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Jesus Would Return Tonight

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  • Jesus Would Return Tonight

    In another topic in Eschatology, Cow Poke said...

    Originally posted by Cow Poke View Post
    I believe that the authors of the books of the New Testament believed they were "in the end times" or the "end times" were about to be revealed.

    I look at it like this --- for 2,000 years, people have been expecting Christ to return in their lifetimes.
    That it hasn't happened yet gives people the false sense of security that it won't.

    Logic, however, tells you that if it is "out there somewhere", then we're certainly closer to it than the New Testament writers 2,000 years ago.

    If we knew for a fact that Jesus would return on 1 November, 2021, we would all act very differently, and would do things we are not doing, and would stop doing things we are currently doing.

    We would be wise if we were simply to live like Jesus would return tonight.
    Since an extensive response would derail that topic and his post is worthy of its own discussion...

    It's my understanding too that the early disciples believed and tried to live like Jesus would return tonight. However as He failed to return and the first generation of Christians died off, the teachings and life-style slowly shifted to something on the lines of 'I'm going to live my whole life without Jesus's return, how do I do that?'

    So how do we live like Jesus would return tonight - whether that being our earthly death or His physical return to rule and reign? Is it right and responsible of us to own property, marry and have kids, save for the future, have careers, etc. This is along the lines of what Jeremiah told the exiles. (Jeremiah 29:1-23). While I'm sure Jeremiah doesn't intend it quite this way, it does seem like he's saying, "Relax about controlling your future, trust in God, and have a good life."

    For me, Jeremiah discusses the basics. For me, I try to live that out by being a faithful husband and showing Christ's love at work. Yet that seems like the basics. I wish I could perceive what more God wants me to do. I've been given much so God must be expecting much of me. (Luke 12:48)

    I've seen some but not many examples of living for Christ in my years of being a Christian. Everyone is different with different callings so even though it would look different depending on the person, what does living for Christ look like?

    "For I desire mercy, not sacrifice, and acknowledgment of God rather than burnt offerings." Hosea 6:6

    "Theology can be an intellectual entertainment." Metropolitan Anthony Bloom

  • #2
    I tend to think in simple practical terms.

    For example, there's a man in our Church who has been ill, and it has been on my mind to drop off some things that would be an encouragement to him.
    It was a "prompting of the Spirit", I think, and I decided to act on it, rather than procrastinate.

    If Jesus comes tonight, I have already been obedient in that.

    A very good friend of mine (I just did his funeral a couple years ago) was an over-the-road trucker. He was a boozer, gambler, womanizer... but he was saved when he met a woman who ran a bar, who was expressing disappointment about the life she was living.

    He fell in love with her, and said, "well, let's try Church, and see if that makes a difference".

    They started attending a local church, where the Pastor (not me) preached on the end times, and how we should be prepared, and they both got saved!

    She sold her bar, they got married, and he became an honest-to-God old time Soulwinner. Let's call him Jim.

    About 5 years before he died, Jim believed God was putting it on his heart to go tell an old trucker buddy about Jesus. He said that about 5 nights in a row, this came on his mind, but he kept putting it off.

    One night, it became so burdensome, that he literally got out of bed and drove to this guy's house about an hour away, where the guy's wife was sitting on the front porch - at 1 AM. He discovered that his friend had passed away the previous night, and this lady was sitting on the porch swing wondering who would do his funeral.

    When Jim asked about church or a pastor or anything spiritual, the widow said, "he really had no time for that, though I was praying somebody would come and talk to him".

    This hit Jim so powerfully, that he NEVER EVER would meet a stranger without asking them about Jesus.

    How does that pertain to the topic?

    One way is to pray for God to guide your life, then LISTEN, and act promptly when He leads.

    During the Great Welsh Revivals, Evin Roberts came up with 4 things we should do....
    1. Put away any doubtful habit
    2. Right any wrong done to man
    3. Confess Christ openly
    4. Obey the Spirit promptly
    I think, personally, that's how we prepare for the possibility that Jesus might return tonight.
    The first to state his case seems right until another comes and cross-examines him.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Thoughtful Monk View Post
      In another topic in Eschatology, Cow Poke said...



      Since an extensive response would derail that topic and his post is worthy of its own discussion...

      It's my understanding too that the early disciples believed and tried to live like Jesus would return tonight. However as He failed to return and the first generation of Christians died off, the teachings and life-style slowly shifted to something on the lines of 'I'm going to live my whole life without Jesus's return, how do I do that?'

      So how do we live like Jesus would return tonight - whether that being our earthly death or His physical return to rule and reign? Is it right and responsible of us to own property, marry and have kids, save for the future, have careers, etc. This is along the lines of what Jeremiah told the exiles. (Jeremiah 29:1-23). While I'm sure Jeremiah doesn't intend it quite this way, it does seem like he's saying, "Relax about controlling your future, trust in God, and have a good life."

      For me, Jeremiah discusses the basics. For me, I try to live that out by being a faithful husband and showing Christ's love at work. Yet that seems like the basics. I wish I could perceive what more God wants me to do. I've been given much so God must be expecting much of me. (Luke 12:48)

      I've seen some but not many examples of living for Christ in my years of being a Christian. Everyone is different with different callings so even though it would look different depending on the person, what does living for Christ look like?
      You make a good point. I don't think there's any argument that we Christians today in the western world are far more complacent and apathetic (and comfortable) than the Christians in the first century. Maybe believing that the Lord's return is imminent is a good thing and that's why God allowed it. Of course, the extreme of that can also backfire and be a negative, especially when folks start setting specific dates and the aftermath that results when those dates disappoint. But imagine Christians today (including myself) in the western world, as comfortable as we are, suddenly faced with what the Christians were faced with in the first century. How many would really make it?
      "What am I doing here?" -- Joe Biden 2021

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by seanD View Post
        You make a good point. I don't think there's any argument that we Christians today in the western world are far more complacent and apathetic (and comfortable) than the Christians in the first century. Maybe believing that the Lord's return is imminent is a good thing and that's why God allowed it. Of course, the extreme of that can also backfire and be a negative, especially when folks start setting specific dates and the aftermath that results when those dates disappoint. But imagine Christians today (including myself) in the western world, as comfortable as we are, suddenly faced with what the Christians were faced with in the first century. How many would really make it?
        It's certainly true that the Lord's return is a good thing. Unfortunately, I've heard too many sermons in a Pre-Tribulation Rapture church that implies the Rapture will occur before anything really bad happens to us. They almost seem to preach that the USA has a "Get Out of Persecution Free" card. I think there will be a lot of surprised people when they discover, yes, they, too, can be persecuted in the USA.

        Yes, we (definitely including me) in the west are too comfortable which is making us apathetic (which I believe is the opposite of love rather than hate) and lazy.

        Just to clarify, when I was younger as a Christian I was Pre-Trib Rapture. Mainly because that was all I was taught. Over the years as I've read the Bible, I find Pre-Trib Rapture less convincing as a teaching. Right now other than I know Jesus will return to rule bodily over the Earth, I classify my eschatology as undecided. Its not been an area I've had a lot of interest to study.
        "For I desire mercy, not sacrifice, and acknowledgment of God rather than burnt offerings." Hosea 6:6

        "Theology can be an intellectual entertainment." Metropolitan Anthony Bloom

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Cow Poke View Post
          I tend to think in simple practical terms.

          One way is to pray for God to guide your life, then LISTEN, and act promptly when He leads.

          During the Great Welsh Revivals, Evin Roberts came up with 4 things we should do....
          1. Put away any doubtful habit
          2. Right any wrong done to man
          3. Confess Christ openly
          4. Obey the Spirit promptly
          I think, personally, that's how we prepare for the possibility that Jesus might return tonight.
          Focusing on the last part of your post...

          I like what Roberts said. I might add the positive 'Do good to your fellow man." to the list even though that's strongly implied in point 4. Trying to put some meaningful actions to each of Robert's points using your numbers, here's some of the items I came up with.
          1. Less time in the morass called CIVICS and more time in the Christian forums. A bit less time on the Internet in general - especially when Covid is done and more face-to-face activities are possible, more time reading the Bible and other enlightening books and articles.
          2. Well, there goes the rest of my free time. Although I do struggle with the idea that some things that bother me are from 20 or more years ago and does bringing them up cause the other parties involved more harm than good? Also, do they still hold my actions against me?
          3. Yes. I try to be a "secret agent" Christian and I need to get back to some years ago when I was more comfortable saying "I am a Christian."
          4. I need to do better at listening before I can work on obeying.
          Regarding Covid, my wife is more conservative on face-to-face activities than I would be. Right now it does restrict what I think I can do.

          This is why I keep wishing and praying for a community that shares these values. I've learned I have a tough time living above my community. If I'm in the midst of lukewarm Christians, I'll become lukewarm with a bunch of regrets. And so life in this fallen world goes.
          "For I desire mercy, not sacrifice, and acknowledgment of God rather than burnt offerings." Hosea 6:6

          "Theology can be an intellectual entertainment." Metropolitan Anthony Bloom

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Thoughtful Monk View Post
            In another topic in Eschatology, Cow Poke said...



            Since an extensive response would derail that topic and his post is worthy of its own discussion...

            It's my understanding too that the early disciples believed and tried to live like Jesus would return tonight. However as He failed to return and the first generation of Christians died off, the teachings and life-style slowly shifted to something on the lines of 'I'm going to live my whole life without Jesus's return, how do I do that?'

            So how do we live like Jesus would return tonight - whether that being our earthly death or His physical return to rule and reign? Is it right and responsible of us to own property, marry and have kids, save for the future, have careers, etc. This is along the lines of what Jeremiah told the exiles. (Jeremiah 29:1-23). While I'm sure Jeremiah doesn't intend it quite this way, it does seem like he's saying, "Relax about controlling your future, trust in God, and have a good life."

            For me, Jeremiah discusses the basics. For me, I try to live that out by being a faithful husband and showing Christ's love at work. Yet that seems like the basics. I wish I could perceive what more God wants me to do. I've been given much so God must be expecting much of me. (Luke 12:48)

            I've seen some but not many examples of living for Christ in my years of being a Christian. Everyone is different with different callings so even though it would look different depending on the person, what does living for Christ look like?
            Living your life as a good husband and good Christian is sometimes more than enough. Other people see you and how you are.

            Long ago, before I was a Christian, I had a co-worker named Bob who was a Christian. We became friends and he used to talk about being a Christian, but nothing preachy. He would treat other people well and everyone liked him. He didn't drink or cuss. He would invite me over his house for dinner and sometimes we went fishing. I was very impressed with his life and family. It made a lasting impression on me. Years later after I left that company, when I became a Christian, he was still on my mind. I wanted to be like him and he was a big part of me accepting Jesus as my savior.

            I recently connected back with him when I found him on Facebook and I told him how much he influenced me becoming a Christian. He said he had no idea but was thankful.

            People are always watching us, TM. And the Holy Spirit will use us even when we have no idea it is happening.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Thoughtful Monk View Post
              It's certainly true that the Lord's return is a good thing. ....
              Unfortunately, not for most.

              The first to state his case seems right until another comes and cross-examines him.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Sparko View Post

                Living your life as a good husband and good Christian is sometimes more than enough. Other people see you and how you are.

                Long ago, before I was a Christian, I had a co-worker named Bob who was a Christian. We became friends and he used to talk about being a Christian, but nothing preachy. He would treat other people well and everyone liked him. He didn't drink or cuss. He would invite me over his house for dinner and sometimes we went fishing. I was very impressed with his life and family. It made a lasting impression on me. Years later after I left that company, when I became a Christian, he was still on my mind. I wanted to be like him and he was a big part of me accepting Jesus as my savior.

                I recently connected back with him when I found him on Facebook and I told him how much he influenced me becoming a Christian. He said he had no idea but was thankful.

                People are always watching us, TM. And the Holy Spirit will use us even when we have no idea it is happening.
                The persuasiveness of "I want some of that" can be quite powerful.
                sigpic1 Cor 15:34 εκνηψατε δικαιως και μη αμαρτανετε αγνωσιαν γαρ θεου τινες εχουσιν προς εντροπην υμιν λεγω

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Sparko View Post

                  Living your life as a good husband and good Christian is sometimes more than enough. Other people see you and how you are.

                  Long ago, before I was a Christian, I had a co-worker named Bob who was a Christian. We became friends and he used to talk about being a Christian, but nothing preachy. He would treat other people well and everyone liked him. He didn't drink or cuss. He would invite me over his house for dinner and sometimes we went fishing. I was very impressed with his life and family. It made a lasting impression on me. Years later after I left that company, when I became a Christian, he was still on my mind. I wanted to be like him and he was a big part of me accepting Jesus as my savior.

                  I recently connected back with him when I found him on Facebook and I told him how much he influenced me becoming a Christian. He said he had no idea but was thankful.

                  People are always watching us, TM. And the Holy Spirit will use us even when we have no idea it is happening.
                  While I fully agree that we need to be good witnesses, I don't think that negates the challenge that we have to actually tell people about Jesus.
                  The first to state his case seems right until another comes and cross-examines him.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Cow Poke View Post

                    While I fully agree that we need to be good witnesses, I don't think that negates the challenge that we have to actually tell people about Jesus.
                    True enough, but the way we live is what persuades people that we might (or might not) have things to say that are worth hearing
                    sigpic1 Cor 15:34 εκνηψατε δικαιως και μη αμαρτανετε αγνωσιαν γαρ θεου τινες εχουσιν προς εντροπην υμιν λεγω

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by tabibito View Post

                      True enough, but the way we live is what persuades people that we might (or might not) have things to say that are worth hearing
                      Agreed - unfortunately, there are "Christians" who try to tell people about Jesus, and it's way too easy to say "I really don't want whatever it is you have".
                      The first to state his case seems right until another comes and cross-examines him.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Cow Poke View Post

                        Agreed - unfortunately, there are "Christians" who try to tell people about Jesus, and it's way too easy to say "I really don't want whatever it is you have".
                        But then - things happened (and are happening) in Fukushima that come out heavily on the plus side - for much of which your Baptist compatriots in Japan can be held to "blame."
                        sigpic1 Cor 15:34 εκνηψατε δικαιως και μη αμαρτανετε αγνωσιαν γαρ θεου τινες εχουσιν προς εντροπην υμιν λεγω

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Cow Poke View Post

                          While I fully agree that we need to be good witnesses, I don't think that negates the challenge that we have to actually tell people about Jesus.
                          agreed.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Sparko View Post

                            Living your life as a good husband and good Christian is sometimes more than enough. Other people see you and how you are.

                            Long ago, before I was a Christian, I had a co-worker named Bob who was a Christian. We became friends and he used to talk about being a Christian, but nothing preachy. He would treat other people well and everyone liked him. He didn't drink or cuss. He would invite me over his house for dinner and sometimes we went fishing. I was very impressed with his life and family. It made a lasting impression on me. Years later after I left that company, when I became a Christian, he was still on my mind. I wanted to be like him and he was a big part of me accepting Jesus as my savior.

                            I recently connected back with him when I found him on Facebook and I told him how much he influenced me becoming a Christian. He said he had no idea but was thankful.

                            People are always watching us, TM. And the Holy Spirit will use us even when we have no idea it is happening.
                            Brings to mind the quote often attributed to St. Francis of Assisi (though he never said it like this) "Preach the Gospel wherever you go...and when necessary use words."
                            "What has the Church gained if it is popular, but there is no conviction, no repentance, no power?" - A.W. Tozer

                            "... there are two parties in Washington, the stupid party and the evil party, who occasionally get together and do something both stupid and evil, and this is called bipartisanship." - Everett Dirksen

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Cow Poke View Post
                              While I fully agree that we need to be good witnesses, I don't think that negates the challenge that we have to actually tell people about Jesus.
                              I agree that our lives need to be a good witness to what we believe. I also believe that so many Christian behaviors that fall under the label 'helping others' are no longer as distinctly Christian as they were back in 300 AD and for a long time thereafter. This is why I think we need to be openly saying something like, "I am doing this because Jesus commands it" rather than "I'm doing it because they need help." The latter phrase makes us indistinguishable from an organization like United Way, Red Cross, etc.
                              "For I desire mercy, not sacrifice, and acknowledgment of God rather than burnt offerings." Hosea 6:6

                              "Theology can be an intellectual entertainment." Metropolitan Anthony Bloom

                              Comment

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