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The Secret Preterists

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By Virgil - Posted on 25 April 2004

Yes, they are out there, either too afraid to come forward or too cowed into submission to step up, but out there among the congregations of America and the world is a host of people who when they read their Bibles unfettered from those who pretend to sit in Moses’ seat will one day confidently confess that Christ truly is victorious.

Perhaps it is you. Perhaps you have resisted the clarity of the text. Perhaps you tried every imaginable way to elude the plain fact that the Bible declares that the kingdom WAS “at hand” in the first century. Perhaps you are finally running out of excuses to truly believe what Jesus said – “I come quickly.”



But take heart, for it must have been difficult for the disciples to come to terms with what Jesus was saying, for they imagined an earthly king who would sit upon an earthly throne. They were perplexed by His death but invigorated by His resurrection. How much more had they hoped and preached about His coming return.



You have heard all of the arguments for and against the concept that Jesus came when He said, namely in the first century. You have heard some people argue that “a thousand years is as a day with the Lord” but you know within yourself that this is a lame refutation of Christ’s clear words. This verse is merely relating the eternality of God, and is not being used to negate time as nothing. You know very well that God relates to mankind in time mankind can comprehend. Why else do so-called prophecy teachers spend so much effort on explaining how Daniel prophesied the coming of the Lord after the decree went out (the so-called “70 weeks”) if time is meaningless? Why then did God tell Daniel to “seal up his vision" but God told John in the book of Revelation to “NOT seal up his vision because the time was at hand” if time is meaningless?



Yes, my friend I know you are struggling with these things within your heart. I can almost hear you asking the same questions many of us asked; “but…but… Pastor So&So knows soooo much about the Bible and he says Preterism is wrong.” Or “but… but... what about the Rapture and the glorious hope?” Isn’t it more hopeful to know something has been accomplished than something that is far off? Jesus and the disciples make it clear that the kingdom was at hand and His return would shortly follow.



You can resist this truth a little longer, but if you are like we were it will eat at you. You will see it all over the texts of the Bible. (see 101 time texts) You will increasingly be annoyed at the half-hearted responses by so-called Pastors and Scholars. You will hear Christ’s words echoing – “I come quickly.”



All glory to Christ --

Roderick

JRP's picture

Rod, I agree with what you're saying. But here's what I've personally experienced; a pastor and fellow elders who froth at the mouth during the mere mention of "partial preterism." Their "hermeneutic" is always the same; deny, deny, deny. If I want any kind of meaningful Christian fellowship how can I admit that I'm a full preterist? Again, you're right, I'm certainly not the only one.

Jim

But boldness without truth will never make a Christian confessor: and if a man injures himself for the love of error, he is not a martyr but a suicide. William A. Jones

Roderick's picture

Hi Jim, thanks for the reply.
What are you saying here? that you attend a congregation wherein you hide your eschatological understanding?

I can certainly understand why it is difficult. I currently attend a Reformed Presbyterian congregation where the elders (and the head elder called the pastor) knows I am a *full* preterist, but they will not really engage me on it, nor have I forced the issue *yet* -- I'll wait on the Lord's timing as to when the issue should be raised in a more public manner. I do not hide the eschatological understanding when in discussions with fellow congregants there, though I'm sure they have no idea what "preterism" even is -- I merely discuss the Bible with them without loading the guns -- it would be like telling an Arminian/Semi-Pelagian that you want to discuss "Calvinism" with them -- you wouldn't be allowed to get one word out without them opposing everything that was said.

But I believe there are more and more Preterists living among the futurist fortresses than we know. I even believe there are apparently ardent futurists that are really preterists inside, but that they are opposing Preterism merely to save face. And it is those people to whom I have written this article. I imagine the same situation was seen during the Reformation -- that many Roman Catholics (both laymen & clergy) agreed with what the Reformers were saying about the Bible and faith -- but these would-be "Protestants" just did not have the courage of Luther, Zwingli, and the rest of the Reformers.
It is to these people that I want to extend encouragement. We will stand with you. You can stand with us.

May Christ be glorified and man nullified
Roderick

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