We have noted that all futurist views of “the end” take for granted that it is the end of time, the end of human history, etc.. This huge presupposition is, however, false. In this brief series we are examining the concept of “the end” as presented in scripture, and demonstrating that Biblically, “the end” simply cannot be what the futurists claim. Be sure to read the previous articles: #1 – #2 – #3
In this installment, we want to take note that the majority of commentators agree that “the end” is the time of Christ’s coming for the Wedding. This critical admission is, simply stated, fatal to any futurist eschatology. Let’s take a closer look at The End, as it relates to the Wedding.
The End as the Wedding
Fact #4 – As noted, virtually all commentators agree “the end” of 1 Corinthians 15 is the time of Christ’s coming for his Wedding. I discuss the Wedding motif in my book We Shall Meet Him In The Air, The Wedding of the King of kings, so I will forego an in-depth discussion here. I will simply take note of a few critical issues.
Paul said Christ would present the church to himself (Ephesians 5:25f). I have consulted over 50 commentators, and everyone of them agrees that the presentation occurs at the parousia, agreeing with Matthew 25:1f; Rev. 19:6f.
So, here, in a nutshell, is the problem for the postmillennial (and amillennial) world.
Christ’s coming in 1 Corinthians 15, at the final “the end” (being the same end / coming as in Matthew 25:31f; 1 Thessalonians 4, Rev. 19, etc.) is when he surrenders, abdicates, his throne– giving it to the Father– (amillennialism, postmillennialism).
But, the coming in 1 Corinthians 15, (Matthew 25, Rev. 19, etc.) is the time of Christ’s wedding.
Therefore, at his coming for his wedding, Christ divorces, i.e. surrenders his wife. He hands her over to the Father, is no longer married to her.
Let’s be honest here. No one says Jesus will divorce his Bride at his parousia! And yet, if the traditional claim that “the end” is when he surrenders the kingdom is true, then Jesus must divorce his Bride at the very moment he is to present her to himself! This is one of those huge disparities, one of the major self contradictions within Christian doctrine that simply has not been addressed. There is no reconciling these two positions.
The application here should be evident. Gentry says the wedding of Matthew 25 is the consummative, true end, not a typological Wedding or end. Likewise, he says 1 Corinthians 15, “the end,” is the time of the Wedding of Matthew 25. Yet, he then says Christ married his bride in AD 70, with the New Covenant Bride fully supplanting the Old Bride. And of course, he says AD 70 was typological of the true end! Mathison seemingly agrees with this assessment, claiming Matthew 25 predicts the yet future parousia (1995, 144). Yet, he says the wedding of Revelation 21 is “being fulfilled.” I fail to see how a wedding can continue for 2000 years!
Thus, of logical necessity, Gentry creates a doctrine of two weddings, two Brides (?) and most assuredly two comings. McDurmon hints at two Brides / Weddings, or is it two Grooms?, in his comments on Matthew 25. He applies the parable to AD 70, and the Jews: “They had missed their opportunity, not having their lamps lit. They lost all future inheritance, and were left no better than adulterers, as far as that particular Bridegroom was concerned” (2011, 29). My emphasis,
The position these men take demands either two weddings, two Brides, or two Grooms. They claim AD 70 was the wedding of Christ, the divorce of the Old Covenant, unfaithful bride. Well, if that was typological of the real end, we have every right to conclude that the church will one day be divorced for unfaithfulness, and Jesus will marry another bride, under a (another) new covenant. This is a loathable idea.
The problem is, if “the end” of 1 Corinthians 15 is the “real” end, and if it is the time of the Wedding of Christ, the Biblical truth is there was but one wedding foretold (Isaiah 62; Hosea 1:10f; 2:18f) at the end of the Old Covenant age, at the fall of Jerusalem (Matthew 22:1-10). That leads us to this:
The end of 1 Corinthians 15:24-25 is the consummative end, not a typological “end.”
The end of 1 Corinthians 15:24-25 is the time of the parousia of Christ for his wedding.
The coming of Christ for his wedding was in AD 70 at the destruction of Jerusalem (Matthew 22; Revelation 19– Gentry, DeMar, McDurmon, Mathison (1999, 157f– The marriage and the New Jerusalem of Revelation 21-22 is currently “being fulfilled”).
Therefore, the end of 1 Corinthians 15, the consummative end, was in AD 70, at the destruction of Jerusalem.
There is no logical, textual way to posit the wedding (not the betrothal) in AD 70 and yet, posit the wedding at the so called “real end.” Be sure to get a copy of my newest book: AD 70: A Shadow of the (Real) End? for a complete refutation of the idea that AD 70 was a mere shadow of the real “the end.” There is no scriptural support for this doctrine.
We have more to say, so stay tuned!!