“Behold, he is coming…” (Revelation 1:7)
I read a post the other day written by a person vehemently lambasting those who hold to the promise of Jesus’ second coming. They wrote,
“Never mind that every preacher has been peddling that ‘we’re now in the end times’ bull-[crap] for 2,000 years now. And tragically, several billion people still haven’t realized it’s a con.”
Frankly, I don’t fault this person for their reaction. The Jehovah’s Witnesses have predicted the return of Christ at least 8 times since 1874. Edgar Whisenant made a ton of money when gullible people (including many Christians) purchased his book, “88 Reasons the Rapture Will be in 1988.” When 1988 passed, he promptly came up with 89 reasons Christ would return in 1989. (Horrible theologian; great business man.) And, I’ve lost count of how many times, recently, groups have spent a great deal of time and resources posting huge billboards with silly messages like, “Save the date: Christ is returning [fill in the date].”
Satan is a brilliant strategist, using these types of futile and biblically illiterate predictions to create a “chicken little” effect on the populace. Simply put, Satan would like us to dismiss the imminence of Christ’s return altogether. And these relentless predictions certainly help achieve that purpose.
Scoffers will scoff (2 Peter 3:3-4). Haters will hate. They most certainly have every right to do so.
But, for me – I can’t get around the reliability of Scripture.
If God’s promises to us through the Old Testament prophets regarding Christ’s first coming were fulfilled so accurately, I am compelled to believe His promises regarding His second coming will come to pass in the same fashion. (Given God’s track record for fulfilling prophecy I sure wouldn’t bet against it.)
How and when this will take place is enveloped in mystery. If anyone claims they have it figured out – thank them for the visit and walk away
One responsible theologian wisely wrote,
“While scripture teaches repeatedly that Christ is returning, the specifics regarding how and when it will occur are, by the testimony of Scripture itself, set in the midst of incomprehensible mystery. This is by God’s own design… Remember, despite the wealth of detailed prophecies in the Old Testament concerning Jesus’ first coming, only a few people recognized it accurately. It could very well be that every one of the modern ‘experts’ in Bible Prophecy will turn out to be wrong about the timing and the details of Christ’s Second Coming as well.”
In a sermon preached in 1887, Charles Spurgeon, reminding his listeners of the present & future hope we have, confidently preached to a packed church in London,
“I have heard the chariot wheels of the Lord’s approach, and I have endeavored to set my house in order for his reception. I have felt the shadow of that great cloud that shall attend him, chilling the fervency of my worldliness. I hear even now in spirit the sound of the last trumpet, whose tremendous blast startles my soul to serious action and puts force into my life.”
Three times in the final chapter of Revelation, Jesus, in essence, says, “I’m on my way.”
The first time he came – he came as our Suffering Savior. The next time he comes – he comes as the Righteous Judge.
My friends, consider his love for you.