Friday, July 31, 2009

How Imminent Is The Return Of Christ?

The doctrine of Imminence is one that is sworn by these days. Suggest that you don't quite believe in it and you're out!

"Jesus could come at any time, today, this hour." That's the watchword of believers in this teaching. I know what the people who say this mean, but we must take objection to that statement as it stands. For, Heaven has a day circled on the Heavenly Calendar when Jesus must come. [Acts

17:31, "(God) has appointed a day in which He will judge the world by the Man Whom He

has ordained."]

That is to say, God knows when Jesus is coming. It is not a random day. It is clearly and definitely scheduled. Jesus cannot come at just "any" time, but only on the day He has appointed. The problem is not that there is uncertainty in Heaven, but that we are uncertain. The question then is, just how far is that uncertainty to extend?

When the disciples asked Jesus, "What shall be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?" (Matthew 24:3) why did Jesus even suggest a time frame? Why did He answer such a thing at all, if we are not to know something ? Why not say, as we hear commonly today, "Don't worry about it! It will all pan out. I'll come when I come."

That was not His approach. Jesus for all time laid out a clear description of a particular generation, a season, when He will come, so that those believers living in that generation will know it is time! All others of all time, not totally certain of what He was saying, since the time was not ready, have been commanded to watch, and be ready. Of course, the coming of Jesus at a man's death is reason enough for any person, any time, to be on guard against foolish behavior.

The importance of knowing a particular season is confirmed by our dear brother, the apostle Paul, in I Thessalonians 5. First he says to the ungodly (verse 2) that Jesus is coming as "a thief in the night." This is the concept that has been passed on to godly people as their own norm

for looking for Jesus to come! But moving even one more verse leads us to : "For when they say, 'Peace and Safety' then comes sudden destruction upon them..."Who are they and them? The world! The unbelievers! Verse 4 insists, "You are not in darkness, so that this Day should overtake you as a thief!"

That means we can and should know the general time of His coming, especially if we are living in the last generation. That generation is described further by Paul in II Thessalonians 2:3. In words that could not be more clear, Paul demands that that Day will not come unless there is a noticeable world-wide apostasy and the revealing of the man of sin .

Oh my! Jesus could come at any moment? Yes, in death. Yes, theoretically to those who walk in darkness and have not read the words of the apostles. But in fact? No! He must come when Paul says He must come, and that is after the great apostasy, and after antichrist.

The man or woman who is seeking God with all the heart about the coming of Jesus will see the plan unfold clearly and will indeed be watching when He comes. The ungodly "carnal" Christian, if there be such a thing, will be loudly proclaiming His love for a Jesus who might come just any time, and for him the coming will be a surprise, for that person has never dug deeply into God's Word to find the truth. I am saying that more light is

revealed to those who seek, and those who do not seek will be still in darkness and fulfill their own prophecies about how "we can never really know."

The only information that has been denied to us is the very day on the calendar and the very hour on the clock when Jesus will come. Let us be diligent though to comprehend with all the saints what are the times and seasons God has revealed to us. is a website I put together a few months back to get the word out to believers that they need to pray for North Korea. Just about every day I'm writing a blog featuring some news, a book, or a story of North Korea. There's a live news feed on the site, lists of resources, picture essays, and ways to respond to the overwhelming need in North Korea. Let's love Chosun together!

And who am I? A man found of God over 50 years ago, called to the ministry, serving the Lord as needed in my world. Married, member of a local church in the Chicago area, with full time work in public education. Who are you? Would love to fellowship with believers who respond on my site.

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