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Our good friends at Creation Ministries International (CMI) have produced an excellent booklet called, 15 Reasons to Take Genesis as History. It was written because so many have been misled into thinking that the Genesis account of creation is not actual history and that it is just some sort of theological argument or “polemic.” In this 32-page booklet, Dr. Don Batten and Dr. Jonathan Sarfati demonstrate why those who believe in the inspiration of Scripture have no intellectually honest choice but to take Genesis as straight-forward history, just as Jesus did.
The booklet goes into much more detail, but here are the 15 reasons in outline form:
REASON 1: A Christian, as a follower of Christ, should follow His example in His attitude to the Old Testament Scriptures.
REASON 2: Jesus clearly regarded the account of Adam and Eve’s creation as factual, as well as the Flood.
REASON 3: Genesis was written as history.
REASON 4: Hermeneutical principle: Scripture interprets Scripture. The rest of the Old Testament takes Genesis as history.
REASON 5: Hermeneutical principle: Scripture interprets Scripture. The New Testament takes Genesis 1-11 as history.
REASON 6: Taking Genesis as history is consistent with other divine fiat acts in history.
REASON 7: The history of Genesis is necessary to explain death and suffering.
REASON 8: The history of Genesis is foundational to the gospel.
REASON 9: The history of Genesis is necessary for a cohesive and coherent biblical Christian worldview.
REASON 10: Disbelieving the history of Genesis disconnects the Bible from the real world, transforming Christian faith into an “upper story” irrelevance.
REASON 11: The church fathers accepted the “young earth” historical time frame and global flood of Genesis.
REASON 12: The Reformers understood it as history.
REASON 13: Historical naturalism (cosmic, geological, and biological) is a tenet of faith for the atheist, which should cause any informed Christian to realize the foolishness of denying the historicity of Genesis to accommodate it.
REASON 14: Abandoning the historicity of Genesis leads to heresy and apostasy.
REASON 15: There is only one “reason” not to take Genesis as straightforward history: the fallible reasoning of fallen mankind, in the guise of historical, or origins “science.”
Reasons to take Revelation as History
Because it is outside of their ministry’s scope and mission, we can do something that our creationist friends at CMI cannot. We’re gutsy enough to take the next step and apply a similar hermeneutic to prophetic texts, specifically Matthew 24 and Revelation 1-19. That’s right, we believe that Matthew 24 and Revelation 1-19 are past, historical events because they give us very specific time indicators as to when the prophetic events will occur. We believe these events were fulfilled literally in history, as the time indicators demand.
Consider the following passage from Matthew 24 and pay close attention to verse 34:
Matthew 24:29-34 (NKJV) "Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. 30 "Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. 31 "And He will send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they will gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other. 32 "Now learn this parable from the fig tree: When its branch has already become tender and puts forth leaves, you know that summer is near. 33 "So you also, when you see all these things, know that it is near; at the doors! 34 "Assuredly, I say to you, this generation will by no means pass away till all these things take place.
Let's be honest with the text. Matthew 24:34 requires that The great tribulation occur before the current generation (about 40 years) passed away. Add approximately 40 years to A.D. 33, and you'll find yourself in the midst of one of the most horrific events in history: the crucifixion of millions of Jews, the destruction of the Temple, and the burning of the Holy City of Jerusalem. The entire Old Covenant system collapsed at that time. Not a single sacrifice has been offered by the Jewish people since that time. Most people fail to realize that this was perhaps the most significant event in prophetic history.
Consider the following verses from the book of Revelation:
Revelation 1:1 (NKJV) The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave Him to show His servants; things which must shortly take place. And He sent and signified it by His angel to His servant John,
Revelation 1:3 (NKJV) Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written in it; for the time is near.
Revelation 22:6-7 (NKJV) Then he said to me, "These words are faithful and true." And the Lord God of the holy prophets sent His angel to show His servants the things which must shortly take place. 7 "Behold, I am coming quickly! Blessed is he who keeps the words of the prophecy of this book."
Revelation 22:10 (NKJV) And he said to me, "Do not seal the words of the prophecy of this book, for the time is at hand.
Notice in Revelation 22:10, that John is told NOT TO SEAL the words of the prophecy of this book for the time is at hand. Isn’t it interesting that Daniel, who recorded the same prophetic statements more than 600 years earlier, was told TO SEAL up the prophecies he was given until the end of time?
Daniel 8:26 (NKJV) …Therefore seal up the vision. For it refers to many days in the future.”
Daniel 12:4 (NKJV) “But you, Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book until the time of the end;”
Daniel 12:9 (NKJV) And he said, “Go your way, Daniel, for the words are closed up and sealed till the time of the end.”
Daniel was told to seal up the prophecies because the time had not come. John was told NOT to seal up the prophecies for the time had come. If the events in the book of Revelation were meant to occur in our future, why was John told NOT to seal up the prophecies just like Daniel? The time indicators make it clear that the events of the book of Revelation, with the exception of chapters 20:7 – 22:21, were meant for immediate fulfillment in the first century.
In addition to Matthew 24 and the book of Revelation, there are several prophetic time indicators from Scripture. Here are just a few more:
Matthew 16:27-28 (NKJV) "For the Son of Man will come in the glory of His Father with His angels, and then He will reward each according to his works. 28 "Assuredly, I say to you, there are some standing here who shall not taste death till they see the Son of Man coming in His kingdom."
Matthew 10:23 (NKJV) "When they persecute you in this city, flee to another. For assuredly, I say to you, you will not have gone through the cities of Israel before the Son of Man comes.
Romans 16:20 (NKJV) And the God of peace will crush Satan under your feet shortly. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. Amen.
Hebrews 10:37 "For yet a little while, And He who is coming will come and will not tarry.
James 5:7-9 (NKJV) Therefore be patient, brethren, until the coming of the Lord. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, waiting patiently for it until it receives the early and latter rain. 8 You also be patient. Establish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand. 9 Do not grumble against one another, brethren, lest you be condemned. Behold, the Judge is standing at the door!
1 John 2:18 (NKJV) Little children, it is the last hour; and as you have heard that the Antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have come, by which we know that it is the last hour.
As you can see, there are several reasons to take Matthew 24 and Revelation as history. In fact, it should bolster our faith to look into the pages of history and see how most of the prophetic events of the Bible were fulfilled with stunning accuracy in the years leading up to and including the destruction of Jerusalem in A.D. 70.
Gary DeMar has written a booklet called, Is Jesus Coming Soon, which covers this topic in greater detail.
At American Vision, we believe that Christians need to get the two bookends of Genesis and Revelation right if we are going to rightly interpret and apply the rest of the Bible in our lives. Getting it wrong at either point will lead to liberalism or dispensationalism, both of which render Christianity powerless in the world.