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When is Jesus coming? The Bible is very clear that no one knows when that event will occur. It is kind of like trying to anticipate the next terrorist attack. People have their best guesses and the terror index goes up and down and so far nothing has happened here in the States. I actually found a website the other day that has a rapture index (kind of like the terror index) that is supposed to indicate based on world events how close the coming of Christ is.

I don’t know about you, but back in the Fall of 2001 I figured that we would see another attack here much sooner than this. I’m not complaining of course – I’m glad I was wrong. Everyone has had their ideas though. Most guesses have been associated with a major holiday either American or Muslim. Some have thought it would be on the anniversary of 911. But so far everyone has been wrong.

Trying to anticipate the coming of Christ is much the same. Many have tried – all have failed. In A.D. 135 Montanus, a second century Christian, proclaimed himself to be a prophet and prophesied that the New Jerusalem would descend from heaven to earth and take root in what is now Turkey. He was wrong.

In A.D. 204 a Roman Christian named Hippolytus records that a bishop was convinced that the Lord was going to return immediately. He urged his followers to sell all of their land and possessions and following him into the wilderness to await the Lord’s coming. He was wrong and his followers were left homeless and became beggars.

At the end of the first millennium in the year A.D. 999 anticipation of the 2nd Coming ran just as high as it did when the year 2000 approached. On the last day of 999 the basilica of St. Peter’s at Rome was filled with people who were weeping and trembling as they expected the world to end. They were wrong.

Rev. Colin Deal published a...

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