Written Debates

A09 (Bunch-V-Preston) 2nd Affirmative by Larry Bunch

Larry Bunch Versus Don K. Preston

Larry Bunch Second Affirmative

Submitted 12-18-06 

The Bible teaches that the Second (i.e. final) coming of Christ, the judgment and the resurrection of the dead will occur at the end of the current Christian Age.

Affirm: Larry A. Bunch

Deny: Don K. Preston

First of all I will address myself to some things Don wrote. Don feels the sting of my first affirmative and is getting a little unfriendly in his writing! He wrote: <I am glad to receive Larry’s first Affirmative, such as it is.> Such as it is? My, what a tone of superiority! What a put-down! I wonder that Don even considers me worthy of reply! He writes further in his first negative: <… confused comments on 1 Corinthians 15, …>

If anyone else was confused by my first affirmative, please write me and I will be glad to clear up any such confusion!

Don apologizes: <… for the delay in response. I had posted to Larry informing him that I would be in Orlando, Fl., for several days, and sent a post to the board, but, for some reason my explanatory note did not get posted to the forum. Nonetheless, here is my first negative.>

I don’t have anything to do with the actual posting of writings but suspect nothing was said because the time element had not expired and nothing needed to be said.

Don <… carefully defined all of the terms …> in his first affirmative <… just as is supposed to be done.>

I neglected to do that and Don suspects <… this was no mere oversight, but was done on purpose, and here is the why. LARRY IS AFFIRMING THE END OF WHAT THE BIBLE–BOTH O. T AND NEW- SAYS IS UNENDING!>

Don is just wrong about this as he is about his A.D. 70 doctrine! I, indeed, overlooked defining the proposition but suspect no one has a problem with understanding what is under consideration. Furthermore, I slightly resent Don’s telling me what I’m supposed to do. If he doesn’t like the way I am conducting my end of the debate, just let it alone and deal with the issues.

I begin with looking at an argument (of which he made several, see his statement, above, emphasized by caps) concerning the end time being endless.

Isaiah 9:7 Of the increase of his government and of peace there will be no end, on the throne of David and over his kingdom, to establish it and to uphold it with justice and with righteousness from this time forth and forevermore. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will do this.

Don maintains that this means there will be no end of the church, no end of evangelism, no end of people on earth, no end of the earth, no end …

Don ignores the plain teaching of Paul in 1 Corinthians 15 and concocts his A.D. 70 doctrine on a misuse, abuse, twisting, contorting of both Old Testament and New Testament passages!

The Prince of peace, Jesus Christ, and His government will continue until all things are put under His feet. At the end the kingdom/church will be delivered up to the Father in Heaven and so, in that sense, continues forever!

Don uses the KJV of Eph.3:21 to prop up his erroneous theory … uh, … hypothesis! World without end! What is Paul teaching?

Ephesians 3: 20 Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, 21 to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen. (NKJV)

So long as generations exist on earth, that long will glory be given to Deity in the church. Forever and ever comes to an end on earth, see further comments below regarding what happens to the church at the end when the Lord returns.

Don exclaims: <SO, NO MATTER WHAT ELSE LARRY MAY AFFIRM, HIS PROPOSITION IS FALSIFIED.>

Of course, my proposition is not falsified; it is true and 1 Corinthians 15 shows that this is so. There is no number of Scripture twisted and contorted by Don that will set aside the fact that Paul is dealing with PHYSICAL DEATH, RESURRECTION FROM THAT PHYSICAL DEATH AND THE ENJOYMENT OF AN ETERNITY IN HEAVEN.

Don writes: <The Bible affirms that the Christian age has no end!>

Not so! 1 Corinthians 15:24 Then comes the end, when he delivers the kingdom to God the Father after destroying every rule and every authority and power.

The church, the called out, saved, will continue in that sense, in the Heavenly home for eternity.

Don also seems to not understand that terms we usually think of as eternal, forever and ever may be explained as age-lasting. Premillennialists make that same mistake! Premillennialists say the land promise to the Jews was to be an everlasting covenant! (Gen.17:8) But it means "age-lasting." Gen.17:13 says circumcision was everlasting; but Gal.5:1-4 affirms that circumcision is no longer of any value.

Don made some arguments relative to the verses I presented from John 5 but fails in his attempt; using 1 John to "prove" the "hour" of John 5:28-29 is the same hour as v.25. That will not work! The last hour of 1 John is the time in which we are now living. The last hour of John 5:28-29 is something that will take place after the time of v.25.

John 5: 25 KJV Verily, verily, I say unto you, The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God: and they that hear shall live.

This is the "hour" we are now living in but there is a future "hour" …

28 Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, 29 And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation.

Don continues to bemoan my "failure" to address his O.T. passages. He tries to show that First Corinthians 15 is related to A.D. 70 but this fails because of what Paul is speaking of relative to brethren having no hope for those who have died and Paul’s futility in risking his life if there is no resurrection.

The purveyors of the 70 A.D. doctrine want the church and this world to last forever but they don’t want the church started until 70 A.D. They are wrong on both counts! The Colossian letter was written to "the saints and the faithful brethren in Christ" (1:2). Paul spoke of God "who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son" (1:13). How could they be translated or transferred into the kingdom of his dear Son if it were not established until A.D. 70? Since Paul wrote Colossians, and since he died prior to A.D. 70, it is conclusive that people were in the kingdom prior to A.D. 70. It could not be the case that the kingdom of Christ was not established until A.D. 70. (See Truth Commentary on 2 Peter and Jude by Clinton D. Hamilton, Appendix IV: The End of All Things and A.D. 70 Theory, p.360.)

When Paul wrote 1 Corinthians, Christ was reigning in His kingdom and is to reign until His enemies are put under His feet (1 Cor.15:24-25). The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death (1 Cor.15:26). When death is destroyed in the resurrection, the kingdom will be delivered to the Father (1 Cor.15:24). Christians cleansed by the blood of Christ are made to be kings and priests (Rev.1:6) and shall reign on the earth (Rev.5:10). Christians reign in life by Jesus Christ (Rom.5:17). Those who obey the gospel reign with the apostles (1 Cor.4:8). The inescapable conclusion is that Christians reign with Christ in his kingdom and that this kingdom was established prior to A.D. 70. (Ibid, see p.361)

Peter refers to the second coming of Chr
ist and what is to be accomplished at that time (2 Pet.3:4-15). Peter cautioned about men becoming tedious about the timing of the return of Christ. He pointed out that God does not count time as do men because a day with the Lord is as a thousand years, and a thousand years is as a day (2 Pet.3:8). He is not stating that a day equals a thousand years, or vice versa. The promise of the coming of the Lord is certain and any delay in its coming is a time for repentance on the part of men (2 Pet.3:9). That day will come as a thief in the night; there will be no signs such as he gave for the fall of Jerusalem (Matt.24:1-34). When this day comes, there will be the passing away of the heavens and the elements shall melt with fervent heat when the earth and the works therein shall be burned up (2 Pet.3:10-12). Coming in after this is new heavens and a new earth wherein dwelleth righteousness (2 Pet.3:13). It is rather evident that all this did not occur in A.D. 70. (ibid p.363)

As my second affirmation continues, we look at Second Peter chapter Three.

2 Peter 3: ESV 1 This is now the second letter that I am writing to you, beloved. In both of them I am stirring up your sincere mind by way of reminder, 2 that you should remember the predictions of the holy prophets and the commandment of the Lord and Savior through your apostles, 3 knowing this first of all, that scoffers will come in the last days with scoffing, following their own sinful desires.

Larry comments: Scoffers are thumbing their noses at the concept of the Lord’s Second Coming. So do the 70 A.D. advocates, the only difference being, so far as I am able to determine, they do not follow sinful desires unless you count their denying my affirmative proposition as a sinful desire.

4 They will say, "Where is the promise of his coming? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all things are continuing as they were from the beginning of creation."

Larry comments: Now what do you suppose they mean by such a statement? Do they mean that Jerusalem has not been destroyed yet? I don’t think so!

5 For they deliberately overlook this fact, that the heavens existed long ago, and the earth was formed out of water and through water by the word of God,

Larry comments: What does this have reference to? The formation of Israel in the long ago? Of course not! Peter is speaking of the creation of the earth, the physical, real, that-which-we-stand-on, earth!

6 and that by means of these the world that then existed was deluged with water and perished.

Larry comments: Can this have reference to the time of Noah? Certainly! The earth was not completely destroyed as it will be at the end. Concerning the word translated "perished," W. E. Vine says, "The idea is not extinction but ruin, loss, not of being, but of well-being."

7 But by the same word the heavens and earth that now exist are stored up for fire, being kept until the day of judgment and destruction of the ungodly.

Larry comments: This same world will be destroyed by fire! Contrary to Don’s contorted hypothesis based on a misuse and twisting of both O.T. and N.T. Scripture!

Don wrote: <Thus, for Isaiah to say that the increase of Christ’s government will never end means that man, on earth, being taught and converted by the gospel, will never end!>

Can you believe it? If you can, you do so in opposition of the plain teaching of Paul in First Corinthians chapter Fifteen and Peter in his Second letter, chapter Three!

8 But do not overlook this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. 9 The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance. 10 But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a roar, and the heavenly bodies will be burned up and dissolved, and the earth and the works that are done on it will be exposed.

Larry comments: A day is not a thousand years but as a thousand years with the Lord, and a thousand years is not a day with the Lord, but as a day. The day of the Lord, the return of the Lord at the end of time, cannot be known by anyone just as one cannot know when a thief might break into one’s home. But when He does come, the world will cease to be – the same world Peter spoke of as being created and later destroyed by water! Not just Jerusalem, not just the Temple, not just the Jewish economy, not in 70 A.D., but the physical, literal world at the end of time.

The word translated "exposed" in the ESV is translated from the Greek word heurethesetai and this word is used in the NEB, NIV, Rotherham, and Greek textual editions of Westcott-Hort, the UBS, GNT, Nestle-Aland (24th and 26th editions), and Tasker. The other Greek word is katakaesetai, translated "burned up," in the KJV, and is the Greek word used by the NASB, RSV, New Berkeley, Jerusalem Bible, Young, Montgomery, Goodspeed and Williams. (See Hamilton, commentary on 2 Peter, p.243.)

If we use the first word, that which is used in the ESV, then we understand that at the end the works of man will be discovered, laid bare, and judgment made regarding him. Even if we use this Greek word, the earth will still be destroyed at the end, v.11.

11 Since all these things are thus to be dissolved, what sort of people ought you to be in lives of holiness and godliness, 12 waiting for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be set on fire and dissolved, and the heavenly bodies will melt as they burn! 13 But according to his promise we are waiting for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells. 14 Therefore, beloved, since you are waiting for these, be diligent to be found by him without spot or blemish, and at peace.

Larry comments: Because there will be an end of all things earthly and God doesn’t want anyone to perish (v.9), we ought to live lives of holiness and godliness. Since all the earthly things will be set on fire and dissolved, we look for new heavens and a new earth – our eternal home in Heaven.

15 And count the patience of our Lord as salvation, just as our beloved brother Paul also wrote to you according to the wisdom given him, 16 as he does in all his letters when he speaks in them of these matters. There are some things in them that are hard to understand, which the ignorant and unstable twist to their own destruction, as they do the other Scriptures. 17 You therefore, beloved, knowing this beforehand, take care that you are not carried away with the error of lawless people and lose your own stability. 18 But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity. Amen.

Larry comments: Do not be carried away with the error of the 70 A.D. advocates; the plain passages of Scripture show conclusively that their hypothesis is error and results from twisting both O.T. and N.T. passages. This world WILL come to an end when the Lord returns at the end of time.

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