There is nothing that thrills the Christian’s heart more than knowing the Lord Jesus Christ will some day return to this earth. Some of His last words are these: “And behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to give to every one according to his work....Surely I am coming quickly” (Revelation 22:12, 20). What precious promises, that our Savior Himself “will appear a second time, apart from sin, for salvation” (Hebrews 9:28).
Men have sadly blurred this great event by arguing whether Christ’s coming will be before a Millennium, after a Millennium, or whether there will even be a literal Millennium. Suffice it to say, it does not matter. The important thing is that Christ will literally return. Let us not argue the fine details of prophecy. There is so much “reading into” Scripture (this is called “interpolation”) that it is not easily admitted or recognized. Fundamentalists have made such an issue of dispensations, Jewish fables, and carnal millennial views, it is not worth all the time and effort involved to try and sort it all out. (Then, you still could not please everyone.)
“Lord, will You at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?” (Acts 1:6). The question reveals a misunderstanding of the words of Jesus in Matthew 19:28, for the disciples evidently thought our Lord meant that the Romans were to be overthrown, with a physical restoration of Israel’s kingdom. But Christ’s word of response here is very significant: “It is not for you to know times or seasons which the Father has put in His own authority” (v. 7). Despite these clear words from the Lord Jesus, many through the years have set dates for Christ’s return, causing much unbelief and confusion about the subject. We remember well in 1988 a false teacher made lots of money deceiving the unwary with his “88 Reasons the Rapture Will Occur in 1988.” Seems he and all others like him miscalculated and misinterpreted.
Our point here is not to make fun of prophecy or belittle prophetic study. Not at all. We love the prophetic Scriptures, and interpret prophecy literally, except where it is plainly symbolical. The problem is not so much “interpreting literally,” as it is in just believing what it says! We may not understand, for example, what Isaiah 2 and Micah 4 all means, but for sure we believe it. Ezekiel 38-39 we do interpret literally, but that does not mean we interpret it exactly like Hal Lindsey does. And as to what exactly Ezekiel 40-48 is teaching, or exactly means, is not for us to dogmatically assert. We do still believe it, even though interpreters differ on the passage.
Let us note here lovingly that what is primarily important about Christ’s return is that a glorious resurrection is to take place, and usually this is minimized. A whole chapter is given to its importance, I Corinthians 15, of course. When you study this chapter, new understanding is given the humble believer,for here are no arguments about a Millennium, when the Rapture will occur,or if there will be a re-institution of Old Testament animal sacrifices. These things are not here, beloved. And why should we advocate taking a position on these things, when the Scripture is silent on them? Here’s what matters: “This mortal must put on immortality.”
The late evangelist, B. B. Caldwell, was once asked, “What position do you take on the second coming of Christ?” Caldwell simply smiled, stating, “I’m a looker.” And that’s a great answer, which is what we all better be, according to Hebrews 9:28, “And unto them that look for Him will He appear a second time.” Selah.
QUOTE FOR THE DAY
“A lot of eschatology, and much of our theology in general, will be straightened out when Christ comes.” Charles Woodruff