DOBBS-V-PRESTON WRITTEN DEBATE
DON K. PRESTON
Proposition: The Second (ultimate) Coming of Christ (afterward parousia, DKP), occurred at the fall of Jerusalem in A.D. 70.
Brother Dobbs believes that 2 Thessalonians 1:7f, is the final coming of Christ. Correct, brother Dobbs? If therefore, 2 Thessalonians 1 was the A.D. 70 parousia, I have proven my proposition.
Fact: Paul was writing, “To the church of the Thessalonians” (1:1), not to, or about, churches 2000+ years removed.
Fact: The Thessalonians were being persecuted. Paul used the present participial of thlipsis four times of their suffering.
Fact: The Jews were the instigators of that persecution (Acts 17:1-5; 1 Ths. 2:15f).
Fact: God was going to give the persecutors what the persecutors were giving the Thessalonians, “it is a righteous thing with God to repay with tribulation (thlipsis), those who are troubling (present participle of thlipsis), you” (v. 6).
Fact: God was going to give the Thessalonians relief (Greek, anesis) from that present persecution. Anesis is never reward. It is invariably relief from whatever pressure is being endured.
Fact: That relief would be given “when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven.”
The Thessalonians would receive relief from persecution, “when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven (v. 4-7).
To receive relief from that persecution, “when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven,” the Thessalonians would have to be alive, under persecution, at the time of the Lord’s final coming.
Paul did not say the Thessalonians would die to get relief. Rest from persecution would come “when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven.”
Paul did say, “to you who are being troubled, rest with us, when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven.”
Questions for Dobbs to answer:
Did Jesus come, in the lifetime of the Thessalonians, and give them rest from their then present persecution? Yes or No. Do not evade, or refuse to answer.
Will those first century Thessalonians be under persecution, by the Jews, at your proposed future coming of Christ?
If Jesus did not come in the lifetime of the Thessalonians, and give them relief from that present persecution, Paul lied to them, inspiration fails, Jesus is not Lord.
Fact: The parousia of 2 Thes. 1 would vindicate the suffering of the Thessalonians and judge their persecutors.
Fact: The suffering of 2 Thessalonians 1:4f was the same suffering of 1 Thessalonians 2:15f, caused by the same persecutors, i.e. the Jews.
Fact: The persecution being endured was the persecution foretold by Jesus (Matthew 23:29f; 24:9f; 1 Thessalonians 3:1-3).
Fact: Jesus said the Jews would fill the measure of their sin, by persecuting his saints (Matthew 23:31-36).
Fact: Jesus said the Jews would be judged for persecuting the saints, at his coming in judgment, in that generation (Mat. 23:35-39; 24:29-31).
Fact: By persecuting the Thessalonians, the Jews were filling the measure of their sin, and were about to be judged. (1 Thes. 2:16).
Fact: The coming of 2 Thessalonians 1 is the judgment of the persecutors of the Thessalonians.
Fact: The persecutors, and instigators of the persecutions, were the Jews.
Fact: The Jews were to be judged at the coming of Christ in A.D. 70. Dobbs agrees.
Since the coming of Christ of 2 Thessalonians 1 is the coming of Christ against the Jewish persecutors and instigators of the persecution of the Thessalonians, and since the coming of Christ against the Jewish persecutors of the saints was to occur in the judgment of Israel in A.D. 70, this demands that the coming of Christ of 2 Thessalonians 1, i.e. the final coming of Christ, was to occur in the judgment of Israel in A.D. 70.
My proposition is proven, unless Dobbs can prove:
That Paul was not writing to and about the living Thessalonians. Unprovable.
That the Thessalonians were not being persecuted. Unprovable.
That the living Thessalonians were not promised relief from that suffering, “when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven.” Unprovable.
That Paul was ignoring the Thessalonian’s suffering to speak of a far distant generation. Unprovable.
That the suffering, and the judgment, of 2 Thessalonians 1 and 1 Thessalonians 2:15-16 are totally unrelated. Unprovable.
That the suffering, the filling up of the sin, and the judgment of the persecutors is unrelated to Jesus’ prediction of Matthew 23:29-39. Unprovable.
Dobbs cannot prove any of these things. My proposition is proven. Unless the Thessalonians are still alive, being persecuted, the final coming of Christ was in A. D. 70, or else, Paul lied, and the Bible is not inspired.