Whom Should We Trust About The Last Days And Second Coming?
Whom Should We Trust About The Last Days And Second Coming: Jesus, Paul, John, Peter, And James—Or Modern Day Teachers?
“These are the days of vengeance to fulfill ALL that is written.” (Jesus, speaking to his disciples, Lk 21:22)
“You will see the Son of Man coming on clouds of heaven. . . . Truly I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all these things take place.” (Jesus, speaking to his disciples, Mt 24:30, 34)
“You will see the Son of Man seated at the right hand of Power and coming on clouds of heaven.” (Jesus, speaking to the first-century Jewish leaders, Mt 26:64)
“Pray that you may have strength to escape all these things that are ABOUT TO TAKE PLACE.” (Jesus, speaking to his disciples, Lk 21:36 YLT)
“When you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies. . . .” (Jesus, speaking to his disciples, Lk 21:20)
“Truly I say to you, there are some standing here who will not taste death until they see the Son of Man coming in his kingdom.” (Jesus, speaking to his disciples, Mt 16:28)
“Now is the judgment of the world; now will the ruler of this world be cast out.” (Jesus, Jn 12:31)
“They were written down for our instruction, on whom the end of the ages has come.” (Paul, 1 Cor 10:11)
“The time has grown very short.” (Paul, 1 Cor 7:29)
“The present form of this world is passing away.” (Paul, 1 Cor 7:31)
“. . . as you see the Day drawing near. . . . Yet in a very, very little while the coming one will come and will not delay.” (Paul, Hebrews 10:25, 37
“The coming of the Lord is at hand. . . . The judge is standing at the door.” (James, Jas 5:8-9)
“All the prophets who have spoken, from Samuel and those who came after him, also proclaimed these days.” (Peter, Acts 3:24)
“He . . . was made manifest in the last times for your sake.” (Peter, 1 Pet 1:20)
“The end of all things is at hand. . . . It is time for judgment to begin.” (Peter, 1 Pet 4:7, 17)
“. . . waiting for and hastening the coming day of God” (Peter, 2 Pet 3:12)
“The world is passing away. . . . It is the last hour.” (John, 1 Jn 2:17-18)
“The revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave him to show to his servants the things that must shortly take place.” (John, Rev 1:1; 22:6)
“The time is near.” (John, Rev 1:3; 22:10)
“I am coming soon.” (Jesus, Rev 3:11; 22:12, 20)
There are over 100 such imminence statements in the New Testament about the timing of the last days and Second Coming. The biblical writers, both from the Old and New Testaments spoke with one voice about the timing and nature of the “last days” and “second coming.” There is no difficulty or mystery understanding what they taught. They taught that the last days and Second Coming were to happen in the first century, while some of the disciples were still alive. It would happen coincident with the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple. And it did happen just as Jesus predicted—in AD 70. The purpose was to punish the Jews for their sin and failure to accept Jesus as the Messiah (Matthew 21, 22, 23, etc.) The Second Coming was never to be a bodily coming to rule the world from earth or to end the space-time universe, but rather to be a presence in judgment (Greek Parousia), similar to the manner that God “came down” numerous times in the Old Testament to punish his enemies. Modern Christians have simply misunderstood and misapplied Hebraic apocalyptic language.
Were Jesus and his followers simply wrong? According to the Bible, a false prophet is one whose predictions fail to materialize (Deuteronomy 18:22). What’s at stake is the authority of Jesus and the Bible. If Jesus and his disciples were wrong, then they were false prophets. If they were false prophets, Jesus is not divine and the Bible cannot be trusted. Even our salvation is in question.
The warning for Christians today is to rid ourselves of presuppositions, preconceptions, non-scriptural traditions, uninformed teachers, and uninspired man-made documents—relying on Scripture alone. The good news is that Jesus and the writers were not wrong at all, so we can rely on the other promises of Scripture as well. We need not fear the Great Tribulation and all that the fear-mongering preachers teach us. That all happened in AD 70. Most importantly, we can trust God’s Word about the promises of eternal life in heaven for all who put their trust in Jesus.