I am writing this to ( hopefully ) encourage a friend who is somewhat down-trodden; this is dedicated to him!
Sometimes, a teaching which is against the established, or orthodox position is presented, and opposition is encountered from all angles! This is not to say that this position should not be taught, just that we should expect opposition when we do teach it! The Truth must be revealed no matter the consequences, and whether we choose to take part in that revelation or not, and for whatever reason; it is God's Truth & His Kingdom; it WILL be advanced whether or not we take our part! However, we bear responsibility depending on our choice!
There is a stigma attached to the name 'preterism'; right or wrong, anyone who adopts the defining term 'preterist', in many circles, is immediately labeled a heretic; anything he or she says thereafter is immediately suspect! At the very least, people who either subscribe to or are open to this teaching are direly warned against it and even threatened with hell-fire!
The main principle behind 'preterism', the fact that all Scripture is fulfilled in the Parousia, or Presence of God in His Son, is correct, both Scripturally speaking and sensically! There is no doubt in my mind, and there should be no doubt in the minds of its proponents that this is undeniably so, but when we focus on the so-called 'Second Coming' of Christ rather than the more important fact of His Presence, we should expect more than a little opposition to this message!
What does the Parousia of God in Christ mean to our everyday Life?
Since God now dwells with ( in ) His People, how should we then live?
Well, first think about this; if we are always in God's Presence, as we are since His Parousia, what should be our daily manner of living? Should we, as those who do not acknowledge the Presence or enjoy its benefits, live according to our own selfish wants and desires, or should we, as Jesus told His disciples, 'seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness' ( Matthew 6:33 ) We should seek, not that our own will should be done, but that His would always have the preeminence! However, if we truly seek first His Kingdom & His Righteousness, ours will be His!
Too many 'preterists', in my experience ( and I was one, so I can say this without compunction ) are so focused on AD70, and the 'coming on the clouds' judgment of Israel & Jerusalem, that they often seem to bypass, or neglect completely the application of the implication; if this, then that!
If Jesus came when and how He promised His disciples ( Matthew 24:34, Matthew 16:26, Matthew 10:23, etc. ), what does that mean to us today? Should we go on living as Christians have for centuries, even millenia, as if we were still looking for Jesus' Return, and even hoping against hope that He would appear in our lifetime, and deliver us from this God-awful mess that we have gotten ourselves into"? Should we live in misplaced hope, waiting on His Coming in Power, or should we live in the Realization of His Presence, striving, with the Strength He has given us ( Philippians 4:13 ), to expand His Kingdom?
The Good News for God's People today ( whether they realize it or not ) is that we DO live in His Presence NOW! There IS no more waiting for His Return, which prognosticators falsely say may or may not be in our lifetime! Everything that His Parousia, or Presence indicates has been accomplished; the sin of God's People, those He came to save ( Matthew 1:21 ) has been washed away & removed 'as far as east is from west' ( Psalm 103:12 )! The People of God, as Israel of old, has been raised from the dead,, and 'dies no more' ( Romans 6:9 ( John 11:26 )!
As we live out our Lives in His Presence then, and for His Glory & Kingdom, let us remember that, while His Parousia is the basis for our realized hope, it is all about His Presence & Relationship with our Heavenly Father! If we forget that, we forget what it's all about, and have relegated the Gospel to 'I'm right, you're wrong'!
May we remember that we ARE the Body of Christ and so acquit ourselves as the free men & women that we are, living our lives to the fullest and enjoying His Presence forever!
Charles Haddon Shank