In the book Raptureless by Jonathan Welton and on the Raptureless website, John Chrysostom is touted as a Hero For An Optimistic Future. In fact, in chapter 3 of Raptureless, which is on The Great Tribulation, the author quotes John Chrysostom after making the following statement….
“However, as I studied Matthew 24, I discovered that, throughout church history, most Christians believed that the whole chapter of Matthew 24 occurred at the destruction of Jerusalem in 70AD. In fact, many of the well-known Church leaders have taught this. Here are quotations from a few:”
First let me comment on what I just quoted. Partial quotes prove only that the one using the partial quote is manipulative. They prove nothing else. A truer statement would be that throughout church history pretty much all Christians believed that Jesus’ words on the destruction of Jerusalem took place just as He prophesied AND one day the rest of Matthew 24 would happen. Now back to John Chrysostom. Here is the quote from the Raptureless book.
“You will preach everywhere …. Then he added, “This gospel of the kingdom will be preached throughout the whole world, as a testimony to all nations; and the end will come.” The sign of this final end time will be the downfall of Jerusalem. —John Chrysostom”’
Now….if we are to believe the author of Raptureless, this proves that John Chrysostom was saying that Matthew 24 was fulfilled in 70AD and that nothing in that chapter would take place in the future. The fact is that John Chrysostom did believe that Jesus’ prophecy on the destruction of the Temple was amazingly fulfilled. But he also had much more to say if you just keep reading. Here is a portion of what he says…..
“But mark how here He says nothing of war (for He is interpreting the doctrine concerning His advent), but of them that attempt to deceive. For some in the days of the apostles deceived the multitude, for they shall come, says He, and shall deceive many; Matthew 24:11 and others shall do so before His second coming, who shall also be more grievous than the former. For they shall show, He says, signs and wonders, so as to deceive if possible the very elect: Matthew 24:24 here He is speaking of Antichrist, and indicates that some also shall minister to him. Of him Paul too speaks on this wise. Having called him man of sin, and son of perdition, He added, Whose coming is after the working of Satan, with all power and signs and lying wonders; and with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish. 2 Thessalonians 2:9-10 “
There is more on his comments on Matthew 24 that shows his belief in a future Antichrist and a time of great distress but this is enough. And… no… I am not giving a partial quote to manipulate you. I just believe that sometimes enough is enough. John Chrysostom actually connects Matthew 24 (after explaining how Jesus’ prophecy on the destruction of the Temple was fulfilled) with the time right before the Second Coming, AND includes the Antichrist, AND connects it to the writings of Paul ! A quick side note….remember to the preterist there is no Antichrist because it’s the spirit of Gnosticism. Well….one of the Heroes For An Optimistic Future disagrees.
Guess what ? I could write the same type of article on John Wesley, Charles Spurgeon, Thomas Newton and……enough is enough. The danger with this type of book or even the type of writer or teacher that propagates this line of teaching is that they are teaching a philosophy NOT an eschatology. They throw in buzzwords like “optimistic” and “victorious” and make their hearers feel faithless or religious if they don’t agree or have questions concerning certain claims. Their followers parrot what they are taught ( or tell you to read Raptureless) without checking the facts (biblical or historical) because of how the “philosophy” makes them feel.
Let me ask you a question….
If you can’t trust a teacher or writer on such an easily verified claim or quote as this (and many more)….
then how can you trust them on the shaping of your eschatological beliefs or Biblical view ?