|We must tell our kids the truth (that Jesus ain't coming)|
|Written by Chris Perver|
|Sunday, 28 January 2007 17:00|
|I was sent the following article by a reader for the purposes of commenting on it. It's an article from the Preterist viewpoint, entitled "We MUST tell our kids the truth!" by a man called Dan Delagrave. I'm not in the business of cutting Christians down, even when they don't happen to share my views, but seeing I was asked to comment on the article, I thought I might as well put my comments up here for you all to read. My comments in red and italicised. |
We MUST Tell Our Kids The Truth!
We Christian parents need to stop telling our kids lines like "when Jesus comes again...dadadadada". Why? Because Jesus put the fulfilment of his Second Coming within the timeframe restriction of "this generation" (Matt.24:34, Mk.13:30, Lk.21:32). That's all the reason we need!
A Biblical generation was thought of in the same sense as a generation is thought of today - a lifespan period of time. The word "this" in the English dictionary means "pertaining to the present". Jesus OBVIOUSLY meant the THEN-PRESENT generation of the Apostles when he said that all things, which included his Second Coming and the end of the age, would be fulfilled before "this generation" passed away. It isn't even debatable, to be quite frank with you. In Lk.17:25, Jesus told the Disciples that he must first suffer many things and be "rejected (crucified) of this generation". We all know what generation crucified Jesus, and it wasn't "the 1948 generation", or any other modern invention! We MUST remain consistent a few chapters later in Lk.21:32, where Jesus said that "all", not some, would be fulfilled before "this generation" passed away.
There are three different understandings of the word "generation". The one that Dan mentions is the one most people would adhere to, that the "generation" referred to is the average lifespan of a human being, or the number of years between a generation and the birth of the next generation. Seventy years, or forty years respectively. The Bible makes use of this term when referring to the number of years Israel wandered in the wilderness.
The Greek word for this usage of "generation" is the word "dore", a revolution of time. Another word in the Greek which has been translated as "generation" in English, is the word "ghen-nay-mah", a generation of people. This refers to a specific group, rather than a specific time period. John the Baptist used the word in speaking to the Pharisees...
The generation Jesus referred to, when He said He would be rejected of "this generation", is another word again, "ghen-eh-ah". This refers to a specific people in a certain age. This is the same word that is used in Jesus Christ's prophecy, "this generation shall not pass away". The question then arises, which generation? The beginning of chapter Matthew 24 and Luke 21 in no doubt refer to the destruction of the Temple and the diaspora. Following this vivid description, Jesus Christ states...
Friends, the times of the Gentiles lasted 1900 years, from the date Titus conquered Jerusalem, until 1967, when Israel retook the city. The next verse commences after the times of the Gentiles has been fulfilled, and concludes with the Second Coming of Christ.
So the question is, which generation is Jesus referring to when He states, the generation that sees all these things come to pass will be the last? The answer is obvious, the generation that witnesses the times of the Gentiles coming to a close.
So we need to start telling our kids THE TRUTH.
Pastors today are in a tough position. They face LOSING THEIR JOB should they tell the truth. This is unlike the first century, where pastors weren't plugged into a clergy system that gave them a comfortable salary for preaching the truth. This is why pastors today commonly AVOID teaching Bible prophecy. In other words, rather than risk losing their job should they have a change of mind about their denomination's official position on eschatology, they avoid the subject altogether.
Let's face it, a typical pastor today who suddenly began teaching the Preterist view of eschatology would get OUSTED in short order. It's the nature of the beast (the conventional church system and denominationalism). Many pastors are simply unwilling to give up a comfortable salary and good standing before the community in order to openly teach the truth. So they "leave well enough alone". Come on, now. Can we be just a little bit real here?
It has been said that the next reformation will concern eschatology. That reformation, is, in fact, already underway. As Thomas Ice, founder of "the Pre-Trib Research Center" and perhaps the leading defender of Futurism today (particularly of the Premillennial, Dispensational sort), said, "The Preterist view is gaining widespread acceptance on all levels today." Folks, literally NOTHING that Hal Lindsey, self-proclaimed "father of the modern prophecy movement", has taught or predicted in the last forty years has come true. All the speculation surrounding the new millennium, such as the Y2K pandemonium, came to nought without so much as a "7-yr peace treaty". No rebuilt temple, no Russian invasion of Israel, no micro-chip mark of the beast, no one-world religion, no ten horns, and no world-wide dictator has come to fruition like the Premil authors said it would. It's all been a sad, moneymaking travesty due to wrong eschatology to begin with.
No comment. Anyone who reads this site will soon see evidence for all this coming to pass in our lifetime. The millennium bug was a hoax by the New World Order, designed to make sure all the banks in the world updated their systems, so we could all be interlinked.
People want answers to all the failed hype and false predictions. This has caused "a second reformation". Believers have gone "back to the Bible" for answers, where they have noticed a particular TIMEFRAME for the fulfilment of Bible prophecy, that being "this generation".
We MUST tell our kids the truth if we are to keep this much needed reformation going strong for generations to come.
The "1948 generation" proved to be a false teaching. Here we are almost 60 years removed from 1948 and still no Jesus on a big chair in Jerusalem, not to mention none of the aforementioned staples of Dispensational eschatology seeing fulfilment either. The WRONG GENERATION was in mind all along.
Not exactly. 1948 saw prophecy fulfilled, when a nation was born in one day (Isaiah 66:8), when Hebrew became the official language of the Jews (Zephaniah 3:9) and the Jews returned to their ancient homeland Israel (Ezekiel 37). But we were wrong to mark 40 years from 1948, because Jerusalem, and more significantly the Temple Mount, was still under Gentile control. Daniel's vision states explicitly, that 70 weeks were "determined upon thy people, and thy holy city Jerusalem", Daniel 9:24. Joel 3:1 also states that God was going to bring back the captivity of Judah and Jerusalem. Without Jerusalem under Israeli control, none of the prophesies concerning the end times could come to pass.
Let's talk about "the 1948 generation". That view of "this generation" is based on a wrong interpretation of the fig tree parable in Matt.24:32-33. It is commonly taught that this parable is saying that when Israel, the fig tree, came to life again in 1948 then "the terminal generation" began. What I want you to see, though, is the fact that, in LUKE'S VERSION of the parable, Jesus exhorted the Disciples to take note of not only the fig tree but "all the trees". While the fig tree in scripture did indeed denote Israel, we must be consistent here. If the parable is saying that Israel will come to life again some day, then so must "all the trees". Were "all the trees", or ALL THE NATIONS, born again as political states in 1948???? NO!! The fact is, the parable is not speaking of modern Israel at all. If it were, then we would have to see evidence that ALL the nations became new political states at that time too, that is, if consistency means anything at all.
Jesus Christ singled out the fig tree in his parable. The fig tree is a picture of Israel in the Bible.
The disciples were simply to compare the fig tree to all the trees, because the fig tree is unique, in that it is the first tree to blossom and bear fruit. It's leaves show that "summer is near". Jesus was saying to His disciples, look at all the trees, but when you see leaves on the fig (Israel), you know that you are in the last days.
Needless to say, "1948 generation" advocates prefer to cite MATTHEW'S VERSION of the fig tree parable, which only mentions the fig tree and not "all the trees".
Those who cite the fig tree parable to support a Dispensational bent on Bible prophecy claim that, in the next verse, the stated timeframe restriction for it's fulfilment - "this generation" - is "the generation that saw Israel come to life in 1948". Yet, that interpretation of "this generation" is not consistent with how Jesus used that very same term elsewhere. We've already examined Lk.17:25, where Jesus referred to the generation that crucified him as "this generation". Another verse that demonstrates the then-present nature of "this generation" is Matt.23:36. Jesus pronounced seven "woes" upon the hypocritical Pharisees of his time, and called them "the children of them which killed the prophets". (v.31) He said, "That upon you (the hypocritical Jews of his day) may come all the righteous blood shed upon the earth." (v.35). Then he summed up his scathing pronouncement to the Pharisees by saying, "Verily I say un to you, All these things shall come upon this generation." OBVIOUSLY, the term "this generation" in Matt.23:36 referred to the very ones Jesus was speaking to at that time! Again, we MUST remain consistent when, just a few verses later in Matt.24:34, Jesus said virtually the same thing - "Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled."
"In my grandfather's day, it took two days to cross the desert during the day". I use the same word in English three times, with three different meanings. The first day refers to a period of time when my grandfather was a boy, the second refers to a 24 hour period of time and the third refers to the period of time in which we have daylight. When Jesus Christ refers to this and that "generation", we need to make sure we are examining the passage for the correct context. Obviously the generation Jesus refers to in regard to the Pharisees and those who would put Him to death, could not be 2000 years after the resurrection. But the events He spoke of in regard to the last days could be!
The words "all these things" included the Lord's Second Coming and the end of the age, in conjunction with the Temple's destruction. All three elements were what the Disciples asked Jesus about, and Jesus put the fulfilment of ALL THREE under one and the same time statement of "this generation". Therefore, we cannot separate by thousands of years the Lord's Second Coming from the destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple, since all three things were prophesied to be fulfilled before the then-present generation had passed away.
No. The reference to "all these things" is to Israel fleeing, after seeing the abomination of desolation set up in the Temple. This is not a reference to the Temple's destruction in AD 70, for the events described by the Lord that coincide with this occurrence are false prophets, signs in the heavens, and the sign of the Son of Man. These things never occurred in AD 70.
Sadly, Futuristic eschatology, at best, puts the fulfilment of "some" things in the first century, while other things are to be fulfilled thousands of years removed from that time. But what right does anyone have to change what Jesus said twice about in the space of ten verses, that is, the fact that "all" would be fulfilled before that generation had passed away? The TRUTH is, we have no option but to simply accept what Jesus said and begin adjusting our understanding of all else accordingly. Unfortunately, modern teachers keep adjusting the clear timeframe Jesus gave to accommodate false notions about the nature of the kingdom. Church, that ought not to be!
Let's face this too - NO MAN wants to get a crazy look from his kids, especially kids that are old enough to have already had a futuristic interpretation of the Second Coming of Christ ingrained into their minds. But we have no choice short of not saying anything at all. The result of not telling them the truth is IGNORANCE and all that curtails from it. That includes a lot of silliness, unrealistic expectations, and, ultimately, disillusionment.
Telling our kids the Preteristic truth about Bible prophecy also equips them with a tremendous apologetic for the Christian faith. The Sceptics constantly use "the non-return" against the deity of Jesus and the inspiration of the Bible. Jesus didn't return WHEN he said he would, therefore he was a false prophet and the Bible is uninspired, so the Sceptics say. Telling our kids the truth - that all was fulfilled within the first century parameters of "this generation" - gives them the only rock-solid refutation of the "non-return" accusation against Christianity.
We MUST tell our kids the truth.
Just one thought. I would rather be right about Jesus' coming again, and to not be ashamed, than to have taught that Jesus wasn't coming back and have to face Him, knowing that I not only let Him down, but also my children. How sad.
1st John 2:28