Question:

I'm a member of the church of Christ and I had a discussion with the gentlemen concerning the gifts as described in I Corinthians 13:8-10 and of course we disagreed if we have the completed scripture or if it still hasn't been fulfilled. I believe it's been fulfilled, but he raised a point I don't know how to respond to. He mentioned that the second coming hasn't happened yet, which I can't deny that. When Jesus comes it'll be like a thief in the night and the earth will be burned with fire and brimstone. How can I defend the scripture is complete when we are waiting for the second coming of Christ? The final judgment.


Answer:

The two of you are using "complete" to refer to different things. Genesis was completed by Moses 1,500 years before Christ, but the prophesies in the book, such as Genesis 3:15, were not fulfilled or completed until Christ came.

The Bible is complete. All that God wanted said has been said. "Beloved, while I was very diligent to write to you concerning our common salvation, I found it necessary to write to you exhorting you to contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints" (Jude 3). But this is not the same as saying all the things prophesied in the New Testament are fulfilled.

Paul said, "Love never fails. But whether there are prophecies, they will fail; whether there are tongues, they will cease; whether there is knowledge, it will vanish away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part. But when that which is perfect has come, then that which is in part will be done away. When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things. For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known. And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love" (I Corinthians 13:8-13). The New Testament is perfect or complete -- nothing more needs to be added to it. This is why James said, "But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does" (James 1:25). The Bible doesn't need its prophecies fulfilled before it is perfect, it is already perfect.