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 The Coming of Christ (Revised and Extended)

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TomL
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PostSubject: The Coming of Christ (Revised and Extended)   Sat Feb 02, 2013 8:53 am

First, let's get rid of the falacy of the "second coming of Christ." That term is found nowhere in scripture, at least not in reputable translations.

It is not that I don't believe in the coming of Christ, I do. It's a matter of timing. I believe the coming of Christ had already occurred.

The Bible is an historical book. It was not written to or about anyone living today. It was written specifically to the people of that time and for their understanding and edification. So, how would they have understood it. They probably thought that the coming of Christ was imminent in their lifetime. And they were right.

II Peter 3:9 states, "The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentence." Peter was dealing with those who who have been upsetting early Christendom by questioning the Lord's promise to return. People fully expected His return in their lifetime.

Now, why would the people of that time expect the return or coming of Christ in their lifetime? Because it was part of the Apostolic message. James 5:7&8 states, "Therefore be patient, brethren, until the coming of the Lord. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, waiting patiently for it until it receives the early and latter rain. You also be patient. Establish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord IS AT HAND." The imminent return of Christ was taught by the apostles. My first question for you is this, "Did the apostles lie?"

Now, let's look at some of the words of Jesus. Matthew 16:27&28 states, "For the Son of Man will come in the glory of His Father with His angels, and then He will reward each according to his works. Assuredly I say to you, there are some standing here who SHALL NOT TASTE death till they see the Son of Man COMING in His Kingdom." This indicates that the coming of Christ in His kingdom would be in the lifetime of SOME of the disciples.

Matthew 24:29-31, Jesus said, "Immediately after the tribulation of those days, the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give it's light; the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And He will send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they will gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other."

Here's what we have so far; 1) The apostles taught the immenent return of Christ in their lifetime. 2) Jesus indicated that His coming would be in the lifetime of some of His disciples.

But, now we come to Matthew 24. Jesus had just been in the temple in Jerusalem condemning the scribes and the Pharisees, for all their wickedness down through the years. And at the end of this diatribe, Jesus said, "Assuredly, I say to you, all these things will come upon this generation." - 23:36. Now, when Jesus said, "this generation," do you suppose he was referring to some far off distant generation? He just got finished condemning them for all their wickedness, and then He says, their punishment wouldn't occur till some far off generation. Yeah right. 23:37 established that they were in fact in Jerusalem. And that is where Matthew 24 begins.

Matthew 24 starts with Jesus and the disciples leaving the temple. Jesus showed them the temple, and told them it would be destroyed. They asked this question, "when will these things be ? And what will be the sign of your coming, and of the end of the age?" Jesus then told them of unprecedented great tribulation that would befall Jerusalem. Not, America. And, IMMEDIATELY AFTER THE TRIBULATION OF THOSE DAYS, the sun would be darkened, etc. Then you will see the sign of the Son of Man... then they will see the Son of Man COMING IN HIS KINGDOM, not thousands of years later, but immediately after the great tribulation that would befall Jerusalem. Well, that great tribulation did occur just as Jesus foretold, culminating in the desecration and destruction of the temple in 70 AD.

There you have it, the case for the coming of Christ in 70 AD. However, there is much more in Scripture that confirms what is written here. This little article simply is the beginning. However, I do believe this is enough to establish the fact that the coming of Christ did indeed take place in 70AD.

Most experts agree that Jesus and the apostles taught the imminent return of Christ, and that the earliest Christians believed it would happen in their lifetime. At the same time, they also say, it didn't happen yet, because it is not written about, there were no witnesses. But the lack of corroborating witnesses could mean that it could have happened.

If a tree falls in a forest, and there is no one to hear it, did it make a sound? And if there is no one to see it, did it indeed fall? Then if you come a long sometime later, and see dead wood leaning up against another tree, and the other end is near a tree stump with markings indicating the tree has been snapped rather than cut down. Would you not conclude the tree has fallen, even though you were not there to hear or see it? The lack of witnesses doesn't prevent you from concluding that the tree in fact has fallen. A conclusion based on all the facts in evidence that is available to you. Well, that is the way I see the coming of Christ. Due to the lack of corroborating witness, I looked at the available facts in evidence that I do have, and made the conclusion that Christ did indeed return in circa 70 AD.

What are those facts in evidence.

1. Jesus is not a liar.

2. The statements Jesus made to His disciples suggests that His return would be in their lifetime.

3. Historical documents that indicate that Judea did indeed go through a great tribulation that has never happened before or since.

But that evidence is not good enough for a lot of people.

If someone came to you, and says that "this tree shall soon fall," and you go back a year later and see that that tree has fallen, would you think that the prophecy that the tree shall soon fall had been fulfilled?

Well what about all of those statements like, "must shortly take place," or, "is at hand." And what about John who wrote, that they were in the "last hour." I John 1.28. If John and his audience was in the last hour, is it possible that we are still in the last hour, with all evidence that suggests otherwise.

- All Scripture quotations from the NKJV study

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