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Originally published in "The Lord's Coming Herald & Wesleyan Bible Prophecy Advocate," Summer Edition 1999

When Is Jesus Coming Back Again?

The Bible answer is very plain: "In such an hour as ye think not, the Son of man cometh." Now this verse does not teach "any-momentness," or the idea that Jesus could come out of the clear blue sky at any conceivable random moment. Jesus did not say that he would return "at any moment." He said, "In such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh."  The one phrases does not necessarily incorporate the other.

    The phrase "in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh" means "surprising unexpectedness"; it neither logically implies, nor rationally necessitates, the concept of an any moment secret rapture.

    By any-momentness, of course, most people mean the secret, split-off pretribulation rapture of the Church. It is the secret, split-off pretribulation rapture of the Church that is expected to happen "at any moment." Such is the teaching of Darbyism, or what is better known as dispensational premillennialism.

    Tragically, much of the modern Holiness Movement is hung-up in Darbyism, and finds it very difficult to get beyond the prejudices and the preconceptions of that system to deal openly and honestly with what the Bible really teaches. Our goal in this ministry is to move men's minds along in ways that will disabuse them of the fallacies of Darbyism, while at the same time helping them to understand the alternative biblical end-time scenario. In the short-term this process amounts to an awakening. In the long-run it will lead us to a reformation.

    Put very simply, the biblical alternative to Darbyism is what the mainstream of the Christian church has believed for eighteen-hundred years, namely, that Christ will come in the end of the world to resurrect the dead and judge all mankind. This "coming" will arrive suddenly and unexpectedly, like the flood that destroyed the godless masses of Noah's day. It will be preceded by the unleashing of Satan (II Thessalonians 2:3ff; Revelation 20:7ff), and a massive judgment of the earth by fire (II Peter 3:7ff). All this in direct response to men's sin and wickedness, because they have forsaken the truths that would have led them to salvation and true holiness, a moral and social righteousness that is the fruit of biblical redemption.

    We are saying plainly, friends, that the out-break of antinomianism (meaning, "lawlessness") across our land today is preparing the way for judgment and the quite possible soon return of Jesus Christ. And how does popular dispensational premillennial end-time Bible prophecy teaching fit into this picture?

    Methodist theologian Dr. Daniel Steele told us how one-hundred years ago, when he wrote the book A Substitute for Holiness, or Antinomianism Revived: The Theology of the Plymouth Brethren Examined and Refuted. Steele's point was that Darbyism, if accepted in Wesleyanism, would destroy the Wesleyan Holiness Movement. How? By subtly corrupting her theology until it is completely subverted from its original vision, form, and power.

    Friends, a Wesleyan-Arminian Holiness movement that repudiated the classic five points of hard-shell Calvinism in creed, has yet fallen hard for every one of them in practice. How? By accepting dispensational premillennialism, which, in its logical outflow, is the most consistent form of ideological antinomianism ever invented.

    You have to think to see this, of course.

    And why not? What is there to fear in reason, if—as we teach—our entire personhood can be sanctified wholly?

Our point in this article?

    Our point is this: Jesus taught us to know that when the world is deceived and unexpecting then He will really come to judgment. "When we think not"--that is when we are not thinking in categories that the Bible really teaches--something else has diverted our attention--something like a "false end-time Bible prophecy worldview"--something psychological that will create a huge gap between our knowledge and reality.

Darbyism has effected just that cleavage.

In principal, then, Jesus foretold us to beware of the likes of the teaching of Darbyism. It will create a problem with our understanding. And when men's understanding is blindfolded, his compass to reality is likewise ill effected. Opposite effects are produced by the teaching of Darbyism than what were originally intended--it has a moral paradox to it that is seen in a modern evangelical fundamentalist church-world that has gone utterly secular and worldly under its influence--in keeping with the "antinomianism," which is the true character of this system of ideology.

The ten virgins of Matthew 25 fell asleep at the midnight hour (something like dispensational false teaching gets a hold of them--is this a prophecy of this very last days phenomenon, or what?), and as a result, half of them missed heaven. 

    What Jesus really means is "be awake"--not physically, but in your mind and heart. If you do that you will never backslide. You will be "ready" when Jesus comes, either for you in the article of your physical death, or  "on the last day" and  "at the last trump sounding."

Related Article Links

The Bible Doctrine Of Christ's Return
What Is The Awakening Of The Midnight Hour?