Episode 40:
The First Preterists
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Editorial Notes

Things havenít quite got back to normal here at Sheepcomics.com Inc.

I still have one of those "time consuming business things" to take care of, so I donít know when Iíll get back on regular episode production schedule. My goal is to be finished with these "business things" by the end of March so I can get back to regular episode production in April.

However, itís been a while since Iíve produced anything new, and I found I really missed producing new episodes. So, I created the little episode below.

The timing and events surrounding the second coming of Jesus is one of the most controversial issues I know of in Christianity. Like most people in America in the late 20th century, I was first introduced to the "pre-trib rapture" point of view. This occurred when I read The Late Great Planet Earth by Hal Lindsey when I was about 15. If nothing else, this book got me interested in the Bible in a way I never was before.

To be brief, the "pre-trib rapture" point of view assumes that there will be a "rapture" (or removal) of the saints from Earth before the Great Tribulation. During the Great Tribulation, the Anti-Christ comes to power and is eventually destroyed, along with the rest of the world, by the second coming of Jesus. Jesus then sets up a kingdom on earth that lasts a thousand years. (I know, thereís more to it than that. But you get the idea.)

Many today probably think this is the only point of view, as I did for years. Only fairly recently did I discover that there are other approaches to solving the mystery of the second coming of Jesus.

The most interesting "alternative" view Iíve found is called "Preterism". The word "preterit" means essentially "belonging to the past". Preterists believe that the prophecies concerning the return of Jesus are in our past, not our future. (How do they arrive at this conclusion? Well, Iíll leave it to you to do the research. Just type the word "preterism" or "preterist" at your favorite search engine.)

One of the hallmark beliefs of the Preterist point of view is that Jesusí second coming actually occurred in 70AD. How could this be? According to the Preterist view, the destruction of Jerusalem by the Roman army in 70AD was really the second coming of Christ.

Now, Iím not writing this to take sides with the "pre-trib rapture" people or the Preterists. Our relationship with God does not depend on having the second coming all figured out. This is one of those areas where I believe I have the right to say "I donít know, but Iíll keep learning".

However, the idea that Jesusí second coming was really the destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans does make me a little nervous, and Iíll let the cartoon give you a hint as to why.

Enjoy.

Web Shepherd