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The goals of this article are: (1) analyze the various passages indicating Christ will come soon, (2) understand what was in the mind of the apostles regarding this topic, and (3) demonstrate the Full Preterist view of Imminency is unsound.

My articles about the topic of Imminency:  Imminent | Imminency | Jesus Is Coming Soon | Imminency | Preterism

   End Time Prophecy Leads to Rome | The Kingdom of Israel


Summary

View a tabular summary.

There are many passages in the New Testament indicating that a major event (the second coming) will happen soon. Various people interpret these passages differently:

  1. Full Preterists use these passages as a primary foundation to support their view that the Parousia (second coming of Christ) occurred in 70 A.D. In their view, these passages are directed specifically to that generation of believers and deal with events to occur within their generation, that these passages don't refer to believers today.
  2. Liberal Christians often view these passages as meaning the writers actually believed Christ would come in their generation but were simply mistaken. The problem with this view is it requires us to believe the Apostles were wrong in a significant detail.
  3. I present the view that these passages refer to various things such as:
    • The destruction of Jerusalem in 70 A.D.
    • The yet-future second coming of Christ
    • Christ's resurrection
    • Persecution by the Romans in the early centuries of the Church
    • Death, when a believer is "present with the Lord"
    • The Lord will comfort those who are undergoing persecution
    • The vision of the second coming of Christ in the book of Revelation
    • The birth of the Church on the day of Pentecost

The context of each passage makes the meaning clear.

Full Preterists overstate their case in insisting these passages can only be interpreted in a Full Preterist manner. Certainly they can be interpreted this way, but there are other valid and reasonable interpretations. In addition, there is a side-effect to the Full Preterist view:

There is a tendency in the Full Preterist interpretation of these passages to understand the word "you" as referring only to those who first heard the words and that the word "you" does not refer to us today. But as the following verse illustrates, this results in a very severe side-effect:

You are the light of the world. (Matthew 5:14)

Much of the New Testament becomes meaningless if we interpret this way. Therefore, the word "you" cannot be limited in meaning to the original hearers but must apply to believers of all time.

The word "soon" in the Old Testament does not necessarily mean "soon in time" but often indicates a sense of urgency. For example:

This is what the LORD says: "Maintain justice and do what is right, for my salvation is close at hand and my righteousness will soon be revealed." (Isaiah 56:1)

This didn't happen for many centuries.



A summary of the meaning of each passage.

Matthew 24:34 "This generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened."

This passage refers to the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple in 70 A.D. Does not imply the second coming of Christ occurred in 70 A.D. — that event is still future.
Matthew 10:23 "Won't finish evangelizing in Israel"

This passage refers to the idea that the task of evangelizing the world, and even Israel, will never be finished for the duration of the Church Age.
Hebrews 10:25,37 "As you see the Day approaching" and "in a very little while He will come"

"The Day" probably refers to the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple in 70 A.D. or to the death of each believer when they meet Christ for judgment. "He who is coming" refers to the Parousia (Christ's second coming).
James 5:7-8 "The Lord's Coming"

This passage refers to (1) the Lord comforting us in our trials, (2) the Lord's coming at the death of each believer,and (2) the second coming of Christ.
Romans 13:12 "The day is almost here"

Paul exhorts believers to come to a full knowledge of the truth — to wake up from the slumber of ignorance. It is important they do this because they would soon enter a time of intense persecution and testing of their faith.
Romans 16:20 "The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet."

This passage has the same general theme as Romans 13:12. It will happen "soon" because God will give them "peace" in their times of trial and persecution. Anytime believers call on the Lord for strength in times of trouble and He comforts them, He has "crushed" Satan again just as Christ did at the cross.
1 Peter 4:7 "The end of all things is near." (1 Peter 4:7)

This phrase is in the context of God's judgment of all men, whether they are alive or have died. This refers to (1) the judgment of everyone at death, and (2) the final judgment. These events are "near" (1) in the same way God is near as He observes our actions, and (2) because everyone will eventually die within a relatively short time (less than 100 years).
Revelation 1:1,3; 2:25; 3:10; 22:6-7,10,12,20

"Soon take place," "coming soon," and "time is near."

These passages refer to:

  • The second coming of Christ. (2:25; 22:7,12,20)
  • The increased persecution of Christians by the Roman Empire that was soon to occur and had already begun with Nero and Domitian. (1:1,3; 3:10; 22:6,10)
  • The decline and fall of the Roman Empire. (1:1,3; 3:10; 22:6,10)
1 Corinthians 1:7-8; 7:29 "The time is short" and "wait for Christ to be revealed"

The "time is short" until the persecution from the Judaizers gets much worse and there will be "many troubles in this life."

Christ is revealed at His second coming. Christians need to be "strong to the end" and endure the trials so they will be "blameless on the day of Christ." If they fall away from the faith in response to the trials they will not be acceptable to the Lord. The "day of Christ" refers to either: (1) the death of believers when they are present with the Lord, or (2) the second coming of Christ when He judges everyone and gives believers their resurrected bodies.
Luke 9:27, Matthew 16:28 "Will not taste death"

These passages refer to the revealing of the book of Revelation to the Apostle John and his readers in 96 A.D. The fullness of the kingdom was revealed for all to see through this book and some of the Apostles were indeed, still alive to "see" the vision of Christ's second coming.
Matthew 26:64 "Will see him coming"

This passage refers to the second coming of Christ which an event still future — it did not occur in 70 A.D. as Full Preterists claim.
1 Thessalonians 1:10; 4:15; 5:23 "We who are still alive" and "the coming wrath"

These passages refer to the second coming of Christ, an event still future
Matthew 11:20-24 Certain cities of Israel are judged.

This passage refers to the judgment of the people in these cities who rejected Jesus' message even though they witnessed His miracles.
John 21:23 "If I want him [John] to remain alive until I return, what is that to you?"

This passage refers to the Lord's coming in his vision to John. John does not die until after he witnesses Christ's second coming.
Revelation 22:20 "I come quickly" or "I am coming soon"

Jesus states in 96 A.D. that he will come quickly or soon but sixty years earlier he also stated he would come soon (see Matthew 24:42;26:64; John 21:23). Obviously he was not saying he would come back within a few years.



Imminency




Matthew 24:34 — This Generation


I tell you the truth, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened. (Matthew 24:34)

Read more here.

This passage refers to the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple which did occur some 40 years later (in 70 A.D.) But it does not imply the second coming of Christ occurred in 70 A.D. — that event is still future.

Full Preterists use this passage as a key passage to support their view that the Parousia (second coming of Christ) occurred in 70 A.D. But there is a serious side-effect to this view ignored by Full Preterists. Since the phrase "all of these things" is used and this phrase is applied to the events of 70 A.D. then we should not expect to see any of these events occurring after 70 A.D. But in actuality we see many of these things occurring after 70 A.D., for example, wars, famines, persecution, the gospel is preached in the whole world, the Jews are persecuted in Nazi Germany, etc. In addition, there are no witnesses to confirm that the events attributed to the parousia in 70 A.D. ever happened — it is merely assumed that they did.

Read a detailed exegesis of the Olivet Discourse.

Read a harmonization of the Olivet Discourse from the parallel accounts in the gospels.



Matthew 10:23 — Won't Finish Evangelizing in Israel


When you are persecuted in one place, flee to another. I tell you the truth, you will not finish going through the cities of Israel before the Son of Man comes. (Matthew 10:23)

In the Full Preterist view this passage refers to the fact of the apostles still in the process of evangelizing Israel in 70 A.D. when Jerusalem was destroyed by the Romans.

In the context we see this verse meaning there will always be another town to evangelize, not only in Israel, but also in the whole world.

The context of this passage is the sending out of the 12 disciples to evangelize Israel (Matthew 10:5). Jesus then expands on His theme to include the persecutions Christian evangelists will experience during the Church Age:

Be on your guard against men; they will hand you over to the local councils and flog you in their synagogues. On my account you will be brought before governors and kings as witnesses to them and to the Gentiles. (Matthew 10:17-18)

All men will hate you because of me, but he who stands firm to the end will be saved. (Matthew 10:22)

The phrase "will not finish going through the cities of Israel" means the task of evangelizing the world, and even Israel, will never be finished for the duration of the Church Age. Christian evangelists will still be evangelizing, even in Israel, when Christ comes again at the second coming, a still future event.

In verse 22, the phrase "the end" refers to the importance for Christians to stand firm in their faith even in the face of intense persecution. The theme of "persevering to the end" is a major theme of the book of Revelation and occurs many times throughout the New Testament.

Full Preterists must assume the word "you" refers only to the disciples. But this is incorrect; it also refers to the church.



Hebrews 10:25,37 — The Day Approaching in a Little While


Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching. (Hebrews 10:25)

For in just a very little while, He who is coming will come and will not delay. (Hebrews 10:37)

In the Full Preterist view this passage refers to the Parousia (second coming of Christ) which occurred in 70 A.D. According to this view the writer of Hebrews is encouraging the believers to have good deeds so they will be ready for Christ when he comes within their lifetimes. Examples of the context indicating the writer is referring to their good deeds:

And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. (Hebrews 10:24)

If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left. (Hebrews 10:26)

You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised. (Hebrews 10:36)

If we accept the Full Preterist view we have to also accept that the "rapture" of believers in 70 A.D is dependent on whether they are habitually doing good deeds when Christ comes in 70 A.D. Presumably, those who are not will be left behind.

A better interpretation of these passages considers the context of the book of Hebrews with its emphasis on:

It seems the writer is exhorting the readers to beware of certain false teachings and to remain true to the faith as taught by the apostles. Some examples of these erroneous teachings:

Perhaps they quit meeting together with the Church because they were following another false teacher who was leading them back into Judaism. This would explain the connection between meeting together and "the Day" (the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple). When "the Day" arrives it will demonstrate God is finished with Israel and that the Church is the new Israel.

The phrase "the Day" implies an event. This event is likely the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple in 70 A.D. Jesus predicted this event in the Olivet Discourse so it was common knowledge it would occur. This day may also be each person's death when they meet Christ for judgment.

Considering the emphasis in this book on "falling away" and adopting Jewish practices, it makes sense to refer to "the Day" when exhorting the people to not fall back into Judaism. The destruction of Jerusalem and the temple in 70 A.D. signals that God is finished with Israel and that the Church is the new Israel.

An additional question regarding Hebrews 10:37:

For in just a very little while, He who is coming will come and will not delay. (Hebrews 10:37)

If the word "come" refers to the Parousia (second coming of Christ) in what sense will He come in just a little while? The previous verse gives the answer:

You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised. (Hebrews 10:36)

The significance of Christ's coming at the Parousia is He delivers His final reward of glorified bodies to believers at that time. For someone who has been enduring suffering and persecution it would be comforting to know it will be over in a "little while" whether because of changing circumstances or even by death. Because they suffered for the sake of Christ, they will receive their reward.

The verses in Hebrews draw from two other Old Testament verses:

Hide yourselves for a little while until his wrath has passed by. (Isaiah 26:20)

For the revelation awaits an appointed time; it speaks of the end and will not prove false. Though it linger, wait for it; it will certainly come and will not delay. (Habakkuk 2:3)

The passage in Isaiah refers to judgment, and the passage in Habakkuk emphasizes the certainty of this judgment. In the passage in Hebrews, the author is referring to the judgment of God; that it will occur. The destruction in 70 A.D will highlight that God's judgment of sin is sure and certain. Finally at each person's death they will meet Christ for judgment.



James 5:7-8 — Lord's Coming is Near


Be patient, then, brothers, until the Lord's coming. See how the farmer waits for the land to yield its valuable crop and how patient he is for the autumn and spring rains. You too, be patient and stand firm, because the Lord's coming is near. (James 5:7-8)

In the larger context of this passage, we see James talking about the following flow of ideas:

  1. We as believers will suffer
  2. We are tempted to be unrighteous as a solution to our trials, but. . .
  3. We must persevere in our trials
  4. As a result, the Lord comes to comfort us
  5. Ultimately our suffering is ended, either by (1) changed circumstances, (2) supernatural strength and endurance from the Lord (He "comes"), (3) death, or (4) the Lord's coming.

The following passages illustrate this flow of ideas.

Don't grumble against each other, brothers, or you will be judged. The Judge is standing at the door! Brothers, as an example of patience in the face of suffering, take the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord. (James 5:9-10)

Come near to God and he will come near to you. (James 4:8)

In this passage in James 5:7-8 the phrase "Lord's coming" refers to the Lord coming to individuals to comfort them. It does not refer to the second coming of Christ at all.



Romans 13:12 — The Day is Almost Here


The night is nearly over; the day is almost here. So let us put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light. (Romans 13:12)

According to the Full Preterist view, this passage would apply only to the believers alive at that time — it would not apply to us today.

Paul wrote the book of Romans in 57 A.D. The persecution in Rome under Nero would begin in 64 A.D., only seven years in the future. The general persecution of Christians by Jews and the Romans is a prominent theme in the New Testament.

If the Full Preterist view were correct, then the following verse would mean salvation took place in 70 A.D.:

And do this, understanding the present time. The hour has come for you to wake up from your slumber, because our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed. (Romans 13:11)

Since this can't be true, we must look to another explanation.

The phrase "the hour has come" refers to the "present time," the time when the book of Romans was written.

They should "wake up" because when they first believed they didn't realize the full truth (they were in the dark, in the night). But now they do (they are in the light, in the day). As they became more Christlike their "salvation was nearer." This points to the time of death of believers in which they are present with the Lord. It also has application to the second coming of Christ when He rewards believers with resurrected bodies.

Paul is exhorting the believers to come to a full knowledge of the truth; to wake up from the slumber of ignorance. It is important they do this because they would soon enter a time of intense persecution and testing of their faith.

The word "day" does not refer to the parousia, but Full Preterists must assume it does. But there is no compelling reason to assume this at all, rather, it is totally arbitrary.



Romans 16:20 — Will Soon Crush Satan


The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet. The grace of our Lord Jesus be with you. (Romans 16:20)

In the Full Preterist view Christ crushes Satan in 70 A.D. at the Parousia (the second coming). But this view has serious side effects:

  1. It negates Christ's work of conquering Satan at the cross.
  2. It implies that Satan is now "crushed" in a way that he wasn't previous to 70 A.D.

This passage has the same general theme as Romans 13:12. It will happen "soon" because God will give them "peace" in their times of trial and persecution. Anytime believers call on the Lord for strength in times of trouble and He comforts them, He has "crushed" Satan again just as Christ did at the cross.



1 Peter 4:7 — The End is Near


The end of all things is near. Therefore be clear minded and self-controlled so that you can pray. (1 Peter 4:7)

In the Full Preterist view the old order passed away in 70 A.D. and the Church was born. But this passage states that "all" things ended so it doesn't support their view after all.

The immediate context of this passage:

But they will have to give account to him who is ready to judge the living and the dead. For this is the reason the gospel was preached even to those who are now dead, so that they might be judged according to men in regard to the body, but live according to God in regard to the spirit. (1 Peter 4:5-6)

In the Full Preterist view God judged in 70 A.D. with the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple. But again, there is a disturbing side effect of this view. Notice the phrase "for this reason the gospel was preached." The implication is the gospel only applies to the generation of believers alive before 70 A.D. — after that the "end of all things" occurred and God judged the "living and the dead" so they now have eternal life (they "live according to God in regard to the spirit").

The phrase "the end of all things is near" is in the context of God's judgment of all men, whether they are alive or have died. This refers to (1) the judgment of everyone at death, and (2) the final judgment. These events are "near" (1) in the same way that God is near as He observes our actions, and (2) because everyone will eventually die within a relatively short time (less than 100 years).



Revelation 1:1,3; 2:25; 3:10; 22:6-7,10,12,20 — Soon


These passages refer to:

Second Coming of Christ

Only hold on to what you have until I come. (Revelation 2:25)

Behold, I am coming soon! Blessed is he who keeps the words of the prophecy in this book. (Revelation 22:7)

Behold, I am coming soon! My reward is with me, and I will give to everyone according to what he has done. (Revelation 22:12)

He who testifies to these things says, "Yes, I am coming soon." Amen. Come, Lord Jesus. (Revelation 22:20)

Increased persecution of Christians, leading to fall (judgment) of Roman Empire

The revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave him to show his servants what must soon take place. He made it known by sending his angel to his servant John. (Revelation 1:1)

Blessed is the one who reads the words of this prophecy, and blessed are those who hear it and take to heart what is written in it, because the time is near. (Revelation 1:3)

Since you have kept my command to endure patiently, I will also keep you from the hour of trial that is going to come upon the whole world to test those who live on the earth. (Revelation 3:10)

The angel said to me, "These words are trustworthy and true. The Lord, the God of the spirits of the prophets, sent his angel to show his servants the things that must soon take place." (Revelation 22:6)

Then he told me, "Do not seal up the words of the prophecy of this book, because the time is near. (Revelation 22:10)

Verse by verse commentary: 1:1, 1:3, 3:10, 22:10, 22:12, 22:20.

In the Full Preterist view, the Parousia (Christ's second coming) occurred in 70 A.D with the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple. Certainly the above passages in the book of Revelation could be used to support this view. However, I reject Full Preterist view on other grounds.



1 Corinthians 1:7-8; 7:29 — Time is Short


What I mean, brothers, is that the time is short. From now on those who have wives should live as if they had none; (1 Corinthians 7:29)

Therefore you do not lack any spiritual gift as you eagerly wait for our Lord Jesus Christ to be revealed. He will keep you strong to the end, so that you will be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. (1 Corinthians 1:7-8)

The context of the phrase "the time is short" concerns trials and troubles for Christians as the following two verses show:

Because of the present crisis, I think that it is good for you to remain as you are [unmarried]. (1 Corinthians 7:26)

But those who marry will face many troubles in this life, and I want to spare you this. (1 Corinthians 7:28)

Notice that these trials occurred in Greece, in Corinth; and not in Jerusalem or Rome. Therefore, the troubles were most likely a result of persecution from the Judaizers as the following two verses show:

But when the Jews opposed Paul and became abusive, he shook out his clothes in protest and said to them, "Your blood be on your own heads! I am clear of my responsibility. From now on I will go to the Gentiles." (Acts 18:6)

While Gallio was proconsul of Achaia, the Jews made a united attack on Paul and brought him into court. (Acts 18:12)

Paul is saying that the "time is short" because he knows the persecution will get worse.

This idea is confirmed in the following passage which indicates that the world which was at first accepting of Christians was about to become antagonistic towards them.

For this world in its present form is passing away. (1 Corinthians 7:31)

Christians, therefore, need to be "strong to the end" and endure the trials so they will be "blameless on the day of Christ." If they fall away from the faith in response to the trials they will not be acceptable to the Lord. The "day of Christ" refers to either: (1) the death of believers when they are present with the Lord, or (2) the second coming of Christ when He judges everyone and gives believers their resurrected bodies.

The phrase "time is short" in 1 Corinthians 7:29 refers to a time of peace for Christians which will soon be over. Full Preterists must assume it refers to the imminent coming of the parousia, but there is no compelling reason to assume this.

In the Full Preterist view the word "you" in 1 Corinthians 1:7 must be limited to only those who first read this letter but this is rather arbitrary. In addition, the phrase "Jesus Christ to be revealed" must be interpreted to refer to the parousia, but this raises the question of how He was revealed in 70 A.D.? The answer is He was not. This Full Preterist interpretation is contrived in the extreme.

The word "end" in 1 Corinthians 1:8 refers to the end of a person's life and not to the parousia in 70 A.D.



Luke 9:27, Matthew 16:28 — Will Not Taste Death


I tell you the truth, some who are standing here will not taste death before they see the kingdom of God. (Luke 9:27)

I tell you the truth, some who are standing here will not taste death before they see the Son of Man coming in his kingdom. (Matthew 16:28)

In the Full Preterist view there were believers who heard Jesus make these statements who would still be alive in 70 A.D. when the Romans destroyed Jerusalem and the temple. Full Preterists consider these events to be the Parousia (second coming of Christ).

The following five passages highlight a serious problem with this view. It would mean the "kingdom of God" began in 70 A.D. instead of 30 A.D. The side effect of this is that we are now in this kingdom of God but that the believers before 70 A.D. were not. But there are many passages indicating the kingdom began at the time of Jesus:

  1. Notice they were baptized into the kingdom.

    But when they believed Philip as he preached the good news of the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women. (Acts 8:12)

  2. The kingdom of God is a matter of righteousness, not of waiting until 70 A.D.

    For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. (Romans 14:17)

  3. He brought them into the kingdom as a completed event, not as something requiring a forty year wait.

    For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves. (Colossians 1:13)

  4. Paul's fellow workers were already in the kingdom of God as workers in the kingdom.

    These are the only Jews among my fellow workers for the kingdom of God, and they have proved a comfort to me. (Colossians 4:11)

  5. From early on in the ministry of Jesus He taught the kingdom of heaven is near. In this passage Jesus doesn't seem to be saying the kingdom of heaven will happen 40 years in the future.

    From that time on Jesus began to preach, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near." (Matthew 4:17)

The usage of the word "some" is also troublesome for the Full Preterist view. The word should be "most" or "all." This is because in the context, Jesus was talking to his disciples as the following verses indicate:

Then Jesus said to his disciples. . . (Matthew 16:24)

Once when Jesus was praying in private and his disciples were with him, he asked them, "Who do the crowds say I am?" (Luke 9:18)

The verse immediately before the one talking about those who will "not taste death" clearly refers to the second coming of Christ:

For the Son of Man is going to come in his Father's glory with his angels, and then he will reward each person according to what he has done. (Matthew 16:27)

Some possibilities for the interpretation of the phrase "some will not taste death before they see the kingdom of God" (and my votes):



Matthew 26:64 — Will See Him Coming


"Yes, it is as you say," Jesus replied. "But I say to all of you: In the future you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Mighty One and coming on the clouds of heaven." (Matthew 26:64)

The verse immediately preceding indicates that Jesus made this statement to the high priest and to those who were present:

The high priest said to him, "I charge you under oath by the living God: Tell us if you are the Christ, the Son of God." (Matthew 26:63)

In the Full Preterist view these verses imply that some of those people would still be alive in 70 A.D. at the Parousia (Christ's second coming). This is certainly a valid interpretation. However, I reject Full Preterist view on other grounds (read more).

The following passage affirms everyone will see Christ at His second coming:

Look, he is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see him, even those who pierced him. (Revelation 1:7)

These passages refer to the second coming of Christ, an event still future — it did not occur in 70 A.D. as Full Preterists claim.

Full Preterists assume the phrase "in the future" refers to the parousia and the word "you" only applies to those who were living at the time of Jesus. They assume this event will only be observed by those who are living at the time. But this is incorrect because the parousia will be seen by both the living and the dead as the following passage illustrates:

For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. (1 Thessalonians 4:16,17)



1 Thessalonians 1:10; 4:15; 5:23 — He Will Rescue We Who Are Still Alive


According to the Lord's own word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left till the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep. (1 Thessalonians 4:15)

And to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead—Jesus, who rescues us from the coming wrath. (1 Thessalonians 1:10)

May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. (1 Thessalonians 5:23)

In the Full Preterist view the phrase "we who are still alive" refers specifically to those first readers of the letter to the First Thessalonians. Some of them would still be alive in 70 A.D. when Jerusalem and the temple were destroyed. In addition, in this view, the phrase "the coming wrath" refers to that event. The word "blameless" is significant because, according to that view, it refers specifically to the believers at that time.

These are certainly valid interpretations of these passages. However, I reject Full Preterist view on other grounds (read more).

These three passages all deal with the yet future second coming of Christ.

Read additional info concerning the usage of the word "wrath" in the Bible.

Read additional info about 1 Thessalonians 4:15.

Full Preterists must assume the word "we" in 1 Thessalonians 4:15 is limited to those who were alive at the time Paul wrote the letter. But this is an arbitrary assumption.

How did God rescue them from the coming wrath (1 Thessalonians 1:10) in 70 A.D.? The recipients of the letter didn't live anywhere near Jerusalem and would not be directly affected by its destruction in 70 A.D.

Another problem with the Full Preterist view is that the phrase "coming of our Lord" must refer to a special judgment which occurred in 70 A.D.; after that time there is no more judgment. But why wouldn't there be since there is really nothing special about the time period between 30 A.D. and 70 A.D.? Making this time period special is merely a fabrication of the Full Preterist view.



Matthew 11:20-24 — Judging the Cities of Israel


Then Jesus began to denounce the cities in which most of his miracles had been performed, because they did not repent. "Woe to you, Korazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! If the miracles that were performed in you had been performed in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes. But I tell you, it will be more bearable for Tyre and Sidon on the day of judgment than for you. And you, Capernaum, will you be lifted up to the skies? No, you will go down to the depths. If the miracles that were performed in you had been performed in Sodom, it would have remained to this day. But I tell you that it will be more bearable for Sodom on the day of judgment than for you." (Matthew 11:20-24)

This passage is significant in the Full Preterist view of the Parousia (second coming of Christ) occurring in 70 A.D. because it indicates that "cities" are judged. This would have referred to the destruction of cities by the Romans.

However, there are two serious problems with that view:

  1. The phrase "it will be more bearable for Sodom on the day of judgment than for you [the cities]" is a direct contradiction to the Full Preterist interpretation. This is because in 70 A.D., Sodom had already been destroyed centuries before.
  2. The phrase "lifted up to the skies" would refer to a righteous city being lifted up to the sky in 70 A.D. instead of "going down to the depths" by being destroyed. Of course, no cities were "lifted up to the skies" in 70 A.D.

This passage is referring to judgment of "people," not of "cities." The people in the cities who had rejected Christ and His message would be judged harshly because they had even seen Jesus' miracles to confirm His message.