(Bunch-V-Preston Written Debate) Larry A. Bunch’s 3rd Affirmative
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
Many years ago, I heard of a "pioneer" debater who debated the subject of baptism. His opponent would spend his time with multiple arguments "proving" baptism is not necessary, that it is not for the remission of sins. When the pioneer" preacher got up, he quoted Mark 16:16, and sat down. I really feel like doing something like that in this debate. All the words and arguments of Don K. Preston resulting in multiple pages of print are answerable by simply quoting 1 Cor.15:35-49!
However, in this, my final affirmative, I will present more evidence of the truthfulness of my affirmative. I will not address everything Don has written in his 2nd negative; Don is a very prolific writer, an able debater and defender of, unfortunately, false doctrine. I make no claim to being a debater but am willing to do my best, which falls far short of Don’s expectations, in defending what I believe the Bible teaches. Don continues to belittle my efforts but I will not spend any more time on that.
Don wrote: <… Larry spends two paragraphs, GROSSLY MISREPRESENTING what I believe!>
My profound apologies for anything set forth that does not comport with Don’s belief. His false doctrine seemed to indicate that which I wrote and I fail to understand the place of the church prior to the destruction of Jerusalem in his scheme of things. He says: <… THE CHURCH BEGAN ON PENTECOST … > and I accept that he believes as he states.
As far as my affirmations are concerned, the scriptures I used prove conclusively that the resurrection is that of the dead physical body placed in the grave and the resurrection of the spirit from the realm in which it is found prior to Jesus’ return at the end of time. Don has failed to prove otherwise and relies on a misuse of O.T. passages and prophecies to concoct his A.D. 70 doctrine that fails the test of such plain passages as those presented in my affirmations. Don continues to protest, in his 2nd negative, that I failed to prove my affirmation by the passages presented but if I had given only the passages with no comments of my own, such would prove that what I believe about the end of time is that which the Bible does, indeed, teach.
Don wrote: <Larry admitted that Adam and Eve died the day they ate the fruit, which demands that THE DEATH OF ADAM WAS NOT PHYSICAL DEATH.>
Larry admits that they died the day they ate the fruit, but denies Don’s conclusion regarding the matter! What Don concludes is not a necessary conclusion. When Adam and Eve were driven from the garden they were separated from God in the sense that they no longer had the kind of personal contact with God that they did prior to their sin (it is in this sense that I understand they died a spiritual death). They also began to die physically on the day they left the garden, i.e. they no longer had access to the tree of life that would have prevented their death. Both spiritual and physical death was introduced into the world when Adam and Eve ate of the forbidden fruit!
Don wrote: <Since Jesus was not the first to be raised from physical death, but he was the first to be raised from the death of Adam, and since Adam’s death could not have been physical death, this proves categorically that the resurrection of 1 Corinthians 15 is not of physically dead bodies.>
Don’s conclusions are based on a false premise which I rectified in my paragraph (above). There is no proof categorically that 1 Corinthians 15 does not refer to a physical resurrection! I do not pretend to understand what all Don is speaking of here! Is he saying Jesus died a spiritual death? I know some of my brethren believe such a doctrine, but I deny that Jesus died spiritually! Jesus was the first to be raised from physical death never to die again! Don’s statement does not negate the clear and positive statements of Paul in 1 Corinthians 15 that show conclusively that a resurrection from a physical grave is what is under consideration. See my first affirmation.
Don wrote: <BTW, I have written a 300 page book on 2 Peter 3, entitled The Elements Shall Melt With Fervent Heat, in which I actually exegete the passage, instead of making unfounded claims. It can be purchased from my website: www.eschatology.org.>
Don is still trying to make money on his false doctrine. I would suggest to the owner of this debate list that such advertising in the debates be prohibited.
Don wrote, relative to his exegesis of 2 Peter 3: <Remember, all that I have to do to falsify Larry’s affirmative, is to prove that the Day of the Lord of 2 Peter 3 was OBJECTIVELY NEAR WHEN PETER WROTE, and / or to prove that it was to be fulfilled in A.D. 70. I CAN PROVE BOTH.>
Objectively near? It is as near as my death and as far away as the Lord chooses to place it! The explanation of the delay of Christ’s coming is given 2 Peter 3:8-9 ~ ¶ But do not let this one [fact] escape your notice, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.
Don wrote: <Note 2 Peter 3:1-2: Peter tells his readers that this second epistle is a reminder of what he said in the first. So, WHAT DID PETER SAY ABOUT THE PAROUSIA IN HIS FIRST EPISTLE?>
I could not find the word parousia in 1st Peter. If Don wanted to include some particular passages, he should have referenced them and if he did reference them, I missed it.
1 Peter 1: ESV 3Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, 5who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.
I see no indication that Peter is saying his hope, and ours, is in the destruction of Jerusalem, but rather in an inheritance kept in heaven for us! Our living hope is through Jesus’ resurrection, not the destruction of Jerusalem! Don has fixated on the destruction of Jerusalem so he sees everything through tinted glasses as being in connection with that event. It just isn’t so!
Don wrote: <1.) He said THE O. T. PROPHETS predicted their salvation at the parousia. That was <ready (hetoimos), to be revealed in the last time,> and they only had to suffer for a little while longer (1 Peter 1:5-10).>
Don continues to base everything upon a single definition of parousia. The word is not used in every case in reference to the destruction of Jerusalem. (See the list of passages in which the word is used, below.) Jesus appeared the first time, born of a virgin, to die on the cross for our sins. All the prophets pointed to this event (Matthew 1:22 ESV All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet:). Why do we need to understand Peter as saying that the prophets pointed to the destruction of Jerusalem as the parousia of the Lord every time His appearing is mentioned? There is no need! Take those tinted glasses off, Don!
Note the reason for my confusion concerning what Don believes about the church in his statement (above). If salvation was not granted until 70 A.D., the church could not be in exi
stence since it consists of saved persons. Don’s doctrine is a confusing mix that is hard to make sense of. Note that Don is saying their salvation was ready to be revealed at the destruction of Jerusalem!
G3952 ðáñïõóé áparousia From the present participle of G3918; a being near, that is, advent (often, return; specifically of Christ to punish Jerusalem, or finally the wicked); (by implication) physical aspect: – coming, presence.
Note that the definition is simply being near; advent. One must determine by the context what being near is under consideration. Note the comments relative to the definition includes not only Jerusalem but also FINALLY THE WICKED, i.e. at the end of time and the judgment of the world.
Don wrote: <2.) He said that Christ was <ready> (hetoimos again), to judge the living and the dead (1 Peter 4:5). Alford’s Greek Testament, (in loc), says of hetoimos, "the Greek reader would understand this to mean the imminent parousia.> Larry, here is an emphatic declaration of the nearness of the resurrection in the first century.>
No, it is not an emphatic declaration of any such thing! 1 Peter 4:5 ASV who shall give account to him that is ready to judge the living and the dead. (the word under consideration is "ready") G2093 å ôïé ìùòhetoimo s Adverb from G2092; in readiness: – ready.
Since I’m not a Greek reader, I understand simply that He is ready to judge – which will take place at the end of time. His delay is explained in 2 Peter 3:8-9, see above.
Don wrote: <3.) He said, <The end of all things has drawn near> (1 Peter 4:7). Larry, Peter said the end of all things had drawn near. The scoffers said <all things continue as they were.> Who was right? Was Peter right to affirm that the end of all things was near? Were the <all things> of 1 Peter different from the <all things> of 2 Peter 3? If you say so, PROVE IT!>
Even if 1 Peter 4:7 is in reference to the destruction of Jerusalem, and that is by no means certain, commentators are divided on the matter, that does not mean that everything Peter wrote about the end of things has reference to that event! The evidence is too overwhelming in 2 Peter 3 that the reference is to the physical world, the same kind of world Noah lived in and that was destroyed by water in his day and will be destroyed by fire when the Lord returns.
Because Peter says the end of all things was near does not necessarily mean that it was near in the sense we usually think of something being near. For example, consider that the first covenant became old and "ready to vanish away" at the time of God’s making His promise in Jeremiah 31or, if not right then, very soon afterward (Heb.8:13), over 600 years ahead of its actual vanishing!
Hebrews 8:13 ESV In speaking of a new covenant, he makes the first one obsolete. And what is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready (1451) to vanish away. ~ The word in Heb.8:13 is eggus, #1451; the word in 1 Peter 4:7 is eggizo #1448, from 1451.
Don wrote: <4.) He said <The time (appointed time, from kairos), has come for THE judgment (to krino), to begin>>
I really wish Don would give Scripture references! Is this what he has reference to? 1 Peter 4:17 ESV For it is time for judgment to begin at the household of God; and if it begins with us, what will be the outcome for those who do not obey the gospel of God?
1Pe 4:17 For the time is come that judgment (2917) must begin … The word that is used here is krima from the word krino which means to distinguish, decide…
The household of God consists of those who are approved in His sight and are not condemned because they follow the example of Christ in that they suffer as He suffered in doing the Father’s will. His verdict, sentence, or judgment begins from his house or temple. Their enemies who obeyed not the gospel despised both their Lord and them. Their persecutors were enemies of the truth also. God’s verdict on His house is that they are righteous and His Spirit rests on them. This being the case and with His judgment beginning from them, where shall the sinner and the ungodly that obeyed not the gospel be manifested? They will receive the verdict opposite the one the temple or house of God receives. They have no chance; therefore, the necessity for God’s people to suffer for being Christians and not for being wrongdoers. The sentence or verdict is what is under view here, not the act of entering into the process of making a decision.
Those composing God’s house or temple obeyed the gospel (1:22). If judgment begins from the temple or house of God, those who are disobedient to the gospel are destined for "everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his power" (2 Thess.1:9).
Don wrote: <What appointed time, for <the judgment> did he refer to here? (Think Acts 17:30-31!) Peter uses THE ANAPHORIC ARTICLE. In other words, he uses the article here, to refer back to a topic referred to earlier, where the article was not used. WHAT JUDGMENT HAD HE REFERRED TO EARLIER? The judgment of the living and the dead (v.5). So, v.17 is a positive, emphatic declaration that the time of the resurrection had arrived!>
No, there is nothing positive, emphatic or declarative concerning the time of the resurrection having arrived! <Think Acts 17:30-31!>? ~ ESV 30The times of ignorance God overlooked, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent, 31because he has fixed a day on which he will judge the world in righteousness by a man whom he has appointed; and of this he has given assurance to all by raising him from the dead."
That doesn’t say or imply anything about the destruction of Jerusalem! God came in judgment on many nations in the Old Testament and Jesus came in judgment on Jerusalem. That does not negate Jesus coming in judgment at the end of time for all of mankind!
Don wrote: <Larry, here is part of my response to your affirmative.> <2 Peter 3 is the reiteration of 1 Peter in regard to the parousia (2 Peter 3:1).> <But, 1 Peter affirmed, repeatedly, that the parousia was near.>
Don, next time you debate someone, you might want to include the passages you have under consideration!
This word (parousia) is found in these passages: (Note: I did not find the word parousia in First Peter.)
Matt.24:3,27,37,39 ~ 1 Cor.15:23; 16:17 ~ 2 Cor.7:6,7; 10:10 ~ Phil.1:26; 2:12 ~ 1 Thess.2:19; 3:13; 4:15; 5:23 ~ 2 Thess. 2:1, 8, 9
2Th 2:1 ESV Now concerning the COMING of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered together to him, we ask you, brothers, ~ v.8 ESV And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus will kill with the breath of his mouth and bring to nothing by the appearance of his COMING. ~ v.9 ESV The COMING of the lawless one is by the activity of Satan with all power and false signs and wonders,
2Pe 1:16 ESV For we did not follow cleverly devised myths when we made known to you the power and COMING of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty.
2Pe 3:4 ESV 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."
2Pe 3:12 ESV 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!
1Jo 2:28 ESV And now, little children, abide in him, so that when he appears we may have confidence and not shrink from him in shame at his COMING.
Don wrote: <Therefore, the parousia of 2 Peter 3 was near when Peter wrote 2 Peter 3.>
Again, just as near as m
y death or the Lord’s return. See above.
Don wrote: <I predict silence.>
Don is no prophet. And I weary with trying to wrestle with all that Don has written. I know, I know, we are not to grow weary in well doing, but I ask my readers’ pardon and that the reader remember the plain Scriptures (1 Cor.15 and 2 Peter 3) setting forth the physical resurrection from the grave and the end of the universe as we know it. All Don’s many words cannot make this go away!
He makes more predictions of my silence in the remainder of his 2nd negative. Guess he is a prophet, after all! Albeit a false one!
For example, Don wrote: <Prediction: Larry will ignore this, claiming vehemently that I distort and twist the scriptures.>
ve·hement Function: adjective: marked by forceful energy : POWERFUL <a vehement wind>: as a : intensely emotional : IMPASSIONED, FERVID <vehement patriotism> b (1) : deeply felt <a vehement suspicion> (2) : forcibly expressed <vehement denunciations> c : bitterly antagonistic <a vehement debate>
– ve·he·ment·ly adverb
Thanks, Don, I try to be passionate in my service to the Lord. There is one definition I disavow as applicable to me, #c : bitterly antagonistic.
Don, do not think your arguments are unanswerable, you are just too long-winded and it would involve more time, energy and space than I care to give to the matter to try to answer in detail everything. My affirmations prove that your application of some Scripture to A.D. 70 is just wrong! Consequently, I do not need to try and answer in detail every argument you make.
This is my final affirmative and I now present 2 Thessalonians 1:6-10 ESV
6 since indeed God considers it just to repay with affliction those who afflict you, 7 and to grant relief to you who are afflicted as well as to us, when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with his mighty angels 8 in flaming fire, inflicting vengeance on those who do not know God and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. 9 They will suffer the punishment of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his might, 10 when he comes on that day to be glorified in his saints, and to be marveled at among all who have believed, because our testimony to you was believed.
Jesus said He was going to come "… with His angels in the glory of his Father, and then He will repay each person according to what he has done." (Matt.16:27) Paul is very clear about this also. Christ will be "… revealed from heaven with His mighty angels in flaming fire, inflicting vengeance on those who do not know God and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus." (2 Thess.1:7-8). These "… will suffer the punishment of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His might, when He comes on that day to be glorified in His saints, and to be marveled at among all who have believed, because our testimony to you was believed." (2 Thess.1:9-10).
Let’s be clear about this! At this coming each person (Matt.16:27; every man, KJV) shall be rewarded according to his works and the disobedient among all men will suffer everlasting destruction in that day. I know Don and other A.D. 70 theorists are ready to state this all occurred in A.D. 70, but that is just not so! What about all those who have lived in the intervening centuries since that time? They must be included in the expression "every man according to his works." This coming cannot be fitted within the confines of their neat theory without making the language meaningless and of no consequence. This refers to the second coming of Christ at the end of this age when all men will be called before his judgment throne and go either to heaven or to hell (Matt.25:31-46).
At the coming (parousia) of the Lord, it will be "with all his saints" (1 Thess.3:13). He who died and rose again is Jesus. Based on this, those also who sleep in Jesus will God bring with him (1 Thess.4:14). This is the time also that Paul said he would receive the crown of righteousness "at his appearing (epiphaneia)" (2 Tim.4:7-8). It must be rather obvious that all of those who die in Christ are not included in the judgment of Christ against Jerusalem in A.D. 70 nor was the crown of righteousness awarded at that time. Paul said that he is not the only one to receive such a crown but that also all those who love his appearing will receive one (2 Tim.4:8). To have all this happen in A.D. 70 makes of no consequence to saints now living what is promised to those that love the Lord.
First century Christians were warned against those who claimed that the return of Christ was imminent (2 Thess.2:1-5). Paul spoke of the coming (parousia) of the Lord Jesus Christ "our being gathered together to him" and warned them not to believe those who purport that they had word or letter from Paul "that the day of the Lord has come (enestken, is come)." He said that day would not come "unless the rebellion comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction, who opposes and exalts himself against every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, proclaiming himself to be God."
(See GOT commentary on 2 Peter by Clinton D. Hamilton p.361-363.)
Let me offer one more scripture reference in closing my part in the debate. The apostle Paul was a saved individual, baptized for the remission of sins and a member in the body of Christ. Was he looking forward to the destruction of Jerusalem to finalize his condition as a saint? Or was he looking forward to a home in Heaven with the Lord for eternity?
2 Corinthians 5: ESV 1For we know that if the tent, which is our earthly home, …
This is our earthly body, the "house" of the soul. When the soul departs, the body is dead (James 2:26).
… is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.
1 John 3:2 ESV Beloved, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is.
We will be "clothed" with a new "body" when we are resurrected at the end of time. Incidentally, look again at 1 John 3:2 (above). John asserts that we are now God’s children and the Lord has NOT YET APPEARED! Yet the DATE of John’s writing is placed anywhere from 80 to 95 A.D. – AFTER THE DESTRUCTION OF JERUSALEM! So, John is still looking for the Lord’s APPEARING! Another "nail" in the "coffin" of the false A.D. 70 doctrine! Although John does not use the word parousia, nevertheless if the Parousia had occurred in A.D. 70 as advocated by Don, John could not say Jesus has not yet appered!
2For in this tent we groan, longing to put on our heavenly dwelling,
In our earthly body we have tribulations, sorrow, pain, aging, etc. and long to be clothed with the eternal dwelling promised us.
3if indeed by putting it on we may not be found naked. 4For while we are still in this tent, we groan, being burdened–not that we would be unclothed, but that we would be further clothed, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life.
In this body we groan and look forward to this mortal body being transformed into a spiritual body.
5He who has prepared us for this very thing is God, who has given us the Spirit as a guarantee. 6So we are always of good courage. We know that while we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord, 7for we walk by faith, not by sight. 8Yes, we are of good courage, and we would rather be away from the body and at home with the Lord.
My Daddy used to say, of some situati
ons, "I’m between a rock and a hard place." The apostle Paul felt like that, desiring to be with the Lord yet realizing that he was needed for awhile more on earth to do his work as an apostle. He was not looking to be with the Lord at the destruction of Jerusalem!
9So whether we are at home or away, we make it our aim to please him. 10For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive what is due for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil. 11Therefore, knowing the fear of the Lord, we persuade others. But what we are is known to God, and I hope it is known also to your conscience.
Paul knew nothing about the resurrection and judgment taking place at the destruction of Jerusalem – he knew that after death, when the Lord returns, there would be a general judgment and reward or punishment would be received according to what one had done during his lifetime. He was looking forward to appearing before the judgment seat of Christ yet Paul died before the destruction of Jerusalem! So, he was looking forward to something to take place later, at the end of time! (The Bible does not tell us how or when the apostle Paul died, and history does not provide us with any information. The only thing we have to go on is Christian tradition, which has Paul being behead in Rome, around the mid 60s A.D., during the reign of Nero.)
In my affirmations I have shown…
1) 1 Corinthians 15 – Paul writes about a resurrection from the grave; a resurrection of the dead body planted in the ground just like a seed is planted in the ground.
2) 2 Peter 3 – Peter writes about the universe being destroyed, the physical universe that contains a physical earth just like that in Noah’s time that was destroyed by water and will, when the Lord returns, be destroyed by fire.
3) 2 Thessalonians 1– Paul writes of a coming judgment upon those who do not know God and those who do not obey the Gospel.
4) 2 Corinthians 5 – Paul writes regarding being "clothed" with a "new body" at the resurrection. In this connection we gave 1 John 3:2 where John writes, after 70 A.D. and the destruction of Jerusalem, concerning the appearing of the Lord and that we will be like Him at that time.
I have presented irrefutable evidence via First Corinthians Fifteen and Second Peter Three that refutes Don’s supposed irrefutable arguments. There is just no way to believe these two passages of Scripture and conclude that they were fulfilled in the destruction of Jerusalem! Second Thessalonians One and Second Corinthians Five just adds to the insurmountable problems presented by the 70 A.D. doctrine.
Some additional thoughts:
n 2Pet.3: 7. But the present heavens and earth by His word are being reserved for fire, kept for the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men. (NASB)
n Fire – Do not ask me what kind of fire this will be. God has all the varieties of fire that He needs for His purposes: the fire to burn wood, the electric fire of the lightning bolt that strikes in an instant in the sky, the fire that burns in the sun, the fire to change the Heavens and the Earth at the last day, and another most terrible unquenchable fire for the devils and the condemned in Hell.
n This destruction by fire does not refer to 70 A.D.! God came in judgment (or for some other reason) on…
n Isa.34:4 All the host of heaven shall rot away, and the skies roll up like a scroll. All their host shall fall, as leaves fall from the vine, like leaves falling from the fig tree.
n Ezek.32:7 When I blot you out, I will cover the heavens and make their stars dark; I will cover the sun with a cloud, and the moon shall not give its light.
n Jerusalem –
n Joel 2:10 The earth quakes before them; the heavens tremble. The sun and the moon are darkened, and the stars withdraw their shining.
n Joel 2:20-31 20"I will remove the northerner far from you, and drive him into a parched and desolate land, his vanguard into the eastern sea, and his rear guard into the western sea; the stench and foul smell of him will rise, for he has done great things. 21Fear not, O land; be glad and rejoice, for the LORD has done great things! 22Fear not, you beasts of the field, for the pastures of the wilderness are green; the tree bears its fruit; the fig tree and vine give their full yield. 23"Be glad, O children of Zion, and rejoice in the LORD your God, for he has given the early rain for your vindication; he has poured down for you abundant rain, the early and the latter rain, as before. 24The threshing floors shall be full of grain; the vats shall overflow with wine and oil. 25I will restore to you the years that the swarming locust has eaten, the hopper, the destroyer, and the cutter, my great army, which I sent among you. 26You shall eat in plenty and be satisfied, and praise the name of the LORD your God, who has dealt wondrously with you. And my people shall never again be put to shame. 27You shall know that I am in the midst of Israel, and that I am the LORD your God and there is none else. And my people shall never again be put to shame. 28And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh; your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, and your young men shall see visions. 29Even on the male and female servants in those days I will pour out my Spirit. 30And I will show wonders in the heavens and on the earth, blood and fire and columns of smoke. 31The sun shall be turned to darkness, and the moon to blood, before the great and awesome day of the LORD comes. (see Acts 2)
n Amos 8:9 "And on that day," declares the Lord GOD, "I will make the sun go down at noon and darken the earth in broad daylight.
n Haggai 2:6 For thus says the LORD of hosts: Yet once more, in a little while, I will shake the heavens and the earth and the sea and the dry land.
n Matt.24:29 "Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken." (events such as this on two occasions: Acts 2 and the destruction of Jerusalem)
Working with the Caprock church in Lubbock Texas
Larry A. Bunch
4912 60th St
Lubbock TX 79414-4404
806-791-1951 (home phone)
806-252-0039 (cell phone)