“Above all, you must understand that in the last days scoffers will come, scoffing and following their own evil desires. 4 They will say, “Where is this ‘coming’ he promised? Ever since our ancestors died, everything goes on as it has since the beginning of creation.” 2 Peter 3:3,4
How true is this prophesy that Peter made so long ago! Today so few look for the return of the Lord Jesus Christ. Indeed the vast majority, if the matter is mentioned adopt exactly the same attitude described by Peter. They scoff at the idea, and talk as if there is no evidence at all to support a belief that the return of Jesus may be very near at hand. Why do we still expect Jesus to come soon?
This study may help to answer some of the pressing questions around Jesus’ return.
1) What question did the disciples ask concerning Christ’s second coming?
Matt 24:4-14, says, Be careful you are not deceived by people calling themselves Christ and all the different kinds of deception that will be in the world. Everywhere will be in turmoil and distress, and people will lose faith in religious things. There will be wars and threatenings of war all over the world, along with famines and earthquakes all around. But God will give everyone a chance by giving the world the ‘gospel message’ a last chance to be saved before He comes.
2) Matthew 24:21 “For then there will be great distress, unequaled from the beginning of the world until now—and never to be equaled again.” What tribulation was foretold?
The early persecutions against Christians were waged by pagan Rome. For nearly three centuries the church was harassed and martyred in several ways until 3,000,000 perished. This was followed by the more terrible persecutions during the time of papal supremacy, extending from about AD 538 to 1776, and exacting a toll of more than 100,000,000 lives.
3) What are some of the other signs of Christ’s coming?
James 5:1-8, 2 Tim 3:1-5
Rich oppressors are given specific warning in the first passage, highlighting the responsibility of stewardship to all those around, noting that the sin and warning is not for being rich, but rather to the rich who have become such by ill gain, or irresponsible with wealth. Could it be just as sinful to sit on wealth and ‘hoard’ riches with so many in need?
The second passage further describes the types of people prevalent in the latter society. Just as the people were before Noah entered the Ark.
4) What world movement precedes the coming of Christ?
1 Thessalonians 5:1-5
Emphasis being placed on a time of “Peace & Safety”, and would suggest a time of cooperation between super-powers and major leaders across the globe. The warning is to not become complacent with the assurance given by man, but to always be connected to God; and being aware of the signs without using them as an excuse to delay preparation.
5) The admonition Christ left for this generation is clear?
Matthew 24:32-35, 44 tells us plainly, always be prepared. Human nature suggests logic and reason can answer everything, and relying solely on the events of the world can become a distraction to the reason these events will occur in the first place. Christ’s return although soon anticipated, will still be unexpected. So we should all stay alert and connected to Jesus through prayer and study to ensure we can be as ready as possible.