Our guest author this week is Dr. Ron Rhodes, the founder and president of a ministry called Reasoning from the Scriptures Ministries. Dr. Rhodes has been Lamb & Lion Ministries’ most frequent conference speaker over the years, and we have always been blessed by his spiritual and scriptural insights as a guest on our television program, Christ in Prophecy. Since the first segment, Dr. Rhodes continues to answer the question, “Why is Jesus Christ’s promise to return under attack today?”
More recently, moderate Preterists have been attacking Bible prophecy in general, but Hyper-Preterists are attacking the biblical teaching of the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. Are you familiar with what Preterism teaches? I’ll tell you what, as a Pre-Millennialist I’m being attacked left and right by these guys. I’ll cover more about that in just a minute.
In moderate Preterism, the idea is that most of the prophecies in Matthew 24 and 25, as well as in Revelation, were already fulfilled back in AD 70 when Titus and his Roman warriors overran Jerusalem and destroyed the Jewish temple. Moderate Preterism is represented by writers like R.C. Sproul, Hank Hanegraaff, and Gary DeMar. When it comes to Hank Hanegraaff, I once co-hosted the program The Bible Answer Man with him for eight years. He wasn’t a Preterist back then, but as soon as I left, everything went haywire at CRI.
Moderate Preterists do teach that the literal resurrection of the Church and the Second Coming are yet future, but those really are the only prophecies that they claim are yet future. All of the other prophecies in Revelation and Matthew 24 and 25 they claim took place back in AD 70. And so, that means that most of the book of Revelation has already passed!
When it comes to dealing with Preterists, they’re like a bunch of sharks chasing those of us who believe in the Pre-Tribulation Rapture of the Church. I’m not kidding! I claim that imagery purposefully because that exactly describes their character. These people are vicious. They are vicious in coming after Pre-Tribs, the Dispensationalists, and those of us who believe that Bible prophecy is for the future.
Preterists don’t want people to read books by David Reagan, or Ron Rhodes, or anyone else speaking at conferences who holds a Pre-Millennial, Pre-Tribulational point of view. Let me tell you what I mean. A book was written by two friends of mine, Mark Hitchcock and Thomas Ice, titled The Truth Behind Left Behind. Preterist Gary DeMar wrote a scathing one-star review of the book on Amazon. Now, why do people write a one-star review? Well, to dissuade other people from reading the book. Here’s another book titled Russia Rising by Mark Hitchcock, given another scathing one-star review. DeMar is trying to dissuade people from reading the book. And then there’s yours truly who wrote Jesus and the End Times, and I was given a scathing one-star review by Preterist Gary DeMar.
How do I feel about this? Like Archie Bunker. But then I forgive him, and recover my sanctification, and so move on.
Now, Hyper-Preterism is even worse. Hyper-Preterism teaches that all of the prophecies have already been fulfilled, including the resurrection of the Church and the Second Coming. They make a big deal out of Matthew 24:34 which reads, “Jesus said, ‘Truly I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all these things take place.'” And so, they conclude from this that virtually all of Bible prophecy had to have been completed before the death of those people living at the time Jesus spoke. And so, they say that all of the prophecies were fulfilled by AD 70. No exceptions! All of the prophecies. That means that Christ’s Second Coming, the resurrection of the dead, and the Great White Throne Judgment are all past events. No prophecy of Scripture remains unfulfilled. There is no future hope of Christ’s return. And, the universe in which we now live is the New Heaven and the New Earth.
Now, just think about that for a minute. Today Israel is surrounded by people who want to blow it up. Muslim nations yearn to utterly wipe Israel off of the map. This world still has human sex trafficking, where young girls are put into sexual servitude. This world is engaged in wars all of the time. This world, even in our own country, has got unbelievable political problems. In this world there is just so much wrong. How then could this world today possibly be the New Earth? If this is the New Earth, then we truly are without hope.
By the way, did you know that eight out of every ten martyrdoms on planet Earth are against Christians? And this is the New Earth? Really?!? I don’t think so. I just don’t think so.
In the third segment of Dr. Rhodes’ defense of the Second Coming of Jesus Christ, he will teach on how to respond to the doctrinal errors of the Preterists.
Ron Rhodes’ entire presentation, along with the other powerful ones made by Kelly Shackelford, Mike Gendron, Eric Barger, Mike Riddle and David Reagan, are included in the Contending for the Faith 2019 Bible Conference video album. Get your copy today!