I see a lot of personal attack and insults, but not much scriptural substance. When you have to resort to vitriol to defend your position, your credibility is reduced. After all, we are both children of the same Father, you know. Personally, I don’t want to write anything here on earth that I would need to apologize for in heaven when you and I finally meet.
As for “not addressing” Amo’s points, it would take more time than I possess to address every single point he mentions in his very long comments, so I have to be selective when I tap out text responses on my cell phone. I’m not retired yet, and there are a hundred things on my plate at the moment.
I’ll try to cover your reply’s objections, but I might not have time to get them all.
#1 - “interchanging Rome and Jerusalem”
No, I’m not doing this. Those two different 7-hilled cities are treated separately in Rev. 13 (the Roman phase of the Sea Beast), and in Rev. 17 (the Judean Scarlet Beast in the wilderness). These two Beasts (of the three Beasts in Revelation) have different biographies, different fates, different activities, and different features. I’ve already discussed these differences at length in this link: http://www.gracecentered.com/christian_forums/preterist-forum/the-sea-beast-the-land-beast-and-the-scarlet-beast/
#2 - “Preterism was unknown to the first-century church” Not so. Paul and Peter and James and Jude and Matthew and Luke and Mark and John - and Christ - all of them taught about Christ’s IMMINENT return in those last days of the first century, and the tribulations, earthly calamities, and deceptions that would immediately precede that return.
Just one example from Christ in Luke 21:36 (YLT). “Watch ye, then, in every season, praying that ye may be accounted worthy to escape ALL these things that are ABOUT TO COME TO PASS,” (“mellonta ginesthai” - in THEIR first-century days) “and to stand before the Son of Man.”
Jesus had just given a list of the particular signs and events for the disciples to recognize which would immediately precede His return. ALL of these things in the verses from Luke 21:7-35 were “ABOUT TO COME TO PASS” - bar none. The disciples understood this, because they had just asked Christ in verse 7, “Teacher, when, then, shall these things be? and what is the sign when these things may be ABOUT TO HAPPEN?” (“melle ginesthai”).
#3 - “The first century church never taught that Christ had come back in their time.” Neither you nor anyone else can prove that conclusively. What you CAN say conclusively is that we have yet to uncover writings about this, dated post AD 70. Archeological digs continue to uncover evidence proving truths of scriptural content even today. And I maintain that there are landslide rubble layers on the slopes of the Mount of Olives today that prove Zechariah 14:4-5’s return of Christ happened exactly where and exactly when He said He would return. You have to read this in the LXX to catch the true import of Zechariah 14:4-5’s prophecy of the earthquake landslide rubble that would block up the Kidron valley as far as Azal.
#4 - “Every eye will see His return”. This is impossible to mean that every eye on the globe would simultaneously see Christ’s local, physical return to the Mount of Olives on the east of Jerusalem. Scripture context specifically LIMITS this viewing of Him returning particularly to “those who pierced Him”. That was those who were besieged and confined in AD 70 Jerusalem that viewed His return. I’ve also discussed this point at length in this link: http://gracecentered.com/christian_forums/end-times-forum/'-and-every-eye-shall-see-him'-how-scripture-defines-'every-eye'/
#5 - “Preterists constantly say that Satan is chained at this time.” Here, I would halfway agree with you that Satan is NOT chained at this time. But that’s only because Satan and the demonic realm was already DESTROYED by the close of AD 70 - NOT chained up back then. Neither Satan nor his minions are in existence anymore today.
Any and all evil occurring today needs no instigation by the Satanic realm. The “children of the devil” (as Christ once called the Pharisees) are today only copying their dead father Satan’s activity. “The lusts of their father they will do.” They don’t need Satan’s continuing existence to author their wickedness. Humanity in its unregenerate form is perfectly capable of coming up with evil on its own volition. I listed scripture proof of this in this link: http://www.gracecentered.com/christian_forums/preterist-forum/deception/
#6 - “Peter was obviously not expecting Jesus to return in his lifetime.” Ummm, yes, he was. Peter AGREED with Paul’s epistles teaching about the timing and events surrounding the return of Christ ( II Peter 3:15-17). So everything Paul taught in his epistles about the soon-coming “resurrection that is ABOUT TO BE of the just and the unjust” at Christ’s bodily return, Peter agreed with this. Moreover, in I Peter 4:7, Peter said that “the END of all things is AT HAND.” This means “presently near” in THAT time when Peter was writing (around AD 65, just before Peter’s martyrdom). Therefore, this “end of all things” couldn’t possibly be “far down the road” from Peter’s days, as you are proposing.
#7 - “There has not been a time yet worse than the world had ever seen before.” One mistake here. Jesus never said this tribulation would be “worse” or “greater” than ever had been or ever would be afterward. That implies a LEVEL of tribulation, which was not Jesus’s intended meaning. He said there would not be any “SUCH” tribulation like it. This means A TYPE or A KIND of tribulation unlike any other before or after that time.
That truly came to pass in AD 66-70 Jerusalem, since no city had ever before had “every unclean spirit” IMPRISONED within its walls, as Rev. 18:2 and Isaiah 24:21-23 said would happen to Jerusalem. And since Satan and his demonic realm has entirely been destroyed since the closing days of AD 70 (as Romans 16:20 said would “shortly” happen after that time in AD 60), this is a TYPE of tribulation that can never be duplicated again in the world. Thank God. Human evil is bad enough as it is.
#8 - “Preterism has one goal specifically: Replace Israel with the church.” No, that’s not the goal. The goal of Preterism is to remain true to the imminent, time-relevant language used by every New Testament writer and speaker. This language of imminence uses many varied terms, in both English and Greek, and is quite clear for even the youngest Christian to understand that those events would SOON transpire in the first century.
Last of your objections, Preterists believe in a *REMNANT* THEOLOGY - not a “replacement theology”. God has ALWAYS preserved a faithful remnant that belonged to Him among the ethnic people of Israel. These combined with the “children of faithful Abraham” among all the nations of the world since creation are combined to make up the true “ISRAEL OF GOD” - the “one fold” that Jesus spoke of. This was the “mystery” that was hid from many ages, but was openly revealed by the Apostle Paul in Colossians 1 and Ephesians 3:3-6.
I appreciate your concern, Cobalt1959, about the “account” that I will be giving at the final judgment about these matters. I have been a believer for about about 48 years, but I assure you that I have never felt such confidence and peace that Preteristic views have instilled in me since I first started studying it as found in scripture 8 years ago. Christ feels nearer to me now than He ever did before. I don’t mind being considered a fool by others, as long as He does not consider me to be one.
“To my own master I stand or fall”, as Paul would say.