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Obstacles in Understanding
by Arthur Melanson
One of the obstacles in understanding preterist truth is our old futuristic mind-set. Futurism perches its premise of “the end” on being the end of planet earth. This is simply not true as many Scriptures testify: “And He built His sanctuary like the heights, like the earth which He has established forever.” (Ps. 78:69) And this famous reference: “One generation passes away, and another generation comes; but the earth abides forever.” (Eccl. 1:4)
When you base your understanding of Biblical end-time events on a fiery end of planet earth, then you tend to look at the major themes of eschatology as one-time, final happenings. This is a false idea that leads to other false ideas. Build on a crooked foundation and all of the superstructure will be out of line as well.
The major themes of eschatology include the resurrection, and the great white throne judgment. To think of these as one-time events is to lose the real meaning of what God accomplished at the Second Coming of Jesus Christ in A.D. 70.
The resurrection and the great white throne judgment are not one-time events; each is an ongoing continuum. For instance: Jesus Christ is a High Priest forever in the power of an endless life. He is also the Resurrection and the Life. As long as Jesus is, sinners will continue to find life and resurrection in Him.
We do wish to turn our attention to the ongoing continuum of judgment. Many futurists call this the final judgment, but that is not in the Bible. Jesus made it clear that the Father placed all judgment into the hands of the Son: “For the Father judges no one, but has committed all judgment to the Son.” (John 5:22) When we combine this knowledge with another verse of Scripture, then we have a firm foundation on which to build. “And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment . . .” (Heb. 9:27)
The great white throne judgment began with the harvest resurrection in A.D. 70. “The sea gave up the dead who were in it, and Death and Hades delivered up the dead who were in them. And they were judged, each one according to his works.” (Rev. 20:13) This aspect of the great white throne judgment took place in the first century, and it included every soul who had ever lived up until that time.
The futurist thinks that is the end of the matter. He imagines the judgment takes place at the end of human history, but we know from Scripture that generations of men and the earth abide forever. There is no end of human history!
Knowing this, we can appreciate why judgment by Jesus Christ is an ongoing continuum. Men still live and die and after this the judgment. Christ reigns as High Priest forever, and that includes the judgment power given to Him by the Father. The earth and her generations roll on, but Jesus Christ is KING of KINGS and LORD of LORDS in the power of an endless life.
In Revelation 20 we see the books opened at the great white throne judgment. You will search in vain to find one word about the books closing or that divine court ceasing its judicial activities. The futurist imagines it to be a one-time event—I want you to know that it goes on forever.
Rev. Arthur Melanson is host of the Joy of the Lord Christian talk radio program aired over WTMR Camden/Philadelphia each weekday morning at 10:00 – 11:00.
To call the program during the broadcast hours from anywhere in the continental U.S. the number is 1 800 850-0468.
Arthur Melanson may also be reached at P.O. Box 237, Audubon, NJ 08106