Dr. Doug Posey
The more liberal the “scholar,” the later the date of writing they like to put on the Gospels. Much of that can be traced to the amazing predictions found therein. The “scholars” assume they must have been written after the events predicted, not before.
For example, Jesus predicted the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem, (Matt. 23:38) which happened in A.D. 70. Well, since the liberal scholar approaches the Scriptures with the a priori stipulation that there is no supernatural and that Jesus was nothing more than a fallible mortal, He not only couldn’t have made the prediction, but the writer of the gospel would not have known to write about it until after the event. So the date of about A.D. 50 for the writing—less than 20 years after Christ ascended to heaven (as is supported by the facts)—is out of the question because their bias. Some would rather not be burdened with pesky facts!
Here’s a fact that can’t be ignored. It is a prediction by Jesus that can’t be post-dated out of serious consideration. 2,000 years ago, long before it happened, Jesus predicted that the Church would be, as He called it, “the largest of garden plants” (Matt. 13:32). Using a metaphor—the parable of the mustard seed—comparing Christendom in general, to all other faiths, it would be the largest. Well, in The Encyclopedia Britannica Online, Christianity is defined this way,
“Christianity, major religion, stemming from the life, teachings, and death of Jesus of Nazareth (the Christ, or the Anointed One of God) in the 1st century ad. It has become the largest of the world’s religions. Geographically the most widely diffused of all faiths, it has a constituency of more than 2 billion believers.”
At the time Jesus made this prediction, Christianity was in its infancy. One cannot be liberal enough to believe that the gospel of Matthew was written by someone after Christianity had become the largest of world religions. No, Jesus incredibly predicted it 2,000 years ago and it happened, just like He also predicted many other things accurately and long, long before they took place.
Jesus also predicted the broad spread of His message. He said this despite the condition of His disciples both just before and following His crucifixion. He predicted, “This gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all the nations, and then the end will come” (Matthew 24:14). This, regardless of the fact that He had a ragtag band of confused followers, the most prominent of which had a propensity of flying off the handle and going so far as to lop off the ear of a servant to the High Priest! Then, within hours, impetuous Peter was denying he even knew the One he had so valiantly defended!
Peter and most of the disciples scattered, virtually hiding when Jesus was crucified. They certainly didn’t expect to see Him alive again, or continue to spread His message. But, the Church would be an unstoppable force, just as Jesus predicted.
History is replete with those who have attempted to stop the unstoppable. Nearly every one of those cowering disciples were martyred as the world sought to halt Christ’s message and the growth of the Church. We should see from history, it won’t happen.
As we open God’s Word and catch God’s glimpse into the future, the Church is there. Christ will return for her. In the meantime, if you are part of the Body of Christ, thank Him because He has called you to participate in that unstoppable force on planet earth. What part will you play in its continued growth? Step one, keep gathering with the flock. See you this Sunday.
“…not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near”