Maybe Now Is Not The Time Of Christ’s Return?
by Lucian Thompson
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I am writing this article in response to a well meant comment I received on a previous article I posted on Faith Writer’s titled, If The Lord Doesn’t Return Soon.
The person commenting asked a valid question, “Since so many are talking about the coming of Christ, I wonder if this is true. He will come at a time when we don't expect; so maybe now is not the time?
I hear this from many folks and their concerns are often well placed, but lacks knowledge of sound Eschatology. I admit, it takes an in depth study of the Word to even began to understand God’s plan for the “End Times.”
As it would take reams of paper to go into a comprehensive study of this subject, I will attempt to give a brief explanation and hope it will shed light on this matter, as I understand it.
First, let us agree that there is going to be a “Rapture,” gathering up of the “Church,” those who are saved from what is coming on this earth by their confession, faith, and belief that Jesus is the Son of God, that He died on the cross for our sins, that He rose from the grave, and that He sits at the right hand of the Father in Heaven, and that He is preparing a place for us with Him, and that He is coming back for His Bride (Church), and that we will forever be with Him.
Okay, agreeing on the above let me continue.
Obviously there has been mishandling of the prophetic Scriptures by some Bible teachers and preachers. Tragically over the years some have claimed that the prophetic Scriptures gave them information that enabled them to set a date for the Rapture or Second Coming of Christ. Setting dates will always get one in trouble, but discerning the “ Signs Of The times,” is another thing. I will address that later.
It is impossible to understand God’s purpose for history apart from the study of biblical prophecy. Isaiah 46:9-11 quotes the following divine declaration, “I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me, declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure:…I have spoken it, I will also bring it to pass; I have purposed it, I will also do it.” Isaiah 14:24, 26-27 states, “The LORD of hosts hath sworn, saying, Surely as I have thought, so shall it come to pass; and as I have purposed, so shall it stand:…This is the purpose that is purposed upon the whole earth: and this is the hand that is stretched out upon all the nations. For the LORD of hosts hath purposed, and who shall disannul it? And his hand is stretched out, and who shall turn it back?”
These Scriptures reveal that there is one true God, and that He has a sovereign purpose for this earth’s history. The evidence that He is the true God and that He has a sovereign purpose for history is this: In the past He planned and purposed what would happen on earth throughout history. On the basis of what He planned and purposed, through His prophets God declared to mankind what would happen in the future, even to the end of this earth’s history. Then, during the course of history He sovereignly causes to happen all that He planned and purposed and declared through His prophets. What He says He does!
Both in Daniel and in John the Revelator, God told them to seal up some of the things He showed them until the End Days. I personally believe God is reveling some of those sealed up mysteries in our days so that we can rightly discern and understand what is about to happen.
Now, addressing, “No One Knows The Date Of His Return.” Matthew Chapter 24 vs36"No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son,[f] but only the Father. This is a scriptural fact that cannot be ignored or played with. Yet, it has to be understood in light of what Jesus said in verses 32 through 34, 32"Now learn this lesson from the fig tree: As soon as its twigs get tender and its leaves come out, you know that summer is near. 33Even so, when you see all these things, you know that it[d]is near, right at the door. 34I tell you the truth, this generation[e] will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened.
How soon, near…imminent…hanging over our heads about to happen, right at the door, soon!
On numerous occasions in the scriptures, Israel is described as the “Fig Tree.” Some may dispute that Jesus is speaking of Israel here, but I can’t see that from my studies. I believe that our generation is the one that Jesus is speaking about here. Israel was gathered back together as a nation on May 14, 1948 as described in Ezekiel Chapter 36.
The signs of the times are laid out in Matthew chapter 24, Mark chapter 13, and in Luke chapter 21. Take time to read them.
Given the fact that Israel exist again after about 2000 years of dispersion and the signs of the times read out in the news papers…one can firmly conclude that Jesus is coming for His Bride at any moment.
I could go on and on but the fact remains that each of us are required to study and rightly discern the Word of God. Since so many people are saying Jesus is about to return, perhaps the time is now for seeking knowledge of God’s Prophetic Word.
Luke 21:28 says, “When these things begin to take place, stand up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near."
See ya on the way up!
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Amen, Lucian. You know what breaks my heart most, on a personaly level? I have a child walking far from what he knows as truth. We talk about the Lord, for time to time, as he is willing to engage in conversation. But the hurts and pains of simply living in a fallen world have pushed his heart away from God, at least if appearances are any indicator. But he knows the truth ... and he belongs to God. We even discuss the growing, and undeniable evidences of the Lord's return drawing near. Yet, unfailingly, he comments on how if must not be as near as we think because "we won't know the day or the hour." Isn't that just like our soul's enemy. We don't feel the urgency to 'walk before Him in holiness' because after all, there's still so much time ... even for believers. Thanks for the terrific article, Lucian.
There is no time like the present. I want to point as many to Jesus as I can and as Petra said, help others pack, so to speak. Thank you Lucian for always reminding us to be ready for we know not the time or day.
Poor old tired me. I should have proof read my article before I posted it. Israel had been scattered from Jerusalem for near 2000 years and Ezekiel chapter 36 not 38 tells of the reestablishment of Israel. Chapter 38 is about one of my favorite studies; the third world war or the war of Gog and Magog.
Well said, dear brother Lucian. It has been my experience that folks who don't want to see the obvious end time signs are some who do not want to "go" right now...maybe at some later date, but not NOW! Also, a little knowledge being a dangerous thing, lack of study and understanding of how scriputure and real time news is intersecting confuses those who "kind of" know what is going on, but are scared to read the hadnwriting on the wall (so to speak). The best answer is: Today, tomorrow, or next year...JUST BE PACKED! Love to you and Trish :0) L