Chapter 4: Jesus ' second
coming and " grace "
Many Christians claim
that the total cancellation of the law of Moses
after the departure of Jesus (pbuh), which Jesus (pbuh) himself
practiced faithfully and fully throughout his lifetime, was
warranted because they are in "grace" and awaiting the second
coming of Jesus (pbuh) which will
come any second now and establish the kingdom of God in great
glory and power. Rather than argue the issue of grace and
whether Jesus (pbuh) himself ever preached such a concept, we
will instead present the following verses with regard to WHEN
Jesus' second coming is supposed to occur. They are self
explanatory but this has not prevented some from inventing new
abstract meanings for them:
"Immediately after the tribulation of those
days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her
light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of
the heavens shall be shaken: And then shall appear the sign of
the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the
earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the
clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And he shall send
his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall
gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of
heaven to the other. Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When
his branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that
summer is nigh: So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these
things, know that it is near, even at the doors. Verily I say
unto you, THIS GENERATION shall not pass, till all these
things be fulfilled.."
How many generations have passed since?
"But take ye heed: behold, I have foretold
you all things. But in those days, after that tribulation, the
sun shall be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light,
And the stars of heaven shall fall, and the powers that are in
heaven shall be shaken. And then shall they see the Son of man
coming in the clouds with great power and glory. And then shall
he send his angels, and shall gather together his elect from the
four winds, from the uttermost part of the earth to the
uttermost part of heaven. Now learn a parable of the fig tree;
When her branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know
that summer is near: So ye in like manner, when ye shall see
these things come to pass, know that it is nigh, even at the
doors. Verily I say unto you, that THIS GENERATION shall
not pass, till all these things be done."
How many generations have passed now?
"And ye shall be hated of all men for my
name's sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved. But
when they persecute you in this city, flee ye into
another: for verily I say unto you, Ye shall NOT HAVE GONE
OVER THE CITIES OF ISRAEL, till the Son of man be come."
They have not only gone over all of the cities
of Israel, but have dispersed throughout all of the Earth and we
are still waiting.
"For the Son of man shall come in the glory
of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every
man according to his works. Verily I say unto you, THERE BE
SOME STANDING HERE, which shall not taste of death, till they
see the Son of man coming in his kingdom."
Are there any of those who were standing there
who are alive to this day? Is this not further proof of
mankind's tendency to put words in the mouth of Jesus (pbuh)
which he never said?
(also see: Revelations 3:11, Rev. 22:7, Rev.
22:10, James 5:8, 1 Thessalonians 4:15-17,...etc.)
Regarding the verse of Mark, Tom Harpur
he (Jesus) apparently expected this cataclysmic event to occur
very soon - in fact, during the lifetime of some of his
For Christ's Sake, pp.37.
At first, the Christian community expected an
imminent return of Christ. We are told that during the first
century AD, the Christian community looked forward to the
imminent return of Christ in glory and the establishment of the
Kingdom. This hope carried on in the second century. When the
second coming failed to occur, the
church organized itself as a permanent institution under the
leadership of its bishops.
This, however, did not stop the predictions of
"the second coming." Some of the
Christian sects that continue to preach this imminent second
coming are the Seventh-Day Adventists, the Christadelphians, the
Jehovah's Witnesses, and the Plymouth Brethren. For example, the
"Adventists" believed that the second coming of Christ is
imminent. They were taught this by the preaching of William
Miller (1782-1849). On the basis of his study of the books of
Daniel and Revelation, Miller predicted that March 21, 1844 was
the precise date when Christ would return to earth. When this
day came and went without the promised appearance of Christ,
Miller changed his prediction to October 22, 1844. This time
there was no doubt. On October 22, 1844, Christ would indeed
return in glory and the Earth would be cleansed by fire,
ushering in the millennium (a 1,000-year reign of righteousness
and peace before the Last Judgment). When the designated date
again passed without event, many believers drifted away.
The faithful remnant of Millers followers
stood by him despite the fact that both of his prediction never
materialized. The most significant of them are the Seventh-Day
Adventists and the Advent Christian Church. The most noteworthy
leader of the Seventh-Day Adventists was Ellen G. White
(1827-1915) who shifted their emphasis to health reform. To this
day, they are believed to number over 800,000 members.
Muslims too believe in the second coming
of Jesus (pbuh). However, Muslims are told that Jesus (pbuh) was
not forsaken by God to the Jews to be killed, rather, he was
raised by God and it was made to appear to those present that he
was crucified (Jesus' apostle Barnabas tells us that it was
Judas the traitor who was taken to be crucified). Muslims are
also told that he will not return to earth until just before the
end of time, and not that he will return before the death of his
own generation, as stated above.
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