I am a retired minister of the Church of Christ. I have spent much time in the past 50 years studying Bible prophecy. The confusion by religious folks over time promises, mostly in the New Testament, is immense. Let us deal with just one aspect of this subject.

The idea that Bible students are to grasp time units differently from what we today read as to what God meant when He used certain words in the first century is gross. II Peter 3:8 is the sugar stick used to do this (”one day is a thousand years...”) and it stands as poor exegesis to do it. Are we saying God can’t tell relative terms so He has to teach Himself what “near” meant in the Bible?

Staying with Peter for a moment, God said through Peter in 64 AD, “the end of all things is at hand” (I Peter 4:7). Obviously God did not mean this earthly planet because we are still here! Did God mean “all things?” Did he mean “at hand?” It was the first century, was it not? Did God really mean “2,000 or more years” when He inspired Peter? Matthew wrote that Jesus said about Judas “he is at hand that doth betray me.” (Matthew 26:46b). Is Judas still “hand” ready to betray Jesus? He has been “at hand” for a long time if we use II Peter 3:8; but is that what God meant?

I will suggest that “at hand” in Matthew 26:46 means the very same thing as to nearness as it does in I Peter 4:7. Where do we get off thinking we can change words to mean what we want because of a view we should not have? IF we need something to satisfy getting “at hand” to stay where it should be, in these mentioned verses, there was the fall of Jerusalem in AD 70, remember? (Matthew 24; Luke 21; Mark 13).

Charles Geiser

Ashtabula

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