PMT 2015-047 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.
As I continue considering the question whether preterism is depressing, I come to my fourth article in answering a reader’s concern. It is at this point that we actually get to the reason that Rick sees preterism as potentially depressing. I have summarized this portion of his concern as follows:
Does preterism discount our eternal hope in a glorified estate? If the new Jerusalem and the new heavens and new earth have already begun, what comfort is that since so much in the world is in such bad shape? Such thinking has almost ruined the writer’s faith.
I can now see why he is depressed. And now he is making me depressed too. He has been reading hyperpreterists. Hyperpreterists see the world and history continuing forever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever. World without end, amen. Thus, they have no final removing of sin from the universe. God will always and forever have a fallen, sinful universe.
However, the historic, orthodox preterist believes in a future physical return of Christ, a future bodily resurrection, a future great judgment, the end of world history, and a physical new creation. He believes in the blessed hope of the Christian faith in eternity.
Navigating the Book of Revelation (by Ken Gentry)
Technical studies on key issues in Revelation, including the seven-sealed scroll, the cast out temple, Jewish persecution of Christianity, the Babylonian Harlot, and more.
See more study materials at: www.KennethGentry.com
But we also believe these are spiritually anticipated now. For instance, Jesus and Paul both teach that we are spiritually resurrected when we are saved, as we may see in the following texts:
“Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life.” (John 5:24)
“He raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus” (Eph 2:6)
We also believe that the future physical new creation has begun spiritually in Christ now.
“Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.” (2 Cor 5:17)
“Neither is circumcision anything, nor uncircumcision, but a new creation.” (Gal 6:15)
These spiritual realities are advance notices of the final, consummate, physical realities which we who are redeemed will enjoy in the eternal realm. Theologians call this relationship between current spiritual realities and future final realities a “now but not yet” theology. Eternity is intruding into history and beginning to impact it.
Nourishment from the Word
(by Ken Gentry)
Reformed studies covering baptism, creation, creeds, tongues,
God’s law, apologetics, and Revelation
See more study materials at: www.KennethGentry.com
It so happens that John’s Rev focuses on the spiritual new creation in Rev 21–22 rather than the consummate new creation. But this does not mean he denies a final, consummate new heavens and new earth. It just happens not to be his concern.
Orthodox preterists do not believe history is all there is and all there ever will be. We see new covenant history as a mixed reality, a blending the present age with the age to com. A reality that points to our future, consummate, glorious hope in Christ.
Tagged: eternal order, new creation
Given that Rick appears to have been negatively impacted by hyperpreterism, a view which Dr. Ken Gentry and the rest of us here reject, maybe a brief summary of a few tenets of orthodox preterism and postmillennialism (our view here) would be helpful.
I am writing these “off the cuff”, so they’ll be in no particular order.
(1) We see history linearly- creation to consummation, followed by us entering into the eternal state.
(2) The consummation, i.e. the “last day”, is the final day of human history prior to the institution of the eternal state. On this last day Jesus will return physically, and there will be a set of events that will occur more-or-less at the same time. This complex of events includes a general resurrection of all men (righteous and wicked), a final judgment of all men (righteous and wicked), and rapture of living saints. So, Christ returns at the end of history on the last day (prior to the eternal state), not during history.
(3) We see the millennium (Rev. 20:4 ff), not as a literal 1000 years of Jesus literally reigning on earth, but as the entire period between the two advents of Christ, This period is synonymous with the kingdom age that Jesus promoted during his earthly ministry. We do not see Scriptural warrant for the view that Christ reigns physically on earth (any NT references to such?). Rather, Christ reigns currently at the right hand of the Father, which enthronement followed his ascension after his resurrection.
(4) The millennium, or kingdom age, (i.e. the period of time between the two advents of Christ) will be marked by gradual progress for the gospel and growth of the church, both numerically and spiritually, as Christ defeats his enemies in history, making them a footstool for his feet,
(5) We see the “great tribulation” not as yet future events, but as events involving the Jewish-Roman war of 67-70 AD, culminating with the destruction of the then-standing Jewish temple at the end of the summer of 70 AD. The significance of this event, especially its redemptive-historical significance, has been thoroughly discussed by Ken Gentry.
For what it’s worth…
hi Blaine what is the eternal heaven place to eventually be like?
I understand that we are in resurrection bodies, not ghost like, or are we?
And where are we? In a floating gaseous heaven state like in movies,
or a solid physical place, of some sort, And where is the place if either physical or floaty, on a completely new earth somewhere or not on earth? thanks, Pam
Pam: Thanks for your note. When we enter heaven upon our deaths, we enter without our resurrection bodies. The resurrection occurs at the end of history. But when we are resurrected at the end of history we will enter into the consummate new earth, the physical, recreated earth. God gave us bodies (unlike angels), and he has designed those for functioning in a material environment.
“the physical, recreated earth” Ok thank you much,
that is clearly explained and that is what I thought, very appreciative ! Pam