Don't dismiss second comingby Eugene K. Souder, Grottoes, Va.
In response to “Now-millennialism” (April): Author Duane Hershberger sees “end-times” speakers as seriously confused regarding Jesus' second coming. Many of us would agree with much of his assessment.
But to write off Jesus' second coming is another matter. Hershberger writes: "He came back millions and billions of times. He came back yesterday, last night and this morning. We probably missed it."
To so lightly and irreverently dismiss the great event of our Lord's second coming is to literally "throw out the baby with the bath." Hershberger further says, "Jesus isn't waiting to return. He is already here."
Yes and no. Yes, he promises, "I am with you always to the end of the age"(Matthew 18:20). He is here now by the gift of the Holy Spirit he promised his disciples (John 14:16). No, the bodily presence of Jesus is not on earth now, but he is in heaven waiting until the Father asks him to return to the earth at the end of the age.
At Jesus' ascension following the resurrection, he went up into the sky through the clouds. The two angels told the disciples, "This same Jesus, who has just been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven” (Acts 1:9-11).
Jesus made it clear that he was not merely talking about each person's death. Rather he said, "At that time the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and all the nations of the earth will mourn. They will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky, with power and great glory. And he will send his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other" (Matthew 24: 30-31).
Yes, Jesus is here now by his Holy Spirit, and he promises to return bodily from heaven in clouds of the air at the last day. And with John, we say, "Amen, Come Lord Jesus" (Revelation 22:20).
Associated Issue: A holy hybridity - April 2012
Associated Article: Now-millennialism
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