Monday, January 25, 2010

On whom the end of the ages has come

The introductory post explains the purposes, goals and scope of this blog. If you have not read it, I suggest you start there and then, look through the posts to get a feeling for where I have gone and where I am going. But, if you don’t have the time, feel free to read this post alone. However, the blog is meant to be a series and so if you find it interesting you can go back and read it or, if you would prefer you can download a PDF of the entire blog. This PDF will be updated every Saturday so that it will have the entire blog, from first post to last, through the latest Saturday.

We are in the middle of a discussion about the end of the age as it was meant by the New Testament authors. We have been looking at the idea that the end of the age was in 70CE at the destruction of the temple. And, that it was the end of the Old Covenant age and the beginning of the New Covenant age or, the age to come. There are a lot of verses that show imminent fulfillment. Here are a couple of them:

1Co 10:11, Now these things happened to them as an example, but they were written down for our instruction, on whom the end of the ages has come.

Paul comes out and states that the end of the ages has come on him and his audience. He is speaking to a specific audience about a specific set of problems and he tells them in plain language that the end of the ages has come on them. The our in the verse ties it to the first century saints. Reading this verse any other way would ignore the audience that it was written to.

Heb 9:26  for then he would have had to suffer repeatedly since the foundation of the world. But as it is, he has appeared once for all at the end of the ages to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself.

In this verse, written to he Hebrew believers the author states that Jesus appeared at the end of the ages. The end of the ages cannot be a future event since it came at the time of Jesus sacrifice. Interestingly, Pentecost and the destruction of the temple also came at the same general time frame.

It seems that the preponderance of the evidence is mounting as we go along. It would really be helpful…not to mention that it would change the story greatly if we were living in the age to come and not an already/not yet phase of the covenants. It would be possible to declare that all is fulfilled. One could say that heaven and earth passed away and on and on.

We are then left with a choice, either the first century prophecy in the New Testament failed or, believers are the New Jerusalem, all things are new and judgment is passed.

5 comments:

  1. The first century prophecy in the New Testament failed.

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  2. Hi Thom,
    This is certainly one of the views that you can hold...Personally for me, I think that the statements that have been concluded to embrace he end of the physical planet earth were metaphorical as heaven and earth was in the Old Testament and referred to a change of covenants...My perspective is one of a believer but, I am grateful for your interest and input.

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  3. As a fellow believer, I sympathize with that position. As an historian of the period, that's an untenable position.

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  4. Hi Thom,
    I am indeed curious...why would you maintain that as an historian it is an untenable position? Are you willing to be more specific?
    Joe

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  5. One thing we know for sure is that Jesus shepherded in the new era of forgiveness, grace and mercy.

    ReplyDelete

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