Q&R with Greg Albrecht – “The End Times” – Is Jesus coming back?
My question is about what many call “the end times.” They (many preachers, teachers and churches) say that the upheaval, suffering, disease and warfare in our world is a sign that the Second Coming of Jesus is near. They say his coming is closer than it ever has been. It seems to me that whether all of this means his Second Coming is near, either way, Jesus will return. What do you think?
Of course, it is not breaking news to say that Jesus’ Second Coming is closer than it ever has been before. I appreciate that many say such a thing in a sensational way, but of course what they say is not a breathtaking revelation. Every day and every month that passes his Second Coming is closer, no matter what is happening in our world.
If we take all the biblical statements that appear to have some bearing on the Second Coming into consideration, it appears that there will be times of suffering and warfare that happen before the Second Coming. However:
- Such a conclusion depends on how we interpret what some call prophetic statements. Some believe that many statements in the Bible are prophesies that will be fulfilled just before the Second Coming. However, while many conservative/fundamentalist/evangelical Christians have this view, many other Christians – perhaps even the majority of Christians do not. I discuss several perspectives about how we might understand what many feel are “end times prophesies” in my book “Revelation Revolution.”
- Some believe that many biblical prophesies of warfare and suffering have already been fulfilled. There is good reason to believe this – if one considers the horrific suffering endured on this earth since the earthly life and teachings of Jesus, then one might well ask how could things get worse? If one only considers the 20th century, with its many wars – WW 1, WW 2, the Holocaust, Korea, Vietnam – and genocides in Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia, Uganda, North Korea – many observers believe that century alone, the one just past, saw more horrific suffering than all the other 19 centuries since Jesus early life and ministry combined.
- Some North American Christians have such an insular view, self-centered really, that they believe the “Great Tribulation” will only happen when it happens within our borders. But is the Bible only written for Canadians and Americans? What about the horrific suffering going on right now, around this world – the Ukraine and North Korea for example.
- In addition to the many “prophetic” statements about persecution, suffering and warfare that many today view as yet to happen, we read that Jesus’ return will come “as a thief in the night” (Revelation 16:15, 1 Thessalonians 5:2). Further, we read that Jesus himself told us that no one would know exactly how and when he would return (Matthew 25:13, Matthew 24:42-44). Surely we must process this instruction into our thinking about the Second Coming.
- You, I believe, are on the right track in your conclusion – “either way, Jesus comes.” Yes, he does – and let us not ignore he is now with us, now present, now available if you will, in our lives right now! In addition, he will come again. There will be a Second Coming. Come Lord Jesus, come.