Preterism Proof Texts
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The place to begin with the so called "time texts," on which preterism rests, is the Great Temple Discourse (Luke 21) and the Olivet Discourse (Matt. 24, Mark 13). These are the passages where Jesus expounded His second coming in greatest detail, the time delay between his first and second comings, and the reasons for the delay. He also instructed his followers HOW to "watch" for His coming. Once we understand these passages as the disciples would have understood them, we can next see if the rest of the New Testament conforms to Jesus' instructions. In other words, we need to lay out the historical foundation of Jesus' teachings on which all of the "soon" statements made by the Apostles were based.
Temple Discourse (Luke 21)
In this discourse, Jesus began to speak of the events leading up to the end of the age. He spoke of wars, earthquakes, famines, and signs in the heavens (vss. 8-11). But, in verse 12, Jesus interrupted His discourse on the end of the age (still future), and began to speak about what would occur in the immediate future, BEFORE the events of the end of the age. The words, "but before all this..." (vs. 12) indicate that BEFORE the earthquakes, famines, wars, etc., just described by Jesus, something else was going to occur. In verses 12-24, Jesus described these parenthetical events. They included the persecution of His disciples and the Roman destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple (which the disciples had been admiring). The result of the coming war, according to Jesus, would be the Jews' being dispersed to all the nations for a period of time BEFORE the end of the age. In other words, the dispersion of the Jews to all nations (which would take a considerable amount of time) would intervene between the destruction of Jerusalem and the "end of the age" with its attending cosmic signs and coming of Christ. The coming of Christ cannot be the destruction of Jerusalem because the dispersion of the Jews and the "times of the Gentiles" would intervene between the destruction of Jerusalem and second coming of Christ.
In verse 24, Jesus ended the parenthetical portion of this discourse. In verse 25 He picked back up where He left off in vs. 11. (Note the cosmic signs in both vss. 11 & 25. This indicates His picking up the timeline in verse 25 where He left off in vs. 11 ). Note also the statement, "but before all this..." in vs. 12. This indicates that verses 12-24 are parenthetical. In other words, Jesus interrupted the timeline of His discourse on the end of the age, and made a parenthetical statement in verses 12-24 referring to the imminent persecution of the Apostles and the destruction of Jerusalem. Verses 25ff then focus again on the "end of the age" (future), and Christ's coming attended by the cosmic signs. Below is the entire discourse illustrating the parenthetical part.
It is critical that we understand
the chronology of this discourse in order to place the events in their
proper order. In the table below, I have duplicated the discourse in two
columns. The left column includes the discourse in the verbal sequence
given by Christ. The second column separates the parenthetical portion
that Jesus said would occur "before these things" (mentioned in vss. 8-11).
Notice the text highlighted in green in both columns. This illustrates that Jesus picked up the discourse precisely where He left off after dealing with the parenthetical portion (in red). Notice that the last statement before the parenthetical portion, and the first statement afterward, deal with the cosmic signs.
Discourse (Matthew 24 & Mark 13)
Preterists have assumed that the discourses in Luke 21 and Matt. 24/Mark 13 are all parallel accounts. They have missed the fact that the Great Temple Discourse recorded in Luke 21 actually took place BEFORE the Olivet Discourse (cf. Luke 21:1-7,37 & Matt. 24:3 / Mark 13:3). And the disciples' question at the beginning of the Olivet Discourse was in response to what Jesus had already told them just a hour or so before while they were on the Temple Mount. They wanted more information regarding His coming.
No doubt the disciples had been talking among themselves about Jesus' discourse on the Temple Mount during their walk up the Mt. of Olives. Later that afternoon, while sitting on the Mt. of Olives overlooking the Temple, the four disciples got up enough nerve to go and privately ask Jesus for further clarification on His previous discourse. While no doubt they were interested in the destruction of the Temple, their primary concern was Jesus' establishing of His Kingdom (ie, His coming and the end of the age, cf. Acts 1:4-8). The Great Temple discourse, while explaining a lot of events that must occur first, said little about the specific signs that would signal when Jesus' coming was actually imminent.
In the Olivet Discourse, Jesus focussed on their specific question, which concerned His coming and the end of the age, and not on the destruction of Jerusalem or dispersion of the Jewish nation among all the nations He had formerly spoken about in Luke 21:12-24. The disciples accepted that all that would take place. But, as His followers, and heirs of His Kingdom, they wanted to know when all this would come to an end with the setting up of Christ's Kingdom on earth. Notice that in the following passage from Luke 21, these final events take place AFTER the destruction of Jerusalem, AFTER the Jews are dispersed to all the nations, AFTER the "times of the Gentiles" are fulfilled.
This is what the disciples were mostly interested in. It was their hope as the followers of the Jewish Messiah, to reign with Him in His Kingdom.
Jesus elaborated on this in His Olivet Discourse, focussing on the end of the age and NOT on the destruction of Jerusalem. The events of the Olivet Discourse, the wars, famines, earthquakes, etc. (Matt. 24:6-8), occur before the end of the age in Matt. 24, but AFTER the destruction of Jerusalem in Luke 21. There is therefore a period of time between the destruction of Jerusalem and the end of the age. And Luke 21 tells us what intervenes during this period — a second "Diaspora" of the Jewish nation, and the culmination of the "times of the Gentiles," with Jerusalem under foreign control for the entire interval between the destruction of Jerusalem and Christ's coming.
In the Olivet Discourse, Jesus focused entirely on the events leading up to the second coming and establishing of His Kingdom on earth. These events include the major apostasy of the Church (vss. 9-13 & 2 Thess. 2:3) with the greater part of Christians falling away from the Faith.
The next major event is the completion of the Great Commission, the preaching of the Gospel to all nations, "the uttermost parts of the earth" (Acts 1:8).
Keep in mind that Jesus had formerly sent His disciples out to preach to the cities of Israel ahead of Him (Matt. 10). Yet, when commissioning them as His Apostles to Israel, He forbid them from preaching to the Gentiles (cf. Matt. 10:5-6). This first commission was a precursor to the second (Great) commission, because it foretold the persecution in Acts and beyond. Yet, while Jesus allowed them to begin their task of world evangelism in Matt. 10 (beginning in the cities of Israel), He expressly held them back from the Gentiles because it was necessary that the Jews be offered the Gospel first, and that they reject Him, so that the crucifixion could occur. After His resurrection, Jesus lifted the restriction regarding the Samaritans and Gentiles, and told them explicitly to CONTINUE their evangelization of Israel, as well as the Samaritans and the Gentiles. (They never finished their evangelization of the cities of Israel, and this too must be completed before Jesus returns. 
In Matt. 24:14, Jesus let them know that He was going to expand their commission given to them in ch. 10, to all the nations (which He did explicitly in Matt. 28:19-20).
One critical observation we should make from the Olivet Discourse is that Jesus told them explicitly that certain things MUST occur before He returns. The wars, famines, earthquakes, etc., would occur, but these should NOT be taken as signs of His coming. He said, "be not troubled, for the end is not yet." However, Jesus pointed to certain major events that would signal His return, the "abomination of desolation" (Matt. 24:15) and the cosmic signs (Matt. 24:29-30). He also pointed to the one thing that would delay His coming — the completion of the Great Commission (Matt. 24:14).
Of course, the "abomination of desolation" and cosmic signs were things the disciples had absolutely no control over. They would occur according to God's sovereignty and in His timing. However, the completion of the Great Commission was something within the power of the disciples and those they trained to help them to complete. Notice, after the resurrection, when the disciples asked Jesus again about His Kingdom and the restoration of Israel, Jesus again reminded them of this passage and their responsibility to finish the Great Commission before they could expect His coming. That is, the thing that would delay His coming.
Jesus reminded them of what He said
earlier in the Olivet Discourse.
The second sign concerned the "abomination of desolation" prophesied by Daniel. Daniel explicitly prophesied the number of days between the "abomination of desolation" and the resurrection and Daniel's receiving His allotted inheritance, being 1290 days, (Dan. 12:11-13).
Therefore, when Jesus referred to the "abomination of desolation spoken of by Daniel the prophet," and when He said, "let the reader understand," He meant let the reader of Daniel understand that within 1290 days of the "abomination of desolation" Jesus would return, the resurrection prophesied by Daniel would occur, and the allotted inheritance in the Kingdom will have been realized by those "many" (Dan. 12:2) who are resurrected at that time. Therefore, the "abomination of desolation" is THE time indicator for the second coming, being 3.5 years before Jesus returns to set up His Kingdom on earth.
Of course, the disciples had absolutely no control over the abomination of desolation. It was entirely up to the timing of God Almighty. However, the fulfillment of all of the end-time events were to be DELAYED until the Gospel was preached to all nations. This WAS something within the control of the disciples of Christ, and those who would join them in this task of world evangelism. And it was something OUT of the direct control of God (assuming that man has a free will). In other words, the delay in Christ's return was something God had taken out of his own power of control and given that power to His Church. This is why in Acts 1, Jesus referred them back to what He said in the Olivet Discourse. They were a little too anxious for His Kingdom to arrive. So, Jesus reminded them that all this was contingent on their completing the task assigned them. And that the power of the Holy Spirit was being given to them to aid them in completing this task. Therefore, while Christ was ready to return without delay within a very short time (only time enough for the other prophesied events to take place, within the 3.5 years mentioned by Daniel), the entire end-time scenario was put on hold until the followers of Christ finished the task of world evangelization. Heaven is ready, Jesus has been "standing at the door" (metaphorically speaking - see Jas. 5:9), His Kingdom is "at hand," but He is being delayed by the failure of His Church to complete her assigned task.
Explanation of the Delay
2 Pet 3:1-9
Peter began this chapter telling
his readers that his purpose was to remind them of two things:
His statement that there would come "in the last days" scoffers, denying the coming of Christ, indicates a future time. Of course, preterists think this time was present. But, if that was so, Peter would not have spoken of the "last days" in the future tense. He wrote this only a year or so before the armies of the Romans marched on Jerusalem. Peter's statement seems to foresee a more distant time.
In verses 3-6, Peter used a parallel example of the flood, and God's delaying His judgment on the ungodly for 1500 years. The parallel drawn by Peter between the pre-flood delay and the current delay is striking. In verse 8 Peter's reference to a day being as a thousand years seems to be meant to allow for the entire pre-flood period, which lasted 1500 years. The future scoffers will say that everything has continued uninterrupted since the creation. Yet, Peter's point is that things were NOT uninterrupted "since the creation" because God destroyed the world with a flood 1500 years after the creation. And only His WORD kept His judgment in check for those 1500 years.
In verse 7, Peter applied that principle to the present "heaven and earth." While the first (pre-flood) "heaven and earth" was destroyed by water, the present "heaven and earth" will be destroyed by fire. Two important points should be noted here.
1. There is clearly a parallel between
the "water" and the "fire," as being the judgments of God. That "water"
is clearly literal, implies that the "fire" will also be literal. Preterists
are forced to make the first literal and the last symbolic.
Next, in verses 8-9, Peter got to the heart of the matter, the CAUSE of the present delay in Christ's coming. First, Peter says in no uncertain terms that God's time is not our time. In other words, what may be short or long to us is relative. God is an eternal being. He is not limited to a lifetime of say 70 years. Our perspectives and perception of time are colored by our experience. "Soon" to us, whose entire lives are but a speck on the whole timeline of human history, is not "soon" to God. To God, the whole existence of man on earth, from creation to the flood, was but a day and a half! Likewise, we can extrapolate from this that the time between Christ's ascension until our day is but 2 days to God! Therefore, since Peter was discussing this difference in how God views time and how we view time in the very context which is meant to explain the delay in His coming, this principle MUST be applied to ALL "time" texts in the NT.
In verse 9, Peter finally told them the real reason for the delay. It is the same thing Jesus told them in the Olivet Discourse (Matt. 24:14), and what He reminded them of just before His ascension (Acts 1:6-8). The Lord is not slow to keep His promise. He is WAITING FOR SOMETHING. God is "longsuffering to US, not willing that any should perish." That something is for US to finish the job of taking the Gospel to all the nations, to the "uttermost part of the earth." Notice, he did not say the Lord is longsuffering to the LOST. He said, the Lord is longsuffering to US, BECAUSE He wishes all to come to repentance. Well, 2000 years has proven the great longsuffering of God.
2 Pet 3:12
The antecedent for the ones "looking for" and "hastening" the Day of God, is "you" in the previous verse (Peter's audience). Peter made a very profound statement here, by telling his readers that THEY are not only looking for the Day of God, but they are also HASTENING its arrival! In other words, the TIMING of His coming is IN OUR POWER to hasten! Therefore, the long delay is also OUR FAULT, despite the fact that Jesus has been ready to return for almost 2000 years!
According to Peter's reckoning, only two days have now elapsed since Jesus ascended into heaven, and the angels told the disciples, "this SAME Jesus which is taken up from you shall so come IN LIKE MANNER as you have seen Him go into heaven."
Whenever the New Testament writers used terms like "at hand," "standing before the door," "soon," "quickly," etc., they did so with the knowledge of all these things. Jesus has been READY to return, being seated at the Father's right hand WAITING (Heb. 10:13). He WILL come "quickly" provided we get busy and finish the job he has given us to do. So, when Paul wrote, "He that shall come, will come, and will not tarry" (Heb. 10:37) he meant that Jesus will not of His own will delay His own coming. But, as you can see, such a passage does not mean that He will come BEFORE we have finished the job. To "not tarry" means not to purposely delay when it is in His power to come. But, since the stipulation for His returning is in OUR power, what Paul meant is that any delay is NOT on His part. He will not tarry, though our "tarrying" in completing the job He assigned us forces Him to wait for us.
 In fact, the Gospel began in JUDEA (southern Israel) and has traveled westward (following the path of the sun) around most of the world already. Only the Moslem nations are left for the focus of evangelism. Then, lastly, the focus will again be on Israel before Jesus returns, with the 2 witnesses prophesying for 1260 days in Jerusalem.
 We know that 2 Peter was written
just before Peter's martyrdom along with Paul around AD66-67, because of
Peter's reference to his imminent decease in 2 Pet. 1:13-15.