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Thread: The Second Coming of Christ

  1. #1

    The Second Coming of Christ

    Something has been bothering me for some time now and I thought I should get some input from professing believers. It pertains to the second coming of Christ. A while back I was reading the book of Revelation when I ran across verse 22:20 “… Surely, I [Jesus] come quickly. Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus” (KJV – see also 3:11; 22:2,7,12). Out of curiosity I looked up the word “quickly” in my Strong’s Concordance and it had this word and definition: Grk. Tachu (adv.) – quickly, speedily (without delay). Expressed is the idea that Jesus would return very soon. In fact most Bible versions translate the word “soon” and The Message goes so far as to paraphrase “’…. I’m on my way! I’ll be there soon!’ Yes; Come, Master Jesus!” (22:20). I also looked for other Bible verses that used the word "tachu" and none of them corresponded to an extended delay (over many years), all meant "soon" quite literally. It's quite clear that the New Testament encourages believers to mature in Christ with the expectation that Jesus would be returning “soon.” However, here we are some 2000 years later and Jesus has not returned. I'm having trouble seeing how this is not a Bible contradiction. I’ve tried talking with my friends about this issue but they typically brush off the topic with the excuse that the word “soon” is relative and that it could basically mean at any time. They also explain that God’s concept of time is different from ours, so we can’t really know what “soon” means. However, in my studies it seems that when God speaks to mankind through Scripture He does so in terms man can understand. For example, in the book of Genesis it is written that God created the world and all things in it in six days and rested on the seventh. The majority of Christians that I know take this quite literally. When the Bible says that Jesus arose on the third day believers also take that literally. However when John records Jesus as saying “…. I come quickly [soon]” all of a sudden time is relative and “soon” could mean anything?

    I’ve heard some believers state that what’s taking so long is that certain things have to happen before the return of Christ (i.e. 2 Thessalonians 2:1-12; Luke 17:20-37) and that things are definately shaping up for His return. Some even point to technological advancements as “evidence” for the approaching of Christ's return. But when I read Scripture it’s quite apparent that the New Testament believers actually thought Christ would return “soon”, most probably in their time or shortly thereafter. Paul apparently believed that he lived in the “last days” (Hebrews 1:1-2). Peter believed that “… the end of all things is at hand [draws near, approaches]” (1 Peter 4:7). Throughout the book of Revelation John encourages believes to 'shape up before they ship out', believing that Jesus would return “soon”. So if the return of Christ would be thousands of years later, then why were these divinely inspired New Testament writers so convinced that Jesus would return very soon? And why did John use a certain word (tachu) when quoting Jesus as saying He would come "soon" if divine foresight should have known that 2000 years later Christ would not have returned? He could have easily said "some day", "eventually", or "after much time passes" instead. These questions are very bothersome to me and have really hurt my faith. Worst of all I'm criticized by some of my friends for "doubting" despite the fact that I'm just quoting Scripture. Any help would be appreciated.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Saurasenas View Post
    Something has been bothering me for some time now and I thought I should get some input from professing believers. It pertains to the second coming of Christ. A while back I was reading the book of Revelation when I ran across verse 22:20 “… Surely, I [Jesus] come quickly. Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus” (KJV – see also 3:11; 22:2,7,12). Out of curiosity I looked up the word “quickly” in my Strong’s Concordance and it had this word and definition: Grk. Tachu (adv.) – quickly, speedily (without delay). Expressed is the idea that Jesus would return very soon. In fact most Bible versions translate the word “soon” and The Message goes so far as to paraphrase “’…. I’m on my way! I’ll be there soon!’ Yes; Come, Master Jesus!” (22:20). I also looked for other Bible verses that used the word "tachu" and none of them corresponded to an extended delay (over many years), all meant "soon" quite literally. It's quite clear that the New Testament encourages believers to mature in Christ with the expectation that Jesus would be returning “soon.” However, here we are some 2000 years later and Jesus has not returned. I'm having trouble seeing how this is not a Bible contradiction. I’ve tried talking with my friends about this issue but they typically brush off the topic with the excuse that the word “soon” is relative and that it could basically mean at any time. They also explain that God’s concept of time is different from ours, so we can’t really know what “soon” means. However, in my studies it seems that when God speaks to mankind through Scripture He does so in terms man can understand. For example, in the book of Genesis it is written that God created the world and all things in it in six days and rested on the seventh. The majority of Christians that I know take this quite literally. When the Bible says that Jesus arose on the third day believers also take that literally. However when John records Jesus as saying “…. I come quickly [soon]” all of a sudden time is relative and “soon” could mean anything?

    I’ve heard some believers state that what’s taking so long is that certain things have to happen before the return of Christ (i.e. 2 Thessalonians 2:1-12; Luke 17:20-37) and that things are definately shaping up for His return. Some even point to technological advancements as “evidence” for the approaching of Christ's return. But when I read Scripture it’s quite apparent that the New Testament believers actually thought Christ would return “soon”, most probably in their time or shortly thereafter. Paul apparently believed that he lived in the “last days” (Hebrews 1:1-2). Peter believed that “… the end of all things is at hand [draws near, approaches]” (1 Peter 4:7). Throughout the book of Revelation John encourages believes to 'shape up before they ship out', believing that Jesus would return “soon”. So if the return of Christ would be thousands of years later, then why were these divinely inspired New Testament writers so convinced that Jesus would return very soon? And why did John use a certain word (tachu) when quoting Jesus as saying He would come "soon" if divine foresight should have known that 2000 years later Christ would not have returned? He could have easily said "some day", "eventually", or "after much time passes" instead. These questions are very bothersome to me and have really hurt my faith. Worst of all I'm criticized by some of my friends for "doubting" despite the fact that I'm just quoting Scripture. Any help would be appreciated.
    The arguments you presented are very valid points. There are various points of views on these time statements given in scripture. Most fall under what your friends have told you that "soon" or "the time is near" is from God's timing or point of view, so those statements are ambiguous and can mean anything (ususally 2000+ years and counting). The majority are in this camp and feel that God was pointing to an event in the far future to the audience who heard it and is now (probably our century) being fulfilled are Futurists, most Churches and Christians believe this. The minority view is that God meant what He said and was pointing to most of the events in the end times back in the 1st century when the temple and Jerusalem was destroyed. Scripture was pointing to a coming in Judgment only against Covenant breaking Israel of the 1st century. The 2nd appearing (coming) is still seen as a future coming, Partial-Preterists would fall under this view.

    The time statements you mentioned are either seen as "in God's time" or mean what they say (plain literal meaning). If seems the majority view does not sit well with you, I would suggest you look into the partial-preterist view of the end times as a majority of the Church believes the futurist view (unless you are a partial-preterist already). There are many partial-preterist brothers and sisters on this forum who would gladly share their views with you. There are many threads addressing this issue that would answer many questions you have.

    Note of caution though, any views or comments questioning the 2nd coming of our Lord or the resurrection of the dead are forbidden on End Times Forums as they fall under the Full-Preterist view (all end time events have occurred already in 70 A.D.) It seems with the title of your thread it could come to that. I myself fall under this view but I don't debate those issues here as per leadership. You are allowed to express that a Judgement coming happened in the 1st century but do not express or debate that the 2nd coming occurred already. If you wish to discuss those issues you must go to the controversial issues forum.

    Remember, the very questions you ask is what got many (including myself) to really study the Bible for myself. God will show you the way. God bless you as you study His Word.
    Last edited by Romulus; May 23rd 2007 at 04:03 PM. Reason: Additional-word of caution

  3. #3
    Hi Saurasenas,
    I am a new Christian, about 2 years now, and for the most part I take certain things in the Bible litterally, but one way or another God has a plan for the future and I feel that it will play out in due time. We are all anxious for Jesus's return, so don't let one word shake your faith, I am glad in some ways that Jesus hadn't come yet, because it allowed me to come to Christ, so I wouldn't be left behind, and that I still have time to witness to others. The Christians in our present church age believe it will be in our time because of Daniel 12:4 "but you, Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book until the time of the end; many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall increase." But, of course there are many more scriptures given as a sign to our age, and if you read newspapers such as the Jerusalem Post, or keep track of what's going on in Israel and the world, our world is as bad, or even worse compared to Noah's time. There are many signs today of the possible one world religion, EU or the government creating a one world currency which they expect it to be the amero, replacing all other currency, false prophets are everywhere, the 104 acre compound in Iraq, maybe new Babylon, the site of Soloman's Temple being found next to the Dome of the Rock, blue prints for it's rebuilding, and even the Jewish priests have purchased things for the Temple already, but the two biggest are the Jews returning to their homeland, and the gospel being taught to every nation. The last two are not completed yet, because Americans are still trying to get the Jewish people back to their homeland, and with today's technology, and missionary work the gospel is getting to remote areas but, there still are people who don't know Christ. I do understand your fustration, but "soon" is only a word, and even Jesus did not know when He would return only the Father, maybe it was used so people would be prepared for His return, because it will happen quickley, too quickley for people to even think about it, and it could happen at 3am or 11pm? I don't know about you, but we may be sleeping, and in a blink of an eye will be ascending to Jesus. I, too, sometimes used to get frustrated when reading the Bible, and there are still things I don't even understand or can reason out, so I don't worry about the small stuff, I just know when it happens, it will happen, and I am at peace with this. My favorite saying to all of it is..........Christians walk by faith, and not by sight.
    I probably didn't answer your question, but I just wanted to let you know that there are signs all around us, but it boils down to walking by faith......

  4. #4
    Look at Rev. 22:12 - It tells that Jesus is coming soon and places it at the time of reward.

    Reward time is found in Rev. 11:18.
    the 7th trumpet

    Look at Luke 14:14 and see that we are recompensed /rewarded at the time of the resurrection of the just.
    /7th trumpet
    time to> judge the dead
    Rev. 11:18

  5. #5
    See it > the entire Revelation was given to John so that we would know when to expect the quickly type of parts that happen within that Revelation time.

    Such as> the third woe cometh quickly
    /the 7th trumpet
    the resurrection of the just
    the rapture


    There is coming a moment - at the 7th trumpet time when it will be too late for people to repent - as Jesus is coming quickly at the third woe.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Saurasenas View Post
    Something has been bothering me for some time now and I thought I should get some input from professing believers. It pertains to the second coming of Christ. A while back I was reading the book of Revelation when I ran across verse 22:20 “… Surely, I [Jesus] come quickly. Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus” (KJV – see also 3:11; 22:2,7,12). Out of curiosity I looked up the word “quickly” in my Strong’s Concordance and it had this word and definition: Grk. Tachu (adv.) – quickly, speedily (without delay).
    Well, for those who claim that "quickly" in those verses in Rev. would prove that Jesus was referring to His soon coming judgement on Jerusalem in 70 AD, "quickly, speedily (without delay)" according to Strong's would certainly refute that idea in my opinion.

    Even for those who hold to the earlier date, before 70 AD, when John wrote Revelation, they still believe that there were several years between the writing of Revelation and 70 AD from what I've read. And those years in between would certainly "delay" a coming of Christ in judgement that would prevent Him from coming "quickly" and "speedly".


    Shirley

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    Quote Originally Posted by ShirleyFord View Post
    Well, for those who claim that "quickly" in those verses in Rev. would prove that Jesus was referring to His soon coming judgement on Jerusalem in 70 AD, "quickly, speedily (without delay)" according to Strong's would certainly refute that idea in my opinion.

    Even for those who hold to the earlier date, before 70 AD, when John wrote Revelation, they still believe that there were several years between the writing of Revelation and 70 AD from what I've read. And those years in between would certainly "delay" a coming of Christ in judgement that would prevent Him from coming "quickly" and "speedly".


    Shirley
    I must disagree (respecfully). For those of us that believe that Revelation was written prior to 70 A.D. between 64-66 A.D. during the reign of Nero "soon" or "quickly" makes more sense that between 4-6 years being fulfilled is quickly. Much more quicker then 2000+ years and counting. Anyway the events that were unfolding was actually happening already including the Neronic persecution that lasted 42 months (3 1/2 years). Hmm sounds familiar, doesn't it? The plain literal meaning makes more sense then throwing the events centuries later into our time when we were not the audience. The hurting persecuted Church of the 1st century was.
    Last edited by Romulus; May 23rd 2007 at 04:47 PM. Reason: better thought, punctuation

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    Jesus coming quickly:

    For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. - Matthew 24:27

    I'd say coming as quick as lightning shines from the east to the west is coming quickly. Elsewhere it says that He is coming suddenly and unexpectedly like a thief in the night. Once it's time for Him to come, He will not delay.

    And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be. - Rev 22:12

    If this is speaking of 70 AD, what reward did He have with Him and what did He give to EVERY MAN according to his works? That sounds more like the day of judgment to me in which every person will stand before the throne of Christ and give account of themselves.

    When the word "quickly" is used elsewhere in the New Testament, it is used to indicate something being done immediately with no delay. A four to six year delay would not be immediate.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Romulus View Post
    I must disagree (respecfully). For those of us that believe that Revelation was written prior to 70 A.D. between 64-66 A.D. during the reign of Nero "soon" or "quickly" makes more sense that between 4-6 years being fulfilled is quickly. Much more quicker then 2000+ years and counting. Anyway the events that were unfolding was actually happening already including the Neronic persecution that lasted 42 months (3 1/2 years). Hmm sounds familiar, doesn't it? The plain literal meaning makes more sense then throwing the events centuries later into our time when we were not the audience. The hurting persecuted Church of the 1st century was.
    Well now, if my retired husband were to call me today from our farm 25 miles away and say, "Honey, I will come home soon for supper" but didn't show up for 4-6 years later, I will guarantee you one thing. He wouldn't find any supper from me waiting for him when he came.

    I would know that something bad was wrong. (He has a bulldozier and tractor that he uses on our pine tree farm.) Because when he said that he would come home soon for supper, I would certainly expect that he would mean by "soon", at least sometime that same day before midnight. And if he tried to convince me that when he said "soon", he really meant "years", I wouldn't believe him.

    Shirley

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    Quote Originally Posted by ShirleyFord View Post
    Well now, if my retired husband were to call me today from our farm 25 miles away and say, "Honey, I will come home soon for supper" but didn't show up for 4-6 years later, I will guarantee you one thing. He wouldn't find any supper from me waiting for him when he came.

    I would know that something bad was wrong. (He has a bulldozier and tractor that he uses on our pine tree farm.) Because when he said that he would come home soon for supper, I would certainly expect that he would mean by "soon", at least sometime that same day before midnight. And if he tried to convince me that when he said "soon", he really meant "years", I wouldn't believe him.

    Shirley
    Imagine your husband came back 2000+ years later, then you really wouldn't believe him (respectfully). If we go by the 1st chapter in Revelation it sets up the fulfillment of the coming Judgment very nicely.

    Revelation 1

    1The revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave him to show his servants what must soon take place. He made it known by sending his angel to his servant John, 2who testifies to everything he saw—that is, the word of God and the testimony of Jesus Christ. 3Blessed is the one who reads the words of this prophecy, and blessed are those who hear it and take to heart what is written in it, because the time is near.

    I think the "soon" and "time is near" statements fall quite nicely into a 4-6 year period of being fulfilled. Much better then not happening within the lifetime of those who heard the prophecy and right now 2000+ years (and counting) in being fulfilled.

    Again, no debate on the 2nd coming.

  11. #11
    BeOfGoodCourage Guest
    The credibility of Ireneous is up for debate. This same 2nd century man who some have interpreted to say that John was given the Revelation in the 90's is the same man who said Jesus was crucified when He was 55.

    We don't need to rely upon this kind of unreliable source when the True source shows us exactly that Revelation was given prior to its prophecy fulfillment regarding the first century event.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BeOfGoodCourage View Post
    The credibility of Ireneous is up for debate. This same 2nd century man who some have interpreted to say that John was given the Revelation in the 90's is the same man who said Jesus was crucified when He was 55.

    We don't need to rely upon this kind of unreliable source when the True source shows us exactly that Revelation was given prior to its prophecy fulfillment regarding the first century event.
    Very true. Irenaeus's statement from his "against heresies" is very ambiguous......

    "We therefore do not run the risk of pronouncing positively concerning the name of the Antichrist, for if it were necessary to have his name distinctly announced at the present time, it would doubtless have been announced by him who saw the apocalypse; for that was seen, not very long time since, but almost in our own generation, toward the end of Domitian's reign."

    Here we have the statement "that". Is Irenaeus talking about a copy of the apocalypse, the vision itself, or John himself. I don't lean toward John since you wouldn't call someone "that", but the terminology used by Irenaeus himself is also disputed by scholars.

    In another of his books he (Irenaeus) makes the statement.....


    "As these things are so, and his number [666] is found in all the approved and ancient copies."

    This makes the argument for a pre- 70 A.D. date more clear (based on Ireneaus). If Irenaeus living in the time of Domitian calls the copies of the apocalypse ancient then they couldn't have been written in his time. To use the word "ancient" meant that it had to be written much earlier. Even so, 30 years earlier barely constitutes an "ancient copy".

    I believe the internal evidence from the scripture it self is evidence enough that it was before the destruction of Jerusalem. All of the Christian Fathers who agree with the late date are solely doing so based on the statement by Irenaues. Many fathers dispute the late date and agree with a date during Nero's reign.

    Plus it seems strange that if Revelation was written after 70 A.D. that no mention of the destruction of the temple and Jerusalem is mentioned. In the book itself the temple is still standing, the beast refers nicely to Nero and Rome, it mentions that the "great city" is "where their Lord is crucified, the beast's horns refer to the line of the Roman emperors and the 6th king is currently reigning etc.

    This is enough internal evidence that substantiates the statments "soon", and the "the time is near". Otherwise we must change the plain literal meaning of the statments given.....and unfortunately starting from the first verse of Revelation.


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    Here is a simple rule of thumb that I have been using on some of these hard questions.

    We know that God does not lie, yet we must also be able to reconcile what the bible says with what has happened.

    The Word says, behold, I come quickly.

    History shows, He has not yet come.

    God has a plan, and according to His time table, Jesus will come.

    My simple understanding of this is as follows...

    If Jesus had declared the time of His coming... and that that time would not happen for at least 2000 years... what would have been the attitude of His followers.

    Mans usual habbit is... if something dont need to be done right away... it gets put off... and we do something else instead.

    The gospel message is likely not to have... gone to all the world... in the days of Paul. Christianity would not have become the worlds major dominant religion. And on an individual note... none of us would be inclined to make our lives right with God.

    The message of the Bible intended by the statement... behold I come quickly... is totally in line with other related messages like... today, if you will hear my voice... and... today is the day. The bible is strong with the urgency of having the matter of your salvation sorted today. Backed up by the warning/promise... and my reward is with me.

    Those who make their lives right with God will receive life everlasting...

    Those who put it off and miss out will recieve their reward/punishment which is death.

    Others may not see it this way ... but that is how I resolved it.

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    Your right, the Lord has his own way of time, but remember this, the signs of the end time. They arn't just in the Bible to give you a scare!
    Signs:
    wars, rumors of wars (War In Iraq perhaps?)
    famines (I know you see those commercials on T.V!)
    False Prophets (remember a few years back, the fake Lord tricked many into drinking poison?)
    EARTHQUAKES ( the tsunami??)
    This is just my guessing and no one will know until it is time if these are just quiencidences or if they are the real thing. All I know is the only way to be ready when the Lord comes to take us to paradise ( I can't wait!) is to stay close to him!!

    Cling to him and you will have more anticipation than worry in your soul for that special day!

    -Angel

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    Quote Originally Posted by KnightwithDignity View Post
    Here is a simple rule of thumb that I have been using on some of these hard questions.

    We know that God does not lie, yet we must also be able to reconcile what the bible says with what has happened.

    The Word says, behold, I come quickly.

    History shows, He has not yet come.

    God has a plan, and according to His time table, Jesus will come.

    My simple understanding of this is as follows...

    If Jesus had declared the time of His coming... and that that time would not happen for at least 2000 years... what would have been the attitude of His followers.

    Mans usual habbit is... if something dont need to be done right away... it gets put off... and we do something else instead.

    The gospel message is likely not to have... gone to all the world... in the days of Paul. Christianity would not have become the worlds major dominant religion. And on an individual note... none of us would be inclined to make our lives right with God.

    The message of the Bible intended by the statement... behold I come quickly... is totally in line with other related messages like... today, if you will hear my voice... and... today is the day. The bible is strong with the urgency of having the matter of your salvation sorted today. Backed up by the warning/promise... and my reward is with me.

    Those who make their lives right with God will receive life everlasting...

    Those who put it off and miss out will recieve their reward/punishment which is death.

    Others may not see it this way ... but that is how I resolved it.
    I agree with you that many aspects are ongoing, such as the advancing of the kingdom and such but my reasoning is a little different.

    I of course agree that the Bible does not lie, so the time statments given are true. History shows that Jesus did not come in the way I thought so rather then change the meaning of the scripture I rather changed my understanding on how he would come (in judgment). Old Testament scripture shows that God has been coming in Judgment of nations all through history and uses the same language that Revelation does (clouds, moon turning red, sun not giving it's light, falling stars etc.), Isaiah has many examples of this. It was through the heathan armies that destroyed Jerusalem just as God used armies to judge nations that were against Him in the Old Testament.

    I believe that it is our thinking that must change. The Bible is not wrong, if it does not happen how we think it will then we must change. Just a thought for everyone. God Bless!
    Last edited by David Taylor; May 24th 2007 at 05:06 PM. Reason: removed phrase advancing Full-Preterism; not allowed on ETC

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