DOBBS-VS-PRESTON WRITTEN DEBATE
Preston teaches Jesus made his final return to earth in A. D. 70 — when a Roman army destroyed Jerusalem. He believes the heavens passed away with a great noise, fervent heat dissolved the earth, stars and sun and sea vanished (the new heaven and new earth appeared) about 2,000 years ago.
His proposition is so patently false that to simply state it in clear language refutes it.
We know brother Preston is sadly mistaken because the Bible emphatically says:
1. Upon Jesus ultimate return to earth the sea, sun, and stars will be no more (Rev. 6:12-14; Rev. 22:5; Rev. 21:1). The new heaven and new earth will have the unsetting glory of God for its only light, and, consequently, Athere shall be no night there@ (Rev. 21:25). Time will be no more.
2. We continue to have sea, sun, stars, and night.
3. Therefore, Preston=s position is wrong.
We show somebody to be in error by providing contrary evidence. This is the law of non-contradiction. It is not necessary to examine each point of an argument to answer that argument. All one has to do is prove the affirmative=s conclusion disagrees with established truth.
At the final return of Jesus to earth, all persecution will cease (whether Jewish, or Gentile), and the saints will be gathered to endless glory B this has not happened, therefore, the ultimate return of Jesus has not happened.
2 THESS 1:6-8
6 [I]f so be that it is righteous thing with God to recompense affliction to them that afflict you,
7 and 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,
8 rendering vengeance to them that know not God, and to them that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus:
9 who shall suffer punishment, even eternal destruction from the face of the Lord and from the glory of his might,
10 when he shall come to be glorified in his saints, and to be marvelled at in all them that believed (because our testimony unto you was believed) in that day.
Paul says God will afflict Athem that afflict you.@ Afflict means suffer, or punish.
Paul also tells us when God will afflict those who persecute the saints — at the ultimate return of Jesus (which we know has not happened because the sun, stars, sea, and night remain, but will cease when Jesus comes in judgment the ultimate time).
When Jesus comes in flaming fire with the angels of his power to render vengeance to them that Aknow not God@ and Aobey not the gospel,@ the enemies of the cross, whether Jews or Gentiles, Ashall suffer punishment (affliction), even eternal destruction (affliction) from the face of the Lord and the glory of his might.@
Those who afflicted believers in Thessalonica were not afflicted in the first century B not even at the destruction of Jerusalem in A.D. 70. The people in Macedonia were untouched by the war in Judea. Jesus did not come to them in Aflaming fire@ and with Athe angels of his power@ in the first century. Their life was undisturbed by the conflict in Jerusalem. The promised recompense therefore must be at a future time of judgment.
All creditable historians agree that the violent, physical persecution of professing Christians continued long after Rome reduced Jerusalem to rubble. The truth is that persecution of the saved has not ceased to this day.AYea, and all that would live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution@ (2 Tim 3:12).
Based on the indisputable fact that sun, stars, and night continue, we know Preston=s attempt to connect Isaiah 2 and Second Thess 1 with the ultimate return of Jesus to earth is off beam.
Having destroyed the foundation of Preston=s theory, the superstructure is a heap. It is not necessary to examine the rubble brick by brick.
Preston wrote, A2 Thessalonians 1:9 is a direct quotation of the LXX of Isaiah 2:10, 19.@ We call on him for proof.
A reference given for comparative purposes is not the same as Adirect quotation.@ Similarity is not identity.
There is a difference between the end of the Jewish economy in A.D. 70, and in the ultimate return of Jesus when sun, stars, sea, and earth will be no more.
The two events may be compared, but comparison is not identity.
Two things may be similar and comparable, but not identical.