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WATCH

October 14, 2012 Leave a comment

In my written debate with Don Preston on the Second Coming of Christ, Don (an A.D. 70 proponent) was arguing that all of Matthew chapter 24 had reference to the second coming of Christ and that this coming happened when Jerusalem fell in A.D. 70. In his second negative he wrote “In v. 36f he gave no additional signs, but, he told them to ‘Watch’ •If there was nothing to watch for, why did Jesus tell them to watch? •They were to watch for the signs Jesus had given!” (http://www.eschatology.org/images/stories/Articles/mcdnld-signs-nosigns.pdf).

Notice what he said: “In v. 36 he gave no additional signs, but, he told them to ‘Watch’ If there was nothing to watch for, why did Jesus tell them to watch? They were to watch for signs Jesus had given!” !  In verse 42 he said “Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come” (Mat 24:42). What were they to watch for? The word  “watch” comes from: “gregoreuo gray-gor-yoo’-o” which means:  “From G1453; to keep awake, that is, watch (literally or figuratively): – be vigilant, wake, (be) watch (-ful)” (Strong’s Greek Dictionary, e-Sword).   Watch doesn’t mean look for some sign, but to be in a state of vigilance or watchfulness. This is exactly what Jesus meant in Mt. 25:13: “Watch  therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh.” They weren’t to look for some sign, they were to be vigilant like the wise virgins were, not like the foolish virgins.

When people start reinterpreting scripture to fit their pet doctrines,  such as brother Preston has done here, the Bible becomes just another religious book in their eyes. If it is truely the inspired word and it is, then we cannot change it in any way form or fashion.   John wrote: “If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book” (Rev. 22:18). He also wrote: “ And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away
his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book” (Rev. 22:19). What this means is that we are not to change  anything that God’s word has to say. God through Moses said  “What thing soever I command  you, observe to do it: thou shalt not add thereto, nor diminish from it” (Deut. 12:32). When we change what Jesus said to watch for. we change the word of God, something we are strictly forbidden to do.

When brother Preston changed Jesus’ statement from living in a state of  watchfulness to looking for certain signs he changed the focus of Christianity from living in a state of preparedness to looking for certain signs to know when the end is nigh.  This is exactly what the Premillenialists have done with their doctrine.  The only difference is that they believe that Christ’s return has yet to happen, while Don believes that it happened in A.D. 70. However, both nullify the principle of living in a state of watchfulness. They both uphold the
principle that man could look for signs for the return of the Lord. If the Premillenialist position is in error, then Don’s position is in error as well.

As Christians we are to always live in a state of preparation. This means that we are to watch, to be vigilant. This means that we are to live Godly because we know not when the Lord may reappear. As does the Premillenialist’s, Preston’s position nullifies this principle.

If we follow Preston’s position to its logical conclusion we won’t live in preparation for anything because our watching comprises of nothing more than looking for signs. Since the second coming has already happened, per Preston, we have nothing to look forward to. The only way that Paul’s statement “So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation” (Heb. 9;27), has any relevance to us at all is if there is a second coming to look forward to. So what did Jesus mean when he said WATCH?

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