A Biblical Rebuttal of John MacArthur’s Statement that the Lord’s Return is “Imminent”
Confirming Dr. MacArthur’s definition of “imminent”.
[Dr. MacArthur's quotes appear highlighted like this.]
To ensure there is no confusion or mere semantic misunderstanding of precisely what Dr. MacArthur means when he uses the term “imminent”, let’s first review the dictionary definition. The following pair are sufficient:
1. about to happen.
"they were in imminent danger of being swept away"
synonyms: impending, close (at hand), near, (fast) approaching, coming, forthcoming, on the way, in the offing, in the pipeline, on the horizon, in the air, just around the corner, coming down the pike, expected, anticipated, brewing, looming, threatening, menacing;
: ready to take place; especially: hanging threateningly over one's head was in imminent danger of being run over
And here are just two clips from Dr. MacArthur’s article:
From the introduction:
The New Testament is consistent in its anticipation that the return of Christ might occur at any moment. That pervading perspective of imminence prompts three questions. [emphasis mine]
From his discussion in his question/point 2:
And therefore the fact that two-thousand years have elapsed is utterly irrelevant to the doctrine of Christ’s imminent return. Christ’s coming is still imminent. It could occur at any moment. [emphasis mine]
There are many others from his article which will be cited later in this series as they occur.
It is evident therefore, that when Dr. MacArthur uses the term “imminent” it is consistent with its accepted definition: he believes the return of the Lord Christ can occur “at any moment”.
While I agree with Dr. MacArthur concerning the very certain truth that the Lord will return, the purpose of this series is to establish from the Scripture that when he teaches that the Lord’s return could happen “at any moment”, he teaches error.
As will be seen in this article, Dr. MacArthur, along with many (most?) Christians today, confuse the truth of the biblically-accurate statement that
1. The return of the Lord Christ grows nearer each day.
with the contrary-to-the-Bible statement that
2. The return of the Lord Christ can occur at any moment.
Please allow me to state the obvious: these are not equivalent statements!
Statement #1 Bible truth. Statement #2 is biblical error.