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The earth endures forever! ... Ecclesiastes 1:4

How we came to the preterist view

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We were first introduced to the preterist view in 1998 when my husband overheard a good friend talking about the 2nd Coming with some other men. He came running to get me in on the conversation. See, he knew that eschatology was my thing; I had read all Hal Lindsey's books, the "88 reasons why the rapture could be in 1988," I wrote songs about the Blessed Hope, and I did everything in my power to hasten Christ's return, because I longed for it more than my next breath of air.

"You've got to hear what Doug's saying about the 2nd Coming, you won't believe your ears," my husband said.

Doug was a Bible scholar and a youth pastor with a heart for evangelism. I didn't think he'd say anything about the 2nd Coming that I hadn't already heard before in my 14 years as a born again believer. But boy, was I wrong! When he mentioned the 2nd Coming as already past, I thought it was all a joke, and began to laugh out loud as Doug turned to me and smiled - probably remembering his first reaction to preterism.

"Uh, Doug, I don't think Jesus has come back yet because um... we're still here, brother!"

Now, if it had been anyone else but Doug, that would have been the end of the conversation. But because he was a bright chemical engineer who stayed up till 2 am studying Scripture every night, taught evangelism classes and was on the elder track, I listened to him point out Scripture after Scripture. Then his wife chimed in.

"I know, it sounds crazy when you first hear it," she said.

"Do you believe this too?" I asked sincerely.

"Not at first, no. But I tell you what, it gets you thinking. It makes a lot of sense."

That was it for us. We felt it was our duty to point out to our dear brother and sister their error. We went home, got out our Bible, Concordance, and studied this view together every free chance we got.  We read The Parousia by James Stuart Russell and Beyond the End Times by John Noe. We listened to tapes by David B. Curtis. We also read booklets that refuted the preterist view for balance. After about 2 weeks, my husband and I looked at each other with one 'AHA' after another, until at the end of about 3 months, we conceded that we could not disprove preterism. This was not at all what we expected. 

I believed I was born to usher in His Kingdom and be part of the bride of Christ. What about all my songs that alluded to His soon return? I asked God how the church could be mistaken about something so important.

My husband took it in stride, but I was in a state of shock. Now I understand that I was experiencing a "paradigm shift," a fundamental change in my belief window that filtered everything through a physical expectation of Christ's kingdom, instead of the spiritual kingdom that it is. My new belief window now saw Scripture in the light of covenant, with the old covenant being the physical pattern or shadow of the new covenant's spiritual reality.

A few months later I read The Last Days According to Jesus by R. C. Sproul.  Then I had a heart to heart with God: If this is true, how do we unteach our kids what we've already taught them? How can I not be your bride? Who am I? What is the church here for today?

I felt God's presence reassuring me in a powerful way. He spoke to my spirit gently, "We're not just engaged anymore. We're married, and you're supping with me right now." Suddenly, I realized I'd been tasting the wine of the New Jerusalem, and feasting at the marriage supper of the lamb all along! And my newfound purpose is to enjoy His presence and let it spill out to everyone around me!

Well here I am today without the 'any day' escapist mentality I once espoused.  And my husband enjoys the newfound cohesiveness of the Bible from a preterist and covenantal perspective.  I've thrown out some of my old songs, but God gave me new ones, most of which would be agreeable even in futurist churches. The bottom line is, we all agree we're in God's presence today, we know the Living Water is flowing, we know we're fully redeemed, but here's the catch: we couldn't have all that if Jesus hadn't already returned. We'd still be bound by the Mosaic law and its practices, and we'd still only have the seal of the Spirit, awaiting our redemption.

We hope you'll give preterism a good look. Jesus made it absolutely clear that He intended to return to the generation of people He addressed. He didn't know the day or hour, but He did know the general time, and writers of New Testament letters under divine inspiration attest to that. So why are we fine with stretching that out two millennia? To satisfy our sensual expectations even though flesh and blood cannot inherit the Kingdom? We need to carry the everlasting Gospel in our hearts, and that includes the Good News that Christ has kept His promise, accomplished everything, defeated satan, and defeated death (spiritual separation from God.) The tabernacle of God is now with men, and the Living Water is flowing!

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"If I will that he (John) remain till I come, what is that to you?..." - Jesus to Peter in John 21:22