The Return Of Jesus

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by ChristianIssues, May 26, 2011.

  1. ChristianIssues

    ChristianIssues
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    The Return Of Jesus

    There is so much happening in the world today that most people believe Jesus will return soon. In Matthew 24, Jesus gives us an overall picture of the worldwide events which will occur before He returns. In Matt. 24:1-5, when Jesus was asked about the sign of His coming and the end of the age, the first thing He said was, “Watch out that no one deceives you. For many will come in my name, claiming, 'I am the Christ,' and will deceive many”. This warning is of such great importance that Jesus repeated it twice more in Matt. 24:11,24 and, after speaking about false Christs, false prophets and the Great Tribulation, He said in Matt. 24:25, “See, I have told you ahead of time”. In these verses, Jesus has given us a very serious warning to be prepared for the possibility of facing the horrors of the Great Tribulation. So, let's look at the rest of Matt. 24.

    Matt. 24:6-7 say that there will be wars, famines and earthquakes (the word earthquake also means storms). These worldwide tragedies are occurring one on top of the other and many barely even make the newspapers. Disasters that are fresh in our minds are soon blotted out by new ones.
    Matt. 24:8 then says that these things are the “beginning of birth pains” so this means that greater pain will follow. If the 2011 Japanese tsunami is just the beginning of birth pains then what horror is yet to come?
    Next, Matt. 24:9-13 speak of Christian persecution, death, hatred, apostasy, betrayal and the deception of false prophets. During this time, evil will be so great that “the love of most will grow cold” (Matt. 24:12) and this is why Matt. 24:13 warns us to remain in Christ. It says, “but he who stands firm to the end will be saved”.

    Next, Matt. 24:15-22 again speak of the persecution and tell the Jews in Judea to flee when the Antichrist appears in the temple in Jerusalem because his appearance will be the beginning of great distress like never before seen in the world (this is called the Great Tribulation). Matt. 24:22 says that it will be so bad that, for the sake of Christians, those days will be cut short.
    Then Matt. 24:23-24 once again warn about false Christs and false prophets who will perform such great signs and miracles that even the elect may be deceived.
    In Matt. 24:25, Jesus warns us, “SEE, I HAVE TOLD YOU AHEAD OF TIME”.

    Then, in Matt. 24:26-29, after warning about false Christs again, Jesus says that His return will be seen by everyone, just like lightening is seen from the East to the West. He said not to believe people when they say that Christ was here or there but to look for the special sign of His coming. That sign is given in Matt. 24:29 which says, “the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from the sky, and the heavenly bodies will be shaken” and only AFTER this sign will the Lord return.

    So far, Matt. 24 has told us:
    There will be wars, famines and earthquakes
    then
    The Antichrist will reveal himself in the Temple
    then
    Christians and Jews will be severely persecuted
    and
    False Christs and false prophets will deceive many
    then
    There will be a sign in the sun, moon and stars
    and then Matt. 24:30-31 tell us that, AFTER that sign appears in the sky, Jesus will be seen coming on the clouds and the nations will mourn because they know that they are about to be destroyed. Matt. 24:31 tells us that, at that time, Jesus will send His angels with a loud trumpet call to gather (rapture) the elect to be safe with Him while God's wrath is being poured out on the earth, ending with the war of Armageddon.

    So, it is quite clear that the church will see the Antichrist and go through great tribulation until Jesus returns to rapture believers and to destroy sinners.

    2 Thess. 2:1-3
    2 Thess. 2:1-3 also show that the Rapture won't occur until after the Antichrist appears. In part, these verses say, “Concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered to him [the Rapture] … Don't let anyone deceive you in any way, for (that day will not come) until the rebellion occurs and the man of lawlessness [the Antichrist] is revealed, the man doomed to destruction”. These verses clearly say that Christians will not be gathered to the Lord until AFTER the revealing of the Antichrist and that is exactly what Matt. 24 says.

    1 Thess. 4:13-5:11
    Many Christians believe that 1 Thess. 4:13-5:11 is talking about another gathering to the Lord. They believe that these verses say that Jesus will rapture the church before the Antichrist appears. However, Chart 1, below, compares 1 Thess. 4-5 to Matt. 24-25 and shows so many common points that it is clear that they are both talking about the same event.
    [​IMG]

    The many similarities between 1 Thess. 4 -5 and Matt. 24-25 make it very clear that they are describing the same event. There is only one return of Jesus and it is after the Antichrist appears and persecutes Israel and the church. When Jesus returns, He will first rapture His elect and then God’s wrath will be poured out on the earth.

    Rev. 6-8
    Further proof that Matt 24. gives the sequence of events leading to Jesus' return can be found in Chart 2 below. This chart compares Matt. 24 with Rev. 6-8 and a clear parallel can be seen between these two passages.
    [​IMG]

    Jesus Himself has given us both Matt. 24 and Rev. 6-8 and the obvious parallel is further proof that Matt. 24 is the sequence of events leading to Jesus’ single return. (The charts in this article have been copied from http://www.scriptorium.org and The Rapture Question Answered, by Robert Van Kampen).

    Other passages, like Luke 17:22-35 and 2 Thess. 1:6-11, show that on the day that the Lord returns He will first rapture His people and then punish sinners who are left on the earth. There is not one verse which says that the Rapture will occur before the Antichrist appears.

    Why should Christians face persecution?
    Many people say that God would not allow His people to suffer the Antichrists' persecution but, besides the many examples of persecution in the Bible, Phil. 1:29 tells us that “it has been granted to you on behalf of Christ not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for him” and Rom 8:17 says, “Now if we are children, then we are heirs - heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory”. And Jesus said in John 15:20, “No servant is greater than his master. If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also” so it is not right to say that God would not allow His people to suffer. But why will God allow it when He could easily prevent it?

    Well, in Heb. 2:10 we are told that Jesus was made perfect through suffering and 1 Pet. 1:6-7 tell us that, through suffering, our faith is proved genuine and refined just like gold is refined by fire so suffering perfects us in the same way it perfected Jesus. Rom. 5:3-5 tell us that we should rejoice in our sufferings as “suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us”. In 2 Corinthians, Paul talked about suffering several times and in 2 Cor. 7:4 he said, “in all our troubles my joy knows no bounds” and, in Matt. 5:11-12, Jesus said, “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you”.

    So, God uses suffering to prove our faith, to perfect us and to lead us to a great reward in heaven and it is God's promise that He will always be with us to carry us through hard times. In Rom. 8:35-39 Paul said that nothing can separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus and in 2 Tim. 1:11-12 he spoke of his suffering and trust in Jesus to keep him - “And of this gospel I was appointed a herald and an apostle and a teacher. That is why I am suffering as I am. Yet I am not ashamed, because I know whom I have believed, and am convinced that he is able to guard what I have entrusted to him for that day”. Throughout the ages, many Christians have suffered and even been martyred for their faith and Jesus was always with them so we can be sure that He will also be with us in our trials.

    If we are to endure severe persecution, such as during the Great Tribulation, then we will have a very great need of the Lord's presence because He warns us that “at that time many will turn away from the faith” and that only “he who stands firm to the end will be saved” (Matt. 24:10,13). So, let us all heed the Lord's warnings and learn how to walk very closely with Him. An article on hearing and following Jesus’ voice is at - http://www.christianissues.biz/thewayofpeace.html

    Finally, Jude 1:24 comforts us in saying, “To him who is able to keep you from falling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy”.

    May we all say, “The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and I am helped” (Psa 28:7).
     
  2. MamaCW

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    We're currently studying REv during wed bible study but I must admit that with my little one, I cant really focus (we're going to a new church planter's church wed since our church is over an hour away and my hubby doesnt get off work in time to drive down)...
    but yeah.. What verse was it when they are talking about when Isreal becomes a nation again, that that generation will basically see when the beginning of the end occurs... i heard 1948 and 1967 but didnt hear what exactly he said because I was trying to keep my LO from writing all over himself...
    but yeah.. what would you consider a generation? I think I heard him say 40 years is considered a generation..so that would mean "any day now" lol...yowzers...

    I wanna see my boy get married..but then again..If i don't ..i probably won't be too disappointed lol
     
  3. tinytim

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    The word for Generation in that passage, MamaCW, is related to genome.. IOWs the Jewish DNA will not vanish from earth until all is accomplished..
     
  4. TCGreek

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    I personally don't hold to Dispensational Premillennialism.
     
  5. michael-acts17:11

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    Your timeline completely ignores Christ's clear teaching in Matthew 13 that the unbelievers will be gathered out first at the end of the world. How do you explain this?

    So the servants of the householder came and said unto him, Sir, didst not thou sow good seed in thy field? from whence then hath it tares? He said unto them, An enemy hath done this. The servants said unto him, Wilt thou then that we go and gather them up? But he said, Nay; lest while ye gather up the tares, ye root up also the wheat with them. Let both grow together until the harvest: and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn....

    He answered and said unto them, He that soweth the good seed is the Son of man; The field is the world; the good seed are the children of the kingdom; but the tares are the children of the wicked one; The enemy that sowed them is the devil; the harvest is the end of the world; and the reapers are the angels. As therefore the tares are gathered and burned in the fire; so shall it be in the end of this world. The Son of man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity; And shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth. Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Who hath ears to hear, let him hear.
     
    #5 michael-acts17:11, May 26, 2011
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  6. tinytim

    tinytim
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    MamaCW, you are prolly way to young to remember 1988.. I was 18 at that time, and remember a lot of date setters say the Rapture was happening then because it was 40 yrs (one biblical generation) after Israel became a nation.. (1948).. when that didn't happen, they moved the date to 40 yrs after 1967.

    Also, another problem with dating things from the dates of today's nation of Israel is the problem that they rejected Jesus, and the church is now the ones with the promises through Jesus.. WE are Spiritual Israel. (according to apostle Paul)..

    I am curious what would happen if today's national Israel was destroyed, or taken over.. what would the dispensationalists say?
    It could happen, because that country is no more special now than any other country.

    The OT promises that God made Israel were either fulfilled in Christ, or will be fulfilled in the church, the true Israel.. those that are IN the Seed (Jesus).
     
  7. preachinjesus

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    Yep, well stated :thumbsup:
     
  8. beameup

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    You may want to check this out as this entire section in Matthew is addressed to religious Jews:
    Matthew 24:20 "But pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the sabbath day:"
    In a case like this, I would assign this chapter of scripture to Messianic Jews DURING the Tribulation (ie: "disciples").

    The "benchmark" of scripture applying to born-again believers in this present age of "The Church" and prior to the
    Tribulation would be found in Thessalonians (both first and second).

    "For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ" I Thes. 5:9 :love2:
     
    #8 beameup, May 26, 2011
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  9. tinytim

    tinytim
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    But Christians through they ages have been affected by God's wrath being pourd out on unbelievers..
     
  10. Jerome

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    Yes, like Noah, Lot, the Hebrew firstborns in Egypt, etc.
     
  11. michael-acts17:11

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    That "benchmark" is presuppositional eisegesis, not Biblical exegesis. Matthew 24 is spoken to Jews in the present sense, not in a futuristic sense. "Pray ye that your flight be not in winter..." Premillennialism requires the rejection of proper grammatical interpretation of Scripture in lieu of a "soon means later" & "you means someone else". Rightly dividing the Word means that we should seek to understand the Word as it was understood by the original hearers & recipients of the epistles & books.
     
  12. beameup

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    The passages spoken by Jesus to his disciples will have a tremendous impact upon the disciples during the Tribulation.
    Of course, the Gentile Bride of Christ will be observing these things from the Third Heaven (Rev. 4:1).
    The Jews have a destiny to fulfill which was "suspended" until the "fullness of the Gentiles". There will be Jewish Disciples in the Tribulation.
    Matt 24:14 "And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come."

    Like I said, the Holy Spirit specifically included in Matthew 24:20 "But pray ye that your flight be not in the winter,
    neither on the sabbath day: For then shall be great tribulation" (last 1/2 of Tribulation where God's WRATH
    is poured out on the inhabitants of the world).
     
  13. michael-acts17:11

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    The last part was from you, not the Holy Spirit. Scripture refers to a time of tribulation that they will experience, hence "pray that your flight be not...". Also, it is never referred to as the Great Tribulation; that is man-made title. You are ignoring the grammatical context of the passage in order to fit it to your premillennial theology. He was telling the actual hearers to be prepared for the coming judgement. How do you balance your views with Matthew 13 where Jesus said unequivocally, " Let both grow together until the harvest: and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn... The field is the world; the good seed are the children of the kingdom; but the tares are the children of the wicked one; The enemy that sowed them is the devil; the harvest is the end of the world; and the reapers are the angels. As therefore the tares are gathered and burned in the fire; so shall it be in the end of this world"?

    After all these years, it still amazes me when I see someone so blatantly ignore & reject the clearly written & easily understood words & context of the Text so that they may believe a hodgepodge doctrine. This generation means that generation. You means someone else. Soon means in thousands of years. It would be funny if it weren't so sad.
     
    #13 michael-acts17:11, May 27, 2011
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  14. beameup

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    OK, then from your perspective Matthew Ch. 24 has already been fulfilled and as such is irrelevant to the Church as composed of Gentile Christians.
    If it is "past" and hence no longer relevant, then it should not be used to form any doctrine of eschatology... right?

    I personally would use the Gentile Epistles written by the Apostle to the Gentiles as a FOUNDATION on which to
    "rightly divide the scriptures". Anything contradicting Pauline doctrine I would assign to be N/A or assigned to "another dispensation".
    Rom 11:13
    For I speak to you Gentiles, inasmuch as I am the apostle of the Gentiles
    see also: I Tim 2:7, 2 Tim 1:11


    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Now the Bereans were of more noble character than those in Thessalonica, for they received the message with great eagerness and
    examined the Septuagint every day to see if what Paul said was true.
    Acts 17:11 paraphrased :laugh:
     
    #14 beameup, May 27, 2011
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  15. hellbindercda

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    I would agree, and clearly from pauls writings to the thessalonians in both books, the gathering of believers does not happen until after the anti-christ is revealed.

    when one interprets scripture it is extremely important to let the scripture say what it says as naturally as possible and not force an external view on it.

    while i myself do not hold a hard specific view on this issue, one thing i can say with confidence. hard "pretribulation", bride of christ, pre 70th week of daniel theology is forced on scripture and not naturally read anywhere.

    no one, coming in to scripture and reading the plain meaning of it would come up with this view. in order to arrive at those conclusions you must alredy have several pre conceived ideas that you use as a mold to force other scriptures into.
     
  16. beameup

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    OOps!
    "For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.
    And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved" Matt 24:21-22a

    So maybe Jesus was misguided? Or the Great Tribulation of Revelation has already taken place??
     
    #16 beameup, May 27, 2011
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  17. beameup

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    "For 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:
    Then we which are alive [and] remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord."
    1 Thes 4:16-17

    Nothing in this passage indicates that the Lord Jesus Christ is physically RETURNING to the Earth. Revelation 19 clearly describes the return of Jesus
    TO THE EARTH to destroy his enemies.

    As far as to the timing of the revelation of the False-Christ, 2 Thess 2 may require a little research to come to a conclusion for yourself as the Holy Spirit leads you.
    You will have to determine exactly what the "day of Christ" (2 Thes 2:2) means;
    and what apostasia means in the context as "departure" could be a double-entendre (2 Thes 2:3).
     
  18. hellbindercda

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    according to second Thessalonians chapter 2 that event can not happen until after the man of sin is revealed.

    first of all apostasia is a well known word and it does not mean what you say at all. this is another example of having an idea and forcing it on scripture regardless of the cost. secondly that would cause the scripture to contradict itself. "the gathering can not occur until after the gathering occurs".

    This brings up an even more important point. Here we have a modern day example of the kind of logic and thinking that Jesus confronted in His own day. You have an idea, and you are willing to completely ignore and or change the meaning of any scripture in order to fit your idea. The whole idea that Paul was exclusively the apostle to the gentiles and none of the other apostles were completely contradicts the very words of Jesus himself as well as other facts recorded in the New Testament.

    No where is it said that Paul is the *exclusive* apostle to the gentiles and the 12 are the apostles to Israel. In fact that idea completely contradicts the great Commission, where some time ahead of pauls conversion Jesus told the 12 and the disciples with them to start in Israel and take the gospel to the gentiles.

    Several apostles were martyred in gentile countries being apostles not to Jews in those countries but gentiles. Further, God demonstrated the Gospel that the 12 preached and the message they preached was for the gentiles as can be demonstrated in acts long before paul was on the scene.

    how is it that the men of today feel so comfortable with tossing out the words of Jesus himself and exalting one of his apostles higher than the Lord?

    how does anything Paul is told later super seed this spoken by Jesus to those who watched Him ascend into Heaven after spending 3 1/2 years with him and witnessing the resurrection?

    And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.
    (Mat 28:18-20)


    Paul the apostle was not given a new message or a different message, he is not the bringer of a "new dispensation" that only started with his calling into ministry. He was added to the existing ministry.

    There are so many extremely bad doctrinal ideas no where taught in scripture packaged together to make this view. It would take pages to demonstrate the poor scripture interpretation and or where external ideas are forced on the text. The Church is made up of Jews and Gentiles, not only gentiles. there is no such thing as the Gentile bride.

    We do not teach doctrine by supposed typology. We teach doctrine according to the clear teaching of scripture, within its historical, grammatical, structural context, as it would have been read and understood by the original recipients in a plain way.

    i know this will not be enough for you to consider the ideas you have been taught. But maybe it will at least give you pause to stop and think about them vs what the scripture actually says.
     
  19. michael-acts17:11

    michael-acts17:11
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    That's an awfully noisy return with the shouting, angels & trumpets for it to be a super secret rapture of the church that nobody hears or sees. Matthew 13 says clearly that the unbelievers will be taken first. I'll believe Jesus over you.:jesus:
     
  20. beameup

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    I would find it very "sketchy" to form doctrine on parables... sorry.
     

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