As I stated before, at the PPW 2017 Conference I simply did not have the time to develop all the information I wanted to. I briefly scanned over a chart I produced between Luke 21:27-28 and Romans 8:18-23YLT demonstrating that Paul was once again drawing from and developing Jesus’ eschatology. If I had the time this is the rest of what I would have liked to have presented. Enjoy and pass it on!
As commentators and Bible cross references are correct to connect the Second Coming and trumpet gathering of Matthew 24:30-31 with 1 Thessalonians 4:15-17 and 1 Corinthians 15, they are also correct to understand the coming of Christ and the looking up for “redemption” in Luke 21:27-28 to be the consummative Second Coming event inseparably connected with the glorification and liberation of creation / “redemption of the body” in Romans 8:18-23YLT and the consummative “salvation” in Romans 11:26-27; 13:11-12. So to demonstrate how these Reformed views have formed Full Preterism I must give a Preterist interpretation of these passages (as I did with 1 Thessalonians 4:15-17 and 1 Corinthians 15). I’ll also demonstrate that the “redemption” and coming of Christ in Luke 21 entails much more than just a physical salvation – as so many Postmillennialists attempt to do in order to isolate it from the rest of Pauline eschatology.
But before I do that, let’s once again examine the “House Divided” approach coming from the reformed community on the coming of Christ and His redemption in Luke 21:27-28.
- Once again, appealing to the principle of the analogy of faith, John Murray and other Reformed theologians over the centuries have understood Paul, in Romans 8 to be building upon the “redemption” that Jesus addressed in the Olivet Discourse:
“Now in Luke 21:28 . . . [t]his word ‘redemption’ (apolutrosin), when used with reference to the future, has a distinctly eschatological connotation, the final redemption, the consummation of the redemptive process (cf. Rom 8:23…). Hence analogy would again point to the eschatological complex of events.”
- The Reformation Study Bible (again edited by two Postmillennialists) connects the coming and redemption of Christ in Luke 21:27-28 to the glory that was “about to be revealed” and the “resurrection of believers” or the “redemption of the body” in Romans 8:18-23 (p. 1832) and the “salvation” that was “at hand” in Romans 13:11-12 to ALL be the same consummative event (p. 2005).
- Yet Postmillennialists such as Sproul and Mathison who produced The Reformation Study Bible admit in their writings that the coming of Christ and redemption of Luke 21:27-28 (of which the WCF says is the Second Coming event along with their own study Bible) was fulfilled spiritually in AD 70.
- The confusion mounts when Postmillennialists such as Gary DeMar concede the “glory” in Romans 8:18YLT was “about to be” fulfilled in AD 70 but pretends he doesn’t know what it is, “Whatever the glory is it was ‘about to be revealed…” (Madness, 225).
- However, The Reformation Study Bible (and virtually everyone else agrees) clears up DeMar’s alleged confusion over what the “glory” that “is to be” or was “about to be” revealed is. Contextually there is no ambiguity as to what the imminent manifestation of this “glory” was — the liberation of creation from its groaning and bondage, the full adoption of the sons of God, and the “redemption of the body” (vss. 18-23).
- Postmillennialists such as DeMar, Gentry, Sproul and Mathison esteem the writings of John Lightfoot, and yet he conceded that the “creation” “groaning” and being subject to “frustration” and “vanity” while under “bondage” in Romans 8:20-23 is “improperly applied to the dying state of the [physical] creation,” and should more properly be applied to the creation of men who “inwardly” struggle in the vanity and lusts of sin.” (Lightfoot, Commentary on NT, Vol. 4, 157-159).
- And the drama and contradictions mount more when Postmillennialists such as DeMar, Jordan and McDurmon confess that “All Israel” was “saved” (raised and transformed) in Romans 11:15-27 into the new glorified Israel of God in AD 70. Yet, this is when God would “take away their sin” – thus demonstrating that AD 70 was much more than an outward physical salvation and deliverance!
- Again, The Reformation Study Bible connects all the above passages to the “salvation” that was “at hand” in Romans 13:11-12, which all Postmillennialists admit was fulfilled in AD 70.
Let’s help our reformed brethren piece this together and get rid of their confusion:
Premise #1: Since it is true and orthodox to believe that the ONE Second Coming of Christ in His glory, His kingdom and redemption/resurrection found in Luke 21:27-28 is the same ONE consummative glory, redemption/resurrection and salvation to be revealed in Romans 8:18-23; 11:15-27; 13:11-12 (Amillennialism & Full Preterism agree).
Premise #2: And since it is also true and orthodox to believe that the coming of Christ, His kingdom, glory, salvation, redemption and resurrection of Luke 21:27-28; Romans 8:18; 11:15-27; 13:11-12 was fulfilled spiritually “within” the believer in an AD 70 “this generation,” “about to be” or “at hand” time frame (Postmillennialism & Full Preterism agree).
Conclusion: Then it is also true and orthodox to believe that the ONE Second Coming of Christ and consummative event of Him coming in glory with the arrival of His kingdom, salvation, redemption and resurrection found in Luke 21:27-28 and Romans 8:18-23; 11:15-27; 13:11-12 was “at hand” and “about to be” fulfilled in AD 70. This coming of Christ and redemption and resurrection closed the OC age and therefore was realized “within” or “in” the soul of the Christian and is not descriptive of a future physical salvation, redemption / resurrection / transformation to take place for the believer or the literal planet at the end world history (Full Preterism).
Analogy of Faith – The Olivet Discourse and Romans 8:18-23 YLT
I agree with Reformed theologians that see the consummative Second Coming and “redemption” of Luke 21:27-28 with the “redemption of the body” and glorification of the Church in Romans 8:18-23. I haven’t seen them produce a chart making the parallels, but this is what I have come up with thus far:
|Olivet Discourse & Luke 17||Romans 8:18-23YLT|
|Suffering to come (Matt 24:9)||Present sufferings (vv. 17-18)
|Christ and His Kingdom comes in glory to gather His people to Himself in the Kingdom which would be realized “within” (Matt 24:30-31; 13:36-43; Luke 17:21-37; 21:27-32)||God’s glory was “about to be revealed” “in” them (v. 18)
|Redemption & salvation—resurrection
(Luke 21:27-28; Matt 24:13, 30-31)
|Redemption & salvation—resurrection
(vv. 23-24; cf. 11:15-27; 13:11-12)
|Birth pains (Matt 24:8)||Pains of childbirth (v. 22)
|OC heavens and earth pass away [implied the New takes it’s place when old passes] because all her promises have been fulfilled (Mt. 24:35/Lk. 21:22)||Creation of men groaning for liberation [implies the arrival of the New Heavens and Earth] (vss. 20-22)
|This would all happen in their “this generation”
|As that generation was ending this was all “about to be” fulfilled (vss. 18-23YLT).
18 For I reckon that the sufferings of the present time [are] not worthy [to be compared] with the glory about to be revealed in us; 19 for the earnest looking out of the creation doth expect the revelation of the sons of God; 20 for to vanity was the creation made subject — not of its will, but because of Him who did subject [it] — in hope, 21 that also the creation itself shall be set free from the servitude of the corruption to the liberty of the glory of the children of God; 22 for we have known that all the creation doth groan together, and doth travail in pain together till now. 23 And not only [so], but also we ourselves, having the first-fruit of the Spirit, we also ourselves in ourselves do groan, adoption expecting — the redemption of our body;
The Creation of Men – Not Planet Earth
John Lightfoot associated the “earnest expectation of the creature” and the “whole creation groaning” with the mind and heart of man, and interpreted this passage as having nothing to do with the planet Earth— not even poetically.
“. . . [T]his vanity [or futility] is improperly applied to this vanishing, changeable, dying state of the [physical] creation. For vanity, doth not so much denote the vanishing condition of the outward state, as it doth the inward vanity and emptiness of the mind. The Romans to whom this apostle writes, knew well enough how many and how great predictions and promises it had pleased God to publish by his prophets, concerning gathering together and adopting sons to himself among the Gentiles: the manifestation and production of which sons, the whole Gentile world doth now wait for, as it were, with an out stretched neck.” (John Lightfoot, Commentary on the New Testament from the Talmud and Hebraica, Volume 4 (Hendrickson publications), 157. Lightfoot, Hammond, and Gill understand the “creation” to be referring to Gentiles. “ . . . Crellius (Comm., Para.) explains it as a reference to regenerate Christians and Le Clerc (Supp., NT) refers it particularly to Gentile Christians.” John Locke, The Clarendon Edition of the Works of John Locke).
“The Gentile world shall in time be delivered from the bondage of their sinful corruption, that is, the bondage of their lusts and vile affections, (under which it hath lain for so long a time,) into a noble liberty, such as the sons of God enjoy. If it be inquired how the Gentile world groaned and travailed in pain, let them who expound this of the fabric of the material world tell us how that groaneth and travaileth. They must needs own it to be a borrowed and allusive phrase.” (Ibid., 158–159 – emphases added).
Lightfoot is on solid ground here citing 2 Peter 1:4; 2 Corinthians 11:3; and 1 Corinthians 15:33. Not only is there lexical evidence to interpret “vanity,” “corruption,” and “decay” as ethical and moral putrefaction in the heart and mind of man, but contextually the passage has nothing to do with hydrogen or oxygen or squirrels longing for a better day when they won’t get hit by cars.
John Lightfoot not only interpreted the “creation” of Romans 8 to be the creation of men and NOT the physical planet, but he understood the “redemption of the body” to not be a resurrection of physical bodies, but rather, the “mystical body” of the Church. In his sermon on “Many Mansions” Lightfoot states,
“And of the same body, is his meaning in that obscure and much-mistaken place (Rom. viii.23; “And not only they,” i.e. ‘the whole creation,’ or πασα κτισις, ‘every creature,’ which means no other thing, thatn ‘the Gentile or heathen world;’ “not only they groan to come into the evangelical liberty of the children of God,–but we, also, of the Jewish nation, who have the first-fruits of the Spirit, groan within ourselves, waiting for the redemption,–to wit, the adoption of our body:” we wait for the redeeming and adopting of the Gentiles, to make up our mystical body.” (cf. https://biblicalstudies.org.uk/pdf/lightfoot/vol06.pdf… pp. 322-323).
Clearly Lightfoot understood the “creation” to mean the creation of men and not the planet earth and “redemption of the body” to be the mystical body of the Jew/Gentile Church and not an individual physical body.
“The sufferings of this present time.” As much as I can relate to R.C. Sproul Jr. losing his hair and gaining some weight around his midsection (WSTTB, ix), Paul’s mention of the “sufferings” and “the redemption of the body” have nothing to do with those kinds of issues. The context of the “groaning” of the first-century Christians can be found in the previous chapter. The sufferings Paul has in mind here were eschatological —the birth pains that were to precede Christ’s return in AD 70 (Matt. 24:8; Rom. 8:22). They had to do with the last days persecutions and with the saints of the universal church groaning under the tyranny of Sin and Condemnation under the Law.
For Paul, Sin had produced “death,” but not physical death. Contrary to Postmillennial and most Futurist assertions, “the body,” “death,” and “the flesh” in Romans 5–8 have nothing to do with the idea of men biologically dying as a result of Adam’s sin. Paul’s concern is with corporate-covenantal Death, as even some Reformed theologians teach. (cf. Tom Holland, Contours In Pauline Theology (Scotland: Christian Focus Publications, 2004), 85–110. Holland is a Reformed theologian who sees Paul’s “body” of flesh, sin, and death not referring to our physical flesh but to the corporate body of Sin in contrast to the corporate Body of Christ—the church. He counters Gundry’s individualistic views of soma in Paul’s writings. He also argues for “consistency” in Paul’s use of corporate terms). “Bondage,” according to the immediate context, had to do with groaning under the condemnation of the Law (cf. Rom. 7:2, 7, 15).
This was “About to be Revealed” “in” Believers – Just a Physical Redemption and Flight to Pella?
Still, one might object that the “redemption” associated with the coming of Christ in Luke 21:27-28 has a clear time text (“this generation”) associated with it (v. 32), but the “redemption of the body” in Romans 8 does not; therefore, one might conclude the two passages are not necessarily parallel. Those who argue this way suggest that the redemption in Luke 21 might simply refer to relief from persecution and nothing more. The premise of their objection, however, is false. There is an imminence text associated with the redemption of the body in Romans 8. Verse 18 reads, “For I reckon that the sufferings of the present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory about to be revealed in us” (YLT; cf. NSRV, AV, & WEY: “soon to be manifested”).
At least Postmillennialists such as Gary DeMar concede the “glory” in Romans 8:18YLT was “about to be” fulfilled in AD 70 but pretends he doesn’t know what it is,
“Whatever the glory is it was ‘about to be revealed…” (Last Days Madness, 225).
DeMar also understands the “salvation of all Israel” in Romans 11 to be fulfilled in AD 70. Thus, the “salvation” and “redemption” in Romans 8 and 11 are not dealing with biological or planetary events at the end of time, but rather, imminent redemptive events for the Jew/Gentile body/creation in AD 70. Selah.
Gentry and Mathison don’t address mello here in Romans 8:18. Interestingly enough though, according to Gentry and Mathison one of the things that was “about to come after” John wrote Revelation 1:19 was the arrival of the New Jerusalem and New Creation of Revelation 21:1ff. Mathison and Gentry tell us in their other works that the time texts in Revelation point to a near fulfillment of the passing of “the first heaven and earth.” They point out that Revelation 21:1 is referring to the passing of the old covenant “creation” in AD 70 and is a fulfillment of Isaiah 65–66. Gentry even says:
“The absence of the sea (Rev. 21:1) speaks of harmony and peace within. In Scripture the sea often symbolizes discord and sin (13:1–2; cf. Isa. 8:7–8; 23:10; 57:20; Jer. 6:23; 46:7; Ezek. 9:10). Christianity offers the opposite: peace with God and among humankind (Luke 2:14; Rom. 5:1; Eph. 2:12–18; Phil. 4:7, 9).”
If the removal of the sea represents the removal of sin and discord within, then AD 70 was much more than a physical flight to Pella. We will pick this concept up more in our next text – Romans 11:27.
Back to the New Creation imminently arriving and the inconsistency of Mathison and Gentry. They assign an “expanded” meaning to 2 Peter 3, which discusses the same promises in Isaiah 65–66 as that of Revelation 21 (and no doubt the expectation and groaning of Romans 8). They suggest that Peter is addressing the geological “elements” of the planet while the Apostle John, referencing the same Old Testament passage, is not. Of course Postmillennialists Gentry and Mathison don’t tell you in WSTTB? that they are departing from one of their co-authors (Douglas Wilson), who does take 2 Peter 3 to be fulfilled in AD 70 along along with such greats as John Owen and John Lightfoot. And if they can give eschatological texts “expanded” and multiple or double meanings, then they can’t really condemn other futurist systems for taking their AD 70 fulfillments and giving them future “expanded” meanings as well.
Gentry argues that “when used with the aorist infinitive—as in Revelation 1:19—mello’s predominant usage and preferred meaning is: ‘be on the point of, be about to.’ The same is true when the word is used with the present infinitive, as in Rev. 3:10. The basic meaning in both Thayer and Abbott-Smith is: ‘to be about to.” (Before Jerusalem Fell: Dating the Book of Revelation [Tyler, TX: Institute for Biblical Economics, 1989], pp. 141-142; emphasis added.) Gentry is correct. The problem, however, is that when the word mello refers to the resurrection and judgment of the living and dead in Acts 17:31; 24:15 and 24:25, it is used with the infinitive. In the case of Acts 24:15 in a recent article on his site Gentry appeals to BDAG that when mello is used with the future infinitive, it communicates certainty and shouldn’t be translated as “about to” take place. Of course there are translations and lexicons that do render mello here as “about to.”
Gentry and Mathison also fails to address in their writings that mello in Romans 8:18 is in the aorist infinitive (of which they say has the “preferred meaning” of “be on the point of, be about to”) and also has two other imminent Greek words within the immediate context – apokaradokia and apekdekomai which further solidifies this translation of mello. And lastly, BDAG (Gentry’s source for trying to place Acts 24:15 at the end of world history) places Romans 8:18 as having the rendering “about to be revealed.” So much for consistency!
In Mathison’s section on the “Restoration of Creation” (WSTTB? 195–197), he appeals to the literal and global beginnings of Genesis 1–3 to point out that preterists have interpreted “the end” in Romans 8 and in the rest of the New Testament in an inaccurate way. But Mathison and other Postmillennialists should be open to considering the interpretations of Genesis 1–3 that are presented by some within the Reformed tradition and by other futurists.
Combined, authors such as Augustine, Milton Terry, David Snoke, Meredith Kline, and dispensationalist John Sailhamer teach the following concepts:
- The days are not literal 24 hour days.
- Man was created a physical dying creature like all the plant and animal life around him.
- The physics of the creation did not change after Adam.
- Genesis 1–2 uses the Hebrew word eretz, which should be translated as “land” or “ground” and not [planet] “earth.”
- God’s emphases in the early chapters of Genesis are not scientific but theological, emphasizing the origins of sin in the heart and man’s need for the Seed of the woman to redeem him from Sin.
As the theological emphasis in Genesis 1–2 is on the local land of Eden, which is both theologically and geographically tied to Israel’s Promised Land, so too is the emphasis of the New Testament on a Great Commission preached to the nations of Israel and to the Roman Empire with a judgment that would affect the nations of that world.
Both the localized and covenantal judgment in Eden and the one in AD 70 affected and continue to affect all humankind. The introduction of spiritual death (condemnation and alienation from God within the heart and conscience of man through Adam) was overcome by Christ’s death, resurrection, and indwelling presence in AD 70. All men and nations of the world are either inside the new Israel and New Jerusalem or outside her gates — as the gospel continues to bring healing and judgment to the nations today and forever (cf. Rev. 21–22:17).
When we take a combined look at some of the best theologians within the Reformed and Evangelical communities, we find a preterist interpretation of every eschatological de-creation prophecy in the Bible. Combined, John Owen, John Locke, John Lightfoot, John Brown, R.C. Sproul, Gary DeMar, Kenneth Gentry, James Jordan, Peter Leithart, Keith Mathison, Crispin H.T. Fletcher-Louis, Hank Hanegraaff, and N.T. Wright teach that the passing away of heaven and earth (Matt. 5:17–18; 24:3, 29, 35; 1 Cor. 7:31; II Peter 3; I Jn. 2:17–18; Rev. 21:1) refers to the destruction of the temple or to the civil and religious worlds of men—either Jews or Gentiles; and that the rulers of the old covenant system or world, along with the temple, were the “sun, moon, and stars,” which made up the “heaven and earth” of the world that perished in AD 70.
These interpretations are, individually considered, “orthodox.” Yet when preterists consolidate the most defensible elements of Reformed eschatology, anti-preterists such as the authors of WSTTB? unite in opposition to even some of their own stated views.
15 For if their rejection is the reconciliation of the world, what will their acceptance be but life from the dead (the “redemption of the body” that was “about to be revealed” 8:23)? 16 If the first piece of dough is holy, the lump is also; and if the root is holy, the branches are too. 17 But if some of the branches were broken off, and you, being a wild olive, were grafted in among them and became partaker with them of the [a]rich root of the olive tree, 18 do not be arrogant toward the branches; but if you are arrogant, remember that it is not you who supports the root, but the root supports you. 19 You will say then, “Branches were broken off so that I might be grafted in.” 20 Quite right, they were broken off for their unbelief, but you stand by your faith. Do not be conceited, but fear; 21 for if God did not spare the natural branches, He will not spare you, either. 22 Behold then the kindness and severity of God; to those who fell, severity, but to you, God’s kindness, if you continue in His kindness; otherwise you also will be cut off. 23 And they also, if they do not continue in their unbelief, will be grafted in, for God is able to graft them in again. 24 For if you were cut off from what is by nature a wild olive tree, and were grafted contrary to nature into a cultivated olive tree, how much more will these who are the natural branches be grafted into their own olive tree? 25 For I do not want you, brethren, to be uninformed of this mystery—so that you will not be wise in your own estimation—that a partial hardening has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in; 26 and so all Israel will be saved; just as it is written, “The Deliverer will come from Zion (Second Coming or the “day” that was “at hand 13:12), He will remove ungodliness from Jacob.” 27 “This is My covenant with them, When I take away their sins.”
There is a great debate between Amillennialists and Postmillennialists on the salvation of “all Israel” in Romans 11:25–26, as can be seen in the opposing views of Gentry and Strimple (See Kenneth Gentry, Robert Strimple, Ed. Craig Blaising, Three Views on the Millennium and Beyond (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Zondervan, 1999), 112–118, 133–142). Postmillennialists such as Gentry and Mathison argue that “all Israel” being saved refers to a mass conversion of ethnic Jews before Christ comes in our future. Amillennialists understand “all Israel” being saved to refer to the salvation of the church as the new Israel of God.
As for the view that “all Israel” refers to ethnic Jews in our future, we can immediately know that this view is incorrect. With the passing of the old covenant in AD 70, there is no covenantal Israel other than the united Jew-Gentile church. The things of the old order passed away. So the covenant promises in Romans 11 cannot refer to the modern nation of Israel or to the modern Jewish race or community. The only “Israel” in the New Testament that was to be cleansed from sin is the Jew-Gentile church, the body of Israel’s Messiah. This is the “Israel” (“all” of it) that entered into the Holiest of Holies in AD 70 (Heb. 9:8). Let us briefly summarize Paul’s argument in Romans 11.
Even though God’s old covenant people in their last generation were being hardened and excluded from the coming inheritance, that did not mean that God had rejected old covenant Israel (Rom. 11:1– 2). Although it may have looked like Israel was being utterly cut off in her last generation, the truth was that old covenant Israel was being saved in her last days. God was actually saving “all Israel”—fulfilling His promises to “the fathers”—partly by means of the hardening of its last generation. Here’s how:
- By means of old covenant Israel’s transgression/failure and rejection in her last days, riches and reconciliation (through the gospel) were coming to the Gentiles (Acts 13:46; 18:6; 28:18). As Paul said, “They are enemies for your sakes.” (Rom. 11:28)
- The salvation of the Gentiles was making last days Israel “jealous,” so that a remnant was becoming zealous for righteousness and being saved. (Rom. 11:2–10,11,13,14)
- The hardening, or reprobation, of old covenant Israel in her last generation was to continue until the fullness of the Gentiles came in, i.e., came into Israel. (Rom. 11:25)
- In this manner, or by this process, all of the saints of historic, old covenant Israel were going to be saved (resurrected) along with the last days remnant, and with the believing Gentiles who had been grafted into historic Israel. The consummation of this process took place in the Parousia of Christ in AD 70, according to the promises made to the fathers. (Rom. 11:26) That is when Israel died, and was raised up a new, transformed Israel. That is when all of the elect (the Old Testament saints, the last days Jewish remnant, and the believing Gentiles) were consummately united in Christ and became the fulfilled “Israel of God.” It was thus that all Israel was saved.
Postmillennialists such as Mathison and Gentry neglect to interact with other Postmillennial Partial Preterists such as DeMar and Jordan who teach that “all Israel” was saved by AD 70 and that covenantally, there no longer remain “ethnic” Jews after AD 70 (see Gary DeMar, All Israel will be saved: Notes on Romans 11:26, American Vision http://americanvision.org/1234/all-israel-will-be-saved-notes-onromans/#.UG3auVGJr3A. James B. Jordan, The Future of Israel Re-examined, July 1991. Biblical Horizons, No. 27 July, 1991).
And while most Postmillennial Partial Preterists want to portray AD 70 as only a physical salvation, redemption and rescuing, if Postmillennialists like DeMar are going to state that in AD 70 the New Covenant was “consummated” or that “all Israel” was saved in AD 70, then he has to accept what verse 27 says,
“…and so all Israel will be saved; just as it is written, “The Deliverer will come from Zion (Second Coming or the “day” that was “at hand 13:12), He will remove ungodliness from Jacob.” 27 “This is My covenant with them, When I take away their sins.”
In AD 70 God came from Zion (the Second Coming) and “took away” the “sins” of the raised and glorified New Israel of God – the Church.
“11 And this, knowing the time, that for us, the hour already [is] to be aroused out of sleep, for now nearer [is] our salvation than when we did believe; 12 the night did advance, and the day came nigh (or is “at hand”); let us lay aside, therefore, the works of the darkness, and let us put on the armour of the light;”
This is the (OG) LXX “hour” “hour/time of the end” of Daniel 12:1, 4 and the resurrection and shining/glorification of Daniel 12:2-3 that Postmillennialists are now admitting was spiritual, corporate, covenantal and progressively being fulfilled between AD 30 – AD 70. And it was “at hand” and therefore fulfilled in AD 70 just as the “redemption of the body” was “about to be revealed” (Rms. 8:18-23YLT).
“The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet. The grace of our Lord Jesus be with you.”
While in the book of Romans we need to once again emphasize that Romans 16:20 is referring to the final defeat and “crushing” of Satan as described in Genesis 3:15. Postmillennialists, usually take all of the imminent time statements to be fulfilled in AD 70 and do not allow for them to be “double” fulfilled or given “multiple fulfillments,” but that is exactly what they do with this passage or other passages that conflict with their creedal recantations!
Interesting enough, The Reformation Study Bible says of this text,
“Paul is speaking here about the last things, which by faith are always seen as near at hand.” (p. 2010).
Yet, amazingly R.C. Sproul in his book, Last Days According to Jesus harshly and yet correctly condemns this handling of NT imminence and faith allegedly making the event near as liberal mysticism,
“When F. F. Bruce speaks of faith making the time be ‘at hand,’ this sounds all too much like Rudolf Bultmann’s famous theology of timelessness, which removes the object of faith from the realm of real history and consigns it to a super temporal realm of the always present hic et nunc [here and now].” (R.C. Sproul, The Last Days According To Jesus (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 1998), pp. 108-109; emphasis added).
We couldn’t agree more with Sproul and Mathison’s Postmillennial Reformation Study Bible that teaches us that the coming of Christ and the “redemption” of Luke 21:27-28 is THE Second Coming and resurrection event that is synonymous with or the same eschatological event as described for us in Romans 8:18-23YLT; 11:26-27; 13:11-12 and 16:20 — while at the same time Postmillennialists in their other writings admitting that these passages were “at hand” “soon” and “about to be” fulfilled at Christ’s parousia in AD 70. Selah. To say they don’t have a “problem” is an understatement, and for them to deny that their writings don’t lead to Full Preterism simply cannot be taken seriously at any level.