Monday, May 18, 2009

Matthew 24 follow up

Matthew 24, as previously discussed, deals with events that are clearly prior to 70 C.E. Most people have a problem when it gets down to the events that are predicted in Matthew. The first thing we need to consider is the audience:

"See that no one leads you astray"[Matthew 24:4]

Clearly, in this first section (at least) Jesus refers to the disciples, he starts off with things that they are to not identify the coming of the end of the age by:
  1. Many will come in His name claiming to be Christ
  2. The disciples will hear of wars and rumors of wars
  3. Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom
  4. Famines and earthquakes in various places

All these things do not mark the beginning of anything. That is what Christ is saying. He says this will lead to the 'sign of His coming' and the 'end of the age:'
  1. 'They' will deliver the disciples up to tribulation and put them to death
  2. The disciples will be hated by all nations for Christ's name's sake
  3. Many will fall away and betray one another and hate one another.
  4. And many false prophets will arise and lead many astray.
  5. The love of many will grow cold.
  6. And the gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.

At this point most people from the popular view will argue that their hermeneutic is scriptural because the gospel has not been preached in the whole world, and that will usher in the tribulation, rapture and millennial reign of Christ. Wrong! That hermeneutic will lead to read this verse first, lean on your own understanding, and then re-read the passage with 'futurist' eyes just because you think 'world' means something it actually does not.

The term 'world' here is the Greek word 'oikoumenē', which means 'land.' [SOURCE] It does not refer to every person on the planet literally hearing the gospel. Even if you believe it that way, try reconciling this:

"...the gospel, which has come to you, as indeed in the whole world it is bearing fruit and growing—as it also does among you, since the day you heard it and understood the grace of God in truth," [Colossians 1:5-6]

The bible points to the fulfillment of Jesus' words in Matthew 24.

Then some people will argue that Matthew 24 splits up the end of the age and the second coming of Christ. This is generally due to the fact that Jesus says " will be the coming of the Son of Man" in verse 37. Or does did Jesus come in Judgment in C.E. 70? I think He did. The reason is

"36But concerning that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father only. 37For as were the days of Noah, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. [Matthew 24:]

My argument is that Jesus came in judgment of Jerusalem in 70 C.E. I believe that the second coming is not taught in Matthew 24, but in other places of scripture, which I need to address.

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