Is Christ Coming?
4 ¶ And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you.
5 For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many.
6 And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.
7 For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places.
8 All these are the beginning of sorrows.
9 Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name’s sake.
10 And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another.
11 And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many.
12 And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.
13 But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.
14 And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.
15 When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:)
16 Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains:
17 Let him which is on the housetop not come down to take any thing out of his house:
18 Neither let him which is in the field return back to take his clothes.
19 And woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck in those days!
20 But pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the sabbath day:
21 For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.
22 And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened.
23 Then if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is Christ, or there; believe it not.
24 For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.
25 Behold, I have told you before.
26 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.
27 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.
28 For wheresoever the carcase is, there will the eagles be gathered together.
29 Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken:
30 And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.
31 And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.
32 ¶ Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When his branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is nigh:
33 So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors.
34 Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled.
35 Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.
36 But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only.
37 But as the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.
38 For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark,
39 And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.
40 Then shall two be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left.
41 Two women shall be grinding at the mill; the one shall be taken, and the other left.
42 Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come.
43 But know this, that if the goodman of the house had known in what watch the thief would come, he would have watched, and would not have suffered his house to be broken up.
44 Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh.
Truly, all the signs that Jesus has spoken of are present. There are wars, and rumors of wars. There are earthquakes, and pestilence, and disease. Yet these things have come time and again since Jesus walked with his disciples in Galilee.
Yet Jesus himself said that "But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only."
Jesus has said that his disciples shall be tormented and persecuted throughout all nations, and many shall fall away. This, too, has happened time and again during our history, from the Roman persecution following Jesus' crucifixion to the persecution of Christianity under Islam, to the destruction of all religions under Communism. Yet the time has not yet come.
Jesus likens his coming again to a thief breaking into a house. The owner of the house, if he knew when the thief would break in, would be prepared. But Jesus said that " Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh."
Christ will come when we think he won't, like the thief that comes when the homeowner is least expecting him.
Jesus also said that there will be many false claims of Christ's coming, and many who falsely claim to be the Messiah. We've seen that over and over in history, where one group will be convinced that their leader is truly the Christ. Think of Jim Jones, and the death of hundreds in "Jonesville", in Guyana. These people followed a false messiah. Jim Jones wasn't the first, and won't be the last. Remember the Heaven's Gate suicide pact, and the Aum Shin Riko group in Japan.
But Jesus also gives us hope, and gives us guidance on whom we should trust, and whom we should follow.
15 ¶ Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.
16 Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?
17 Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit.
18 A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.
19 Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.
20 Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.
There are many good men, men who truly believe that they are right, but who do not follow the teachings of God. They teach accomodation to evil, and refuse to name sin for what it is. Those they teach are weak in spirit. Their faith is not built upon the Word of God, but upon the desires of men.
There are others who come, claiming to preach the Word of God, but who subtly change the meaning, so that good becomes evil, and evil good. They decieve many, and those that are decieved are lost. This is the tragedy of Jonesville, and of David Koresh, and many others.
There are also false prophets, and those that claim to be the new messiah. Yet they do not follow God's Commandments, or obey His laws. They set up new laws, and new commandments, and claim that victory is defeat, and that evil is good. They claim to be the voice of God's kingdom on Earth, but God's Kingdom is not of Earth, but of Heaven. Islam is not the only such false faith, but it's the most prominent.
Jesus warned his disciples about such false prophets, and about how their corruption would take the unwary, and the faint-hearted:
3 And he spake many things unto them in parables, saying, Behold, a sower went forth to sow;
4 And when he sowed, some seeds fell by the way side, and the fowls came and devoured them up:
5 Some fell upon stony places, where they had not much earth: and forthwith they sprung up, because they had no deepness of earth:
6 And when the sun was up, they were scorched; and because they had no root, they withered away.
7 And some fell among thorns; and the thorns sprung up, and choked them:
8 But other fell into good ground, and brought forth fruit, some an hundredfold, some sixtyfold, some thirtyfold.
9 Who hath ears to hear, let him hear.
10 And the disciples came, and said unto him, Why speakest thou unto them in parables?
11 He answered and said unto them, Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given.
12 For whosoever hath, to him shall be given, and he shall have more abundance: but whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken away even that he hath.
13 Therefore speak I to them in parables: because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand.
14 And in them is fulfilled the prophecy of Esaias, which saith, By hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and shall not perceive:
15 For this people’s heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.
16 But blessed are your eyes, for they see: and your ears, for they hear.
17 For verily I say unto you, That many prophets and righteous men have desired to see those things which ye see, and have not seen them; and to hear those things which ye hear, and have not heard them.
18 Hear ye therefore the parable of the sower.
19 When any one heareth the word of the kingdom, and understandeth it not, then cometh the wicked one, and catcheth away that which was sown in his heart. This is he which received seed by the way side.
20 But he that received the seed into stony places, the same is he that heareth the word, and anon with joy receiveth it;
21 Yet hath he not root in himself, but dureth for a while: for when tribulation or persecution ariseth because of the word, by and by he is offended.
22 He also that received seed among the thorns is he that heareth the word; and the care of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the word, and he becometh unfruitful.
23 But he that received seed into the good ground is he that heareth the word, and understandeth it; which also beareth fruit, and bringeth forth, some an hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.
Again, the constant message that the true believer will bring forth good fruit, and will do so abundantly.
This brings us back full circle to the end times. Jesus has said that no man shall know when that time shall be, only God in Heaven. He has said that His return will be when we least expect it, like a thief in the night. He has said that the faithful shall be gathered up, and the unfaithful left behind. He has shown us how to recognize the faithful, to know the righteous, and how to avoid the false prophets and the preachings of wickedness. He has also promised us that if we strive to follow Him, with all that is within us, that we shall be those gathered up.
By living each day as if it were the last day, in truth and righteousness, we prepare ourselves for His coming. By being faithful servants, we bring forth good fruit, and will not be cast into the fire. To do these things, we must allow the seed of His word fall upon our willing hearts, that we may bring forth abundance in His name. By living for Christ, and IN Christ, even in death we will be victorious over our enemies, and raised up into Heaven. No man knows when Jesus will come again, but by living as He has taught us, we will be ready.