Eschatology All Things Fulfilled Studies in Bible Prophecy

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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

1. If Christ’s Second Coming has occurred, why are we still living on earth?
2. What has changed since Christ returned?
3. If Christ has come doesn’t this destroy all hope?
4. When did “every eye” see Him?
5. It is stated that the gospel must be preached in all the world. Has this happened?
6. Where is Satan?
7. Why do we yet die. I thought we would live forever?
8. Why is sin still in the world?
9. Are we living in the new heavens and new earth?
10. When did Christ return?
11. What is preterism?
12. What is “hyper" preterism?”
13. What is Eschatology?
14. Why is this important?
15. Why do you take the Lord’s Supper? Didn’t Christ say take the Lord’s supper until he comes?

 

If Christ’s Second Coming has occurred, why are we still living on earth?
A common belief about the Lord’s return is that this material universe will be destroyed. This belief is held largely because of the English rendering of the word “world” in the Bible. There are four different Greek words from which our single word “world” is translated, all of which have different meanings. They are oikoumene, ge, aion and kosmos.

Even if you do not speak Greek, you can see that these words are different. Oikoumene means inhabited earth. Ge, means land. Aion means age or period of time and kosmos means an orderly system or arrangement. Sometimes they are used in the same context and verse interchangeably but often they are not.

The most common misinterpretation and misapplication of “world” is found in Matthew 24:3 where the disciples ask, ‘When shall these things be and what shall be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?’ What is meant is the end of the Jewish age, in the first century, (1 Corinthians 10:11; Hebrews 9:26), not the end of the material universe. Jesus contrasts “this age” versus “the age to come” (Matthew 12:32) and “this time” “age to come” (Mark 10:30) .

This error is responsible for much of the confusion on this subject. One need only read 2 Thessalonians 2:1-3 to understand that New Testament Christians did not associate the second coming of Christ with the destruction of the material universe. See also Ecclesiastes 1:4 where it is said that generations will come and go but the earth abides forever.



What has changed since Christ returned?

Everything that was stated as a “hope” of the Christians has now become a reality. For example, we now have eternal life, resurrection life, entrance into the New Heavens and New earth, the destruction of Satan, death and Hades. We live in the heavenly county which Abraham hoped for (Hebrews 11:13-16; 12:22f).

 


If Christ has come doesn’t this destroy all hope?
The scripture teaches that ‘hope deferred makes the heart sick, but when the desire comes it is a tree of life.’ (Proverbs 13:12, 19) What destroys hope is delay and non-fulfillment of God’s promises. If Christ hasn’t come, especially in the time He said He would, that destroys hope. Fulfillment of a promise confirms hope as it is realized and achieved, thus is ‘sweet to the soul.’

When a child is promised a gift and has his hope set on receiving it, if the parent does not give the gift to the child, is not the child’s hope disappointed? On the other hand, if the parent rewards the child as promised, what is the response? It is excitement and joy because the thing hoped for has been received. We are the more blessed because Christ has come.



When did “every eye” see Him?
“Every eye” must be seen in the light of the context. For example, a decree was passed that the whole world should be taxed, (Luke 2:1) The bible says this taxing was done in the days of Augustus Caesar in the first century. (2:5).

Does that include people living today? Revelation 1:7 is quoted from Zechariah 12:10 and Daniel 7:13,14. It refers to the whole land of Judah and Jerusalem "seeing" and mourning over the destruction of their commonwealth. Jesus quotes the passage in Matthew 24:30 applying it to the destruction of Jerusalem in A.D. 70. For a complete discussion of this subject read the entire article. “Every Eye Saw Him”

 


It is stated that the gospel must be preached in all the world. Has this happened?

The gospel was in fact preached in all the world in the first century. See Matthew 24:14, Romans 10:18; 16:26; Colossians 1:6, 23. This was completed as early as A.D. 60.

 


Where is Satan?
Satan is destroyed having been banished to the lake of fire. Paul wrote to the Romans stating that God would crush Satan under their feet “shortly.” The time was at hand for Satan’s demise (Rev. 1:1-3) Satan knew that his time was short, Revelation 12:12. According to the book of Revelation he was cast into the lake of fire, (Revelation 20:10; 22:6,10,12) an event imminent in the first century.

Let us not claim “the devil made me do it” and accept the responsibility for our own actions. Every man sins when he is tempted and drawn away of his own lusts, (James 1:13-15).



Why do we yet die. I thought we would live forever?
This is a great question especially for those who believe that 1 Corinthians 15 is yet unfulfilled. The bible says that the sting of death is sin and the strength of sin is the law, 1 Cor. 15:56. (The law of Moses is what is referred to here). If the law of Moses is fulfilled and has been done away with, and if 1 Corinthians is about physical or biological death, why then do men still die biologically in the absence or removal of the law and the putting away of sin?

We die because physical death is not and has never been our enemy. It does not separate us from God, (Romans 8:38) and is affirmed as a blessing for those who die in the Lord, Psalms 16:10; Revelation 14:13. Jesus said “He who keeps my sayings, shall never see death. He speaks of spiritual death. John says those who obey the Lord are passed from death into life and shall not come into judgment. (John 5:24)



Why is sin still in the world?

This question applies equally to the time immediately after Christ’s death as it does to the A.D. 70 coming of Christ. The scripture teaches that Jesus appeared once in the end of the age to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself. Hebrews 9:26. Why was sin yet in the world after Christ’s death? The realm in which sin is destroyed is in the kingdom of God. Christ put away sin for those who obey him.

 


Are we living in the new heavens and new earth?

Answer: Yes, see Revelation 1:1-3. The old heaven and earth of Judaism was shaken, (Hebrews 12:26). We have received in its place the kingdom which cannot be removed. Therefore we live in the kingdom, our new heaven and earth, (Hebrews 12:22, 29).

 


When did Christ return?

According to the Scriptures Christ returned within the first century generation of those living in His day. He promised to return in their life time. “For the Son of Man shall come in the glory of His Father with His holy angels. Then he will reward every man according to His works. There be some standing here which shall not taste death till they have seen the Son of Man coming in His Kingdom,” (Matthew 16:27, 28). See also the Olivet discourse in Matthew 24 where Jesus predicted that His generation would not pass away until all those things including his coming would happen, (vv. 30, 34).

 


What is preterism?

Answer: Preterist comes from a latin term, preter. It means past. It generally is understood to mean that some eschatological passages are fulfilled in the past. Most of those who consider themselves preterists are what is termed “partial preterists though the term may be used by "full preterists" as well. It’s like being partially pregnant or “half dead.” There is no such thing. Partial preterists are actually futurists in that they believe that the second coming of Christ is yet unfulfilled and is therefore future. They simply have an inconsistent dichotomized view of the end time prophecies, placing some in the past and some in the future.

 


What is “hyper" preterism?”
This a term which “partial preterists” have given to those who interpret all bible prophecy as having been fulfilled in the past with no application for today.

“Hyper” implies an “extreme” view of fulfillment. Hyper preterist is also an unfortunate and inadequate term in that it focuses on the past.

While eschatology is the fulfillment of the Old Covenant, its fulfillment is also the beginning of the New Covenant, (Hebrews 8:13). Since the focus is on both, the past fulfillment of the Old and the confirmation and application of the New Covenant, preterism is an inadequate term.

 


What is Eschatology?

Eschatology is a Greek term. It is derived from “eschatos” meaning last or end, and from “logos” which means word or study. Hence it is the study of last or end time things. Particularly this is the study of the events of the last days such as the second coming of Christ, the resurrection, judgment and establishment of the eternal kingdom.
Other terms used for this study is ‘Covenant Eschatology’ or ‘Realized Eschatology.’

 


Why is this important?
This is a very broad question, but can be answer somewhat briefly. It is important because the fulfillment of prophecy has a direct bearing on the inspiration of Scripture and the establishing of the testimony and credibility of the prophet. If the words uttered by a prophet fail to come to pass, that is a false prophet as described in Deuteronomy 18:19.

If Jesus’ words failed to come to pass as he stated, He would be a false prophet, the Bible’s inspiration is impugned and thus Christianity would be based on lies and falsehood, hence invalidated as a Divine religion. Many scholars rejected the Bible or called Jesus’ a liar because they could not reconcile the imminent factor of His end-time predictions.

Most importantly, Jesus’ coming was to provide salvation. First, because as long as the Old Covenant stood, the way into the Holiest of all was not manifest or accessible (Hebrews 9:8). Secondly, Jesus’ coming would bring salvation, (9:28). If he has not come, not only would He be a false prophet, but we would not have salvation.



Why do you take the Lord’s Supper? Didn’t Christ say take the Lord’s supper until he comes?
No. Christ did not say take the Lord’s supper till he comes. He said as often as we partake of it, we do show forth or proclaim his death till he comes. He spoke primarily to the Corinthians thus expressing that he would return in their day, for the end of the ages had come in that generation, 1 Corinthians 10:11. For more information see our 3 part study “Till He Comes.” Jesus promised that He would no longer drink of the cup until “that day” when He drank it new in when the kingdom of God came.

“That day” was the second coming or “that day” when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom, Matthew 26:29. Therefore, the second coming of Christ is not when we cease partaking of the Lord’s supper, but when its full meaning of completed deliverance was expressed in which the church began partaking of it new with Christ, in fulfillment versus in anticipation.


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