Jesus: A Preterist or a Futurist?

Richard Mayhue | May 21, 2010

This essay examines Dr. R. C. Sproul’s thesis in The Last Days According to Jesus, that moderate preterism as it relates to Christ’s second coming is convincingly proven by three time-indicators in the Gospels and the writing date for John’s Revelation. The essay evaluates each of these four time referents historically and/or exegetically in order to determine if Sproul’s claims can be biblically substantiated. The three Matthean time-frame references have better alternative interpretations (both before and after A.D. 70) in regard to time of fulfillment than the A.D. 70 date, which preterism requires of all three. Also, the late writing date for Revelation (mid-90s) has the preponderance of evidence on its side; this one conclusion alone invalidates postmillennial preterism. Since these time-indicators that are critically important to the preterist position do not support the system’s foundational claim that Christ’s parousia occurred within the lifetime of His disciples, this reviewer concludes that Scripture does not teach preterism, moderate or otherwise, as claimed by Dr. Sproul. Therefore, Jesus was a futurist in regard to biblical prophecies of His second coming.

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Richard Mayhue Research Professor of Theology B.S., Ohio State University M. Div., Grace Theological Seminary Th. M., Grace Theological Seminary Th. D., Grace Theological Seminary Prior to enrolling in seminary, Dr. Mayhue served with the United States Navy from 1966 to 1971, including a tour of duty in Vietnam. After seminary he ministered from 1975 to 1977 as an assistant pastor at Grace Brethren Church in Columbus, Ohio, where he also served as director of the Worthington Bible Institute. From 1977 to 1980, Dr. Mayhue taught in the areas of New Testament and Pastoral Ministries at Grace Theological Seminary in Winona Lake, Indiana, where he also enjoyed an active weekend Bible conference ministry. From 1980 to 1984, he was a member of the pastoral staff at Grace Community Church where he served as an associate to Dr. MacArthur in a teaching ministry and as director for the well-known Shepherds' Conferences. From 1984 to 1989, he pastored the historic Grace Brethren Church of Long Beach, California. Dr. Mayhue joined the faculty of The Master's Seminary in 1989 and was appointed as Dean of the Seminary in 1990. Dr. Mayhue also served in the role as Senior Vice President and Provost of The Master's College (2000-2008). Dr. Mayhue has authored, contributed to, and/or edited thirty books, including How To Interpret the Bible for Yourself, The Healing Promise, What Would Jesus Say About Your Church?, Seeking God, Practicing Proverbs, Unmasking Satan, 1 & 2 Thessalonians, Bible Boot Camp, and Christ's Prophetic Plans plus numerous periodical and journal articles. He is active in Bible conference ministries.

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