PMT-2015-055 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.
In this brief study I am offering justifications for the modern trend to adopt a preterist approach to eschatology. We live in an age dominated by evangelical futurism. As a consequence, preterism can be a hard sell.
I am presenting a four-fold exegetical justification for preterism in the Book of Revelation. These justifications should be conclusive to anyone holding to the integrity of Scripture. In this study, we are ready to consider: Audience Indicators.
John was not writing Revelation as an experiment in abstraction. Rather when he emphasizes the nearness of his prophetic events, he is doing so because he as writing a work most relevant to his original recipients. In fact, to delay the prophetic events thousands of years would contradict his whole point in writing Revelation. (Admittedly, John did not understand the principles of modern book publication which prefers excitement over truth.)
In this regard, we should not first that John writes to seven historical churches. Immediately after twice declaring the nearness of the events (1:1, 3) we read: “John to the seven churches that are in Asia” (1:4a). In 1:11 and 2:1–3:22 he specifically names the churches. John informs these first century churches of events ‘soon’ (1:1) to come to pass because “the time is near” (1:3). How could they have understood John to really mean that either 2,000 years would elapse before the events broke out or that they would drag on and repeat themselves for 2000 years?
Sovereignty of God
(7 mp3 Gentry sermons on USB drive)
In these seven sermons will be found a practical demonstration of God?s absolute sovereignty.
This series serves as an excellent introduction to this difficult doctrine.
See more study materials at: KennethGentry.com
The Churches’ Settings
Second, studies by William Ramsey, Colin Hermer, and Roland Worth show how intimately Revelation addresses those specific churches regarding their histories, settings, and struggles. The seven letters are occasional letters designed specifically for their concerns. Interestingly, only Worth sees the significance of the evidence as leading to a preterist approach. I highly recommend reading Worth’s two volume study on the matter.
Roland H. Worth, The Seven Cities of the Apocalypse and Roman Culture. New York: Paulist, 1999.
Roland H. Worth, The Seven Cities of the Apocalypse and Greco-Asian Culture. New York: Paulist, 1999.
The Churches’ Expectations
Third, within these letters we also find temporal qualifiers suggesting those churches would experience the shock waves from the events of Revelation (2:5; 2:16; 3:11; 22:12, 20). One of them was “about to” be tried by Satan (2:10; cp. 1:19 Gk.). To another Christ is “coming quickly” in judgment (2:16; cp. 1:1). To still another He promises: “I also will keep you from the hour of testing, that hour which is about to come upon the whole world [oikumene]” (3:10; cp. 1:19 Gk.). Indeed, a church must “hold fast” for awhile in that Christ’s judgment-coming will trans transpire “quickly” (3:11; cp. 1:1).
Before Jerusalem Fell
(by Ken Gentry)
Coctoral dissertation defending a pre-AD 70 date for Revelation’s writing.
Thoroughly covers internal evidence from Revelation, external evidence from history,
and objections to the early date by scholars.
See more study materials at: www.KennethGentry.com
The Churches’ Experiences
Fourth, John wrote Revelation while these churches were enduring stressful times: “I, John, your brother and fellow partaker in the tribulation and kingdom and perseverance which are in Jesus” (1:9a). Revelation promises quickly to vindicate the martyrs who cry: “How long?” (6:9). The were told “they should rest for a little while longer” (6:10-11; cp. Lk 18:7-8). In fact, later in Revelation, we learn “there shall be delay no longer” (10:6). Yet, on the non-preterist interpretation, their vindication was not after “a little while,” and the events await an enormous delay.
How could John be writing those people about events that lay hundreds of years in the future? Such a presentation would be taunting them rather than ministering to them.
This series will continue. Stay tuned.