THE SECOND COMING OF JESUS. HAVE YOU THOUGHT
ABOUT IT LATELY?
By Geoff Thompson 1/2/10
When I became a Christian in 1974 it was in a Church where it was traditionally accepted that the Minister called to that Church, that whatever else he did it was expected that we would be taught thoroughly about the doctrines concerning our Lord’s return for his Church and the end of the Church age. In other words the message of the book of Revelation and all other scripture both old and new testament that supported it.
The minister who led me to Christ as my Saviour, Harold Long, was vitally interested in such teaching and we heard many informative sermons on the subject many of which I still have on tape.
To a young Christian couple like myself and my wife we enthusiastically embraced this teaching which was all very new to us .
We became very expectant that at any time the Christians of the world would be taken up in the air to meet Christ which was also signifying the ushering in of the period of the Great Tribulation on earth and then the battle of Armageddon. In some circles this is called the Rapture, the seizing up of the Church.
I had a sticker on the glovebox of my car that said. “ you ride in this car at your own risk, the driver may disappear at any time!” Some people asked me about it but others probably thought they were riding with a weirdo. Notwithstanding that I don’t have such a sticker in my car now, the situation could still arise if the theology of the “Pre Millenial Rapture” is correct.
A prominent Author at the time was Hal Lindsey who wrote “There is a New World Coming!” “The Late Great Planet Earth” and “The devil is alive and well on planet earth.”
Many people ridicule his books today but I believe we are foolish to ignore this particular part of Christian Theology. The Lord himself said “When I return will I find Faith on the Earth?”
Of course there are many commentators on the end times.
And you have all the myriads of conspiracy theories which are also in my opinion designed to lead us all astray and look to things other than the Bible to answer questions about where the world is heading.
I get sick of hearing people talk about them.
To cut a long story short I made the mistake that so many do of really focusing on that subject for a while and getting caught up in what the bible tells us not to do. That is trying to read the signs of the times and working out how much time we have left. This was pre 1984 and having read George Orwells’ book ,1984, I though that this could well be a prophetic date in itself.
Anyway one of the things mentioned in the Bible is about the Jewish temple of Old Testament times being re constructed in Jerusalem as being one of the signs of the times for the approaching end..
Well we can read below a report from local ABC Radio.
Orthodox Jews plan rebuilding of sacred temple
Anne Barker reported this story on Friday, January 29, 2010 12:34:0
ELEANOR HALL: Nearly 2,000 years ago the Romans under Emperor Vespasian destroyed the city of Jerusalem and according to Judaism demolished the second temple sacred to Jews. Orthodox Jews have prayed ever since for the temple to be rebuilt and an 18th century rabbi even predicted that construction would begin in March 2010. But one modern-day institution in Jerusalem has taken on the task of preparing for the temple's reconstruction now. Middle East correspondent Anne Barker has our report. (Sounds from the Western Wall) ANNE BARKER: Every day thousands of Jews in Jerusalem pray at the Western Wall, said to be the last remnant of the second temple which was demolished by the Romans in 70 AD. Jews believe the second temple and Solomon's ancient temple before it were both built on the same site that today houses the Al-Aqsa Mosque - the third holiest site in Islam. (Sounds from Al-Aqsa Mosque) It's arguably the most contested piece of land on earth because of its historic importance to Muslims and Jews. And for nearly 2,000 years Orthodox Jews have recited daily prayers for the temple's reconstruction in keeping with the biblical commandments. (Sound of prayers) Today one Jewish institution has taken on the job of turning the prayer into reality. YEHUDA GLICK: I believe that we're like 2,000 years late, but I'd say that in our modern era, in 1967 when the state of Israel united Jerusalem we should have immediately begun. And I think every single day is a day late. ANNE BARKER: Rabbi Yehuda Glick is a director at the Temple Institute whose sole purpose is to plan the construction of the third temple which many believe must be done in time for the coming of the Jewish Messiah. YEHUDA GLICK: One of the 613 obligations in the Jewish Torah is an obligation to build the temple and it exists every single day, whether the Messiah has arrived yet or not. ANNE BARKER: Already the Temple Institute has spent around $30 million preparing for the temple's reconstruction. Architectural plans have been drawn up and vast funds have been spent employing the best craftsmen to make the priestly robes and vessels to be used once it's built. YEHUDA GLICK: We have the altar which is made of stone as you can see. ANNE BARKER: Rabbi Glick shows me glass cabinets filled with dozens of objects fashioned on those in the Bible - among them a pure gold menorah, silver trumpets (sound of trumpet), an incense altar, even a new Ark of the Covenant to hold the tablets of law given to Moses on Mount Sinai. YEHUDA GLICK: Actually it's very interesting because they were brought from the exact location of the altar built originally by Joshua. ANNE BARKER: There are even plans to produce a sacrificial red heifer which the Bible says must be slaughtered before the temple can be built. For all the biblical specifications though Rabbi Glick believes the third temple will be a thoroughly modern building. YEHUDA GLICK: The third temple doesn't have to be as was the second temple or the first temple in terms of, I mean there can be air conditioning, parking lots, computers. I mean just the fact that people used it at the time used oil doesn't mean that today we can't use electricity. ANNE BARKER: There is of course one not-so-small problem. The temple site has for around 1,300 years housed the Dome of the Rock and the Al-Aqsa Mosque. Many Muslims in fact say no Jewish temple ever existed here and that Jews are yet to produce a single shred of archaeological evidence. Not surprisingly some, like one Palestinian leader Mahdi Abdul Hadi, warn of warfare if Jews try to build another temple over the Dome of the Rock. MAHDI ABDUL HADI: We will defend it, we will fight for it, whether we are religious, non religious. It's our place. It's our holy place. And this is bringing us back to the Middle Ages and the empowerment of self with the idea of killing each other. ANNE BARKER: For now though the mosques are safe. But if the 18th century Rabbi Vilna Gaon was correct in his prophesies the temple's construction would begin in about six weeks. This is Anne Barker in Jerusalem for The World Today.
Below is one of the Bible Chapters touching on the subject of the end times.
Matthew 24 (New Living Translation)
Jesus Foretells the Future
1 As Jesus was leaving the Temple grounds, his disciples pointed out to him the various Temple buildings. 2 But he responded, “Do you see all these buildings? I tell you the truth, they will be completely demolished. Not one stone will be left on top of another!”
3 Later, Jesus sat on the Mount of Olives. His disciples came to him privately and said, “Tell us, when will all this happen? What sign will signal your return and the end of the world?[a]”
4 Jesus told them, “Don’t let anyone mislead you, 5 for many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am the Messiah.’ They will deceive many. 6 And you will hear of wars and threats of wars, but don’t panic. Yes, these things must take place, but the end won’t follow immediately. 7 Nation will go to war against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in many parts of the world. 8 But all this is only the first of the birth pains, with more to come.
9 “Then you will be arrested, persecuted, and killed. You will be hated all over the world because you are my followers.[b] 10 And many will turn away from me and betray and hate each other. 11 And many false prophets will appear and will deceive many people. 12 Sin will be rampant everywhere, and the love of many will grow cold. 13 But the one who endures to the end will be saved. 14 And the Good News about the Kingdom will be preached throughout the whole world, so that all nations[c] will hear it; and then the end will come.
15 “The day is coming when you will see what Daniel the prophet spoke about—the sacrilegious object that causes desecration[d] standing in the Holy Place.” (Reader, pay attention!) 16 “Then those in Judea must flee to the hills. 17 A person out on the deck of a roof must not go down into the house to pack. 18 A person out in the field must not return even to get a coat. 19 How terrible it will be for pregnant women and for nursing mothers in those days. 20 And pray that your flight will not be in winter or on the Sabbath. 21 For there will be greater anguish than at any time since the world began. And it will never be so great again. 22 In fact, unless that time of calamity is shortened, not a single person will survive. But it will be shortened for the sake of God’s chosen ones.
23 “Then if anyone tells you, ‘Look, here is the Messiah,’ or ‘There he is,’ don’t believe it. 24 For false messiahs and false prophets will rise up and perform great signs and wonders so as to deceive, if possible, even God’s chosen ones. 25 See, I have warned you about this ahead of time.
26 “So if someone tells you, ‘Look, the Messiah is out in the desert,’ don’t bother to go and look. Or, ‘Look, he is hiding here,’ don’t believe it! 27 For as the lightning flashes in the east and shines to the west, so it will be when the Son of Man[e] comes. 28 Just as the gathering of vultures shows there is a carcass nearby, so these signs indicate that the end is near.[f]
29 “Immediately after the anguish of those days,
the sun will be darkened,
the moon will give no light,
the stars will fall from the sky,
and the powers in the heavens will be shaken.[g]
30 And then at last, the sign that the Son of Man is coming will appear in the heavens, and there will be deep mourning among all the peoples of the earth. And they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.[h] 31 And he will send out his angels with the mighty blast of a trumpet, and they will gather his chosen ones from all over the world[i]—from the farthest ends of the earth and heaven.
32 “Now learn a lesson from the fig tree. When its branches bud and its leaves begin to sprout, you know that summer is near. 33 In the same way, when you see all these things, you can know his return is very near, right at the door. 34 I tell you the truth, this generation[j] will not pass from the scene until all these things take place. 35 Heaven and earth will disappear, but my words will never disappear.
36 “However, no one knows the day or hour when these things will happen, not even the angels in heaven or the Son himself.[k] Only the Father knows.
37 “When the Son of Man returns, it will be like it was in Noah’s day. 38 In those days before the flood, the people were enjoying banquets and parties and weddings right up to the time Noah entered his boat. 39 People didn’t realize what was going to happen until the flood came and swept them all away. That is the way it will be when the Son of Man comes.
40 “Two men will be working together in the field; one will be taken, the other left. 41 Two women will be grinding flour at the mill; one will be taken, the other left.
42 “So you, too, must keep watch! For you don’t know what day your Lord is coming. 43 Understand this: If a homeowner knew exactly when a burglar was coming, he would keep watch and not permit his house to be broken into. 44 You also must be ready all the time, for the Son of Man will come when least expected.
45 “A faithful, sensible servant is one to whom the master can give the responsibility of managing his other household servants and feeding them. 46 If the master returns and finds that the servant has done a good job, there will be a reward. 47 I tell you the truth, the master will put that servant in charge of all he owns. 48 But what if the servant is evil and thinks, ‘My master won’t be back for a while,’ 49 and he begins beating the other servants, partying, and getting drunk? 50 The master will return unannounced and unexpected, 51 and he will cut the servant to pieces and assign him a place with the hypocrites. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
Well why am I thinking and talking about this today.
I am because it is a much ridiculed doctrine of the Bible and even Christians are guilty of this.
It doesn’t help of course when recently a Man in the US had lots of people thinking the rapture was going to happen on 21/5/11.
It didn’t of course and the Bible tells us no one knows except God the Father when this will happen.
The thing is though it could have happened.
At least the man who warned the world was warning them even though he didn’t help by naming a date.
I made myself look stupid when I told a friend one night, as alluded to earlier that I thought Jesus would return in 1984.
It didn’t happen of course and now I am older and wiser.
There are 3 things I think are very important about the return to earth of our Lord.
1. We need to be ready when He comes. We don’t want to be caught napping.We don’t want to take our salvation for granted and enjoy what some call cheap grace.There is a cost in being a Christian.
2. We should tell people about the first coming of Jesus and all that it means to them.
3. We should not neglect also this teaching of Jesus return as it gives a real hope to those who despair of the world and it’s injustice and evil.