Today’s message summary of January 18, 2015 from Pastor Gus Brown:
We all have a responsibility to study Scripture to be able to learn, grow and try to understand God’s message for us. This is especially true when we examine the end times. This requires a lot of study, for sure, and it is not to be avoided.
People will declare, for example, that Christ is coming soon. While He hasn’t returned yet, He assures us that He is coming. God’s Word is true. The purpose of this study is to affirm God’s truth.
Two phrases that really stick out in Scripture: “Be watchful” and “be ready.” The things that He claims will take place will occur, but it’s not up to us to get caught up in dates.
Theories over Christ’s return:
There will be no physical millennium. The millennium is the present, spiritual reign of Jesus Christ with His people. Jesus may return at any time. The tribulation occurs wherever Christians are persecuted or wars and disasters happen.
The belief that Christ returns after a period of time, but not necessarily a literal 1000 years. Those who hold this view do not interpret unfulfilled prophecy using a normal, literal method. They believe that Revelation 20:4-6 should not be taken literally.
Premillennialism holds that Christ’s Second Coming precedes His establishment of a glorious kingdom of peace and righteousness over earth. He shall personally reign from Jerusalem with His saints for a thousand years (the Millennium).
God will rapture Christians from the earth before (or midway) into the seven year Great Tribulation. Jesus will return to earth. After the great tribulation, but before the thousand years.
Pre-rapture – before the tribulation
Mid-rapture – the middle of the tribulation
Post rapture – after the tribulation
1 Corinthians 13:12
For now we see indistinctly, as in a mirror, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I will know fully, as I am fully known.
The Pharisees and Sadducees approached, and as a test, asked Him to show them a sign from heaven. He answered them: “When evening comes you say, ‘It will be good weather because the sky is red.’ And in the morning, ‘Today will be stormy because the sky is red and threatening.’ You know how to read the appearance of the sky, but you can’t read the signs of the times. An evil and adulterous generation demands a sign, but no sign will be given to it except the sign of Jonah.” The He left them and went away.
The One who lives is true: The Lord Jesus Christ.
Charles Taze Russell, the founder of Jehovah’s Witnesses, at one time predicted that the Lord would return on a certain date. He was ultimately wrong about the date, but he still commanded people to be vigilant and read the Scriptures. Even those persons who were in charge of these religions took into account the need to be vigilant. Our challenge is to seek the truth and to not be fearful of what is to come.
Many refer to the end times as Doomsday. William Miller was the forerunner for the Seventh-Day Adventist movement. He had calculated that the world would end around 1843. He later came back and thought he miscalculated it, but the people who followed him concluded that these things were occurring not on earth but in heaven.
These things have continued over time and will continue to be present, but all of these are merely theories. Please note, however, that in spite of all of these theories, Jesus Christ is for real. While one has every right to belief what he or she chooses to do, God will still ultimately judge based upon that view; after all, He already has the victory.
Jesus of the bible, along with his petty god, is a tyrant. A loving being would not care how or who you worship and would offer the same reward regardless of belief. A truly and just being would judge me based upon my actions and deeds, by merit of my character, and not on whether I believed or not. (No name provided)
A belief has to be based upon something of evidence or value, and not just on what a person thinks.
Christ’s return? He has been returning now for 2,000 years, and still a no show. He is not coming back–today, tomorrow or in the future. My knees will not bend, and I will not need ice water in hell as you say. You are babbling incoherent nonsense without one iota of proof to back up your statements. (Charles Ingrao)
God has made Himself present all throughout the events of history. A person merely needs to review the same and see His presence.
2 Peter 2:3-4
They will exploit you in their greed with deceptive words. Their condemnation, pronounced long ago, is not idle, and their destruction does not sleep. For if God didn’t spare the angels but threw them down into Tartarus and delivered them to be kept in chains of darkness until judgment.
Then Jesus replied to them: “Watch out that no one deceives you.”
This is why you also must be ready, because the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.
“But when these things begin to take place, stand up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is near!”
2 Peter 2:5-9
…and if He didn’t spare the ancient world, but protected Noah, a preacher of righteousness, and seven others, when He brought a flood on the world of the ungodly; and if He rescued righteous Lot, distressed by the unrestrained behavior of the immoral (for as he lived among them, that righteous man tormented himself day by day with the lawless deeds he saw and heard)–then the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from trials and to keep the unrighteous under punishment until the day of judgment.
2 Peter 3:13-16
But based on His promise, we wait for the new heavens and a new earth, where righteousness will dwell. Therefore, dear friends, while you wait for these things, make every effort to be found at peace with Him without spot or blemish. Also, regard the patience of our Lord as an opportunity for salvation, just as our dear brother Paul has written to you according to the wisdom given to him. He speaks about these things in all his letters in which there are some matters that are hard to understand. The untaught and unstable twist them to their own destruction, as they also do with the rest of the Scriptures.
“Look! I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me to repay each person according to what he has done.”
The word “soon” in this passage refers to:
- soon after the present time
- quickly, whenever it occurs
The point of the words, “I am coming soon” was not to point to a particular time when Jesus would return, but to make readers aware that the return of Jesus will occur so quickly that there will be no time to prepare once it happens; therefore, always be ready!