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Originally published in "The Lord's Coming Herald & Wesleyan Bible Prophecy Advocate," Spring Edition 1998

Jesus Is Coming Soon

   "... in flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ" (II Thessalonians 1:8). Fearsome, awesome thought!

    And yet, Christ's second coming is also the Christian's blessed hope: "You who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels" (II Thess. 1:7).

    Yes, when Jesus comes he will vindicate all who have lived godly, all who have kept the faith, and all who have patiently endured trials, afflictions, and crosses on earth, heavenly and eternal riches to secure. He will clarify then what is so often confounded now—truth from error, reality from mentality, righteousness and true holiness from sin and self-delusion.

    Some say that Christ could come at any moment; some say not any time soon. I would be afraid to be so sure of either reactionary view. Jesus never said "at any moment," (St. Paul definitely spoke against the false teaching of "immediacy" in II Thessalonians chapter 2), yet he did give the Church a definite historical context in which to understand what to expect.

    Jesus said what he meant and meant what he said. What he meant was that he would come in judgment at a time when we are not expecting him to do so.

    Jesus made this perfectly clear in Matthew 24, where he likened his second coming to the judgment of Noah's flood. The similarities are impressive. The people in Noah's day were massively deceived. They did not realize that judgment was coming, even thought Noah had warned them for many years. Noah was a preacher of righteousness, but the antediluvians took a totally different course. Every imagination of the thoughts of their hearts was evil continually. It sounds like their problem back then, too, was antinomianism.

    The sons of God had intermarried with the daughters of men. This means that the descendents of Seth, (who were the godly seed), had compromised themselves with the descendents of Cain (who had followed the way of the serpent). God's people had removed the separation that God himself had put in place when man left the garden (Genesis 3:15). God had put an enmity between the seeds; it was not up to man to remove it.

    The antediluvians were worldly compromiser who forsook the revelation of God to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season. They fell into antinomianism, or the lawlessness of the carnal mind.

    The sad result was the judgment of the flood.

    When Jesus comes again the same dynamics will be in play. There will once again be the triumph of antinomianism. The man of lawlessness will be revealed sitting in the temple of God—that is, antinomianism will triumph in the church. This condition exists today as never before. It should call us to much carefulness, watchfulness, and prayer.

    Beware all Bible prophecy preclusions that blunt a watchful expectation for the Judgment Day. Christ's second coming is a purifying hope (I John 3:3). The worst thing than can happen to a Christian is that he should grow indifferent to it, and fall asleep, corrupt.

    We are called to watch and pray and keep stirred up: "For in such an hour as ye think not, the Son of man cometh."

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