Men have been speculating on the return of Jesus Christ for centuries, but why is modern Christianity so confused over the most important knowledge to this generation?
The Bible reveals in graphic detail the return of Christ in supreme power to set up the Government of God on this earth. Yet this world seems to understand almost nothing about this great prophetic event, and what the Feast of Trumpets pictures.
For almost 6,000 years since Adam and Eve, God has allowed humans to reap the consequences of going our own way.
Man now stands poised to destroy all life on this planet unless Christ returns to earth to restore the Government of God and put an end to warfare.
There is no doubt that the Messiah will return to this earth to set up the everlasting Kingdom of God! The Apostle Peter, referring to the Church, said this: “We have also a more sure word of prophecy: whereunto you do well that you take heed” (II Peter 1:19).
It is through this “sure of prophecy” that we can (the Church) understand the truth about the return of Jesus Christ.
But, as we all know, history has always had its skeptics and this generation is no exception. In spite of the pressing realities of pollution, overpopulation, ever-escalating wars and the constant threat of new conflicts, growing rebellion of youth, the breakdown of world morality, disease epidemic and a host of other life-threatening problems, His imminent return is still doubted!
But people will say: “Everything will be alright, somehow we’ll weather the storm, there will be a brighter day tomorrow.”
But there is one proof in the Bible that no one can deny! “For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be. And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened” (Matt: 21-22)
Moffatt says” “Had not those days been cut short, not a soul would be saved alive.”
Phillips translation says: “Yes, if those days had not been cut short no human being would survive.”
New English Bible says: “if that time of trouble were not cut short, no living thing could survive.”
These words could never have begun to be understood in correct context until July, 1945 when the first Atomic bomb burst upon an unsuspecting world. Today, never before in history has man been able to literally exterminate every human being on earth. To shorten this frightening time is the Second Coming of Jesus Christ!
This is precisely the situation today, it has never been this way before and this is the end-time generation that shall not pass.
But men have always speculated on the return of Christ, even in Paul’s day there were men who thought the return of Christ was imminent.
“And now, brothers, about the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and his gathering of us to himself: I beg you, do not suddenly lose your heads or alarm yourselves, whether at some oracular utterance, or pronouncement, or some letter purporting to come from us, alleging that the day of the Lord is already here. Let no one deceive you in any way whatever” (II Thess. 2:1-3 New English Bible).
There is no doubt that the Messiah will return to this earth to set up the everlasting Kingdom of God. The New Testament message concerns Christ’s return to this earth. That is what the true Gospel is all about. The very first message that came from heaven as Christ began to ascend to heaven is found in the book of Acts:
“Men of Galilee, why stand there looking up into the sky? This Jesus, who has been taken away from you up to heaven, will come in the same way you have seen him go” (Acts 1:11).
Also notice Heb. 9:28 “So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many: and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation.”
So the question is not whether he will return, but when! The Bible reveals that Jesus Christ will likely return to set up His world-ruling government in our lifetime. Christ said” This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled” (Matt. 24:34).
But how do we know that this is the generation that Christ was talking about? Jesus Christ foretold a series of events that would intensify just before His return. Those are recorded in Matthew 24, Luke 21 and Mark 13. And Christ was not talking about the generation of His day.
Then Christ explained that this “Gospel of the Kingdom would be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations: and then shall the end come” (Matt. 24:14). Christ told about a great tribulation and heavenly signs just before His return Then to make it very clear what He was talking about, He gave a parable of the fig tree:
“When his branch is yet tender, and puts forth leaves, ye know that summer is nigh, so likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the door” (vs. 32-33).
Today, these earth-shaking events are beginning to really intensify. We have a sure word of prophecy and it says all these things must come to pass first, and they haven’t come to pass yet. Then on the other hand that same sure word of prophecy says “this generation will not pass, till all these things are fulfilled. When will Christ return? In this generation!
For centuries men have proclaimed the end of the world and the return of Christ, but there is more to proclaiming the end of the world than just saying when it will occur. The phrase “in that day” frequently occurs in biblical prophecies, but what day is being spoken of?
Most often this phrase is referring to cataclysmic times we are now entering. It applies to the general end time in prophecy.
“It shall come to pass in that day, that the Lord shall punish the host of the high ones that are on high, and the kings of the earth upon the earth. And they shall be gathered together, as prisoners are gathered in the pit, and shall be shut up in the prison, and after many days shall they be visited” (Isa. 24:21-22).
From these two verses we see that day is a day of punishment upon world rulers. It is to take place on this earth. It is a time when strong armies and normally courageous men will run and hide.
“He shall not stand who handles the bow. The swift of foot shall not escape. Nor shall he who rides a horse deliver himself. The courageous men of might shall flee naked in that day, says the Lord.” (Amos 2:15-16).
That day is also called the “day of the Lord.” “The great day of the Lord is near. That day is a day of wrath, a time of trouble and distress, a period of desolation and destruction” (Zeph. 1:14-17).
The “day of the Lord” describes a time of darkness and gloominess, a day of war when the alarm, the trumpet is sounded against those areas which will be militarily fortified.
Zephaniah continues to describe that day as a period of punishment on those who sin against God by violation His great law.
The Bible says the definition of sin if found in I John 3:4. Sin is the transgression of the law (the Ten Commandments). And those who insist on continuing to fly in the face of God’s law will incur His wrath. He will punish those who continue to sin.
“Behold, the day of the Lord comes, cruel both with wrath and fierce anger, to lay the land desolate: and he shall destroy the sinner thereof out of it” (Isa. 13:9). God will destroy His enemies (Jer. 46:10).
The day of the Lord is also the “day” or time of the return of Jesus Christ to this earth to set up world government. And Christ warned true Christians not to lose sight of these sure prophecies:
“Take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with carousing, and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and so that day comes upon you unawares. For as a snare shall it come on all them that dwell on the face of the whole earth. Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass and to stand before the Son of Man” (Luke 21:34-36)
Christ again spoke of that day in Matthew 7:22-23 “Many will say to Me in that day, Lord, Lord.”
Many professing Christians will find out they were not really Christians after all, but merely appropriated the name of Jesus Christ. But God holds out a different promise to those who are willing to obey Him – “in that day.”
“They shall be mine, (true Christians), saith the Lord of hosts, in that day when I make up my jewels” (Mal. 3:17-18).
God likens true Christians to jewels and says that they will be rewarded when Christ returns to this earth.
“Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord” (Mal. 4:5). The dreadful day of the Lord is the intervention of Jesus Christ in power and glory to punish the unrepentant nations of this earth.
Make no mistake about it, this is the end time! The world itself is not going to end. This planet has a permanent and vital place in the universe. Nor will mankind bring about his own extinction--almost but not quite.
There is coming a New World, it will be a utopia of peace and plenty. Such a world is just around the corner. But it will not be brought about by man’s efforts; it will be introduced in spite of him.
The return of Jesus Christ signifies the conclusion of this age and the commencement of another, a millennia age. Beginning at His arrival, Christ will subdue all earthly kingdoms and assume the reigns of world government. (Dan. 2:44 and Rev. 11:15).
Before Christ’s millennial rule begins, man’s allotted 6000 years will come to a tumultuous climax. Many prophecies will be fulfilled in a relatively brief period of time.
The Apostle Paul said, “In the last days the time will be full of danger” (II Tim. 3:1). Conditions on this earth will be so dangerous that all life, human or otherwise, will be threatened with extinction. And only the intervention of Jesus Christ will prevent global catastrophe. Jesus will have to step in to save mankind from himself.
Man’s technological knowledge has rapidly increased at a staggering rate. But so have man’s troubles. Man doesn’t have the wisdom to rightly use the technology at his disposal.
The Atomic Bomb was used twice in Japan; we now have nuclear weapons stockpiled in overkill proportions. The solution to war and international struggles and conflicts is not a change in weaponry, but a change of heart.
Man must develop the wisdom to avoid war, not the weaponry to wage war. “Wisdom is better than weapons of war: but one sinner destroys much good” (Eccl. 9:18).
We cannot know the precise day of the return of the Messiah, we can know the approximate time in history – “the time of the end.”
We can watch the news of the world fulfill the end-time prophecies of God’s Word. We can see these prophecies fulfilled; we can also recognize that they are the signs of Christ’s arrival.
Just as John the Baptist prepared the way for the first coming of Jesus Christ, this work is preparing the way for His second coming.
This is the end time, but not doomsday, and not the end of the world either. This world and the human beings that inhabit it have a brilliant glowing future. But only because a loving and compassionate Creator that is waiting in the wings to save man from himself and in this generation.
Do you believe it? Or, are you among the skeptics that believe everything will be all right. Surely our government and science will save us! Watch world news and events! Examine with your own eyes the growing tension in the Middle East, the rapid decline of morality, not only here in America, but around the world. Watch as we experience more cataclysmic weather, hurricanes, earthquakes, mudslides, forest fires, and floods. God said this would happen if we did not repent and acknowledge Him as the one true God! Again, we say, WATCH! “For this generation shall not pass…”