This is the third post in this series. So what is it that makes me believe that the gospel... that is presented today by the evangelical church is a different gospel.... a distorted gospel? Well the answer is quite simple. Today, evangelicals have very different expectations than those of the intended readers of the first century. Most have a futurist view of the prophecies that in no way squares with the expectations of the readers.
I would like to focus on question one: What were the expectations of the intended readers?
I will list in order what I believe the expectations of the first century readers was:
- Due to the timing, they knew that the Daniels seventy weeks prophecy was due during their time in the first century. The first century Jews were expecting the fulfillment of the Messiah prophecy
- They were also expecting the end of the age and the beginning of the age to come.
- They were expecting the fulfillment of all the prophets and the day of the Lord.
- They were expecting the restoration of the glory of the kingdom's of David and Solomon.
- They were expecting God to intervene in a supernatural way and remove Rome from governing.
- They were expecting the fulfillment of the Isaiah prophecies about the peaceable kingdom.
- They were anticipating a New Heaven and a New Earth.