DOBBS-V-PRESTON WRITTEN DEBATE
The affirmative is to define the proposition. Inexperience may have caused friend Preston to overlook this important matter.
His failure allows me to explain what we are discussing.
Don Preston believes that Jesus made an ultimate return to earth in A.D. 70 when Jerusalem was overrun and razed by a Roman army.
The Bible says that at Jesus= second, literal coming from heaven to the vicinity of the earth the following things will occur:
- Atmosphere around the earth will pass away with a great noise Y (2 Pet 3:8-14)
- Earth and its elements dissolved with fervent heat Y (Ibid)
- Dead will be called out of the tomb Y (John 5:28-29)
- Living will be changed Y (1 Cor 15:52-53)
- All nations will be gathered before Jesus to be judged Y (Matt 25:31-46)
- Divine promises will be redeemed Y (Rev 21:1-7)
- Stars, sun, and moon will disappear into oblivion Y (Rev 6:12-17)
- Present heaven and earth will cease and new heaven and earth appearY (Rev 21)
- New Jerusalem will receive the souls of just men made perfect Y (Rev 21:10-27)
- Time will be no more Y there will be no more sea and no more night Y (Rev 21:25)
Don Preston says all of this occurred 2,000 years ago, and that we today are in the new heaven and the new earth.
I am reluctant to say so, but I fear that upon reading this definition of ARealized Eschatology@ reasonable and right-thinking people will unite to say that it is silly.
Every twinkling star and every rising sun testifies that what brother Preston teaches is strange and abnormal.
We are to eat the Lord=s Supper, Jesus said, AUntil I come.@ If ARealized Eschatology@ is right then we may not observe the communion today because Jesus has already come.
In the new heaven and earth there will be no marriage relationships such as we now have Y Ain heaven they neither marry nor are they given in marriage@ (Matt 22:29-30).
Yet, brother Preston is married, which makes him contradict himself.
Jesus warned that at the destruction of Jerusalem in A.D. 70 some would say that he had returned the ultimate time, but told us not to believe that report (Matt 24:23-26).
Don Preston and his cohorts join those who in ancient times said that the resurrection was past already and overthrew the faith of some (2 Tim 2:18).
Now, I will answer the only argument offered in the first affirmative.
Based on 2 Thess 1:7 Preston is of the opinion that for God to afflict those who were afflicting the Thessalonian saints it would be necessary for both the afflicted and those inflecting the affliction to be physically alive on earth at the time of the ultimate return of Jesus.
This is a materialistic misapprehension, and purely fanciful.
To be is eternal being. The God-given spirit of man never dies. The flesh may rot, but not the spirit. The spirit of each of us preserves our personality. Though long dead, Abraham is still Abraham.
When Jesus returns, though it is 100,000 years from now, he will call out of the tombs both the good and the bad. Upon his final return, he will afflict those who afflicted his disciples.
If Preston is right, those who afflicted believers in Thessalonica but who died before A.D. 70, will never be afflicted.
Paul is simply saying that the persecuted people of God in all ages can rest in the assurance that when Jesus comes the ultimate time, though it be in the distant future, those who have tormented them for their faith will be brought to justice.
Your question, brother Preston, is not clear. When you say, ADid Jesus come Y@ you will have to explain what coming.
If you are asking, Did Jesus come the second, final, and ultimate time in the first century, the answer is no.
Brother Preston, you better stay way from the Thessalonian letters because they were written to correct the idea that the literal, ultimate return of Jesus was to happen immediately Y Alet no man beguile (deceive) you in any wise: for it will not be, except the falling away come first, and the man of sin be revealed Y (2 Thess 2:3).
As long as we have day and night, we can be sure that Jesus has not made his ultimate return (Rev 21:25).