Preterism

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2 years 8 months ago #5290 by Trev77
Preterism was created by Trev77
Hi all,

New contributor here. Chris Date, I discovered your podcast "Theopolegetics" a few months ago and after that discovered "Rethinking Hell." I want to say thank you to you and the rest of the team here doing great work in discovering truth in scripture. You will be happy to know that I didn't just take your word from it. Scripture is truth so I had to seek, pray, and discover myself. When I looked at scripture with fresh eyes the clarity I found favoring conditional immortality vs. ECT was striking.

Recently I was also exposed to the preterist view of Revelation. Again, reading Revelation with this possibility has made it quite clear most of the prophecies in Revelation have been fulfilled. With that said, I am currently seeing full preterism as a possibility as well. This is rather alarming to me because many claim full preterism as heretical, and it also goes against so much of what I have grown up believing. Then again, so did conditional immortality.

My question is in light of Revelation 22.

“Look, I am coming soon! My reward is with me, and I will give to each person according to what they have done. 13 I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End.

14 “Blessed are those who wash their robes, that they may have the right to the tree of life and may go through the gates into the city. 15 Outside are the dogs, those who practice magic arts, the sexually immoral, the murderers, the idolaters and everyone who loves and practices falsehood.

If this passage is pointing to the end of time when the Heavenly Jerusalem comes down to earth and all believers are physically resurrected then why are their people still outside the city? It seems to be suggesting that if we embrace conditional immortality we have to also embrace full preterism. If this is talking about a spiritual city which is present right now then wouldn't this imply full preterism? Am I missing something in this last chapter of Revelation? This is all fairly new to me, so I apologize if I am clearly missing something obvious. I am on the pursuit of the truth in God;s word, that is it.


Thank you.

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2 years 8 months ago #5293 by DTM
Replied by DTM on topic Preterism
Trev77, welcome to the forum! I don't know much of anything about preterism, so I can't speak to that, but I can comment on that passage. Revelation 22:15 is often offered as a rebuttal to CI because it comes after the unredeemed have gone to the second death, and yet it seems to indicate that they are still alive. But a careful reading of the chapter up to that point easily (at least for me) clears things up.

I believe the prophetic vision ends ten verses earlier, at v. 5. As I read it, vv. 1-5 are the last images in the vision. Verses 6-9 are a concluding discussion; this is especially clear in v. 6 and the first part of v. 8.

And then vv. 10-15 are an explicit assurance that this is all going to happen, and it'll be soon, but we're not there yet. Notice in v. 14 that the righteous are not yet in the city--it speaks of that as in the future as well. So in v. 14, the righteous are preparing to enter the city, and in v. 15, the unrighteous are still doing what they always do and will do right up until the end. Those verses are not describing the situation after the events of Revelation, rather before them.

What little I know about preterism is (I think) that it holds that all of the events of Revelation happened in the first century, more or less. Even if that's true, it would still be the case that they had not yet happened on the day John received the vision, and that is what v. 15 is talking about.

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2 years 8 months ago #5294 by Trev77
Replied by Trev77 on topic Preterism
Thank you, sir!

Your analysis of the verses do make sense to me. It does seem as though vs 15 is the current state in John of Patmos' day. However, right before in vs. 12, and littered throughout all of Rev. is Jesus saying "I am coming soon." This fact is another reason why it seems as though Jesus actually was telling the truth to the first century churches and wasn't just giving them false hope by meaning 2,000+ years when He said "soon."

My question still remains if we, who embrace CI is taught in scripture need to also embrace FP with seemingly the main passages we have in regards to the "end of the world" seem as though there is still evil around. While I do agree with you about vs 15 in Ch.22, there is still the verses at the end of Ch. 21 stating that nothing unclean will ever enter the New Jerusalem, nor anyone who does what is detestable or false. This seems to imply that there are still wicked people outside of the new city.

Additionally, another verse that puzzles me is vs. 2 in Rev. Ch22 "The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations." Why would the nations need healing if all wickedness has been destroyed?

I appreciate the input!

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2 years 8 months ago #5295 by DTM
Replied by DTM on topic Preterism
Again, I can't directly address preterism. (Some day I'll have to learn more about it.) I will, however, give you my take on two of your specific concerns.

Regarding the last verse of chapter 21, the statement that nothing unclean will ever enter the city doesn't require that anything unclean is still around. If I say that I ate dinner at a restaurant yesterday and didn't bring home any leftovers, that doesn't necessarily mean that there were leftovers that I left behind. Maybe I ate the entire meal and there were no leftovers to bring home. That verse also says that only those in the Lamb's Book of Life enter the city. What of the others, those not in the Book of Life? Go back to the last verse of chapter 20, and you'll see that they've already been thrown into the lake of fire. They'll never enter the city because they no longer exist!

I agree that Rev 22:2 is a bit of a puzzle, but go all the way back to Gen 3:22-24. It would seem that the tree of life is somehow instrumental in living forever. Is it perhaps symbolic of Christ? I don't know. We all need healing, which comes through Christ, so whatever the tree represents, the idea that those in the city are healed is not problematic for me.

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2 years 8 months ago #5299 by Singalphile
Replied by Singalphile on topic Preterism
Hi, Trev77. Welcome!

I do not see any necessary link between any sort of preterism and any particular view of hell.

As I see it, similar to DTM, the end-times revelation/visions end in Rev 21:5a , after the end of the 1,000 years, the resurrection, the great white throne judgment, the second death, and finally the "marriage" of "the bride" (i.e., "the New Jerusalem") to the "Lamb" on the new earth without tears, death, mourning, and pain.

After that, there's a more detailed vision of the "bride, the wife of the Lamb" ( Rev 21:9+ ), which is the "holy city, Jerusalem".

I think there's extremely good evidence that "the New Jerusalem", aka the "wife of the Lamb", is the Church, the people of God. If you're like me, you couldn't care less about gates and gem stones in some literal city. Thankfully, that's not what it's about, imo. Rather, the city is a symbolic description of the Church, you and me and all in Christ, right now, as seen by God.

So, to "enter the city" is to enter the Church (to be saved) and to be "outside" is to be outside of the Church (to be unsaved). The "gates" of the Church are always open and all are invited to "take the water of life without cost", but nothing unclean and sinful will enter because all believers are cleansed from all sin by the blood of the Lamb (symbolism seen in Revelation and in John's epistles). We (the bride, the holy city, the new Jerusalem) are to be a light and an example and a healing influence to those who are outside the city.

Of course (in my opinion), the city is not yet established on the new heaven and new earth without tears/pain/sorrow and is not fully glorified, but it is a present spiritual reality nonetheless.

So that's why I see no necessary link between any sort of preterism and any view of hell.

Certainly, you may adopt a form of preterism based on the various "soon" statements. I take a partial preterist view myself. But my opinion about that was in place before I started thinking about hell, and there is no relation, as far as I can tell.

Thanks!

"Singalphile" - Name chosen (hastily) to indicate being on a narrow path, pursuing the love of God. Male, upper-30's, USA.

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