The Parousia, Christ's Second Coming


#1

I have a question about the second coming of Christ, regarding the “Parousia,” the book written by James Stuart Russell. Ok, From what I understand the Church believes Christ is returning, literaly returning one day right? “Christ has died, Christ is risen, Christ *will *come again.” And that The Church more so takes an
Amillennialism view. But has any Catholic among the vast past, in the early years of Christianity ever believed that Christ DID in fact return in 70 A.D. at the destruction of Jerusalem?

I have to say this book is not only very convincing, but Faith inspiring, VERY Faith inspiring. I’m not saying I’m going to go running off becoming another kind of Christian, but the Preterist view on the second coming makes more sense and is more believible to the world than any other end time view.

Any comments would be appreciated.


#2

Amillenialism and preterism are not synomus.
As I understand it, preterism is a reletively new theology. There is no evidence anyone the early church held this view. You would think, being closer to the events of 70AD, that they would. But they curiously do not.
The problem with preterism, like dispensationalism (of which it’s current popularity is a reaction to), is that the preterist must make scripture and church history fit his view, not the other way around.


#3

Interesting. I’ve been searching the net and can’t find any catholic sites talking about Preterism. Do you know of any?

These verses are interesting: Matt.24:34 “Truly I say to you this generation will not pass away until all these things take place.”

Matt. 16:27-28; “For the son of man is about to come in the glory of His father with His angels, and will then recompense every man according to his deeds. Truly I say to you, there are some of those standing here who shall not taste death until they see the son of man coming in His kingdom.”

1 Peter 4:7; “The end of all things is at hand; therefore, be of sound judgment and sober spirit for the purpose of prayer.”

James 5:8; “You too be patient; strengthen your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand.”

There are so many others but I’m I have to fly to work. Can someone explain these verses? And honestly, to say that Matt. 16 is talking about the Sermon on the Mount is flat out ridiculous. There must be another explanation if Preterism is wrong.


#4

The Nicene Creed says that “…He will come again in glory…”. To say that this has already occurred sounds like heresy.


#5

HIS HOLINESS BENEDICT XVI spoke on December 1, 2007 at St. Peter’s Basilica about "the parousia’ in his homily CELEBRATION OF FIRST VESPERS OF THE FIRST SUNDAY OF ADVENT

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

Advent is, par excellence, the season of hope. Every year this basic spiritual attitude is reawakened in the hearts of Christians, who, while they prepare to celebrate the great Feast of Christ the Saviour’s Birth, revive the expectation of his glorious second coming at the end of time. The first part of Advent insists precisely on the parousia, the final coming of the Lord. The antiphons of these First Vespers are all oriented, with different nuances, to this perspective. The short Reading from the First Letter to the Thessalonians (5: 23-34) refers explicitly to the final coming of Christ using precisely the Greek term parousia (cf. v. 23). The Apostle urges Christians to keep themselves sound and blameless, but above all encourages them to trust in God, who “is faithful” (v. 24) and will not fail to bring about this sanctification in all who respond to his grace.

This entire Vespers liturgy is an invitation to hope, pointing on the horizon of history to the light of the Saviour who comes: “on that day a great light will appear” (Antiphon 2); “the Lord will come with great might” (Antiphon 3); “his splendour fills the whole world” (Magnificat Antiphon). This light, which shines from the future of God, was already manifest in the fullness of time; therefore, our hope does not lack a foundation but is supported by an event situated in history, which at the same time exceeds history: the event constituted by Jesus of Nazareth. The Evangelist John applies to Jesus the title of “light”: it is a title that belongs to God. Indeed, in the Creed we profess that Jesus Christ is “God from God, Light from Light”.

I wanted to dedicate my second Encyclical, which was published yesterday, to the theme of hope. . . to rediscover the beauty and depth of Christian hope. This, in fact, is inseparably bound to knowledge of the Face of God, the Face which Jesus, the Only-Begotten Son, revealed to us with his Incarnation, his earthly life and his preaching, and especially with his death and Resurrection. True and steadfast hope is founded on faith in God Love, the Merciful Father who “so loved the world that he gave his Only Son” (Jn 3: 16), so that men and women and with them all creatures might have life in abundance (cf. Jn 10: 10).

[snip]

From the outset, as becomes clear in the New Testament and especially in the Letters of the Apostles, a new hope distinguishes Christians from those who live in pagan religiosity. In writing to the Ephesians, St Paul reminds them that before embracing faith in Christ, they had “no hope and [were] without God in the world” (2: 12). This appears an especially apt description for the paganism of our day: in particular, we might compare it with the contemporary nihilism that corrodes the hope in man’s heart, inducing him to think that within and around him nothingness prevails: nothing before birth and nothing after death. In fact, if God is lacking, hope is lacking. Everything loses its “substance”. It is as if the dimension of depth were missing and everything were flattened out and deprived of its symbolic relief, its “projection” in comparison with mere materiality. At stake is the relationship between existence here and now and what we call the “hereafter”: this is not a place in which we end up after death; on the contrary, it is the reality of God, the fullness of life towards which every human being is, as it were, leaning. God responded to this human expectation in Christ with the gift of hope.

[snip]

God knows the human heart. . .This is why the Lord grants humanity new time: so that everyone may manage to know him!

[snip]

God offers to humanity, which no longer has time for him, further time, a new space in which to withdraw into itself in order to set out anew on a journey to rediscover the meaning of hope.

Here, then, is the surprising discovery: my, our hope is preceded by the expectation which God cultivates in our regard! Yes, God loves us and for this very reason expects that we return to him, that we open our hearts to his love, that we place our hands in his and remember that we are his children. This attitude of God always precedes our hope, exactly as his love always reaches us first (cf. I Jn 4: 10). In this sense Christian hope is called
"theological ": God is its source, support and end. What a great consolation there is in this mystery! My Creator has instilled in my spirit a reflection of his desire of life for all. Every person is called to hope, responding to the expectations that God has of him. Moreover, experience shows us that it is exactly like this. What keeps the world going other than God’s trust in humankind? It is a trust reflected in the hearts of the lowly, the humble, when they strive daily to do their best through difficulties and labours, to do that little bit of good which is nonetheless great in God’s eyes: in the family, in the work place, at school, in the various social contexts. Hope is indelibly engraved in the human heart because God our Father is life, and for eternal life and beatitude we are made.

Every child born is a sign of trust in God and man and a confirmation, at least implicit, of the hope in a future open to God’s eternity that is nourished by men and women. God has responded to this human hope, concealing himself in time as a tiny human being.

[snip]

vatican.va/holy_father/benedict_xvi/homilies/2007/documents/hf_ben-xvi_hom_20071201_vespri-avvento_en.html
http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/benedict_xvi/homilies/2007/documents/hf_ben-xvi_hom_20071201_vespri-avvento_en.html

:slight_smile: Best to read the document in its entirety.


#6

Didache is dated from 90 AD to 110 AD thus thinking Jesus returned in 70 AD makes no sense when you consider this document is still waiting for his return.

16:1 {Be watchful} for your life;
16:2 {let your lamps not be quenched and your loins not ungirded, but be ye ready;
16:3 for ye know not the hour in which our Lord cometh.}
16:4 And ye shall gather yourselves together frequently, seeking what is fitting for your souls;
16:5 for the whole time of your faith shall not profit you, if ye be not perfected at the last season.
16:6 For in the last days {the false prophets} and corrupters shall be multiplied, and the sheep shall be turned into wolves, and love shall be turned into hate.
16:7 For as lawlessness increaseth, {they shall hate one another and shall persecute and betray.
16:8 And then} the world-deceiver {shall appear} as a son of God;
16:9 {and shall work signs and wonders,} and the earth shall be delivered into his hands;
16:10 and he shall do unholy things, which have never been since the world began.
16:11 Then all created mankind shall come to the fire of testing, and many shall be offended and perish;
16:12 {but they that endure} in their faith {shall be saved} by the Curse Himself.
16:13 {And then shall the signs} of the truth {appear;}
16:14 first a sign of a rift in the heaven, then a sign of a voice of a trumpet, and thirdly a resurrection of the dead;
16:15 yet not of all, but as it was said:
16:16 {The Lord shall come and all His saints with Him.
16:17 Then shall} the world {see the Lord coming upon the clouds of heaven.}

earlychristianwritings.com/text/didache-lightfoot.html


#7

That same writer wrote these words:

But the most common and popular interpretation is that which makes the name antichrist refer to the Papacy. From the time of the Reformation this has been the favourite hypothesis of Protestant commentators; nor is it difficult to understand why it should have been so. **There is a strong family likeness among all systems of superstition and corrupt religion; **and no doubt much of the Papal system may be designated antichristian…
preteristarchive.com/Books/images/1878_russell_parousia/russell_parousia_02o.html

Nice talk.:cool:


#8

Scripturally, the word “Parousia” means immediate physical presence. And in Hebrews:

Heb 9:27 And just as it is appointed for men to die once, and after that comes judgment,
28 so Christ, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time, not to deal with sin but to save those who are eagerly waiting for him.

We see that Jesus is only coming one more time. The end. :wink:

Peace and God Bless
Nicene


#9

Many scholars date the Didache much earlier (and I would agree), perhaps in the lifetime of Paul. The epistle of Barnabus makes mention of the events of 70AD (written perhaps within a few years of the event), and makes no mention of the preterist view.
Preterism is revisionist history.


#10

Hello, this is my first post on this forum. This topic interests me greatly as someone who fully believes that Jesus will one day return and has not yet done so (at least not in the context of ‘end times’)

I wonder whether by “this generation” etc, we are at fault in applying too literal an interpretation. I have an alternative interpretation which I would like to share, in the full knowledge this will not be accepted by all.

From my research into past earth-changes, cosmic catastrophes etc, I believe the Earth has undergone several past renewals as a result of cosmic change and upheavals in the heavens. Hence a mighty continent known in fokelore as ‘Atlantic’ is no more. The great flood at the time of Noah was another such earth-shattering event, which wiped out most of the earth’s population at the time. I believe that these events actually happened and are not myths. So, by ‘generation’, I could quite comfortably (and, in fact, do) accept that this refers to ‘civilization’ i.e. subsequent populations on this earth.

Previous civilizations were likely wiped out as a result of tremedous catastrophes from the ‘heavens’. All of this is documented (backed up with overwhelming evidence that it happened) in ‘The Cycle of Cosmic Catastrophes: How a Stone-Age Comet Changed the Course of World Culture’ by Firestone, West, Warwick-Smith.

Such catastrophes not only explain the Great Flood, but also events such as the slaves escape from the pharoah (the parting of the seas).

Another book called the Kolbrin (which included many quotes from Jesus) also describes, in vivid detail, the devastation caused by ‘the Destroyer’ (which is likely to have been the planet Venus whilst still a comet. It is possible that so-called ‘Planet X’ watchers forget that the Mayans were watching Venus and not some other heavenly body).

In short, though we can scarce imagine what a cosmic catastrophe might look like, it was probably a little like this:

Matthew 24:29 "Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken:

30 And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. "

So, I am not too troubled by any apparent inconsistencies in Jesus’s words. My heart tells me He will come again ‘to judge the living and the dead’ and that we will be witnesses and will have to account for our actions. There are other portents out that I will not go into (except for the troubling trend to use RFID chips in humans, which strikes me as having more than a little ‘mark of the beast’ about it…).

Exactly WHEN He will come again…no-one knows, not even the angels, the Son etc. It is therefore pointless trying to set some date (e.g. December 21, 2012) as plenty on the internet are doing.

I’m not sure if this has added to the debate at all but these are just a few thoughts of one with his mind and eyes wide open.


#11

This sort of idea has been around for awhile. Think Hal Lindsey’s book “The Late, Great planet Earth.” He actually predicted that Christ would return in 1988. Well, here it is 20 years later and we’re still waiting. Some other groups have also set dates for His return. So far, nothing.

As far as Jesus having already returned, I don’t think so. The bible is clear on that. Christ said that when He returns every eye shall see him. It doesn’t say, only the eyes of true believers. But ALL eyes.

As far as WHEN He will return, He will. Only on His timetable and not ours.


#12

I’ve edited my post to make clear I am not predicting a date and nor should we attempt to. However, in respect of ‘when He returns every eye shall see him’, a sign in the heavens would fit in with this idea.


#13

Christ came in judgment in 70 A.D. but not physically.

take a look at Luke 21 . Jesus makes no mention of his second coming in verses 6 and 7. He is talking about the destruction of the Temple, which is his coming in judgment on a cloud, within a generation. Also (Mat 26:64).

Compair this to Isaiah 19:1 . God came on a cloud to judge Egypt but he didn’t appear physically. The Assyrian army appeared physically and administered the punishment. (Isaiah 20:1-6)

So, Christ’s coming in 70 A.D. is his coming judgement not a physical second coming. The Roman army administered the punishment.

Christ will come again physically at the end of time.

Peace,

Ryan :slight_smile:


Did - Or Did Not - Jesus Know?
#14

Hello all
I found this site from a google search. Just sorting things out.

The “end of time” is mentioned here a couple of times and I got to wondering if that is solid doctrine. How does that jell with the idea of eternal life?

As far as the Preterist view goes I always thought the Bread was Christ.


#15

I believe that there are several things in the bible that supports all of this. Jesus often talked about His second coming. One of His parables was about the 10 virgins. Remember that one? Five were ready, and the others weren’t. I think there are several others, but I can’t remember right off the top of my head.
Then there is the book of Revelations. It spoke of a time of great need. Wide spread famine, inflation quickly going up, and other stuff. It was spoken of a time when all would suffer. So, the “end times” isn’t just something to talk about. It will be real, and Jesus said that His second coming would be obvious to all. It would be like lightening, see from the east to the west. Now, lightening is definately something everyone sees. Unless you’re blind. But I believe that even then, all shall see His return.


#16

What is a preterist? I’ve been called one and I don’t really understand what it means. I believe the Eucharist is definately Christ.

As far as the end of time, it will dissolve into the more substantive reality of eternity. Death will be thrown into the lake of fire (Rev 20:14). God himself will be with us and He will wipe away every tear, and death shall be no more. (21:4) There will be a new Heaven and earth when the first ones pass away (21:1) Anyone whose name was not found written in the book of life was thrown into the pool of fire, (20:15) and those who are left will have eternal life.

God will remake everything in perfection (eternity) when He proclaims “Behold, I make all things new” (21:5).

Peace,

Ryan :slight_smile:


#17

Hello A Preterist is one that believes all prophecy about the return of Christ has been fulfilled in the first Century. To them the end of time and the world verses and new heaven and New earth verses we rerefering to the end of the old covenant world and the beginning of the New Covenant world. The Church is the Kingdom of God on earth and eventually the whole world will become Christian. When we die we go to heaven and live there as a reward for loving God.
Thank you
Abba Z


#18

I believe some of this, but don’t think that all the prophecy has been fulfilled. (Rev 20:7-21:4) and plenty of other places in the new testament.

I think many of the end of time/world verses have been fulfilled with Jesus’ judgment of the the Temple, but definately not in a second coming sense. (only in a coming judgment sense) I also think that these fulfillments are prefigurements of Christ’s second final coming. (in other words they all point to the final more substantive fulfillment at Christ’s second coming)

Amillenialism believe the Church is the Kingdom of God, right?
Not the Kingdom in it’s totality or fulness, but an aspect of the Kingdom that will be fully realized at Christ’s coming.

I don’t believe the whole world will be Christian leading up to the end, but do believe we are able to go to heaven when we die.

Does all of that make me a preterist? are there any online sources about preterism?

Peace,

Ryan :slight_smile:


#19

Maybe a Partial Preterist. I am not sure what you are. :wink: There are so many ways people approach and interpret scripture I am just glad you are a Christian. I think that many times people mistake “application” for “interpretation”. Or they Interpret from a twenty first century understanding and worldview completely oblivious to any possible first century interpretation and build applications that eventually sink in the sand. I believe it is necessary to have a first century understanding to build a proper application on. So I go slowly.

I’m not sure but I think AMill’s believe that the Concept of the millenium is figurative. Myself, I believe that Christ is really present, and sitting in heaven reigning as king right now but we just cannot see Him. But to know He is there and I will see Him, like He is, when I die, gives me a pretty good feeling. Wouldn’t it be grand if God gave us just a little peek behind the veil and the heavens would open up and we could see :thumbsup:


#20

Yes it would. I look forward to seeing Him in His full glory. Christ is also present with us at the Mass and I thank Him for that.

Peace,

Ryan :slight_smile:


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