Paul wrote in First Corinthians 1:17-18,
For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel: not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of none effect. For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.
It is the preaching of the Gospel; hence, the preaching of the cross of Christ that convicts and converts the sinner. We need a return to preaching in the perspective of First Corinthians 2:2 today, “For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified.”
How does one go about this business of making the cross of Christ of none effect? I realize there are numerous ways. I would ask you to consider one for now. There are those who simply deny the Bible’s teaching about the time of Christ’s return for the purpose of judging this world. We know that the false prophets are legion. By misapplication and failure to study passages from Daniel, Revelation and Matthew many attempts have been made to predict the time of Christ’s final coming:
William Miller set the date for 1843 and was wrong. He then set the date for 1844, but was wrong again.
Charles Taze Russell (founder of Jehovah’s Witnesses), said the date had been 1874 (a secret and invisible coming of Christ). However, he later set the time for 1914. Both of these dates were wrong. Various false prophets set dates in 1910, 1918, 1925 and 1931, etc. As a matter of fact, false prophets are found in abundance in every century from the first to the present indicating Christ would come in that time.
Hal Lindsey made a fortune in his book and movie: The Late, Great Planet Earth, in which he set the date for Christ’s return as being by or before 1988.
Billy Graham had previously set the date shortly after 1950. Seeing he was obviously wrong, he jumped on the Hal Lindsey band-wagon. Guess what? Wrong again!
Joseph Smith (Mormonism) said the time was 1891.
Already the false prophets are working on still another date for the final return of Christ. Notice all the prophets previously listed have a perfect record: Every date dead wrong! To realize this all we need to do is look to see the earth still stands where it has always stood. With Christ’s return this earth will cease to exist. Psalm 102:25-26, “Of old hast thou laid the foundation of the earth: and the heavens [are] the work of thy hands. They shall perish, but thou shalt endure: yea, all of them shall wax old like a garment; as a vesture shalt thou change them, and they shall be changed.” Again, Isaiah 51:6, “Lift up your eyes to the heavens, and look upon the earth beneath: for the heavens shall vanish away like smoke, and the earth shall wax old like a garment.” Now, please notice Second Peter 3:10, “But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.” Finally, in Revelation 21:1, “And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea.”
Therefore, the false prophets are exposed and marked by the powerful Word of God. We see the hopelessness of trying to set the time for Christ’s final coming in Christ’s own words of warning. He stated in Matthew 24:36, “But of that day and hour knoweth no [man], no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only.” He declared in Matthew 24:42, “Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come.” Hear Him again in Matthew 24:44, “Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh.” Some have dared to ask the question of whether or not God can tell time. I believe that God can tell time. I also believe that God knows His time frame better than anyone on earth. God’s only begotten Son stated clearly that no man on earth knows the precise time when Christ will return! Christ does not know that time. The angels in heaven do not know that time. Jesus said His “Father only” knows the time!
There is a new breed of false prophets in the past few centuries predicting a new “time frame” for the end. It is a novel and daring approach. Rather than going forward they have gone backward in time, to the date of A.D. 70. This is the time of the destruction of Jerusalem by the Roman armies under General Titus. In this new horde of books we are told that Christ’s final coming, the final judgment, the final abode for all men was settled once and for all in A.D. 70. A casual acquaintance with Scripture proves this theory to be heresy. Was the earth burned up (2 Pet. 3:10)? No! Were all the dead raised from their graves (John 5:28-29)? No! Was all mankind judged and consigned to either heaven or hell in that day (Mat. 25:31-46; 2 Cor. 5:10)? No! Now, really think about this one: Was the last enemy destroyed? First Corinthians 15:25-26, “For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet. The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death.” If Christ returned for the final advent in A.D. 70, then it follows, the last enemy (death) has been destroyed (no longer exists). I have put this question to the A.D. 70 errorists on several occasions. It puts the heretic between the proverbial rock and the hard place. It must be either physical death or spiritual death, i.e., sin. Which of these is non-existent today? If you say there is no physical death, you have lied. Lying is a sin (Rev. 21:8); since sin is spiritual death, you are still wrong!
No wonder the world is confused about this subject. Even the false prophets cannot find agreement in their heresies. Some look to future dates. Now, this new breed of false prophets are going back to the future! If Christ’s final coming and consummation of all things took place in A.D. 70, as these false prophets assert, then all their debates, writing, preaching, lectureships, etc., are all a waste of time. If the final judgment took place in A.D. 70, then my sentence, your sentence, their sentence were all sealed and set for all time and eternity in A.D. 70. Even if you or I could be persuaded to believe this heresy, what would it profit? There is not one thing that you or I could do to change the judgment given by God in A.D. 70. Not one!
The A.D. 70 errorists placed themselves in the same category with our friends caught up in Calvinistic and Jehovah’s Witnesses error. We are dealing with the concepts of election and non-election. The teaching that certain ones were elected to be saved and others were not elected. The Jehovah’s Witnesses found themselves in a dilemma when it was figured that the 144,000 were already in heaven! The late brother Marshall Keeble has a good answer to the concept of predestination as taught by Calvinists and now, Kingettes. He said, “The elect are the whosoever—wills and the non-elect are the whosoever—won’ts.” Isn’t it a shame that we must now use the same rebuttal, not only with Calvinistic false preachers, but with those of our own number who have gone out from us? If the final judgment took place in A.D. 70, then why try to win me over to your heresy? The only plausible answer I can find is that this is a hobby horse. I know the A.D. 70 errorists insist that this is no hobby. I was recently given a business card (second hand) belonging to a preacher in this movement. It gave the usual information, name, location, times and phone. Now, in order to reach this preacher in his study you must dial the usual prefix and then: 7070. Out of the hundreds of thousands of millions of possible number combinations, what are the odds? Seventy-seventy! What are the odds?
We started with Paul’s writing in First Corinthians 2:2, “For I determined not to know any thing among you,save Jesus Christ, and him crucified.” When I hear the preaching, read the articles and listen to the tapes of this A.D. 70 foolishness, I wonder if they would not like to re-write the apostle Paul? Perhaps they would have him to say that he “determined not to know any thing, save the destruction of Jerusalem in A.D. 70.” This present heresy has made the cross of Christ my Lord to become of no effect. How tragic to take Christ and His cross out of the picture. How sinful to replace the cross of Christ with the destruction of the city of Jerusalem in A.D. 70.