Thursday, March 28, 2013

Matthew 10:23, Does it apply to 21st Century Christians?

Friends,

This is the first post in what I envisage to be a series on Eschatology (The branch of theology that is concerned with such final things as death and Last Judgment).

A contentious scripture.

After having elected the 12 apostles while sending them out to preach the gospel of the Kingdom, Jesus gives them a series of instructions and among those instructions is:
Matt 10:23 But when they persecute you in this city, flee ye into another: for verily I say unto you, Ye shall not have gone over the cities of Israel, till the Son of man be come.
This scripture has been a stumbling block for many a theologian for many centuries. There are many theologians who are pains to make the scripture applicable to 21st century Christians. They claim that whatever is written in the Bible is applicable to us.

Does Mat 10:23 apply to 21st century Christians?
Matt 19:28 And Jesus said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That ye which have followed me, in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.
The number of thrones are 12, perhaps God or Christ may increase the number of thrones to match the number of Christians. But, is there a possibility or probability that God will increase the number of the tribes of Israel, so that each one of these billions of Christians get to judge a tribe each?

Yea, Yea, they do spiritualize things and say that Israel stands for "spiritual Israel"! But, hold on, is not "spiritual Israel" Christians? If Christians are to judge Christians sitting on thrones who is left to be judged? 

Can anyone show a few scriptures that unambiguously state that the term "tribes" can be applied to "spiritual Israel" (Christianity)?

Come on, spiritualizing does not add up! The promise of sitting on 12 thrones and judging the 12 tribes of Israel is applicable only to the 12 apostles of Christ.

Does "cities" apply to "spiritual Israel"?

Jesus told the apostles: Ye shall not have gone over the cities of Israel, till the Son of man be come. (Matt 10:23)
If this scripture is talking about "spiritual Israel" (Christians) and not the land of Israel, can someone show a few scriptures that unambiguously state that this spiritual Israel has cities? (or towns as some other versions render it).

Frankly, my friend, spiritualizing the scripture does not make any sense.

Read the scripture in context!

In the same same address to the apostles Jesus also commanded them:
Mat 10:5 These twelve Jesus sent forth, and commanded them, saying, Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not:
Mat 10:6 But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel
If you say that this instruction is applicable to 21st century Christians, could you please enlighten us as to how the gospel reached you? (Nine out of ten chances are that you are a gentile convert to Christianity).

In the first apostolic mission, the apostles were not allowed to meet gentiles or even cross the borders of Judea (don't enter into any of the cities of Samaria - Northern Israel). Jesus gave the apostles the geographic boundaries within which they have to move around preaching the gospel.

The context of Matt 10:23 is absolutely clear.

The coming of the son of man has to happen before the apostles cover the cities of Israel, or more specifically, Judea. There is no way to spiritualize the text.
  • Fulfilled Eschatology teaches that the Son of Man came in his kingdom before the apostles finished going around the cities of Judea, exactly as he said. 
  • Fulfilled Eschatology teaches that Jesus is the Son of God who can be trusted. 
  • Fulfilled Eschatology teaches that Jesus is not a false prophet.
  • Fulfilled Eschatology does not require any of the scriptures to be twisted or ignored to prove its points.
BTW: Matt 10:23 is not the only plank on which Fulfilled Eschatology rests, it deals with a whole spectrum of scriptural passages, proving scriptures with scriptures and historical evidence.

Futurism makes Jesus Christ into a false prophet.

Futurism implies that:


  • Jesus failed to fulfill his own words, [in which case he is a false prophet - Deut 18:20-22 - worthy to be stoned to death].
  • All the scriptures are to be twisted to give a futuristic tint.
  • OR the 12 apostles should be moving around in the cities of Israel waiting for the coming of the son of man. (Which cannot be true and logical, because it is nearly 2000 years since Jesus uttered the words in Matt 10.)
In Christ,
Tomsan Kattackal