Ask Your Preacher

Ask Your Preacher

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Up In The Air Part 2

Thursday, December 09, 2010

(This is a follow-up to “Up In The Air”)

I've actually never heard this idea that THE great tribulation has already happened.  I've considered this idea with an open mind and have only gained a deep concern for those who support this theory… mostly because the temple was, of course, destroyed in 70 AD, and we know John recorded his vision around 90 AD.  What good would it have been for John to prophesy on things which already took place (Rev 10:11)?  Also, if you were to believe this idea, the answer to the question asked in Matt 24:3 would have been 70 AD, but since we humans are still in existence, either Jesus was lying (which He was not) or the tribulation was not fulfilled in 70 AD.  Furthermore, if you carefully study the context surrounding the statement in Matt 24:34, you see Jesus was still speaking on this age of false prophets and messiahs to come.  He said (in context), "This generation of false prophets and messiahs will not pass until the work of the tribulation is complete." He was not referring to the generation that was currently alive when He said these things.  Also, we all know when God says things are to happen soon (Rev 1:1), God's judgment of time is supremely different than ours.  I do not claim to be in full understanding of Revelation, but I would greatly suggest to those who support the idea you hold to prayerfully and logically reconsider their interpretation of the  book of Revelation.  Please reply; I am still open-minded to what you have to say.  Thank for all you do.

Sincerely,
Looking Ahead

Dear Looking Ahead,

Thanks for your reply.  I think we got our wires crossed somewhere.  The book of Revelation doesn't discuss the fall of Jerusalem ­– it discusses the persecution of christians under the Roman Empire.  We agree that it is most likely that John wrote Revelation after 70 AD.  However, Matt. 24 does refer to 70 AD, and Jesus even clarifies that is what He is talking about in Matt. 24:2 when He mentions the stones of the temple would be torn down (something that happened in the fall of Jerusalem in 70 AD).  You referenced Matt 24:3; it is important to note that the words "end of the world" found in some translations are not technically correct.  The word 'world' is literally 'age'.  It isn't the word 'kosmos' which is what is normally used for 'world' throughout the Bible.  Jesus was telling them that the end of the Jewish age was about to occur and that there would be certain signs they should watch for.  As for your reference to Matt 24:34, the words 'false prophets and messiahs' aren't in that verse.  All it says is "this generation shall not pass away until all these things are accomplished" – we don't know what translation you are using, but those words that prove your point simply aren't in the text of the major translations of the Bible.  Matthew 24 is dealing with 70 AD (and Jesus said those things before 70 AD); Revelation is a separate topic.

One other thing, you mentioned that you don't have a full understanding of Revelation.  Here is our challenge to you.  Listen to the series of classes we linked to you on that book (for our readers, that link is here).  After listening to the classes, feel free to write in with any objections you have to the logic used in the teaching.  We would happily welcome your criticism.  If we are wrong, we want to change.

Watching The Clock

Wednesday, September 22, 2010
Will the world end in 2012; everyone is talking about it, and it scares me.  I think it will end in 2012, but I don't know what date (like everyone is saying on December 21).  The Bible states He will come like a thief in the night; the sad part is that 90 percent of the world is not ready for it.  People are out drinking, partying, having sex with other people, and other sinful things. The Bible gave us signs of the end, and we had almost all of the signs.  What do you think?  I am just waiting for the rapture.

Sincerely,
Two Years To Go

Dear Two Years To Go,

Feel free to do your shopping for the holidays in 2012; the world isn’t likely to be destroyed on Dec. 21, 2012.  For those of our readers unfamiliar with the 2012 doomsday schtick… we will take a moment to explain this New Age teaching.  The idea that the world is going to be destroyed or transformed on December 21st (some say 23rd), 2012 is based off of the Mayan Long Count calendar.  The Mayan Long Count calendar is a non-repeating calendar that was used in Mesoamerica during the height of the Mayan civilization, and because it is a non-repeating calendar (unlike the Roman calendar which repeats every 365 days), it eventually runs out of days.  The last day on the Mayan Long Count calendar is December 21st, 2012.  Therefore, some folks are expecting a cataclysmic change to the world order on that day.

Now that we’ve explained what it is, let’s explain what it isn’t.  It isn’t right.  We here at AYP are pretty sure that if God was going to hide the date of the end of the world in a conspiracy-theory fashion, He probably wouldn’t hide it in the calendar of a blood-drinking, child-sacrificing, snake-worshipping heathen culture.  But, hey, maybe that’s just us…

You are right; God promises that He will return like a thief in the night (1 Thess 5:2).  As you mentioned, the world is full of many unprepared people living sinful lives.  We would all be a lot better off if we stopped trying to guess the day everything will end and started trying to be prepared for when it does.  We also noticed that you used the term “rapture” – we recommend you read the article “Caught Up”; it should help clear up some of the misconceptions about that term.

1,000!!!

Monday, August 30, 2010

Dear Readers,

AskYourPreacher has now posted one thousand questions!  Thank you to all our readers for your confidence in us and for your dedication to the Bible.  When the Monroe Valley church of Christ started this website, we believed there was a need, but we weren’t sure… well, we are now!  We couldn’t ask for a more loyal group of readers.  Thank you for all your referrals (many people write in saying that they heard of our site through others) and kind words.  Nothing is more thrilling than helping people get in touch with faithful congregations, leading people to the saving waters of baptism, and seeing God’s Word prick hearts.  In a world of religious confusion, God’s Word has never changed.  Thank you for your support.

Sincerely,
The Ecstatic AYP Team

Ultimate Victor

Wednesday, March 31, 2010
Why hasn't God conquered Satan?  He has the power, doesn't He?  Why does He allow the battle to continue between them here on Earth?

Sincerely,
Battle Weary

Dear Battle Weary,

God has conquered Satan.  When He died on the cross, Jesus vanquished the devil (Rev 12:9-11).  The devil has been cast down to the earth where he can tempt us (1 Pet 5:8), but he no longer has any heavenly power... no one can snatch God's children out of God’s hand (Jhn 10:28-29).  There is a battle still continuing here on Earth, but the ultimate victory has already been decided.  All those who are washed in the blood of the Lamb will be victorious (1 Jhn 5:5).  The only reason that God is waiting to totally destroy Satan is because He is patient; God is patient and desires that everyone have an opportunity to get to heaven (2 Pet 3:9).

Heart Burn

Saturday, February 13, 2010
Someone has been burning churches in Texas.  Most fires so far have been set in east Texas and one in North Central Texas.  Most appear to be Baptist and churches that are expensive to construct.  What’s your take on the type of personality, and what do you think caused the anger involved to do such a hateful act against God?  I want a well thought-out reply; don't simply say it’s the work of the devil.

Sincerely,
Smokey the Bear

Dear Smokey the Bear,

People commit crimes of hatred for all sorts of different reasons.  Jesus said that those who are living in darkness will hate the truth (Jhn 3:19).  Furthermore, Paul warns that some people will be deceived by the lies of the world and seductions of sin; their consciences will become seared to the point of no return (1 Tim 4:1-2).  People sin for a zillion different reasons – but, ultimately, all sinful lifestyles come from believing the lies of the world (Rom 1:25).

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