Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Looking Forward To The Past

I received several questions in response to last week’s article. This week and the next we will have a look at the comings of Christ, past and future.

My friends’ questions appear bold and italicized.

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“Do you believe Jesus in Revelation 22, he is coming soon again in our near future?”

This is the kind of thing Christians shouldn't say to each other.

All of us believe Jesus. Just because we may understand things differently, doesn't mean we are unbelievers.

When Bible-believing Christians disagree, it isn't a matter of believing but of interpreting. We should try to keep this in mind. We can question each other's interpretation, but Christian love and respect should caution us against questioning each other's belief in Jesus.

Now, I do not think Jesus' words in Rev. 22 (His coming soon or quickly) have to do with our future. If it has to do with our future, why could He tell John to "not seal" the prophecy because the "time is at hand" (Rev. 22:10)? I interpret Jesus' soon coming in Rev. 22 to be in regards to His judgement coming in 70 AD, not His Second Coming.

“ . . . now, that you have shared that he came to the first century as in judgment, but that is not his second coming, when in the scripture does He say He will come a third time?”

Nowhere does the Bible speak of a "third coming." This isn't how the Bible speaks. For that matter...I'm not sure the Bible contains the phrase "Second Coming" or even "First Coming." Right?

But the concept of First and Second Comings is biblical, in my estimation, and is common, acceptable, historical verbiage.

(I would not use the term "third coming" because the First and Second Advents are not in the same category as the judgment comings of God/Christ. If one conflates these then one would have to say that what Christians call the First Advent was really a third, or fourth or maybe even a fifth. Such isn't at all helpful.)

The Second Coming, as it is taught in orthodox/ creedal Christianity, and I believe scripture, is a physical event. Two passages of scripture which I believe teach a Second Coming are 1Cor. 15:23-28 and 1Thess. 4:13-18. (Full preterists, of course, disagree—not because they don't believe these passages, but because they interpret them differently from Christians who are not Full preterists.)

"When in scripture does He say He will come..." 

The Bible—to my knowledge—nowhere says when the Second Coming will be. 

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