Some end-timzers teach an imminent return of Jesus Christ and the seven-year tribulation of the world. This is an important perspective, but I’d like to explore this counter-perspective. A focus on an imminent return has led many to sell everything to travel to a certain mountain where Jesus will return to collect his church.
Matthew 24:26 So, if they shall say, “Look, he’s in the desert.” don’t go there, or “Look, he’s in this secret place.” don’t believe it. 27Because the coming of the Son of man will be just like the lightning coming from the east and lighting up the west.
Even under balanced teaching, many have so extremely embraced an imminent return that they have given up hope for the future and failed to prepare for a lifetime serving God.
It is really important to purify ourselves and dedicate ourselves to God so that we are found worthy whenever he returns to take us to him – whether by the sound of a heavenly golden trumpet or the frantic tooting of a speeding truck.
It is likewise really important that we are fulfilling God’s commission to reach the whole world with the gospel and make disciples. God may be calling you to study for many few years – to become a teacher, a pastor or a missionary, or to nurture godly descendants who will fulfil such roles.
Others suggest that this may be yet centuries away. While I struggle to foresee this, the suggestion is quite valid. Less literally, we should consider Christ’s return being so far away, that we should live as if it is beyond the foreseeable future; but expect to be delighted at his surprising return.
Arguments for Jesus’ return in 50 years’ time
- Sir Isaac Newton said:
The time times & half time do not end before 2060. …. It may end later, but I see no reason for its ending sooner. This I mention not to assert when the time of the end shall be, but to put a stop to the rash conjectures of fancifull men who are frequently predicting the time of the end, & by doing so bring the sacred prophesies into discredit as often as their predictions fail
- Early church fathers such as Irenaeus taught that Jesus would return around 6000 years after creation, which I believe to be around 2070 – with Jerusalem being destroyed by the Romans around 4000 years after creation.
- This would also be a Jewish Jubilee.
- This forms a pattern that the creation week prophecies 7,000 years of humanity with Christ ruling the sabbath millennia of rest.
- This would exceed the generation read into the budding of the fig tree – or maybe we’re reading too much into this?
- Could the world bear the extent of evil possible?
- It feels like creation and humanity are falling apart far quicker than this.
What could this look like?
- A deal could be brokered allowing a Palestinian state, living in peace with Israel.
- Ezekiel 38 could happen now or in 40 years.
- The rapture could happen any time, ending the church age and returning God’s focus to Israel who will recognize this miraculous sign and turn back to God. Non-Jews would still come to know God during this time as in the times of the old testament.
- Genetic engineering would lead to hybridization including the reproduction of [Greek] mythology in the quest for super-soldiers and extrapolation of the present trans-whatever trend. The genetic integrity of humanity will be near extinction.
- Nano-technologies would promise life enhancing implants and microscopic body repair.
- Robotics and artificial intelligence could lead to a machine-beast that controls humanity.
- Increased prevalence of drugs, artificial realities and witchcraft will totally warp people’s realities.
- Fake news videos will be generated by computers, completely obscuring any truth.
- Our search for oneness with nature will lead us to submit to its chaos, rather than manage it.
- Translation technologies will undo the curse of Babel, allowing all peoples to work together to attempt to destroy God.
- Men being gang-raped and slavery will become commonplace as will indiscriminate organ harvesting. Want a sex change? – just get a body transplant – for the right price, just pick a passing stranger. or maybe one prefers the more ethical, but slower genetic remodeling.
- This would be a world that is like that of Noah or Lot.
- It need not all be bad – the church would grow rampantly under such persecution as people fall off the fence to one side or the other.
I intend to expand upon this in future posts, but wanted to kick off this topic as I’m writing my next book.
I pray God would richly bless you as you mull over what he may be showing you through this.