“First of all, you must understand that in these last days some people will appear whose lives are controlled by their own lusts. They will mock you and will ask, ‘He promised to come, didn’t he? Where is he? Our ancestors have already died, but everything is still the same as it was since the creation of the world!’(2 Peter 3: 3-4)
The book of Acts Chapter One documents a scenario where Jesus Christ bids farewell to his disciples by charging them not to leave Jerusalem until they receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on them so that they may become effective witnesses of Him. After saying these words, Jesus is taken up before their very eyes into heaven. While the disciples are looking intently up into the sky suddenly 2 men dressed in white stand beside them, and they utter these words to them: “Men of Galilee! Why do you stand here looking into the sky? The same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven.”
Over 2000 years, interestingly, have now passed since these words were uttered, and there seem to be no fulfilment of such prophetic words yet. This is besides a number of Scriptural passages (1 Thessalonians 4: 13-18; 5: 1-11; Revelation 22: 12-15; 2 Thessalonians 2: 1-12; Mark 13; Matthew 24 etc.) which predict of Jesus imminent return. Is Jesus really coming again?
I strongly believe that Jesus is really coming again as declared in the Holy Scriptures over 2000 years ago. In fact, we are living in the last days – a time when the Trumpet may sound an unexpected time. But why is there such resistance and unbelief to such messages of the last days, Hell and Heaven, or Rapture? To some such messages are ruled out of the equation based on the notion or belief that they are merely meant at instilling or cultivating some elements of fear in people’s hearts. Of course, this notion, may to some extent be true especially when you consider some ‘threatening’ or ‘scaring messages or sermons’ on the above topics in our respective church denominations.
As a result of such overzealous presentation of the messages, many have been led to accept Jesus Christ not out of the conviction of the Holy Spirit but rather out of fear of the imminent danger. However, when such people discover that life goes on and that the professed imminent danger is not coming soon [or to pass] as they envisaged they lose faith and return to their old sinful ways. This is why it is imperative that wisdom from God should always be in full operation in somebody who is presenting such messages. Besides, such messages should at all times be presented in line or in relation with the saving acts of Jesus Christ at the cross since the main goal is to lead people to Christ.
There are again some instances where such ‘scaring messages’ are presented out of the Biblical context in order to suit the preacher’s own personal agenda or goal. Remember that any message, regardless of the presenter’s level of spirituality, status, education background, title or achievements, that is not consistent [or does not agree with what is written in the Bible] with the word of God is false. In other words, I may be telling you a message which I may claim is from the Lord or is from the gospel. But if such a message[ no matter how inspiring or eloquently presented it is], does not agree with what the Bible says, you ought to reject it right away without considering whether I am a prophet, senior pastor, bishop or evangelist. I may have all these big titles but if my message does not augur well with the inspired Word of God then I am a liar for the Bible is infallible [no lie].Apostle Paul clearly attests to this by stating that “Whoever teaches a different doctrine and does not agree with the true words of our Lord Jesus Christ and with the teaching of our religion is swollen with pride and knows nothing” (1 Timothy 6:3-4).
Galatians 1: 6-10 ably puts this as follows: “Evidently some people are throwing you into confusion and are trying to pervert the gospel of Christ. But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let them be under God’s curse! As we have already said, so now I say again: if anybody is preaching to you a gospel other than what you accepted, let them be under God’s curse! Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ”
The Bible further stresses that: “You may wonder how you can tell when a prophet’s message does not come from the LORD. If a prophet speaks in the name of the LORD and what he says does not come true, then it is not the LORD’s message. That prophet has spoken on his own authority, and you are not to fear him”(Deuteronomy 18:21-22).This the reason why as Christians we need to test any message, spirit, or doctrine against the Scripture in order to know if it is from God or not. “My dear friends do not believe all who claim to have the Spirit, but test them to find out if the spirit they have comes from God. For many prophets have gone out everywhere” (1 John 4:1). The point I want to underscore here is that you need to remember at all times that word of God remains the yardstick of determining the truthfulness of any message, those relating to the coming of the Son of Man and the end of the age etc.
On the other hand, some people have deliberately taken the above notion or reasoning [end of the age messages as scaring] as a justification [or lame excuse] for rebuffing or rejecting any message that relates to the end of age or coming of Jesus Christ even when such messages have been properly presented and are consistent with the Bible. This is regrettable and a missed opportunity of understanding the times we are in and where we are heading to. In fact, we must always remember that God out of his abundance of grace and love “never does anything without revealing his plan to his servants, the prophets” (Amos 3:7).
Just as He continues to do this today amongst his righteous ones, God revealed many years ago to his servants [John, Paul, Matthew, Daniel, and others] of the things to come. Our yesterday, present age, and future were already unveiled to his servants [Bible writers and prophets]. So whether one deliberately ignores such messages or not, as long as such messages are in the scriptures or consistent with Scriptures they must and will come to pass. Dear friend, remember that every prophecy in the Bible must and will come to pass since it is the Word of God, the Mind of God, and the Will of God.
“And you remember that ever since you were a child, you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to give you the wisdom that leads to salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful for teaching the truth, rebuking error, correcting faults, and giving instruction for right living, so that the person who serves God may be fully qualified and equipped to do every kind of good deed”(2 Timothy 3:15-17).
Furthermore, the Bible strongly says that His word is flawless (perfect, no errors or lie), that God watches over his word, and that the word of God will not return back to him void or empty until it accomplishes[or completes] the work it was meant[or intended] for. So, if God said that the dead will rise from the dead then such a word must and will accomplish this task [of bring the dead to life] when the dead shall indeed rise from the dead. In the same way, If the word of God as spoken to his servants Daniel and Apostle John in the books of Daniel and Revelation respectively foretold of the ‘Rapture’, the coming tribulation period, the emergence of the Anti-Christ, the Mark of the Beast , the reign of Jesus on the earth, and a New heaven and new earth then all this must and will come to pass or accomplished since it is the word of GOD.
It is also important to point out here that some have also doubted the validity [truthfulness] of such ‘eschatological’ messages [‘end of age’ messages] based on the fact that Jesus has not yet come despite his coming being foretold ‘kuyambila kalekale.’ To them this is just a mere myth without substance, which was held by our fore grandfathers and continues to be held by us today. However, one thing that such people are ignorant of is the fact that through such doubtful sentiments they are merely fulfilling what was already said in the Scripture two thousand years ago.
God spoke through Apostle Peter forewarning the church of such trends [doubting His coming] which will be common in the last days;
“First of all, you must understand that in these last days some people will appear whose lives are controlled by their own lusts. They will mock you and will ask, ‘He promised to come, didn’t he? Where is he? Our ancestors have already died, but everything is still the same as it was since the creation of the world!’ They purposely ignore the fact that long ago God gave a command, and the heavens and the earth were created…But the heavens and the earth that now exist are being preserved by the same command of God, in order to be destroyed by fire. They are being kept for the day when godless people will be judged and destroyed. But do not forget one thing, my dear friends! There is no difference in the Lord’s sight between one day and a thousand years; to him the two are the same. The Lord is not slow to do what he has promised, as some think. Instead, he is patient with you, because he does not want anyone to be destroyed, but wants all to turn away from their sins. But the day of the Lord will come like a thief…” (2 Peter 3:3-10).
Of the hour and date we do not know, only God knows. But His words and the current events in this world give us a clear picture that the clock is ticking, and Christ is indeed coming soon. ‘Listen!’ says Jesus. ‘I am coming soon! I will bring my rewards with me, to give to each one according to what he has done. I am the first and the last, the beginning and the end. Happy are those who wash their robes clean and so have the right to eat the fruit from the tree of life and to go through the gates into the city” (Revelation 22:12-14).
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