Sermon shared by James Groce
Summary: Revelation 22:6, "And he said to me, ’These words are faithful and true’; and the Lord, the God of the spirits of the prophets, sent His angel to show to His bond-servants the things which must shortly (táchos) take place."
Audience: Believer adults
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Observations Gleaned From Reading Partial Preterism
After reading over some of the comments and teachings of the individuals that profess belief in a “partial preterism” theory I sense they have created a dilemma in their teachings. I see no other way around the fact that even though they claim that only the first 19 chapters of revelation are “history” and the remaining following chapters are “future,” this simply won’t fly! Because Partial Preterist "timing" interpretation would require an A.D. 70 fulfillment of the entire book of Revelation! I may be missing something here (or there) but I cannot, in being honest with scripture, dismiss this error in their teachings.
Revelation 22:6, "And he said to me, ’These words are faithful and true’; and the Lord, the God of the spirits of the prophets, sent His angel to show to His bond-servants the things which must shortly (táchos) take place." This is a passage of "time indicators" for Revelation as noted above as stated in the Preterist teachings. However, Revelation 20:7-9 as a reference to the yet future second coming. This creates a contradiction within preterism. Since Revelation 22:6 is a statement referring to the whole book of Revelation, it would be impossible to take táchos as a reference to A.D. 70 and at the same time hold that Revelation 20:7-9 teaches the second coming. Partial Preterist must either adopt a view similar to futurism or shift to the extreme preterist view that understands the entire book of Revelation as past history and thus eliminating any future second coming and resurrection.
"The overwhelming majority of the eschatological events prophesied in the Book of Revelation have already been fulfilled," declares preterist teachers. Since subjects relating to prophecy dominate virtually every page of the New Testament this would logically mean, for the preterist, that most of the NT does not refer directly to the Church today. Since so much of the NT is written to tell believers how to live since the birth of the church to the coming of the Lord, it makes a huge difference if one interprets the events as a past or future event. If preterism is true, then the NT refers to believers who lived during the forty-year period between the death of Christ and the destruction of Jerusalem in A.D. 70. Therefore, virtually no part of the NT applies to believers today according to preterist logic. There is no scripture, therefore, that applies directly to believers during the church age.
This is another area where large sections of the NT, especially the Epistles and Revelation, would have to be adjusted away from the meaning Christians have historically seen in those passages. An example of this is seen in how the different approaches would handle Paul’s warning in 2 Timothy 3. Paul begins by saying that "in the last days difficult times will come" (3:1). The "last days" likely refers to the whole of the current Church age, or perhaps it is a general reference to the final portion of the current Church age. Either way, it is a reference to the period of time before the final phase of history which preterists say we are not in. Paul goes on to describe how these times will be characterized by men who "will be lovers of self," . . . (3:2) "rather than lovers of God" (3:4). The general course of "the last days" are described as a time when "all who desire to live
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