"The Gospel Mission of the First Century" by Barry Dupont

I think “The Gospel Mission of the First Century” by Barry Dupont is a good article to explain fulfilled eschatology, though I think some followers of christianity, who are not into deep bible studies and who are just “happy to be saved” (to use their lingo) and do not want to question what they have been taught in institutional churches, may not appreciate his in-depth explanation about what took place in Israel in the first century. (I was like them before.) This is a pity because his writing would help more people to understand that there is no future ‘rapture’ or ‘judgment’, if only they would allow themselves to be more open to understand the Bible in terms of audience relevance and historical context.

“The gospel mission is prophesised by Jesus:
Mat 24:13 But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.
Mat 24:14 And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.

This gospel of the kingdom would be preached in all the world unto all nations and this would signal that the “end” was closer, that the end was imminent.

Most Christians are quite familiar with this verse and concept of a worldwide gospel mission that when completed would indicate a growing expectation of the prophesised ‘end’. What most Christians do not realize is that there is a ‘context’ to this ‘all nations’ and ‘whole world’ that is particular to the first century. A context and a setting that is clearly explained and indicated within the New Testament writings.”

– Barry Dupont (From “The Gospel Mission of the First Century”)

The destruction of the Temple of Jerusalem.
The destruction of the Temple of Jerusalem. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I learnt that Jesus Christ has come to end religion, and the old covenant age ended in AD70. The way I see it, the early church during 30-70AD was only a transitional movement, in which the believers got a foretaste of what it was like to be free from rituals and religion. They were the firstfruits. After AD70, when the temple in Jerusalem had been destroyed by the Roman army, which signifies the end of the Jewish religion with its sacrifices and rituals, God has become all in all, so to speak. The heavens and the earth (old covenant of law) had been shaken, and we are all now in the new heavens and new earth (new covenant of grace).

So I think the new testament has its place when viewed from the historical perspective. I would agree with this statement: “Clearly they (the post AD70 church fathers) are just wrong in interpretation and fail to see that their own legitimacy is undermined in the very documents that they are ‘preserving’ through their misappropriation of religious ‘control’.”

Related posts

Introduction to Preterism” by David Curtis and Richard Anthony

Christianity – A Fulfilled Religion” by Barry Dupont

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