Summary: A look at the Second coming of Christ
You ever get something in the mail and wonder "How I the world did I get on this mailing list?" In July of 1988 I received a booklet via Canada Post entitled "88 Reasons Why The Rapture Could Be In 1988." Now the gist of the book dealt with numerous mathematical formulas based on the sabbatical theory combined with various Jewish holidays, several Biblical prophesies stretching from Daniel to the Revelation and a healthy dose of speculation.
The final theory of the Author was that the Rapture, or the time that Christians would be removed from this earth would be sometime before the end of September of 1988. Needless to say, he blew it.
One thing the book did bring to mind was this: We as Christians have lost the vision of the imminent return of Jesus Christ. When I first became a Christian I used to get up every day with the thought, "This could be it, perhaps this will be the day that Christ calls his church home" It’s been awhile since I’ve woken up with those thoughts, although sometimes I find myself wishing, "I hope he comes back soon"
Now we all believe that Christ is coming again or at least we say we do, but are we waiting expectantly for the return of Jesus Christ, I mean really expectantly.
I’m no expert on biblical prophesy, but I do believe that we need to look into the scriptures to see just exactly what the Bible says concerning the return of Jesus Christ.
The experts tells us, and we all know what an expert is right, anyone more then fifty miles away from home. The experts tell us that there are over 1800 references to Christ second coming in the Old Testament alone, and that for every one prophecy concerning the first coming of Christ that there are eight prophecies concerning his second coming. We are also told by the same experts that there are over 300 references about Christ return in the New Testament, or approximately one every 30 verses.
1) The Second Coming Is A Reality Biblical scholars tell us that the book of Mark was the first Gospel account put into writing. And according to Papias, who was one of the early Christian writers and a man who had known some of the apostles personally, Mark had acted as a scribe for Peter. Now taking that into account if we look into the book of Mark we see Christ making three direct statements referring to his return.
The first reference is found in Mark 8:38 Don’t be ashamed of me and my message among these unfaithful and sinful people! If you are, the Son of Man will be ashamed of you when he comes in the glory of his Father with the holy angels. The second was two days later, after Christ’s triumphant entry into Jerusalem Mark 13:1 As Jesus was leaving the temple, one of his disciples said to him, "Teacher, look at these beautiful stones and wonderful buildings!"
Boy it wasn’t hard to tell these guy’s were right off the boat. Talk about a bunch of hicks, Gawking around and staring. You can almost hear them, "Golly look at them buildings, aint got nothing like that in Galilee" Can’t say that I blame them, I have been all over Europe, North America and Australia and I still rubber neck in big cities.
Ten years ago I was in Washington D.C. for a day, one lousy day. And the guy I was travelling with knew a lady in the city and so he asked her if she would show us around. She said no problem but it would have to be on her lunch hour. 45 minutes, why bother right. But we took her up on it. In that time we drove by the capital buildings, the white house, and the Washington memorial, bought a poster at the Lincoln memorial, walked the length of the Vietnam memorial and took a quick trip through the Smithsonian Aeronautics Exhibit. And let me tell, people would never have mistaken the two of us for natives of D.C.
So for a few minute the apostles stood in awe as they looked at the massive temple building in front of them., and then Jesus told them in the next verse Mark 13:2 Jesus replied, "Do you see these huge buildings? They will certainly be torn down! Not one stone will be left in place." Now the disciples didn’t say anything right off but when Peter, Andrew, James and John were on the Mount of Olives they asked Jesus when this would take place. "You know Jesus we don’t want to pester you about this, but when you said the temple was going to be destroyed, did you mean like this afternoon?" And in reply Jesus gave them a three part answer. The first part is given in Mark 13:5-13 when Jesus spoke of the tribulation that the Apostles would personally go through. The second part is found in verses 14-23 and Jesus told them about the tribulation that Jerusalem would go through. And in 70 AD Jerusalem was totally destroyed by the Romans. One contemporary source claimed that a man could plow from one corner of Jerusalem to the other without hitting a rock.