I read an article last night lamenting the seeming turning away from biblical teaching on the return of Christ. The author pointed out that many churches today are purposefully avoiding the subject. Which the author pointed out is a shame considering Scripture says we are to comfort one another with this doctrine, we are to be watching for His return, we should love His return.
The author pointed out a few reasons why this trend seems to be occurring. One, which he pointed directly to Scripture regarding the mocking of those who say things such as it's been so long since His promised return and He's not come yet, so...
I've noticed among some there does seem to be a more dismissive tone in this area with some basically feeling that if He's not come yet, He's not coming anytime soon. To me, I find that to be a very sad perspective.
Other aspects regarding this decline and avoidance of preaching and teaching on the subject were said to stem from some folks simply having tired of those over the years proclaiming "He MUST return very, very soon". Some to the point of date setting or virtual date setting. There are also those who have tired of the prophecy centered ministries (such as Jack Van Impe, etc.) which over the decades have pointed to one contemporary news story after another to declare "this is it" and build people up with the expectation the end is right at hand.
As the author pointed out, there are many valid points to be said against many of those things (mentioned above) but to ignore a major biblical doctrine because of those things is an even worse course of action. As was stated, the biblical preaching on the topic of the return of Christ can be presented without hype, without playing upon peoples fears or emotions.
Preaching, teaching and discussing the return of Christ should be something we relish, not run or hide from.
Does your pastor still preach/teach on the subject?
Our pastor is currently preaching from Proverbs, but whatever part of Scripture he's preaching from, if the subject of the return of Christ is there, he preaches it. Just recently in our adult Sunday school class we went through the two books of Thessalonians, which has much to say on the return of Christ, and our pastor taught upon every verse, not shying away from what Scripture says or any questions from our gathering.
How are your pastors doing in this area? What about other churches in your area?
We have one church which is basically all end-times talk all the time and they tend to lean towards the sensational and "look at the news, that's right from Scripture, the rapture MUST happen very, very soon" sorts. At least two other churches seem to avoid the topic altogether.
Do you find comfort in the thought of Christ returning? Does considering the return of Christ compel you to be more diligent in living for Him rather than self?