Having heard this message of the soon coming of Jesus for some 65 plus years, I still believe it even more today than any time before.
Two rules for understanding the book of Revelation are these.
Since end time prophecies are based on events, not time, to become concerned about the length of time that has transpired is not part of the prophecy, therefore the fact that Jesus has not returned yet, does not negate the prophecy.
See, God is seeking to save all that can be saved. Time is not a factor with God, only with humans. God will hold the door of mercy open as long as possible with the hope that one more will accept His lovingly offered salvation. So, there is no time factor in when Jesus will come back.
Also, time for a young child moves much slower than for someone my age. One day until Christmas was like a very long years. However, now it seems like Christmas will be here in about two weeks or so. Here we are in the middle of September and it seems like the first of September was just a day or so ago.
There is a reason for this. For a five year old, one day is 1/1800 of his life. Or to put it another way, it is only one day out of 1,800 that he has experienced. For me, one day is only one in well over 25,000 plus days. So too it is the same with God. One day for Him is only 1 in multiple billions of days and probably years. Since He has no beginning and no end, one day is less than a micro second for us. Not even a small child would consider a micro-second as being very long.
Which is why we have been warned never to set a time for the second coming of Jesus. I made that mistake one time, or at least I got closer to it than I should have. Back when I first started giving Revelation Seminars, the way events were going, it appeared that the sequence of events could wrap up in the next ten years or so, if they continued the way that they were going.
However, they did not continue in that trend and instead changed course so that as we can readily see, many "ten years" have passed since that time long ago. Today, the way events are going, the second coming of Jesus looks even more immient. It seems like things could wrap up in a year or so. But, again, time is not the factor. The course of event could change again, as God allows a little more time for every one to have more than adequate time to made a full and complete choice as to where they want to spend eternity by who they will serve today. Who do they want in control of their lives? Themeslves or God? So, for God to give them a little more time is only a micro-second with Him, while for us it may seem like a long wait.
But, let's look at another factor.
The concept of "soon" is a relative concept at best. When I was a little child, I can remember going on some "long" road trips with my parents (50, 100 or 200 miles G). I would ask: "How soon will we get there?" They would say: "three hours" or "soon." After a very long time, possibly as long as five minutes, I would ask: "How soon will we get there?" Well, if you have had children in a road trip, you know the drill.
However, if I would become involved in something other than wondering how long it would take, the time would pass very quickley and before I knew it, we would be at our destination.
The same is true about Jesus coming. If we become involved in helping other people get ready, instead of saying:
"we are misleading people by telling them Jesus is coming soon,"
we will be saying:
"Please, Lord Jesus, just a little longer so these people I love and am working with, will have a chance to choose to be on your side."
Some fret when loved one lay down their life and are taken in death. We look at the time that is passing and long to see them again; I speak from experience. Yet, for them, the next thought and sight they will have is seeing Jesus. For them, it is like on that road trip, if I curled up in the back seat and went to sleep, the trip became very short indeed.
So, no we are not misleading people; if we are not telling them that it will be a specific time, or time range. But, if we tell people that the sequence of events is a fulfillment of the prophecies and that the next major event is His return. we are only telling them what the Bible tells us, which is always the safest thing to do.
Wow ray , great stuff. You said...
"Since He has no beginning and no end, one day is less than a micro second for us"
lol, you meant...one day is less than a Planck time for us.( there are more planck time in a microsecond than there are seconds in 13.5 billion years)
Death is sooner than we expect... and death is equivalent to Christ coming for that person....time suspended...
In other words preaching anything else is misleading....
Of course he did , The whole bible is about his soon coming, read it then you will see
Jesus is saying that it will be a very short time: "Ye shall not have gone over the cities of Israel, till the son of man be come". Here is another very interesting quote from Jesus:
Here Jesus says that some of them standing there will not see death till they see the seond coming.
I think that many have thought that what Peter James and John saw on the Mount of Transfiguration was what Jesus was talking about. However, in verse 27, Jesus specifically mentions that He will be coming in the glory of His Father and with His angels. This is the second coming, not merely the transfiguration on the mountain.
The prophets were not told by God when things were to occur. Could it be that Jesus Himself was not told the time when He was on Earth as a man?
Jesus here tells His disciples that even He does not know when things are to occur. So, what He said, when He was on earth, is what He believed as a man but not as God with God-Knowledge. He received information from God just like the prophets did in their time. The Father did not tell Him everything.
After Jesus died and rose from the dead, He appeared to His disciples several times. The last time He is with them personally, they ask Him, "Are you at this time going to restore Israel?
Jesus does not inform us whether He then knew, however, He did say that it is not for us to know tims or seasons before they happen.
All along, God has designed things so that God's book would always be relevant to God's people because the Bible is pointing to an event that is yet to happen. It is to happen in the last days of this Earth's history.
So, again I have to say that it was in love that God allowed first the writers and then the readers of the Bible to believe that God was coming in their day. So that made the Bible special to every generation that is able to read the books of the Bible. Because they felt God was coming in their day, it actually changed their whole outlook on life. Missionaries have covered the whole globe telling people about Jesus' soon coming. God has probably saved people's lives by doing this. It is one of the best gifts that God could have given us!
In the New Testament the evidence becomes easier to see. John the Baptist preached that the kingdom is at hand so repent.
In Mark, we see that John is saying: "the time is fulfilled". So, John was saying that the time was right now.
We see this same point in Matthew: "the time is fulfilled".
Jesus also instructed the disciples to also preach that the Kingdom is at hand.
In addition Jesus told his disciples that they would not have gone through the cities of Israel before the Son of Man comes. This is an amazing statement!
Jesus is not suggesting to the disciples that it will be years before He comes, but He is suggesting that it will be a very short time: "Ye shall not have gone over the cities of Israel, till the son of man be come". Here is another very interesting quote from Jesus:
Jesus actually said that some of them that were standing there would not die until they saw the second coming of Jesus!
The language of both Jesus and John the Baptist were very strong. They were both saying, the time is very near. It is now. You better repent!
What was John the Baptist looking for. Remember, much of John's talk had been on judgement and the end of the world. See what is recorded by Luke:
What was John looking for anyway!?
If you were to read the words of George Frideric Handel's Messiah, you will see that he mixed up the language of his music. Some words are on judgement of Christ's second coming. Other text, speak of the suffering of Christ's first coming. Could John the Baptist have done the same thing?
John was confused when Jesus didn't seem to be doing the right things. It is easy to see that John the Baptist confused these two groups of verses relating to Christ's two comings. John was also probably thinking of a literal Kingdom of Israel as well, just like the disciples of Jesus.
Jesus often spoke harsh words to those who had completely given themselves to the control of Satan. See what Jesus said to the scribes and pharisees.
So Jesus spoke very plainly concerning His judgement on them. One phrase is very definite last day language: All these things shall come upon this generation. This phrase was just one of many evidences of the early church that the end was very near because it was to happen "in this generation".
Why would Jesus ride in to Jerusalem on a colt. That was a sign of royalty and that we was going to take command. Again we see that Jesus is giving some very interesting signs about the immediacy of His coming kingdom.
We see that Jesus speaks of not eating again until the kingdom is set up. Jesus spoke so much concerning the nearness of the Kingdom that His disciples thought that it was time to get their pecking order straight. They wanted to be ready, to know who would lead when the kingdom was actually set up.
Why would the disciples argue about their position constantly if they didn't think the kingdom was at that very moment, ready to be set up?
The disappointment of having Jesus die on the cross must have been terrible! They thought He had been the one to restore Judah. Now it seemed hopeless. How could anything happen with Him dead.
But Jesus rose again and was with the disciples for a little while. When He was about to leave them again, the disciples, above everything else, wanted to know when the kingdom would be set up. Let's read it.
The disciples, not having received the answer they wanted and on top of that loosing Jesus all over again, this time to the clouds, were probably at the ends of their rope. What would they do after this?
Again we pick up the rest of the story.
There is no message that the disciples would die first. That they would have to be risen from the dead before they could see it. Again the message suggests that Jesus was coming back in their day.
After Pentecost Peter is seen preaching the soon coming of Jesus Christ, saying we are living in the last days. The people who listen are cut to the quick and cry out what shall we do?
If these new Christians did not believe that Jesus was coming very soon, then why do we see them selling all of their possessions and the living together breaking bread with one another?
In much of the new testament, we see Paul who also warns of the nearness of Christ's return.
It is very interesting how Paul puts it: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed. It seems that maybe some were growing weary, and Paul wanted all to again realize the nearness of His coming.
In the next verses we see that Paul even recommends that it is not good not even to marry!
It is a good thing that they did not listen to Paul on this or else the church might not have survived the years ahead. Never the less, we see Paul saying that because the time is so short, it is better if you never got married. And those of you who are married, act as if you are not married!
Below, we see Paul instruct the people to be careful because they were living in the last days.
Paul speaks to the corinthians assuring them that the coming of Christ was so near that "not all of us will sleep".
After some time people started to get worried because one by one people were dying. Weren't we all to be here in the flesh when Jesus comes?
So Paul encourages them by showing them that those who will sleep (die) will be raised up when Jesus comes to see Him come!
Notice the phrase: "we which are alive and remain". Paul thought that the time was extremely near.
The following scripture speak of the closeness of Christ coming.
James, I understand him to be one of the elder brothers of Jesus from Joseph's side, not Mary's side) speaks of the nearness of the end and the fact that all the possessions of the wicked will amount to nothing in the end.
Peter, in addition to his first sermon recorded in Acts 2, often spoke of the nearness of the end.