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Popular Blunders About Christ’s Return

Audio Transcript

Welcome again on this Friday. Pastor John, again in June of 2021, right here on the podcast, you gave us a private replace. And on the very finish of that replace, like a bit footnote, you briefly talked about that you just had been about to go off for a two-month writing go away to write down a complete e-book about 2 Timothy 4:8 on the second coming of Christ. That was again in APJ 1641. In God’s kindness, the e-book you alluded to there obtained written, edited, and revealed, and is now out below the title Come, Lord Jesus: Meditations on the Second Coming of Christ (Crossway, 2023). We’re going to have a look at that e-book over the subsequent week or so on the podcast in 4 episodes of questions that I’ve for you.

First off, on this new e-book, what turns into fairly apparent to any reader is that you just don’t spend an excessive amount of time dwelling on incorrect views of the top instances. Your purpose actually was to make clear what really occurs when Christ returns and to rejoice it and encourage us to like his showing. That’s the principle theme of the e-book. However I’m wondering when you can be prepared to take ten minutes or so on this episode to sketch for us a few of the misconceptions — the blunders and the city legends — in regards to the second coming that you just hope your e-book will assist individuals to keep away from sooner or later.

Basically, I do assume it’s proper that we do probably the most good for the church with regard to the second coming after we don’t deal with distortions and misconceptions, however quite on the reality and the fantastic thing about what it truly is within the Bible. And but, it’s proper, from time to time, to make our individuals perceive there are misconceptions; there are errors.

5 Misconceptions

Frankly, I’m actually pleased that my e-book is considered as being primarily proactive and optimistic quite than important. However in fact, even that optimistic view might be overstated. If we by no means deal with what’s incorrect and present how dangerous it’s, we received’t actually be biblical, as a result of the biblical witness itself describes errors and their harmfulness — like Jesus did with the scribes and Pharisees or like Paul in exposing errors of false educating in Colossians and different locations.

So sure, I’m prepared to level out some misconceptions in regards to the second coming. Let’s simply take them separately, and I’ll attempt to clarify why I feel they’re an issue.

1. Christ will come after a golden age of Christendom.

First, I’d point out the view that the second coming of Christ is way into the longer term. It won’t occur till the dominion of God is established because the ruling earthly energy, together with the Christianization of the cultures and societal constructions of the earth. That is normally known as postmillennialism, that means that the second coming occurs after (or publish) the millennium. And the millennium in that view is known to be an prolonged interval on this age when the gospel has triumphed in such a method {that a} golden age of Christendom holds sway around the globe and the powers of civil authorities, for instance, are introduced into the service of selling Christian doctrine.

Now, I feel this view doesn’t adequately come to phrases with each the educating and the spirit of the New Testomony that we’re to stay with a consciousness of the nearness of the approaching of the Lord. I don’t assume it involves phrases adequately with the educating of the New Testomony regarding this current age as mendacity “within the energy of the evil one” (1 John 5:19), or how Paul describes this age until Jesus comes as this “current evil age” (Galatians 1:4), or the assertion in Hebrews that “right here we now have no lasting metropolis, however we search the town that’s to come back” (Hebrews 13:14), or how the motion towards the top is described with a motion of larger evil, not much less evil (2 Timothy 3:1–5). And virtually, I feel this view pushes the showing of the Lord to this point out into the distant future that it turns into inconsequential within the day by day consciousness of the church buildings that embrace this view.

“There isn’t a New Testomony promise that the church, on this fallen age, will remodel any given tradition.”

And I feel it skews the mission focus of the New Testomony away from world evangelization and private disciple-making and the method of sanctification. It reorients individuals’s passions onto tradition transformation as a foregrounded purpose quite than a attainable secondary consequence of talking fact and doing like to the glory of Christ. And the explanation I say “a attainable secondary consequence” is that the tradition will not be the report card of the church. There isn’t a New Testomony promise that the church, on this fallen age, will remodel any given tradition. It might. It has. And it might not. It’s as seemingly in any given setting that martyrdom, not transformation, would be the impact of obedience. And when that occurs, the church has not failed. Simply learn the e-book of Revelation. Martyrdom will not be failure.

2. Christ has already come.

Second, there’s a view of the second coming that principally says it’s already occurred — for instance, within the occasions of AD 70, when the Romans destroyed Jerusalem. It’s not a quite common view, I admit, however in that view, the descriptions of his coming that sound globally seen and world-shaking and apparent had been actually simply conventional apocalyptic language to say that the Lord is available in historic judgments on this age, after which he carries it out for the remainder of the time — particularly, his rule over the world by way of the church, with no expectation of any literal second coming in any respect.

And I don’t assume the language of the New Testomony that describes Christ coming might be lowered to symbolic statements of historic occasions like AD 70. Paul’s understanding of the second coming in 1 Thessalonians 4:13–17 is that it includes the resurrection of all of the Christians from the grave. That didn’t occur in AD 70 or at any time. It’s going to occur when the Lord’s showing comes.

3. No occasions have to occur earlier than Christ comes.

Third, I feel it’s a mistake to say that there aren’t any occasions which are but to occur in historical past earlier than the Lord comes. Second Thessalonians 2:1–12 describes an apostasy and the looks of the “man of lawlessness.” And Paul offers these two realities as a solution to the query for individuals who thought that the day of the Lord was upon them. And he says, “Let nobody deceive you in any method. For that day won’t come, except the rebel comes first, and the person of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction” (2 Thessalonians 2:3).

4. Christ will spare his individuals from the tribulation.

Fourth, maybe the commonest false impression of the second coming is that it occurs, so to talk, in two levels. First, he comes and takes Christians out of the world and returns them to heaven with him whereas there’s an ideal tribulation on the earth. After which, after a short while, possibly seven years, he returns together with his saints to ascertain his kingdom.

Now, that’s one false impression I do take care of within the e-book. I dedicate a complete chapter to it, the truth is. So I’m not going to enter any element right here. It’s in all probability the commonest false impression, and other people will likely be stunned. “Whoa, I didn’t know that was a false impression. That’s what I’ve at all times believed.” I grew up with this view. My dad held this view. I really like my dad to demise, to the day he died, and we obtained alongside simply fantastic. However progressively I got here to see that this view didn’t have the Bible on its aspect.

I feel the first hazard of a view like this isn’t that it undermines any vital doctrine (not less than I’m not conscious of anyone going off the rails in any basic method as a result of they maintain this view). However the hazard is that it fosters the expectation that God will spare his individuals from struggling within the latter days. I feel that’s a mistake. And it could possibly be a dangerous mistake if individuals misplaced their religion as a result of all of a sudden they discovered themselves enduring end-time hardships that they thought they had been going to flee.

“God’s personal individuals expertise a few of the struggling of judgment, however we don’t expertise it as punishment.”

First Peter 4:17 says, “It’s time for judgment to start on the family of God; and if it begins with us, what would be the final result for individuals who don’t obey the gospel of God?” I feel he’s displaying in that assertion that God’s personal individuals, the apple of his eye, expertise a few of the struggling of judgment, however we don’t expertise it as punishment. Christ took our punishment. We expertise it as testing, proving, purifying us.

5. Christ won’t ever come.

Lastly, I feel it’s a mistake to say what the skeptics did in 2 Peter 3:4: “The place is the promise of his coming? For ever for the reason that fathers fell asleep, all issues are persevering with as they had been from the start of creation.” In different phrases, it’s a critical mistake, Peter says, to assume, “Nicely, it’s simply been too lengthy. The whole lot simply goes on. He’s simply not coming. It was all a delusion.” That could be a tragic mistake. And right here is Peter’s response: “Don’t overlook this one reality, beloved, that with the Lord sooner or later is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as sooner or later. The Lord will not be gradual to meet his promise as some depend slowness” (2 Peter 3:8–9). Wow — what a response.

Love the Lord’s Showing

So once more, Tony, like I mentioned at the start, I’d a lot quite spend 300 pages in a e-book meditating on the sweetness and the ability and the surprise of what’s actually going to occur when the Lord comes than I’d speaking about errors. In order that’s what I attempted to do within the e-book. The intention isn’t primarily to right errors. It’s primarily to assist individuals love the Lord’s showing.


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