The last few posts, I’ve been kind of personal in things I’ve been wanting to get off my chest for some time now.
How about I shift gears and talk about something else.
I’ve been re-examining what I’ve been led to believe about the last days and the second coming of Jesus, not to fail to mention the fulfillment of prophecies that I have had interpreted for me for most of my believing life, some 40 years now at least— a biblical generation: 40 years.
But now I have other questions to pursue— okay, what about this? what about that? And most importantly, what now?
Because what I’m discovering is causing quite a stir in my eschatological views. If you’re not familiar with the term, it’s basically my expectations and anticipations concerning the final events of history.
Basically, Jesus is due back at any moment, there is an approaching Great Tribulation, and a Beast will compel all, great and small, to worship it. That you and me, we are living in the last days of this wicked system of things, this civilization fractured into nations.
That the things Jesus spoke to his disciples were being fulfilled now, in my generation.
The Baptists teach this, the Seventh-Day Adventists teach this, Herbert Armstrong taught this, and the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society teaches this. They just so happen to have different eschatological views, or expectations on how it will all play out, and unfortunately these interpretations become doctrinal, allowing for no other possibilities even though the Bible makes it clear that humans do not interpret, God unveils.
I daresay that the commanding authority of sects in Gentile Christendom hold to a futurist view when it comes to their eschatology.
I certainly expected Jesus’ second coming to have happened by now, considering I’ve been hearing how his arrival is imminent for the duration of a biblical generation: 40 years.
And as I’ve pointed out elsewhere, it’s been, literally, two thousand years since Jesus told his followers that he was coming soon.
For words to have meaning, they have to mean something, and in this case, soon has to mean what it means, or soon has no meaning. Or at least that’s how I understand the facts.
If I was a doctor, the hospital calls me in for an emergency and I tell them I will be there soon, or shortly, and don’t show up for 2,000 years, then I didn’t do that dying patient a whole lot of good. They’re dead. Dust, except for those few who live on having had their accounts recorded in the pages of the Jewish Christian writings of the period during which world events were reaching their 70CE crescendo at Jerusalem.
And this is okay, I have been led to believe since, as I said, it is the mutual view of Baptist and Jehovah’s Witness, Lutheran and Catholic, who insist that Jesus did not return to his followers as he said he would in their generation.
I mean, I get it: if Jesus did return in the first century, the generation of his apostles, it creates some significant repercussions throughout the futurist view— as I’m already discovering.
Because if Jesus returned as he promised them, then how do I account for the nonsense I see in the world around me? After all, when Jesus returns again, it’s as a king as his kingdom that has no end begins to rule over the earth, the millennial reign of the Messianic High Priest, Jesus of Nazareth, son of the Father and Creator.
If Jesus returned in 70CE, then where’s his kingdom?
I’ve become Thomas the doubting apostle— the one who refused to believe unless he could touch it… see it.
It’s becoming clear to me, and I’m not sure what to make of that.
Did Jesus keep his word to his apostles and return within their generation (40 years), or not.
If he did, then what he said has already been fulfilled, because everything he said would happen would lead up to his return. Again, it’s as simple as that.
And if he returned, then the millennial reign began back then, too, since the violent destruction of the Mosaic Covenant and Law is the first action as the Messianic King. Rendering divine vengeance upon those who who had persecuted his followers, even to martyrdom.
But I see no evidence around me to indicate that I am living in the Messianic Kingdom that I’ve been told about by the various Christian persuasions with which I’ve been associated throughout the 40 years of my life as a believer.
I guess that leaves the alternative: Jesus lied to his followers. The detractors of the Bible and of the Christian worldview, the mockers of Christians— intellectuals, atheists, and others— stand justified in their accusations and ridicule.
Because it’s that simple: Jesus either kept his word, or he didn’t. And if he did keep his word, then this is the millennial reign of Jesus: misery, suffering, abuse, poverty, disease, and death.
Not much of a millennial kingdom, if that’s the case, if I go by what I can see, touch, and feel.
Thomas the doubter’s alive in 2019.
Maybe that’s why it seems to be easier to look forward to a future return of Jesus as his second coming.
Any moment now.
1970 years and counting, give or take a few years, but imminent.
Submitted for your perusal and consideration,
Timothy B. Kline
November 9, 2019