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Return Of Christ


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#1 John81

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Posted 30 July 2014 - 07:22 AM

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?



#2 Standing Firm In Christ

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Posted 30 July 2014 - 08:44 AM

To some extent, there is nothing wrong with those who view the news and state emphatically that Christ's return is imminent.  I applaud them for their expectancy that Christ should come at any moment given the signs all around us.  We all should have a love for His soon return.

The sad thing is, many have grown complacent.  They, like the scoffers in the Bible, seem to have the attitude "where is the promise of his returning?" 

My opinion?  The latter group are either unsaved, or have not been taught to love the Lord, to expect His return.  Their Church assembly needs a good does of the reality that liberalism crept into their midst and has caused them to be complacent in this area.

And if they are complacent in the doctrine of Christ's soon return, what has that done to their study time?  Their fellowship? Their attention to the things of God as a whole?



#3 DaveW

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Posted 30 July 2014 - 08:56 AM

I am studying for a series on prophecy right now.

#4 John81

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Posted 30 July 2014 - 09:00 AM

Saying the Christ could return at any time, imminently, is very different than pointing to a particular news story and saying that news proves Christ will return soon; sometimes with an added time frame but not an actual date setting.

 

I can understand why some folks would grow weary, even complacent, if that's the only sort of end times teaching they know of. Imagine having heard for the past 20, 30 or 40 years that Christ will be returning very, very soon, in a year or two, before the decade is out, all based upon a contemporary news story, only to see that pass and the preacher jump on the next news story to start his predictions all over again.

 

The reestablishment of Israel was said to mean Christ would return within 40 years.

 

The Jewish taking of Jerusalem was said to mean Christ was about ready to return.

 

The Arab oil embargo meant the time was nigh.

 

The Iranian hostage crisis...

 

The Soviet invasion of Afghanistan...

 

Various wars between the terrorist PLO and other terrorists groups...

 

The election of Ronald Reagan...Bill Clinton...Obama...

 

The first Gulf War...the Second Gulf War...the war on terrorism...

 

This natural disaster, then that one, then the next...

 

For folks who are fed only that end times diet, I can understand some becoming tired and uninterested.

 

What these folks need is some real, straight from the Bible teaching on the return of Christ.

 

While it's available in the Bible, the sad fact is many Christians have never been taught how to read or study their Bible, or even that it's important. Many also have various MVs which confuse them even more.

 

Now is the time for solid, from Scripture, teaching and preaching on the subject. Forget the fictional books and movies on the end times, we need a concentration upon Scripture.

 

(sorry, didn't realize the time, I have to go)

 

Appreciating the input thus far!



#5 2bLikeJesus

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Posted 30 July 2014 - 09:22 AM

The Lord's return is preached often at my church.  In fact, it is brought up at least in passing almost daily.  Whenever my pastor makes an announcement of an event that will occur on some future date it is always prefaced with the statement "if the Lord tarries" then such-and-such will happen on said-date.  He keeps the Lord's eminent return always in the forefront of our minds reminding us that it could happen at any moment.  He has never foolishly tried to make a definitive statement about exactly when, or even that anything in the news (short of the Dome of the Rock being scraped off in Jerusalem for the re-building of the temple) as the harbinger of His return.

 

Bro. Garry 



#6 John81

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Posted 30 July 2014 - 10:53 AM

Dave,

 

I would appreciate if you would share from your studies/series. Feel free to share some here or start a separate thread just for that.

 

Pastor David Jeremiah preaches a series on the end times each year. I try to catch that on the radio.

 

We are at the end of First Timothy in our adult Sunday school. That means we will be getting to Revelation eventually. What began as a survey of the Bible, beginning in Genesis and working our way through, has turned out to be more of an in-depth (sometimes very in-depth) survey of the Bible.



#7 2bLikeJesus

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Posted 30 July 2014 - 02:11 PM

I am the sound man at our church and therefore I have a digital copy of every sermon my pastor has preached for the last 11 years.  If I could figure out how to share them in the sermons section I would be glad to put up what he has preached on end times.  I have not been able to figure out how to get the sermons to post.  



#8 HappyChristian

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Posted 30 July 2014 - 02:17 PM

I am the sound man at our church and therefore I have a digital copy of every sermon my pastor has preached for the last 11 years.  If I could figure out how to share them in the sermons section I would be glad to put up what he has preached on end times.  I have not been able to figure out how to get the sermons to post.  

Maybe post something to BroMatt in the computer section. If it can be done, he'll know how.



#9 Covenanter

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Posted 30 July 2014 - 02:24 PM

In Mark 13 (& Mat. 24 & Luke 21) Jesus warns his Apostles about the events that surround the destruction of the temple & Jerusalem. The wars, rumours of wars, famines & earthquakes are not signs of the end. They will happen down the ages.

 

The specific events happen before AD 70 - to this generation:

30 Verily I say unto you, that this generation shall not pass , till all these things be done .

31 Heaven and earth shall pass away : but my words shall not pass away .

32 But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father.

33 Take ye heed , watch and pray : for ye know not when the time is .

34 For the Son of man is as a man taking a far journey, who left his house, and gave authority to his servants, and to every man his work, and commanded the porter to watch .

35 Watch ye therefore: for ye know not when the master of the house cometh , at even, or at midnight, or at the cockcrowing, or in the morning:

36 Lest coming suddenly he find you sleeping .

37 And what I say unto you I say unto all, Watch .

Jesus then speaks of the passing of heaven & earth, but with NO warning signs. We are commanded to live as his watchful servants.

 

Take ye heed , watch and pray : for ye know not when the time is .

 

Our Pastor, preaching 2 weeks ago from the beginning of Mark 13 spoke of the desctruction, & of the timeless warning & encouragements that apply to us in our generation. 



#10 Invicta

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Posted 30 July 2014 - 06:01 PM

When I was younger, gospel services often ended with "Jesus could come tonight, are you ready?"  



#11 John81

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Posted 30 July 2014 - 06:05 PM

It seems most of us do far too little watching and praying. That's not a popular concept these days and not something I hear/read preached or taught much today. Especially here in America where many Christians look on things like watching and praying as being boring and "doing nothing". We have allowed the secular culture to influence our Christianity so that many American Christians think they have to be doing some obvious work or they aren't doing anything; even if the "work" isn't productive, scriptural or for the Lord.

 

I admit, I've struggled with that in the past so I can understand how easy it is to fall into that trap.

 

Another point I've noted over the years is how Scripture is clear that the wars and rumour of wars, earthquakes and such are NOT a sign the end is upon us yet it's so often preached and taught otherwise. This seems to be much more harmful than another like matter where it's so often preached there were three wise men in the stable with newborn Jesus.

 

Looking around it seems there is a shift, at least in American Christianity, with regards to the return of Christ. While the "Left Behind" books and movies (along with similar) became so popular that among some there was almost hysterics, this seems to have not only faded but become at least somewhat looked down upon. The fact Hollywood made a movie based upon "Left Behind" should be a clue about some of this.

 

Now it seems some pastors are being more careful in their preaching on the subject, which is a good thing. Yet some are turning from the topic and not addressing the return of Christ, which is a bad thing. There is also a shift from the predominate pre-trib rapture view to other (mid-trib, for instance) views as well as views that don't involve such a rapture.

 

All of this while the American church is also going through dramatic and often drastic changes in their stances on entertainment, homosexuality, marriage in general, the authority of Scripture, politics, etc. There is a realigning taking place within denominations, independent churches, and Christianity in general here in America.

 

Recently a missionary couple from our church returned and they reported that one of the African churches they visited on their way home is preparing missionaries to send to America. They said there appears to be a great calling in several African churches to send forth missionaries to America. They also said the African Christians view the return of Christ as something very certain and as reason why they need to truly surrender all to Christ and live for Him and spread the Gospel. They said the African Christians take this much more seriously that most of us.



#12 John81

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Posted 30 July 2014 - 06:07 PM

Invicta,

 

The conservative pastor at the Assembly of God church I was saved in used to say that a lot. His replacement never said such, but he did speak in tongues :icon_rolleyes: 



#13 Covenanter

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Posted 14 August 2014 - 04:15 PM

It seems that most people who believe inthe second coming look at the news events & say the Lord must be coming soon. (Pseudo-)Ephraem the Syrian (cited in another thread) took the same attitude. He's dated between 3rd & 7th Century. Many others, including a Pope seeing the collapse of the Roman Empire, have said the same thing. I hear it frequently - probably because they hear it on radio tv.

 

Every one has been WRONG, though one day someone will be right, & Jesus will return. The signs were given for the Jerusalem Christians to know when to flee from the city. Our message is NOT "run to the hills" but "run to Jesus." He is the only place of safety.



#14 John81

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Posted 14 August 2014 - 05:57 PM

Yes, we are called to be ready at all times and to be about the Father's business; not spending our time in endless speculation.



#15 Ukulelemike

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Posted 14 August 2014 - 06:41 PM

There is a definite line we walk on the subject-we are so tired of "Jesus is coming in THIS generation! He must!" and then, that generation passes, and no Jesus. We grow weary of being excited expectant, only to see nothing.

 

Yet at the same time, we KNOW He's coming, at a prescribed time, so we ARE expectant-yet we also need to keep the continued work at the forefront of our minds, the day-to day, here and now work of God.

 

We MUSt live with one foot on earth, and one foot in heaven, but its not always easy to remain balanced. I see some who spend all their time and study and efforts on Jesus' return, to the exclusion of staying busy here today, while others are So busy today they seem busy for the work's sake, not for the coming reward.  It's a tightrope, a balancing act.



#16 beameup

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Posted 14 August 2014 - 08:38 PM

I heard David Jeremiah speaking from Revelation about a literal future Babylon "the great".  I happen to agree. 

He then likened its destruction to the burning oil wells set on fire by Saddam Hussein's retreating troops.  Again, I happen to agree.

I suspect that the remains of Eden are in the form of a massive amount of crude oil under present day Iraq,

and that it will bring prosperity, such as the world has never witnessed, when it is found.

 

Of course, this implies that radical Islam must be totally shamed militarily (by Israel), and the "Global Warming" theory proven incorrect.

Whenever I was wrong about prophecy it was when I didn't take the Bible literally enough.


Edited by beameup, 14 August 2014 - 08:39 PM.





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