Jesus was a prophet who often spoke about future events. The challenge lies in determining when he was speaking about near instead of distant future events.
Some readers apply all of Jesus’s teaching about the future to the distant future: his return, the future resurrection, and final judgment. Other readers contend that virtually everything Jesus taught about the future was fulfilled in the destruction of Jerusalem in AD 70. The authors conclude that the truth lies somewhere in the middle: as a prophet, Jesus spoke both about the near future events of AD 70 and the distant future events surrounding his second coming.
In Jesus and the Future, the authors examine everything Jesus said about future events as recorded in the four canonical Gospels. This includes the famous Olivet Discourse, along with many other parables and sayings. The authors situate Jesus’ teaching in its original literary and first-century Jewish and Greco-Roman context.
Jesus and the Future is designed to discuss Jesus’ teaching about the end times in a way that is accessible, biblical-theological, exegetical, and devotional and spiritually nurturing. Written with a scholar’s mind but a pastor’s heart, the book is geared for a popular audience interested in making sense of end-time phenomena and conflicting teachings on the end times.
In as controversial an area as eschatology, few are likely to agree with every last interpretation by the authors. But few books even try to say something on every teaching of Jesus about the future, in both the short and long term. Jesus and the Future does, and on the vast majority of texts it does so most persuasively. Written in a very straightforward and accessible style, this book is a must read by any who remain puzzled about this perennially intriguing topic.
—Craig L. Blomberg, Distinguished Professor of New Testament, Denver Seminary
Unfortunately, apocalyptic prophecy, which is some of the most complex literature in the Bible, sometimes has gotten high-jacked by those who do not really understand what kind of literature it is, and what information it is trying to convey. In Jesus and the Future, we have a sane and sober look at the Olivet Discourse in Mark 13 and par. as well as other relevant material to get a grasp on what Jesus said about the near and more distant future, about the events of 70 AD and about the return of the Son of Man. In clear and lucid prose the authors carefully lay out the meaning of the relevant texts showing us that while Jesus provided us with more than enough information to give us ‘an assurance of things hoped for and a conviction about things not seen’ he did not provide timetables for prognosticators and calculators. God reveals enough of the future to give us hope, but not so much that we do not have to live by faith every day. This book deserves a wide readership.
—Ben Witherington III, Amos Professor of Doctoral Studies, Asbury Theological Seminary; Emeritus Doctoral Faculty, St. Andrews University, Scotland
Jesus and the Future is much-needed book on a topic that has been misrepresented and misunderstood like no other. Readers are treated to careful, competent interpretation of all the relevant passages of Scripture. The authors let Jesus and the biblical writers say what they want to say, not what many moderns want to hear. Jesus and the Future will go a long way in explaining an important doctrine at a level non-experts can access easily and yet experts will also find very helpful.
—Craig A. Evans, John Bisagno Distinguished Professor of Christian Origins, Houston Baptist University
“ Jesus’ coming will be the occasion for both final salvation and final judgment.” (Page 71)
“The language mirrors the language used earlier in the Olivet Discourse concerning the abomination of desolation, which would be a sign indicating the destruction of Jerusalem.” (Page 74)
“Matthew alone mentions the sign of the Son of Man in heaven,” (Page 70)
“The question to keep in mind as we move forward is bound up with these two main events: When is Jesus prophesying about the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple by the Romans in the year 70, and when is he prophesying about his second coming and the full establishment of his kingdom?” (Page 39)
“It is important to keep in mind that Jesus didn’t list these things—false messiahs, wars, famines, earthquakes—so that his followers could know that the end was near but that they wouldn’t be unduly concerned or alarmed by the occurrence of these things. They weren’t signs of the end, and Jesus distanced these ordinary but destructive events of human history from ‘the end.’ In the Old Testament, the metaphor of ‘birth pains’ is often connected with the destruction of a city, so ‘end’ here likely relates to the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple in the year 70.” (Page 46)
Andreas Kӧstenberger (Ph.D., Trinity Evangelical Divinity School) is Senior Research Professor of New Testament and Biblical Theology at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary and founder of Biblical Foundations™.
Alexander Stewart (Ph.D., Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary) is academic dean and Associate Professor of New Testament Language and Literature at Tyndale Theological Seminary in Badhoevedorp, the Netherlands.
Apollo Makara (M.Div., Tyndale Theological Seminary in the Netherlands) is from Kigali, Rwanda. He serves with New Creation Ministries (Kigali) as a lecturer in their Pastoral Training School and the Christian Leadership Institute of Rwanda.