Written Debates

B19 (Dobbs-V-Preston) 9th Negative By Buster Dobbs

DOBBS’ 9th RESPONSE

To summarize this discussion, brother Preston has insisted that:
the ultimate coming of Jesus,
the resurrection of the dead,
the final judgment,
the destruction of the universe,
and end of the age
…have already occurred.

According to Preston, the end is not at hand, but is already past.

Dobbs responds, You can look around and see sun, moon, stars, and earth, and know that the ultimate-end has not occurred.
Jesus said if any man says he made his literal and last return to earth in A.D. 70, at the destruction of Jerusalem, to "believe him not" (Matt 24:26).
His return would be after a “long time” (Matt 25:19).
That should end the matter.
Preston asserted Paul’s second letter to the Thessalonians and the book of the prophet Daniel in chapters 9 through 12 declare that Jesus will come the ultimate time at the destruction of Jerusalem in A. D. 70.

He makes this bold assumption without giving us the benefit of one valid argument … not one fraction of evidence to uphold the claim. It would be foolish to attempt to refute an assumption, and I shall not fall into that trap.

Preston offers no convincing argument. All he does is assume and assert.

He then – amazingly – calls upon his respondent to prove his assertions are wrong – i.e., prove a negative, and disprove an assertion!

There is nothing more to be said, unless, of course, Don Preston can come up with a sensible argument to prove that the earth has already melted with fervent heat and that its works have been burned up (2 Pet 3:8-11). If our brother can demonstrate that, I will join his campaign.

Turn to and keep open before you 2 Peter 3:8-13

Peter is here discussing Jehovah’s “promise” (vv.9, 13), which makes this passage appropriate in giving an answer to a question about promises and prophesies concerning the final coming of Jesus.

I highlight certain points in this passage:

n    The reference to one day being like a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day indicates that Peter did not know and would not presume to say when Jesus would make his final return from heaven to earth … it could be a short time, or it could be a long time (v. 8).

n    The final return of Jesus will be unheralded – like a thief  (v. 10). Any coming of the Lord that has signs announcing that it is impending is not the ultimate coming of Christ.

n    At the ultimate return of Jesus the earth, its elements, and its works will “be burned up” (v. 10).

n    At the second literal coming of Jesus the earth, its elements and works will be dissolved (v. 11).  “Dissolved” means to melt or do away with, and since the atmosphere around the earth, and the earth and its contents continue, we must conclude this has not happened … yet. It is still future.

The continued existence of the universe compels the conclusion that "draw near" means it "could happen any time."  

If the New Testament teaches Jesus is at the door and could return anytime, and we, therefore, must be always ready, then "draw near" means get ready and stay ready.

Preston thinks the universe started with creation, and ended when the Romans destroyed Jerusalem. Our friend says the world in which we live – the world of Suddam Hussein and the terrorists — is the ultimate, final reward!

Oblivious to all of this, my opponent attempts to prove his proposition by an appeal to 1 Peter chapter one. He asserts, offering no proof, that 2 Peter 3:1-2 repeats statements in 1 Peter chapter one. He says that the opening chapter of 1 Peter says “parousia” was near. My respondent needs to tell us which verse or verses say this. The verses he cites say nothing about “parousia.”

1 Peter 1 is talking about the coming of Jesus at his Bethlehem birth in fulfillment of OT prophecy. Peter says, “…the prophets sought and searched diligently, who prophesied of the grace that should come unto you” (1 Peter 1:10).

My friend makes a play on the words “draw near.” Is it "draw near" in the sense of “immediate,” or is it "draw near" in the sense of “could happen at any time.” It must be the later because the sun still shines and we still have night and tears, which will pass away at the ultimate “parousia” of Jesus.

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