At-any-moment return of Christ?

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by StefanM, Dec 31, 2005.

  1. StefanM

    StefanM
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2004
    Messages:
    6,406
    Likes Received:
    69
    I'm taking this discussion from another thread because the topic got buried in the midst of other things. A commonly held belief is that Christ could return at any moment, with no signs prior to the "rapture." Is this scriptural?


    1) IMO, "imminence" does not require "at any moment." What Paul is refuting in 2 Thess 2 is somewhat of an "at any moment" concept.
    2) "At any moment" is impossible, in light of the predictions within scripture, namely, that Paul will testify in Rome and that Peter will be martyred as an old man. This is a classic anti-at-any-moment argument. Think of this: did Peter expect Jesus to come at any moment when his Lord told him that he would be martyred as an old man?
     
  2. StraightAndNarrow

    StraightAndNarrow
    Expand Collapse
    Banned

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2003
    Messages:
    2,508
    Likes Received:
    3
    This passage says that Christ can return at any time.

    2Pe 3:9 The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.
    2Pe 3:10 But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.
     
  3. StefanM

    StefanM
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2004
    Messages:
    6,406
    Likes Received:
    69
    Does that require an at-any-moment return or does it merely imply a sense of surprise at the timing?

    Also note:
    1Th 5:2 For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night.
    1Th 5:3 For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape.
    1Th 5:4 But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief.
     
  4. Helen

    Helen
    Expand Collapse
    <img src =/Helen2.gif>

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2001
    Messages:
    11,703
    Likes Received:
    1
    In 1948 Israel became a nation again. Just about that same year the rainfall increased there by about 8 inches a year, fulfilling the prophecy that said the former desert would become a garden.

    In 1967 they took back Jerusalem.

    I was born in 1948. Jesus said this generation would see ALL these things come to pass. I am hoping I will not die before all these things come to pass. I am working down here, but looking up, expecting my Lord at any moment.
     
  5. Benjamin

    Benjamin
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2004
    Messages:
    4,875
    Likes Received:
    109
    (Mat 24:4) And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you.

    (Mat 24:5) For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many.

    (Mat 24:6) And ye shall hear of wars and rumors of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet .

    That would be good, we may need your help! ;)

    (2Th 2:3) Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;

    (2Th 2:4) Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshiped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God.

    (2Th 2:5) Remember ye not , that, when I was yet with you, I told you these things?
     
  6. IveyLeaguer

    IveyLeaguer
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2004
    Messages:
    666
    Likes Received:
    0
    I don't know if you'll get your wish or not, Helen, but I like your watchful spirit. After 3 years of seeking God's truth and blindly following His lead, I am now convinced that the foretold 'Great Apostasy' of 2Thessalonians 2:3 is upon us, and is now being fulfilled before our very eyes.

    "Let no one deceive or beguile you in any way, for that day will not come except the apostasy comes first [unless the predicted great falling away of those who have professed to be Christians has come], and the man of lawlessness (sin) is revealed, who is the son of doom (of perdition);" [Dan. 7:25; 8:25; I Tim. 4:1.] (AMPLIFIED)

    It has been 'brewing' now for almost 200 years within the church, and stands on the shoulders of European philosophies and disregard (disbelief) of God's Holy Word. And we are witnessing this 'great falling away' firsthand. This is a time to be 'watchful and 'prayerful' that we may be "accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man." A time of diligence and preparation, staying close to the Lord while carefully discerning, and trembling at, His Word. Like you (I was born in 1950), I want to see it all come to pass, and like you, I consider it a priviledge, indeed. The prospect of what's going to happen is frightening, but at the same time, exciting - it's going to be a wild ride!
     
  7. Essene

    Essene
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2001
    Messages:
    31
    Likes Received:
    0
    In an unprovoked agressive move against its neighbors. God does not bless agressors!
     
  8. Grasshopper

    Grasshopper
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2002
    Messages:
    3,348
    Likes Received:
    14
    What prophecy does this fulfill?
     
  9. Bro. Ruben

    Bro. Ruben
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2005
    Messages:
    160
    Likes Received:
    0
    Some people are having a mix-up between the Rapture and the Second Coming of Christ.

    They even don't know which verses they refer to each event; obviously, when the Rapture had occured all the people left behind would do is just count 7 years and the Lord would return bodily.

    Catch is, that is if they know God's timetable of events. :rolleyes:
     
  10. Bro. Ruben

    Bro. Ruben
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2005
    Messages:
    160
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hi, Sister Helen.

    My stand on the phrase "This Generation" is the church age. But I will be more happy if Jesus raptures us soon. :D
     
  11. PrimePower7

    PrimePower7
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2005
    Messages:
    277
    Likes Received:
    0
    I think we are missing something in 2 Thessalonians 2. Why would an "at hand Day of Christ" trouble anyone? Those are the words used there.
     
  12. JGrubbs

    JGrubbs
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2004
    Messages:
    4,761
    Likes Received:
    0
    There are two key passages that address this subject. 1 Thessalonians 5:2 says, "For you yourselves know full well that the day of the Lord will come just like a thief in the night." A second passage is Revelation 3:3, "Remember therefore what you have received and heard; and keep it, and repent. If therefore you will not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know what hour I will come upon you."

    Pretribulationalists respond quite differently to these two passages of Scripture.

    Concerning the Revelation passage, Walter Scott in his book "Exposition of the Revelation of Jesus Christ" states that the people in the church at Sardis "had been counseled to watch, and now unless they do so, they are threatened with judgment. The character in which Christ would come to them is as a 'thief in the night.' He shall come as a judge, unexpectedly, at an unknown and unlooked for hour . . . Christ comes to the church as the morning star, to Israel as the sun of righteousness, and to the world and religious profession in sudden surprise as a 'thief in the night.'" John Walvoord differs with Scott when he says in his book, "The Revelation of Jesus Christ," "the same symbolism is used at the second coming of our Lord, but here the figure is related to that event. The judgment upon the church at Sardis, however, it is going to be just as unexpected, sudden, and irrevocable as that which is related to the second coming." While Walvoord may very well be correct in seeing a specific application to the church at Sardis, it is equally necessary to see the far application to the church of all ages regarding the second coming.

    The pretribulationist says that the day of the Lord immediately follows the rapture, and as a result they see the entire seventieth week as the day of the Lord or the wrath of God. And yet they see the first half of the tribulation as a time of peace when a great revival takes place. In the Thessalonian passage it clearly states in verse 3 that "destruction will come upon them suddenly." Another passage that confirms this is 2 Peter 3:10, "But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, in which the heavens will pass away with a roar and the elements will be destroyed with intense heat, and the earth and its works will be burned up." It is clear that the question to be answered is: who is Christ coming to as a thief? In 1 Thessalonians 5:4 Paul writes, "But you brethren, are not in darkness, that the day should overtake you like a thief." It is clear in the Revelation passage that the warning is to those who are asleep. In both cases the picture is the same- for the one who is not awake the coming will be like a thief; however, for the one that is awake, the coming will not be like a thief.

    Source: Rev. Roger Best
     
  13. JGrubbs

    JGrubbs
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2004
    Messages:
    4,761
    Likes Received:
    0
    The concept that Christ could return at "any moment" since His departure back to heaven is simply not taught anywhere in the entire Bible. Not one of the passages used to sustain imminency, actually teach imminency. Expectancy, yes. Imminency (an any-moment rapture), no. If imminency had been the concept that the writers had wanted to convey, it could have and would have been clearly stated (in fact 19th century promoters of pretribulationism initially taught expectancy rather than imminency for this reason). In addition, there were many events prophesied by Christ, known throughout the Christian world at that time, that still had to occur before He could return, such as the destruction of the Temple (Lk. 21:6) and the death of Peter (Jn. 21:18-19). Imminency was an impossibility until the Temple was destroyed in 70 A.D.

    Source: Robert Van Kampen & Rev. Roger Best
     
  14. Ed Edwards

    Ed Edwards
    Expand Collapse
    <img src=/Ed.gif>

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2002
    Messages:
    15,715
    Likes Received:
    0
    What prophecy does this fulfill? </font>[/QUOTE]Ezekiel Chapter 37
     
  15. Grasshopper

    Grasshopper
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2002
    Messages:
    3,348
    Likes Received:
    14
    Eze 37:6 And I will lay sinews upon you, and will bring up flesh upon you, and cover you with skin, and put breath in you, and ye shall live; and ye shall know that I am the LORD .

    I guess they haven’t figured out the “I Am the Lord” part yet.

    Eze 37:12 Therefore prophesy and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, O my people, I will open your graves, and cause you to come up out of your graves, and bring you into the land of Israel.
    Eze 37:13 And ye shall know that I am the LORD , when I have opened your graves, O my people, and brought you up out of your graves,
    Eze 37:14 And shall put my spirit in you, and ye shall live, and I shall place you in your own land: then shall ye know that I the LORD have spoken it, and performed it, saith the LORD.

    Guess we are still waiting on the “My Spirit in you” part as well? The text seems to say that at the time of placing them in the land they would know the Lord has spoken. Here we are nearly 60 years later no sign of that.

    On a side note, this is very Calvinistic if it is to be interpreted as you do.

    Eze 37:26 Moreover I will make a covenant of peace with them; it shall be an everlasting covenant with them: and I will place them, and multiply them, and will set my sanctuary in the midst of them for evermore.
    Eze 37:27 My tabernacle also shall be with them: yea, I will be their God, and they shall be my people.

    I wonder why Paul quotes this and applies it to the Church at Corinth?

    2Co 6:16 And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.


    John Gill

    Eze 37:26 - Moreover I will make a covenant of peace with them ,.... So the covenant of grace is called, Isa_54:10, one principal article of which is peace and reconciliation made between God and his people by the blood of Christ, agreed on in that covenant, from whence it has its name: now here it signifies that this covenant should be made known to the converted Jews, and their interest in it; in virtue of which they shall see that peace is made for them by the blood of Christ; and shall have a true conscience peace in themselves, through that blood of the covenant being sprinkled on them; and be at peace with converted Gentiles, and even with their worst enemies, enjoying all kind of prosperity, temporal and spiritual:

    it shall be an everlasting covenant with them ; it shall not wax old, and vanish away, as the former covenant did; under which they were before the coming of Christ, which was exhibited in types and shadows, legal sacrifices and carnal ordinances; and besides, God will always have a covenant people among them from this time to the end of the world; so that a "loammi" shall no more be written upon them:

    and I will place them, and multiply them ; that is, place them in their own land, and increase their number there: or, "I will give them" (l); a place in their land, and every blessing temporal and spiritual: so the Targum,

    "I will bless them, and multiply them:''

    and will set my sanctuary in the midst of them for evermore ; not any material temple, but his word and ordinances; in which he will grant his spiritual presence with them, and which shall continue to the end of the world.


    Eze 37:27 - My tabernacle also shall be with them, .... The symbol of his presence: the meaning is, that he shall dwell in them by his Spirit and grace; and everyone of them shall be the temple of the living God, in whom he will walk and dwell:

    yea, I will be their God, and they shall be my people ; which is repeated for the confirmation of it; see Eze_37:23.

    We stumble over the obvious in search of the obscure.
     
  16. Helen

    Helen
    Expand Collapse
    <img src =/Helen2.gif>

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2001
    Messages:
    11,703
    Likes Received:
    1
    In an unprovoked agressive move against its neighbors. God does not bless agressors! p

    You mean like when they took the land the first time?


    In 1948 Israel became a nation again.

    What prophecy does this fulfill?

    It is the beginning the fulfillment of Isaiah 51 and many others as well. They have started coming back into their own land.

    I don't want to get into a great hassle here, but I would like to remind folks that the people before Christ were only looking for one coming, too -- the Messiah who would reign as King. They sort of ignored other prophecies, like Isaiah 53 and similar.

    Likewise, today, I think many are missing the fact that although He will come back as Conquering Hero to reign for a thousand years, there is also the clear message that, at a time we do not know, He will call us home. So that is not, technically, Him coming here, but us leaving here at His command.

    He said He will not leave us as orphans. If that which restrains evil is taken away, then that means the Holy Spirit, the only one strong enough to restrain evil, will be taken away. If we are not to be left as orphans, we will be gone, too.

    In the meantime, I bid you all a Happy and Blessed New Year from the soggy American Northwest! Anyone who claims drought after all this ought to have his sanity seriously questioned!
     
  17. Magnetic Poles

    Magnetic Poles
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    May 16, 2005
    Messages:
    10,407
    Likes Received:
    0
    It's good to realize that the entire dispensationalist theology and eschatology is less than 150 years old, and started with Darby and supported by Scofield.
     
  18. Helen

    Helen
    Expand Collapse
    <img src =/Helen2.gif>

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2001
    Messages:
    11,703
    Likes Received:
    1
    from Barry: This has nothing to do with dispensationalism! This has to do with what Jesus said in Luke 21. There He said that when you see the fig tree [Israel] put out its shoots (see Joel 1:7) you know that my coming is at hand.

    After 2000 years, the fig tree of Israel put out its new shoots in 1948. There was no sign of activity before, in that long winter of the dispersion. Suddenly, in 1948, the nation of Israel was born in a day, in fulfillment of Isaiah 66:8.

    Jesus went on to say, in Luke 21:32, "Verily, I say unto you, this generation [the generation which sees the fig tree put out its new shoots] will by no means pass away until all these things are fulfilled."

    In verse 36 He goes on to say, "Watch, therefore, and pray always, that you may be accounted worthy to escape all these things which will come to pass and stand, instead, before the Son of man."

    It's a matter of Jesus' own words.
     
  19. OldRegular

    OldRegular
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2004
    Messages:
    22,678
    Likes Received:
    53
    This was posted on another thread but seems more appropriate here. As JGrubbs has noted earlier an attitude of expectance was taught in the New Testament not an any moment return.

    "There are many passages of Scripture which imply an early return of the Lord. Keep in mind that the New Testament was written for the Church of all time as well as for the early Church. It is true that some of the Epistles were written to specific churches. However, as part of the Canon their messages are applicable to all churches.

    1 Corinthians 1:7-8, KJV
    7. So that ye come behind in no gift; waiting for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ:
    8. Who shall also confirm you unto the end, [that ye may be] blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.

    1 Corinthians 4:5, KJV
    5. Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord come, who both will bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and will make manifest the counsels of the hearts: and then shall every man have praise of God.


    In these passages Paul is speaking to the church at Corinth about the return of the Lord Jesus Christ as if it were near at hand. [There is a view of prophetic time, called foreshortened future, that is used to explain the Scripture practice that makes prophetic events seem near at hand. John P. Newport in The Lion and the Lamb, page 127, writes that foreshortened future was used in the Bible to create an attitude of expectancy. This is particularly true in the New Testament teachings related to the second-coming. ] Was Paul mistaken? Not if we believe in an inerrant Bible. Paul, as did the other writers of the Bible wrote under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. Jesus Christ Himself taught that His people should ‘watch and wait’, as follows:

    Matthew 24:42-44, KJV
    42.Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come.
    43.But know this, that if the goodman of the house had known in what watch the thief would come, he would have watched, and would not have suffered his house to be broken up.
    44.Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh.


    In each of the following passages an attitude of expectancy is taught.

    Philippians 4:4-5, KJV
    4. Rejoice in the Lord alway: [and] again I say, Rejoice.
    5. Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord [is] at hand.

    Hebrews 10:36-37, KJV
    36. For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise.
    37. For yet a little while, and he that shall come will come, and will not tarry.

    1 Timothy 6:13-14, KJV
    13. I give thee charge in the sight of God, who quickeneth all things, and [before] Christ Jesus, who before Pontius Pilate witnessed a good confession;
    14. That thou keep [this] commandment without spot, unrebukeable, until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ:

    Titus 2:11-14, KJV
    11. For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men,
    12. Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world;
    13. Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;
    14. Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.

    Paul’s charge to Timothy and Titus clearly demonstrate that they and all the Saints are to live in expectation of the return of the Lord Jesus Christ, not that Paul held an erroneous belief in the soon return of Jesus Christ.

    Paul is not alone in his teaching of an attitude of expectancy regarding the soon return of Jesus Christ. The Apostle Peter writes:


    2 Peter 3:12-14, KJV
    12. Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat?
    13. Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.
    14. Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless.


    James, the brother of our Lord, writes:

    James 5:8, KJV
    8. Be ye also patient; stablish your hearts: for the coming of the Lord draweth nigh.

    The New Testament was written so that Christians of every age would have an attitude of expectancy regarding the return of Jesus Christ. When believers of this age consider the condition of society they may wonder why the Lord delays His coming. Surely as it was in the days of Noah [Luke 17:26], so it is now. One thing is certain, the Lord will not return until the last of the ‘elect’, those who were chosen in Him before the foundation of the world [Ephesians. 1:4], are brought into the household of faith, which is the Church. Then the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: [1 Thessalonians 4:16, KJV]."
     
  20. Helen

    Helen
    Expand Collapse
    <img src =/Helen2.gif>

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2001
    Messages:
    11,703
    Likes Received:
    1
    When one is living in expectance, it is because one is expecting something!

    The fact is that the term 'elect' is almost always referring to the Jewish people and not to Gentile Christians in the New Testament. The Lord will return with a shout at the end of the Tribulation, which is their seventieth week. We, who are Gentile Christians, however, will be gone from here seven years before that.
     

Share This Page

Loading...