Category Archives: Second Coming

IS CHRIST’S RETURN “IMMINENT”? (1)

PMW 2019-086 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.

A most remarkable feature of prophetic interest is the Christian’s conviction that we are living “in the shadow of the second coming,” that we are in a “countdown to Armageddon.” We often find linked with a radical misunderstanding of the last days the doctrine of the imminent return of Christ, especially among dispensationalists and premillennialists — but also even with amillennialists.

I will deal with the question in two articles. In this one I will set up the matter; in the next one I will answer it. I will focus largely on the dispensational approach to the question. Interestingly, the doctrine of imminence is simultaneously one of dispensationalism’s most potent drawing cards while being also its most embarrassing error.

John F. Walvoord explains imminency for us: “The hope of the return of Christ to take the saints to heaven is presented in John 14 as an imminent hope. There is no teaching of any intervening event. The prospect of being taken to heaven at the coming of Christ is not qualified by description of any signs or prerequisite events.” Continue reading

FOCUSING ON HIS COMING

Few doctrines of the Bible receive more attention among evangelicals today than the Second Coming of Christ. And since his Return is a foundational doctrine of the historic Christian faith, it well deserves our notice.

Unfortunately though, the Second Advent is more deeply loved and firmly believed than biblically understood. We tend to have a “zeal without knowledge” in approaching this doctrine. This is tragic in that properly comprehending it is vitally important for framing in a Christian worldview. After all, it exalts the consummate glory of his redemptive victory, completes the sovereign plan of God for history, and balances a full-orbed theology of Scripture. 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

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

AD 70, ANTICIPATION, AND ADVENT

AD 70 anticipates Second AdventPMT 2014:026 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.

AD 70 prefigures the Second Advent; it is theologically linked to it. But this does not imply any concept of double-fulfillment. There is a fundamental difference between prolepsis and double-fulfillment. Let me explain.

In the OT we have several “Day of the Lord” events: against Babylon (Isa 13:9), Jerusalem (Joel 2:1), and others. Each of these is a pointer to the final Day of the Lord (2 Pet 3:10), though each OT version is spoken of as THE (singular) Day of the Lord. This is much like our spiritual resurrection in salvation (John 5:24-25; 1 John 3:14) pointing to our final resurrection at the end of history. Or like the Christian’s being a “new creation” (2 Cor 5:17; Gal 6:15), which is a picture of the consummate new creation (2 Pet 3:10). Continue reading

WHERE DO WE GO AT DEATH?

New earth

PMT 2015-094 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.

Partick W. writes:

“One thing I’m a little confused about is the ultimate end of history. Does man remain on earth when Christ returns? After Christ has put all enemies under his feet and handed over the kingdom to the Father, does heaven and hell “merge” and man remains on earth for a lack of better words while Christ is present physically (assuming also still in some sense everywhere present because he’s God). I’m so confused as I feel like I always hear by and large from Christians is to just go to heaven and it seems many believe the present earth to be destroyed. Or is there something else beyond earth/heaven?”

Ken Gentry responds:

Basically, I believe that when we die now (in history) we go to heaven — as did the disciples, the thief on the cross, and Paul the apostle: Continue reading