Is  Jesus  Coming Soon?                                                                                 

Jesus' apostles asked Him when

     1)   would the Temple be destroyed?  (Matthew 24:2  Jesus :  It would be before the Tribulation period)

     2)   would be the sign of His coming  (Matthew 24:3 The Jews always required a sign)

     3)   would be the end of the world (Matthew 24:3

     4)   would He restore the kingdom to Israel  (Acts 1:6,7)

 

The Destruction of the Temple of Jerusalem

Jesus did not tell His apostles when the destruction would take place, except that it would occur before the Tribulation Period.  History records that the Temple's destruction took place in 70 AD when the Roman general Titus conquered Jerusalem and led away some of its inhabitants into slavery for the empire.  The destruction was just as the Lord Jesus had prophesied in  Matthew 24:2  when He said  "There shall not be left here one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down", so much so that today there is not a shred of evidence remaining of that Temple's existence. 

Flavius Josephus (37-100) AD was a Jewish priest and historian who wrote extensively about Jewish affairs both past and present.  He described the events of the Roman siege and their aftermath in its horrific and brutal happenings where cannibalism was resorted to by the Jewish holdouts in the Temple.  (Please read his account in The Jewish Wars - Antiquities of the Jews).  His account of the events notwithstanding, Josephus enjoyed the great respect of Emperor Vespasian (general Titus' father), who gave him a handsome plot of tax-free land in Judea itself.  Was Josephus a double-agent, or was he an outright traitor to the Israelite nation?  The reader can read his exploits and judge for himself/herself.

Nevertheless, the Lord Jesus' prophecy described as the upcoming "Days of Vengeance"  (Luke 21:10-24) happened with exceeding fury.  One cannot help but imagine that the destruction of the Temple and many of its people and subsequent captivity and slavery at the hands of the Roman army was in fulfillment of the people's own retribution for having crucified Jesus while chanting "His blood be on us, and on our children!"  Matthew 27:25.    Yet, in spite of His treatment at the hand of the non-believers, Christ walked among them for forty days after His resurrection and pleaded with them concerning the gospel.  And even after He ascended to His throne in Heaven, He still gave them 40 years to repent before the destruction of the Temple took place.

For these be the days of vengeance, that all things which are written may be fulfilled.      For we know him that hath said, Vengeance belongeth unto me, I will recompense, saith the Lord. And again, The Lord shall judge his people.   Luke 21:22  and   Hebrews 10:30

 

The Sign of His Coming

Wherefore if they shall say unto you, Behold, he is in the desert; go not forth: behold, he is in the secret chambers; believe it not.  For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.  Matthew 24:26,27

 

The End of the World

There are at least two interpretations here  -  first,  there is the literal end of the world   -  and secondly,  the  literal end of the age

(Messianic age  -  Strong's Concordance offers both).  Neither of these is clear - why would the Apostles want to know when the world would end?  Just what did they imagine this meant?  Either they knew exactly what they were asking, or else they were completely ignorant of what they were asking.  I will take the approach that they knew exactly what they were asking, although the second part should be moot once the first part is addressed. 

If the Apostles had known exactly what they were asking, they would have been concerned with what would await them after the 1,000-year Messianic reign and the Great White Throne Judgment.  But, this was not possible, since the  new Heaven and the new Earth information was not revealed until John received it from the  Lord Jesus  on the isle of Patmos circa 96 AD.  Therefore, what makes more sense is to understand this to refer to the Messianic Age, which they should have known from the scriptures, especially from the book of Zechariah.  You be the judge as to what they meant.

 

Restoring the Kingdom to Israel

After decades of Roman rule, the Israelites were longing for the coming of their Messiah whom they believed would restore the kingdom of Israel to its former glory as it had been under kings David and Solomon.  However, they did not expect a suffering Messiah (as  Jesus was depicted in  Isaiah 53), but rather they expected a mighty king, more like the Messiah's depiction in  Isaiah 9:6,7  who would overthrow the Roman government's  yoke of bondage.

As Christians, we know that the Kingdom of Israel will be restored immediately after the upcoming seven-year Tribulation Period, so for us, ( as opposed to the Jewish people whom the  Lord Jesus  was to referring to above ), we are not looking for Christ’s return at the end of Armageddon, but rather we are looking for Him right before the beginning of the Tribulation Period, i.e., the Rapture of the Church.   For this timetable, please read The Rapture of the Church.

 

Nonetheless, Jesus had to die and resurrect in order that the curse of permanent physical death of man could be overcome.  Had the Lord Jesus  not resurrected, we would all have to return to dust and our soul would spend eternity in Hell/the Lake of Fire.

 

 

                                                                               Questions/Comments?   Email me at  comment@thechristianlight.org   


     

 

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