GATHERING THE ELECT (2)

PMW 2018-065 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.

In my last article I introduced a “problem” that arises in some Christians’ minds regarding the first-century fulfillment of the opening section of the Olivet Discourse. One problem that confuses many is Matt. 24:31, which reads:

“And He will send forth His angels with a great trumpet and they will gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of the sky to the other.”

We must note that just three verses later Jesus unequivocally declares: “Truly I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all these things take place” (Matt. 24:34). This clearly demands that the statement before us must come to pass in the first century. And as we shall see, so it does! Continue reading

Advertisements

GATHERING THE ELECT (1)

PMW 2018-054 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.

The Olivet Discourse is a fascinating eschatological discourse given by the Lord to his disciples. It is the largest discourse of Christ recorded in Matthew (Matt. 24:4–25:46), the only one given over to issues beyond the temporal boundaries of Matthew’s storyline (which ends shortly after Christ’s resurrection, Matt. 28:1–7), and is his last (therefore, climactic) discourse in Matthew (Matt. 26:1). Hence, for Matthew it is clearly significant for his theological point (which I will be discussing in a new book I am working on, see note at the end of this article).

The key to understanding the first portion of the Olivet Discourse (Matt. 24:4–35) is to recognize its local, first-century focus. We see this from several angles: (1) The Discourse is prompted by Jesus’s declaration of the approaching destruction of the temple (Matt. 24:2), which we know happened in AD 70. (2) It is clearly a local event, for the tribulation surrounding it can be escaped by fleeing from Judea (Matt. 24:16). And (3) it will happen to the first-century generation of Jesus and his disciples (Matt. 24:34), the same generation in which the Pharisees resisted Christ’s earthly ministry (Matt. 23:36; cf. vv. 29–35). I have dealt abundantly with the Olivet Discourse in other blog articles.

However, some Christians become confused because of Matthew 24:31. Continue reading

CULTURAL ELITES AND SAME-SEX MARRIAGE

PMW 2018-063 by Alastair Roberts (The Gospel Coaliton)

Gentry introduction:
The postmillennial worldview expects a time in which righteousness and peace will spread across the globe (Isa. 11:9). This will result from the gospel making its way more deeply into the hearts of men and more fully into human society and culture (John 3:17). But though our world is instant-this, freeze-dried that, biblical eschatology operates slowly over the long term. Just as the first promise of the gospel occurred thousands of years before Christ (Gen. 3:15) and finally came to fruition in his birth, just so the progress of the gospel promised in both testaments only gradually moves toward victory.

Recently we have been witnessing the wholesale and seemingly unrelenting collapse of morality and virtue in world culture. And this is occurring in America, which claims that it is “One Nation Under God” so that our motto has been “In God We Trust.” The radical leftist agenda has asserted itself and has won the day in terms of the homosexual movement. Of course, God is greater than our sin, and greater than all sinners (1 John 4:4). So this too will pass for Christ has promised: “if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to Myself” (John 12:32).

But in the meantime, we do well to arm ourselves with knowledge of the situation transpiring around us so that we might understand and expose the works of darkness (Eph. 5:11). This review article of an important secular work on our cultural collapse provides us valuable insights that we would do well to notice.

Continue reading

MATT. 16:27-28: AD 70 AND FINAL JUDGMENT (2)

PMW 2018-061 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.

In my preceding article I began a brief study of Matthew 16:27 and 28. I am providing evidence that Jesus speaks of the “coming of the Son of Man” as applying to his Second Coming at the Final Judgment to end history. Upon declaring this, he adds a note about his near-term coming, which demonstrates his authority at the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple in AD 70. This article will conclude the argument by providing my fourth point, following upon the preceding three.

So now we must note not only the wording of the passage, but its flow, setting, and purpose.

In v. 28 Jesus inserts the “truly I say to you” formula (v. 28), which he often uses. He always uses this formula as a bold underscoring of something he has said. So? How does it function here? This will explain his rationale in the setting of his current instruction. Continue reading

MATT. 16:27-28: AD 70 AND FINAL JUDGMENT (1)

PMW 2018-061 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.

One of the more remarkable brief aside statements by Jesus, which impacts eschatology, is found in Matthew 16:27–28. Jesus’ declaration reads:

[v. 27] For the Son of Man is going to come in the glory of His Father with His angels, and will then repay every man according to his deeds. [v. 28] Truly I say to you, there are some of those who are standing here who will not taste death until they see the Son of Man coming in His kingdom.

As an orthodox preterist, I hold that this passage brings together the AD 70 judgment and the Final Judgment. [1] As orthodox preterists argue (following most conservative, evangelical theologians in general), the AD 70 destruction of the temple is a dramatic judgment of God in itself. But it is also a typological foretaste of the universal Final Judgment, which it pictures through the local judgment on Israel. [2] (This is much like the Israel’s Old Testament exodus event being an important act in itself, while serving as a type of coming redemption through Christ.) Continue reading

ISRAEL FULFILLED IN THE CHURCH

PMW 2018-060 by R. T. France

Gentry introductory note:
In my last blog posting I presented several chapters from R. T. France’s important book, Jesus and the Old Testament. That posting dealt with the transitional function of Mark 13:32 and Matt. 24:36, showing Jesus shifting his focus on the destruction of the temple in “this generation” to the final judgment on “that day.”

In this posting post material appearing just a few pages later, showing that the Christian church typologically fulfills the hope of Israel. These few observation provide us with a wealth of understanding of the relationship of the Church to Israel.

The following is taken from p. 238 of France’s, Jesus and the Old Testament.

So without further comment, here is R. T. France on Mark 13:27/Matt. 24:31:

Continue reading

OLIVET’S TRANSITION VERSE RE-VISITED

PMW 2018-059 by R. T. France

Gentry introductory note:
As I am researching my commentary on Matthew 21–25 (the contextual unit in which the Olivet Discourse appears in Matthew), I have stumbled across a helpful older work by R. T. France: Jesus and the Old Testament. (By the way, I literally stumbled over this work: I already owned, it was in my library, and it fell out when I reached for another book.)

In the Appendix to his study, he gives a brief exegesis of Mark 13, which argues for a transition from AD 70 to the Final Judgment (just as I argue in my work on Matt. 24

He puts the matter well, so I will share it with my readers.

So now, let us hear R. T. France on Mark 13 and the transition from Jesus’ prophecy regarding AD 70 to his prophecy of the Final Judgment. The following is taken from Jesus and the Old Testament  (p. 232): Continue reading