a proper understanding of justification destroys their claim that death was not defeated until AD70
Spurgeon, Justification and Full Preterism
By Sharon Nichols
I held to full (hyper) preterism from early 2002 until late 2009. While a full (hyper) preterist, I came to embrace the Reformed faith. Ironically, as time passed by, I came to realize there is no way one can hold to full (hyper) preterism and still maintain any real semblance of the Reformed faith so I left the full (hyper) preterism view. I am now extremely blessed to be free from the very limiting “box” of full (hyper) preterism, in which there is no real systematic nor cohesiveness in which to rest ones faith. Thank God for His sovereignty. I am truly humbled by His greatness and mercy.
Below I’ve shared part of his sermon. As you read it keep in mind that in full preterism, justification is ultimately put off until AD70 when they claim the second coming happened. Full preterism ultimately denies death was defeated through the works of Jesus Christ on the cross. Instead, they say death was not defeated until the destruction of the temple and Jerusalem in AD70 when they claim Christ returned and the resurrection of the dead came. Yet a proper understanding of justification destroys their claim that death was not defeated until AD70.
“My dear Brothers and Sisters, do not doubt the imputed righteousness of Jesus Christ whatever cavilers may say.
We find the Apostle Paul putting Christ’s obedience in contrast to the disobedience of Adam—“As by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of One shall many be made righteous.” Now this is not Christ’s death merely, but Christ’s active obedience which is here meant and it is by this that we are made righteous. Beloved, you need not sing with stammering tongues that blessed verse of our hymn—
“Jesus, Your perfect righteousness,
This justification, then, comes to sinners as an act of pure Grace, the foundation of it being Christ’s righteousness. The practical way of its application is by faith. The sinner believes God and believes that Christ is sent of God and takes Christ Jesus to be his only confidence and trust. And by that act he becomes a justified soul. It is not by repenting, but by believing that we are justified! It is not by deep experience of the guilt of sin. It is not by bitter pangs and throes under the temptations of Satan. It is not by mortification of the body, nor by the renunciation of self. All these are good, but the act which justifies is a look at Christ!
It is just so with the Christian. Christ’s righteousness is put upon him. Christ takes his sins and when he stands before God’s bar, the eternal Voice seems to say, “I see no sin in that man.” How can He? All that man’s sins Christ took away! The eternal Voice sounds forth again, “I can see righteousness there.” And well He may see it, for Christ’s righteousness is there and therefore the man is infallibly, upon grounds of justice which are not disputable—infallibly, upon grounds which he himself may realize as being certain—justified through Christ Jesus! Remember, dear Brethren—and I will not occupy you much longer over a theme where we might be tempted to say that this justification is irreversible!
Once justified you shall never be condemned. Jehovah never plays fast and loose with men. He does not look upon a sinner and say, “I forgive you,” and then afterwards say, “Depart, you cursed!” Arminians may think so, but the God of Believers will not do so. The God of Christians says, “I am the Lord, I change not. Therefore you sons of Jacob are not consumed.” Having taken the prodigal into the house and put the ring on his finger and the shoes on his feet, He never turns that prodigal out of doors. Being married to His people He never sues for divorce, for the Lord, the God of Israel, says He hates putting away.
Thus much upon justification. And now a little upon GLORY. How that golden word has been debased in the coinage of human speech. It has come to mean the glitter of war’s helmet and the noise of the crowd’s hurrahs. Smollet called it, “the fair child of peril.” Johnson wrote—“Glory, the casual gift of thoughtless crowds. Glory, the bride of greedy virtue!” It is a far other and higher Glory of which we speak today. As high as the Heaven is above the earth is God’s Glory from all the poor stuff which mortals dignify with that fair name.“Whom He justified, them He also glorified.” They follow close together, you see. A little stream divides them, but the Apostle says nothing about it and you and I need not say much. It is a narrow stream called Death—there is no Glory without passing through that, or through the great change when the Lord comes. But there is nothing said about it and so we will not say anything. It is not worth thinking of, it is swallowed up in victory. It may be an enemy, but it is an enemy that is to be destroyed.
Now, while speaking of Glory, I think I must divide the Glory which God gives to the justified into three parts. There is, first of all, the Glory which disembodied spirits are enjoying even now. There is, secondly, the resurrection Glory, which they will enjoy when the soul and body shall be reunited and when, through the millennium, they shall be “forever with the Lord.” And then there is “the eternal weight of Glory,” which is to be revealed both in body and soul in the never-ending state of bliss which God has prepared for His people.
Let us raise our thoughts a little while to the state of disembodied spirits. The moment that the soul leaves the body, the believing soul, the justified soul, is in Glory. We know that there is no preparatory process for it to pass through. Romanism holds that some of the best saints go to Heaven when they die, but that the great mass of inferior saints are not qualified for Heaven and must undergo a purgation for a series of years till they are prepared to enter Glory. They say that the saints who died under the Old Testament, or at least the most of them, went to the limbus patrurn—which some wicked Protestants call Limbo—where they remained without the beatific vision until the Lord Jesus went and preached to the spirits in prison and led them up afterwards to Heaven with Him. (End Quote)
Read the complete sermon here: