This post consists of my current thinking on the return of Jesus Christ.
I’ve been interested in this subject long enough to know that there are a lot of very mistaken people out there, predicting, prognosticating, and generally confusing and misleading themselves and others, on the subject of the second coming of Jesus Christ. Unfortunately, there are currently none that I trust to a great extent. Some of them- most of them-should not be preaching or commenting at all, they should be plumbers or bankers or truck drivers. But there they are, making money and influence out of we who long to see our world straightened out, and we who are peering longingly over that proverbial event horizon, looking for the faintest signs that the Day is at hand.
The Day has been at hand for many decades now, according to the experts, who have given reason to those who are more than willing to poo-poo the whole idea, through their failed expectations and interpretations. But it really is a serious mistake to think that just because the experts have had it wrong for so long, Jesus Christ is not going to return: He is. How do I know? For the answer to that, you could read a post of mine called “Why I am a Christian”. And perhaps it’s time for me to update my understanding on the prophesies and their significance today.
There are numerous reasons why I’m convinced that there is a God, that His only son is Jesus Christ, and that what we call the Bible is in fact the inspired Word of God. I’ve explained that in the above post. And in that Word are explicit promises of His coming.
Among those who would agree, verbally, with that last statement are those who allegorize prophecy. To me that’s an illogical stance. If you’re going to allegorize half or most of Scripture, you may as well throw it away, because there’s no sure way of explaining it at all, and how can it have any relevance to today? It may even be blasphemous-calling God a liar- to dismiss Scripture as allegory. Why would God write a book to tell us many things we can never understand? Does He intend to keep us all in the dark? Who will the great Interpreter be-the one who knows it all (but still gets it wrong)? Jesus Christ came to do away with experts, for the benefit of all of us.
I take the other view. Not that it’s all literal, but that it can be taken literally except when there is clear indication that it’s allegorical. The prophecies which have been abused and re-invented are not disproved by the many faulty and often stupid and childish interpretations of them.
Among the prophecies are some which are, no doubt confusing, and probably won’t, by intention, be understood until they are actually fulfilled. Others are clear warnings and alerts but can easily be misinterpreted. One, to my mind, has been in process of fulfillment, and still is: the regathering of Israel to its ancient homeland. Past commentators, and often otherwise good ones who I respect, such as Vernon McGee, have been mistaken in their view of this regathering.
He and others were of the opinion that the prophesied regathering cannot happen until the nation is first repentant and contrite. For this reason he dismissed the idea that the current gathering is the Biblical one. But if it is not, then for Scripture to be fulfilled, the nation now unintentionally fulfilling many prophecies would have to be destroyed and dispersed to all parts of the world, and the land left desolate for long ages. Even if the people there now were dispersed, the land would not be left empty, because others who claim it to be theirs would move in immediately to cement their claim. How did McGee miss several verses in the book of Ezekiel to the contrary of his view? For example:
“I want you to know that I am not doing this for your sake, declares the Sovereign Lord. Be ashamed and disgraced for your conduct, people of Israel!” (Ezekiel 36:32).
The repentance of Israel comes later, as attested to in Scripture.
If the current regathering of the nation of Israel to the land is not the one prophesied, it is the most incredible coincidence of history-a miracle without purpose. I’ve covered that before in several posts.
Its timing is also greatly significant, when you consider everything else going on in our world, which, despite the many foolish interpretations by proclaimed prophecy experts, are indeed relevant to what is foretold. It is indisputably true that the world has seen terrible times throughout the millennia. As one example, the Black Death in Europe in the Middle Ages, must surely have been seen at the time as a sure sign that the Day of God’s End Times vengeance was upon them, but it wasn’t. However, the regathering of Israel takes place at a time when the world is slouching towards global governance and the ability to control all people across the globe, as Revelation predicts. It takes place when the Western world is plunging headlong into gross immorality and rebellion against the natural order of things. As Billy Graham is said to have lamented, if God doesn’t judge America soon He will have to apologize to Sodom and Gomorrah.
It is taking place at the only time in history when mankind has the potential to destroy itself:
“If those days had not been cut short, no one would survive, but for the sake of the elect those days will be shortened” (Matthew 24:22).
There are clear signs to be seen by those who are looking. But the blabbermouth preachers who keep linking events of today with Bible prophecy and saying that prophecy has been fulfilled when it hasn’t are like the boy who cried wolf: the cries eventually fall on deaf ears because they have been false, stupid, imagined and forced. And here is where I will lose even more of the few of you reading this far: another false alarm of the wolf variety is talk of an imminent rapture.
For twenty eight years I was convinced of the pre-tribulation rapture theory: no longer. Once I started examining the matter for myself, honestly and in detail, I discovered that the experts have it wrong again. There will be no pre-tribulation rapture. Search for my numerous posts on the subject. Instead, the world, along with we believers, will slide into the events of Revelation and won’t realize we’re there until we’re there. Are you ready for that?
When will that be? Will that be in my lifetime, as I thought it would be for decades? Now I cannot be sure at all. In fact, I realize how arrogant and prideful and selfish it is to wish for the second coming to be in my lifetime. How many millions through the ages have wished the same thing! And twenty, thirty years of human history is nothing, particularly to God. He will not drive the events of the world to suit my timetable or my wishes, and why should He? Who am I? I, relatively speaking, am a nobody, and so, dear reader, are you.
However, for you, and for I, the Kingdom of Heaven is not far away in time. In just a few years, or less, you and I will be there, whether it’s due to the tribulation or our own mortality. We are just a few steps away. We are almost there, with Him, in His presence. And we will be, for ever.