Should a Preterist be watching for the coming of the Master? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.
So as we read through Matthew 24, we saw in much of the discourse, I think it has already happened. Around verse 35, a shift takes place, but am I being consistent? I mean, do I think there is something to look forward to, a coming of some sorts? Yes. Even in this part, we have a warning.
42 “Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come. 43 But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what time of night the thief was coming, he would have kept watch and would not have let his house be broken into. 44 So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.
45 “Who then is the faithful and wise servant, whom the master has put in charge of the servants in his household to give them their food at the proper time? 46 It will be good for that servant whose master finds him doing so when he returns. 47 Truly I tell you, he will put him in charge of all his possessions. 48 But suppose that servant is wicked and says to himself, ‘My master is staying away a long time,’ 49 and he then begins to beat his fellow servants and to eat and drink with drunkards. 50 The master of that servant will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour he is not aware of. 51 He will cut him to pieces and assign him a place with the hypocrites, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”
For this, I do believe it refers to the physical return of Christ. It is consistent for me to look out the window in front of my computer here and ponder, “What if it was today?” In some cases, it could be more consistent for me to do that than a dispensationalist.
In that paradigm, there always seem to be signs about what is happening next. Maybe you need a red heifer for example, to which some people are actively trying to breed one because the Almighty obviously needs help with this one. Maybe you need a temple to be built. Maybe you need something going on with the nation of Israel.
For me as a Preterist, I have just one requirement. The Gospel needs to be being spread throughout the Earth. We need to be doing evangelism. There is a verse in 2 Peter 3 where it says that in doing this, we may speed His coming. I find that an amazing idea. You can do something to have it be that Christ will return sooner?
So we should be watching? Yes. Naturally, this doesn’t mean you don’t do anything else at all. The servant is to be watchful for his master returning to the house, but he’d better still keep taking care of the house! It won’t be fitting for him to be up on the roof (Which in those days was more acceptable) looking out and making the servants do everything else while he just watches for the master.
As a Preterist then, I indeed hope the Lord returns soon and I believe in watching. These are warnings still worth heeding today. Perhaps we would all do better if we lived with the future in mind some.