Behold, the Judge is standing at the door! – James 5:9
In light of the recent happenings in our world, there has been talk about the coming of the Lord and the end of the age. Is the Lord coming soon?
Since the days of Christ, men have been proclaiming the kingdom of God, and it’s soon coming. Jesus Himself even preached this, saying that the kingdom of God was near, and that He would soon come in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory (Mat 3:2, Mat 24:30). It was widely believed that Christ would return in the days of the apostles, many believing that the Lord would come before the death of the apostle John (Jn 21:23). Oh course, John didn’t affirm that it was true, but he didn’t deny that it could be possible either. He, too, was looking for the coming of the Lord. We see this in his earnest cry at the end of the book of Revelation, “Even so, come, Lord Jesus!”
The writers of the New Testament considered themselves living in the last days. On the day of pentecost, when Peter preached to the people, he sighted the book of Joel, proclaiming it’s fulfillment on that day:
This is what was spoken by the prophet Joel: ‘And it shall come to pass in the last days, says God, that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh… ‘- Acts 2:17
John also believed that it was the last days:
Little children, it is the last hour… – 1 John 2:18
And the writer of Hebrews (whom I believe to be Paul) said this:
[God] has in these last days spoken to us by His Son – Heb 1:2
at the end of the ages, He has appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself. Heb 9:26
But, even though they believed that they were in the last days, the apostles never affirmed that the Lord was coming in their lifetime. The opposite is true, actually. Both Peter and Paul spoke in a way as to instruct the believers after they were gone, and both knew they were going to die before the Lord came (2 Pet 1:12, 2 Tim 4:6). James also hinted that the coming of The Lord wasn’t going to happen as soon as everyone would have liked:
Therefore be patient, brethren, until the coming of the Lord. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, waiting patiently for it until it receives the early and latter rain. – James 5:7
The impression that we get from this verse is that the believers were very eager to see the Lord’s return. James, however, exhorts them to be patient.
It seems that the apostles knew that the Lord’s coming wasn’t going to happen immediately. The apostle Paul even gives the impression that it couldn’t be immediately, and that because certain signs had not taken place yet. He talks about those signs in 1 Thessalonians 4:
Now, brethren, concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to Him, we ask you, not to be soon shaken in mind or troubled, either by spirit or by word or by letter, as if from us, as though the day of Christ had come. Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition… – 2 Thessalonians 2:1-3
So Paul negates the idea that it could just happen at anytime. First the falling away had to happen, then the son of perdition had to be revealed. Those things had not happened yet, so the coming of The Lord could not yet take place.
Jesus also gave us signs that would indicate His coming in Matthew chapter 24. One of which is found in verse 14:
And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come. – Matthew 24:14
This hasn’t happened quite yet, either (although it is close to happening). So, until these signs happen, the end will not come. But we should be watchful for these signs, that the Day might not overtake us as a thief, as it will for others.
But you, brethren, are not in darkness, so that this Day should overtake you as a thief. -1 Thessalonians 5:4
This doesn’t mean we should passively be waiting for these things to happen. The scripture tells us that we have a part to play before the end comes. Until the church proclaims the gospel to all the world, the end will not come. The sooner we can accomplish this great task, the sooner Christ will return. We can take part in ‘hastening the Day of God’ by doing the work God has called us to do (2 Peter 3:12).
And although we can speed up the coming of Christ according to our perspective, the Day is fixed in the mind of Him who knows all things.
So, is that Day near? I’m convinced that it is.
But, beloved, do not forget this one thing, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.- 2 Peter 3:8-9
Studying the dates of the bible, we can see that human history has carried on for a little over 6000 years since Adam. Jesus came about 2000 years ago. It was at that time that both Christ and the apostles declared that the last times were upon us. We don’t know exact times, but it seems to me that it would be disingenuous for the apostles to declare that it was the last days if they were not truly close to the end.
Now, it may seem disingenuous to some already, since the earth has carried on for 2000 years since then. But, according to Peter, those 2000 years are but two days in the eyes of The Lord. The imminence of His own coming has weighed heavy upon the heart of our Lord as if it were about to happen before the weeks end, and His Spirit continually impresses that truth upon the hearts of His servants. Some of those servants, through the years, have tried to put their own interpretation upon that inner witness, but it is often wrong. Yet the truth is still there: The Lord is coming soon.
In light of all this, it must be that The Lord is coming very soon. To carry on much longer would put the time of Jesus near the mid-point of human history, not towards the end as He and his apostles have declared.
It may be that God intends to close out human history with a Sabbath rest. If human history is one week in God’s timetable (with each day equaling 1000 years), then the 6th day is over already, or near over. The 7th day would then usher in Christ’s 1000 year reign.
Christ’s first coming and the proclamation of the last days
Day 7 – Christ’s 1000 year reign??
The theory of the seven days is speculation, but simple math declares that Christ is not likely to tarry much longer. HE IS COMING SOON.
After two days He will revive us; on the third day He will raise us up, that we may live in His sight. – Hosea 6:2
It’s almost been two days (2000 years) since the work of Christ on the cross. Is the third day upon us? We are close. Very close.
Are you ready? If you aren’t looking for Him, observing the signs that have been spoken of, that Day is going to overtake you as a thief. Get ready now. Live ready. Our salvation is nearer than when we first believed (Rom 13:11).