems to teach that the gospel will continue to be preached to the Jews until Christ's second coming."
NIV Study Bible Notes (1995 Edition)
"Jesus' saying here is probably best understood as referring to his coming in judgment on the Jews when Jerusalem and the temple were destroyed in A.D. 70."
Return to Preterism And Prophesy
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