It went great. I came into the debate with the strategy of focusing on and demonstrating that Jesus’ Olivet Discourse in Matthew 24-25 is for the church, and not relegated to “Jewish tribulation saints during the seven-year period.”
Tommy Ice does not believe this teaching is for the church. He could not be more mistaken. Jesus’ eschatological discourse is not only for the church but it is an incredibly important teaching for the church.
A few of the main points I made were:
- I linked the Great Commission with the Olivet Discourse, including the period of “the end of the age” (compare Matt 28:20 with Matt 24:14).
- In his earthly ministry, Jesus—especially toward the end—was preparing his disciples, who would be representatives of the church, to manage the beginning of the church age.
- I explained the continuity—not discontinuity as Ice thinks—that Paul, Peter, James, and John in the book of Revelation have by drawing from the Olivet Discourse for their own church situations. They viewed Jesus’ teaching as for the church which is why they used it.
- I refuted Ice’s claim that “elect” in Matthew 24 refers exclusively to the Jews. I compared the gathering of the elect out of the great tribulation in Matthew 24:31 with the parallel passage in Revelation 7:9–14 that mentions the gathering out of the great tribulation, describing them not as “Jews” but an “enormous crowd that no one could count, made up of persons from every nation, tribe, people, and language, standing before the throne and before the Lamb dressed in long white robes, and with palm branches in their hands.” The church and Israel are distinct but together there is one people of God.
So much can be argued in a very brief one hour show! So I had to be selective and am happy that I got in my main points. I will do a full review of the radio debate next week on The Biblical Prophecy Program.