While to some this may seem like a silly statement, or one that is ill conceived with no backing, I'll unequivocally state that it is the TRUTH....and I can prove it.
Notice that I didn't say when. There is no date set (that would be silly), and no fudging going on about next week, next month, next year, or any such thing. For the past 2,000 years, there has been known within the Church a “doctrine” call ed the Doctrine of Imminence, and it is based on a number of things spoken of in the Bible. The early Church fathers believed in this doctrine, and preached on it. Simply put, the Doctrine of Imminence says that Jesus could come at any moment, and the result of that Doctrine is to keep oneself prepared to meet Him face to face at any time. Many have tried to add to that Doctrine by putting conditions on it, that is, this or that has to happen first, or it can't happen until....(name your favorite). However, let's look at what the Word of God says.
Mark 13:35-37. "Watch ye therefore: for ye know not when the master of the house cometh, at even, or at midnight, or at the cock crowing, or in the morning: Lest coming suddenly he find you sleeping. And what I say unto you I say unto all, Watch and be ready."
1 Corinthians 1:7-"awaiting eagerly the revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ,"
Philippians 3:20-"For our citizenship is in heaven, from which also we eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ;"
1 Thessalonians 5:6-"so then let us not sleep as others do, but let us be alert and sober."
1 Timothy 6:14-"that you keep the commandment without stain or reproach until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ,"
Titus 2:13-"looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus;"
Hebrews 9:28-"so Christ . . . shall appear a second time for salvation without reference to sin, to those who eagerly await Him."
James 5:7-9-"Be patient, therefore, brethren, until the coming of the Lord. . . . for the coming of the Lord is at hand. . . . behold, the Judge is standing right at the door."
Jude 21-"waiting anxiously for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to eternal life."
Revelation 3:11; 22:7, 12, 20-"'I am coming quickly!'"
Revelation 22:17, 20-"And the Spirit and the bride say, 'Come.' And let the one who hears say, 'Come.'" "He who testifies to these things says, 'Yes, I am coming quickly.' Amen. Come, Lord Jesus."
All of these scriptures speak to one issue...that Jesus Christ will come, and we are to eagerly anticipate and expect that coming at any time. They also speak to the fact that at no time or place in these utterances is there any stipulation that this, that, or the other has to occur before He may come.
Now, let's add this. Acts 1:11 “Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven.”
At this point, what we have is two-fold. First is an absolute statement that Jesus (the same Jesus who ascended, not some make-believe imposter or wannabe) is going to come again just like He left! Second are continual and repeated statements by the Apostles that He is coming and we are to look for and expect Him at anytime.
OK...so how do we know it's soon. That happens to be something that has been said for 2,000 years, and hasn't happened yet.
Let's look at a few other things.
In Matthew 24, Jesus told His disciples some things in direct response to their question “And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world? “
There are two scriptures in particular that give us the biggest clues as to whether or not NOW is the “sign of thy coming”.
In Mat. 34:32-33, Jesus said “now learn a paraable of the fig tree; When his branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is nigh; So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors.
In verse 34, Jesus puts a limit on that time by saying “Verily I say unto you, this generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled.”
The parable of the fig tree is a direct reference to Israel as a nation. In 73 AD, Israel was destroyed, it's people exiled to other lands, and the land itself renamed by Rome to become “Palestine”. For 2000 years, Israel as a nation did not exist. In 1948, however, it was once again reconstituted. Over the next few years, Israel continued to fight for it's existence, winning at every turn, and not only solidifying it's borders and lands but reclaiming Jerusalem as it's spiritual capital. Surely, the “fig tree”, while having tender (young) branches still put forth it's leaves.
“this generation shall not pass” refers directly to the generation of people who would SEE this, and other occurences He spoke of throughout Mat. 24. Since a biblical generation is considered to be 70 years, it then becomes a simple matter to add 70 to 1948, and then make a statement that SOMETIME WITHIN the period of 1948 to 2018 Jesus could be expected to come again.
This is 2012, so that doesn't leave a whole lot of time. It does tell us that we need to do exactly what Jesus said, when He said “lift up your eyes, for YOUR REDEMPTION DRAWETH NIGH!”
Peter spoke to those who would make light of these words, when he said in 2Pet. 3:3-4; “Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation.
Are you a scoffer? Are you making fun of His promise? Do you not think it will happen? ARE YOU READY?
Are you ready to meet Him with open arms and a trusting heart, or are you ready to meet Him as the recipient of His righteous judgment when He shall, as Jude puts it “... execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against him.”
There are many, many other “signs of the times” that we could discuss, but that's the subject of another study. Right now, though, is the time for you to consider...
ARE YOU READY?
IS YOUR FAMILY READY?
ARE YOUR FRIENDS AND NEIGHBORS READY?