We have come to a time in the history (1999 with Y2K pending!) of mankind when many people are thinking that Christ is on the verge of coming back.
All of these are good questions and deserve to be answered.
"Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also." (John 14:1-3). Christ told his disciples that he was going to prepare a place for them and that he would return and bring them to that place.
"Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven." (Acts 1:11). This was spoken at the time when Jesus ascended into heaven; yet the angels said that he would return.
"Seeing it is a righteous thing with God to recompense tribulation to them that trouble you; And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels," (2 Thess 1:6-7).
"The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to usward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance." (2 Peter 3:9). Peter tells us what this promise is in verse 4 of the same chapter; "Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation." (2 Peter 3:3-4).
"Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is." (1 John 3:2).
Let there be no doubt about it. But can we know when that day will be? That will be discussed next week.
Last week we established the fact that the Bible does in fact teach that Christ will come again. In fact, it teaches it so clearly that it is undeniable to anyone who claims to believe the Bible is God's word.
Now the question arises; when will this event take place?
If you watch the television, you no doubt have noticed that many religious leaders believe that Christ will be coming very soon.
Many in the religious world say that we can, but let's see what the Bible teaches.
Let us start our study with a text which is often misused and misunderstood. Please read the twenty-fourth chapter of Matthew. First, notice Jesus' statement in verses one and two. He tells his disciples that the temple would be destroyed. Then they ask him two questions.
Jesus spends the first 35 verses answering the first question and the remaining 16 for the second. Therefore, when Jesus warns of wars and rumors of wars, pestilence, famines, and earthquakes he wasn't referring to things that would happen just before the end of the world but things that would happen just prior to the destruction of Jerusalem.
Verse 34 is important. This tells us that these things would happen before that generation passed away. We might view it as a transition between the two questions. We know that Christ did not come back the second time during their generation, therefore, his statements so far must have been talking about the destruction of Jerusalem; or he is a liar and we should not listen to him; "When a prophet speaketh in the name of the LORD, if the thing follow not, nor come to pass, that is the thing which the LORD hath not spoken, but the prophet hath spoken it presumptuously: thou shalt not be afraid of him." (Deut 18:22).
Jesus begins talking about His second coming in verse 36. He says that;
And yet, some mere men still have the gall to say that they know. Christ says that He is coming back when we least expect it; "Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh. "(Matt 24:44). For this reason alone, I would be very surprised if Christ came back at the millennium simply because, everyone expects it.
-- Ralph Price - 1999 --