First of all, we need to define the word “Preterist” and what the “Preterist View” is. We will quote the definition AND the view from the “International Preterist Association” website (so we don’t mispresent them in anyway).

“’Preterist’ means past in fulfillment, and ‘Futurist’ means future in fulfillment. Preterist basically means the opposite of Futurist. Futurists believe most end-time prophecies (especially the big three events—the Second Coming, Resurrection, and Judgment) are yet to be fulfilled. Preterists believe that most or all of Bible Prophecy (especially the big three events) have already been fulfilled in Christ and the on-going expansion of His Eternal Kingdom.”

So, the “Preterist” believes that end-time prophecies HAVE ALREADY BEEN FULFILLED, which would mean we are NOT living in the end-times, for the end-times have come and gone. They actually believe that most “end-time” prophecies found their fulfillment in the First Century, and especially around 70 A.D. when Jersusalem was invaded and destroyed by the Romans armies under General Titus. This, according to their view, fulfilled many of the prophecies of Daniel, the Lord’s prophecies in Matthew 24, and the majority of the prophecies of the book of Revelation (especially chapters 6-19). I should mention that there are SOME Preterists (called PARTIAL Preterists) who don’t go quite this far in their view, thinking that most, but not all, end-time events have already been fulfilled.

Let’s examine two prophecies in Matthew 24 to see if their view holds up. In verses 15 & 21 we read, “Therefore when you see the ‘abomination of desolation,’ spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place….then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be.” (NKJV). Now let’s read verses 29-30, “Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on clouds of heaven with power and great glory.”

According to the Preterist View, the “Great Tribulation” has already occurred AND the Lord Jesus Christ (the Son of Man) has already returned “with power and great glory.” As one who holds the “Futurist View,” I must ask the Preterist, “How can you say the worst days that the world has ever seen has already occurred?” Also, “How can you say that Christ has already returned in power and glory and established His kingdom on earth?” Their answer may astound you, but they truly believe that BOTH events occurred during the Fall of Jerusalem in 70 A. D….the destruction of Jerusalem was, in their view, the “Great Tribulation” and Christ’s coming and the establishment of His kingdom occurred immediately afterwards. Listen to their words from the same article quoted above, “The final events of the redemptive drama came to pass in the first century within the apostles’ generation (before A. D. 70). Christ’s kingdom is here now. Paradise has been restored in Christ (for our afterlife in heaven above). Christ has conquered all His enemies and has given us His Eternal Kingdom.”

Their main premise for these views is that most of the scriptures dealing with end-time prophecies are NOT to be taken LITERALLY, but SYMBOLICALLY. Thus they say Christ’s Coming was not a physical and visible return, but “He came in judgment” when Jerusalem was destroyed. They apply this same kind of “interpretation” to Revelation 20:1-6 where six times we read that Christ shall reign over the earth for 1,000 years. They do NOT believe we should interpret the 1,000 years literally, nor should we interpret Christ “reigning over the earth” literally. In contrast, the Futurist believes we should take EVERY SCRIPTURE literally “unless” the context forces us to give them a symbolic meaning.

We could go on and on citing different examples of end-time prophecies where the Preterist firmly believes ALL HAS BEEN ACCOMPLISHED. So, in their thinking, the Antichrist has already come, the Great Tribulation is over, Christ has conquered all his enemies (which means Satan is already bound in the bottom-less pit—see Revelation 20:1-3), and His Kingdom has been established in power and glory. As you look around the world today does it really look like Satan is bound and Christ’s kingdom has been established? I, for one, believe this view is incredulous!

I would like to close by quoting Revelation 1:19 (and adding a few comments): “Write the things which you HAVE SEEN, and the THINGS WHICH ARE, and the THINGS WHICH WILL TAKE PLACE AFTER THIS.” I believe this verse gives us an outline of the whole book of Revelation. John was inspired to write “what he HAD SEEN” (the vision of Christ in chapter one); “the PRESENT CONDITIONS which were taking place in his day” (the addresses to the seven churches in chapters 2 and 3); and of FUTURE EVENTS (the judgments that would fall just before Christ’s Second Coming, His Return to establish His 1,000 year kingdom, and the Eternal State… which are described in chapters 4-22). John wrote the book of Revelation at THE END OF THE FIRST CENTURY! This means that the FUTURE EVENTS did NOT occur in the first century, but would take place AFTER THE CHURCH AGE described in chapters 2 and 3. This is why I believe in the Futurist View. (265.5) (DO)