DOBBS-VS-PRESTON WRITTEN DEBATE
Preston says the Greek word thlipsis (affliction) is never used of hell. Never?
Preston overlooks the fact that some in Thessalonica who afflicted believers died before A. D. 70. Yet, Paul wrote, Aif so be that it is righteous thing with God to recompense affliction (thlipsis) to them that afflict (thlibousin) you@ (2 Thess 1:6).
Since these afflicters did not receive affliction in this life, the affliction had to come after this life, or not at all.
The verses immediately following refer to the ultimate, literal coming of Jesus.
Aand to you that are afflicted rest with us, at the revelation of the Lord Jesus from heaven with the angels of his power in flaming fire, rendering vengeance to them that know not God, and to them that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus: who shall suffer punishment, even eternal destruction from the face of the Lord and from the glory of his might Y@ (2 Thess 1:7-10).
Preston says Jesus literally returned to earth when a Roman army destroyed Jerusalem (A.D. 70).
He claims this fulfilled all prophecy and redeemed every promise of God.
When the Romans razed Jerusalem and slaughtered the people that was a figurative Acoming of the Lord.@
Preston mistakenly thinks the destruction of Jerusalem was a literal, final coming of God.
I repeat a point made in my first response, which Preston did not find it convenient to notice: At the ultimate return, Jesus will literally terminate the sky, earth, sun, moon, stars, and sea Y the earth and its works shall melt with fervent heat.
There will be no night in eternity because there will be no sun and stars.
The unceasing glory of God will be its light. This is confirmed by 2 Pet 2:8-12, Rev 6:12-17, and Rev 21:1-27.
Every twinkling star, every dark night, and every rolling wave testify that what Preston teaches is false.
Two stubborn facts correct all that Preston says in his second affirmative:
1. The figurative return of Jesus in A. D. 70 was to Jerusalem. The Thessalonians, many miles away, were unscathed.
2. The destruction of Jerusalem did not stop, but intensified the persecution of Christians.
The destruction of Jerusalem in A.D. 70 did not end persecution. That fact screams the truth that Preston is enormously wrong.
Preston will doubtlessly continue to ignore this reasoning.
Amazingly, Preston claims Jesus taught, Aall righteous martyrs would be judged and avenged at his coming in the judgment of Israel in his generation (sic).@ Preston is referencing the destruction of Jerusalem in A.D. 70.
All righteous martyrs?
Persecution continued uninterrupted for two hundred years following the destruction of Jerusalem … Nero=s persecution Y Domitian=s persecution (extremely vicious).
It was not until the days of Constantine — 200 years after the destruction of Jerusalem — that savage-persecution of Christians abated.
Persecution of the godly continues to this day (2 Tim 3:12).
A Christian receives relief from persecution upon his physical death — when he is comforted in the bosom of Abraham.
Preston, to support his false claim that Jesus in A. D. 70 made an ultimate, literal return, appeals to Matthew 24. In this passage, Jesus warned that some would teach that at the destruction of Jerusalem, he literally returned to earth.
Jesus= told his disciples not to be deceived by this lie.
For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall show great signs and wonders; so as to lead astray, if possible, even the elect. Behold, I have told you beforehand. If therefore they shall say unto you, Behold, he is in the wilderness; go not forth: Behold, he is in the inner chambers; believe it not (Matt 24:24-26).
If, 2,000 years later, someone makes the same claim of 1st century false prophets, these words of Jesus brand him a false teacher.
Believe him not!
Preston makes the mistake of not recognizing that in Matthew 24 Jesus is answering two questions: (1) when will Jerusalem be destroyed?, and (2) when will the world be destroyed? Verse 34 is the turning point. Everything before verse 34 refers to the destruction of Jerusalem, and everything after verse 34 refers to the end of the world. Jerusalem was destroyed; the world was not destroyed Y yet.
Preston shamefully straddles the two concepts.
If the ultimate, literal return of Jesus was in A.D. 70, and the resurrection of the dead occurred, why eat the Lord=s Supper and marry? (1 Cor 11:26; Matt 22:28-31).