Every now and then I get the question: “How is it that after a believer discovers and (apparently) becomes convinced that the bible teaches that Christ’s only Second Coming occurred in Ad 70 at the fall of Jerusalem, that then, after some time (even sometimes after years of believing this), they can just walk away or suddenly announce that they no longer believe in it?”
May I be blunt in my answer? While i do not think that what i am going to say covers every person in every situation who walks away from biblical Preterism, I do believe it is an important part of the over-all reason why people cease to believe. It’s like any other biblical revelation of scripture: not every believer “believes” everything that the scripture teaches. Shouldn’t be a shock, right? For instance, I’m a Calvinist, which is just shorthand for being a Paulinist when it comes to the doctrine of salvation that is encapsulated in the sovereign grace teaching of election, foreknowledge and predestination. How many of you are not? :>) Or, how many believers do you know hold to the present day manifestation of the so-called Charismatic gifts? I don’t. I used to, but i guess it could be fairly said that…. I fell away from “that” “faith.” :>) Arguments could (and should be) made, that, after more time (perhaps years) spent in the scriptures studying a certain doctrine, it has caused more people to reconsider this or that belief and as a result, has perhaps caused them to, well, not believe in it any more.
Having said all that, you know why I believe former Preterists fall away from biblical Preterism? It isn’t because of anything I’ve just said above here. (Bet you thought that’s what i was going to point to….). It’s just my opinion (and that’s all it is, but i have died on this mountain many, many years ago concerning this), but i believe that the reason people fall away from Preterism, is the same reason that the Lord Jesus and the apostles gave as reasons why some people who professed to believe in Christ end up falling away from him. The reason people fall away from Christ and never return, is not because they made a decision to walk the other way or to cease believing (as if their ability to believe as a spiritual corpse resulted in a true salvation). No, the reason people walk away from Christ according to Christ and the writing apostles, is because they were NEVER REGENERATE IN THE FIRST PLACE. Am I saying that the reason people walk away from Preterism is because they are not regenerate? NO! But I AM SAYING that what keeps one in Christ is the same thing that keeps one IN PRETERISM. You came to Christ like Peter in Mt. 16, because God revealed the saving truth of His Son to you. You come to Preterism and stay in preterism because … yup…. God revealed his Preteristic truth in the word to you.
So, why do people who once believed in biblical Peterism fall away from it? Because they never received the REVELATION OF IT FROM THE WORD in the first place, just like God does not give the revelation of Christ as Savior to everyone. You see folks, Preterism, according to the New Testament, is at its core, a doctrine not so much of eschatology, but of soteriology. And just like Christ is still the Savior even when men do not believe him to be, Christ still returned in his one and only Second Coming in AD 70 because that’s what the bible emphatically reveals it to have been… Whether you believe it… or not.