Let us continue our analysis by describing Hoekema’s thoughts on some very crucial issues concerning Preterism. Secondly, we will conclude with the Partial-Preterist usage of the “anti-christ” contra the common Amillenial usage thereof.
Describe Hoekema’s distinction between Imminence and Impending.
The concept of “imminence” is usually associated with Dispensationalism. This position believes that no predicted events need to occur before Christ comes again (Second Coming). The concept of ‘imminence” as applied to the dispensational view of the rapture, indicates that He (Christ) can come at any moment. Dispensationalism affirms that apart from the commonly accepted signs of Matthew 24, there are no prophetic signs preceding the Second Coming. However, as Hoekema affirms, to hold to this idea is to say too much. He argues that instead of saying that the Parousia is “imminent,” let us say that it is “impending” (p.136). This means that it is certain to come, but we do not know exactly when it will come.
Gary Demar’s view on the antichrist in contrast to Hoekema.
Dr. Hoekema affirms John’s usage of antichrist in at least two ways:
1) That he is a rival christ and 2) an opponent of Christ. John is deeply concerned in expressing the idea of many antichrists. So as Hoekema notes, John’s central idea is not on a singular figure, but rather on antichrists. Nevertheless, “it would not be correct to say that John had no room in his thinking for a future personal antichrist, since he still looks for an antichrist who is coming” (158).
Gary Demar sees John’s understanding of the antichrist differently than Hoekema. According to Mr. Demar, John “does not have a particular individual in mind, but rather individuals who taught that Jesus Christ is not who the Bible says he is” (267). These false teachers (II Peter 2) deny the very nature of Christ by denying his incarnation, resurrection and His return. Hence, when the Bible speaks of the antichrist it is not in any way referring to a possible single manifestation of the Antichrist, as Hoekema suggests. Once again, Hoekema has gone beyond the text and applied a faulty hermeneutic.