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Letter to the Editor: Jesus' return will happen on God's schedule

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Wednesday, February 7, 2018

A local minister responded to a Letter to the Editor from Pastor Glenn Hill regarding the Second Coming of Jesus. He stated, “I concluded that either Jesus returned in that first century AD, or He deceived everyone and was a false prophet.”

I am a pastor and have been questioned about this issue.

To understand the Second Coming of Jesus, we must acknowledge His First Coming. This was His incarnation, when He became the God-man born of a virgin to give His life for man (Isaiah 53; Daniel 9:24-27; Matthew 1:18-25; Luke 1:26-38; 2:1-20; John 1:1-14; Galatians 4:4-7; and many others).

The Second Coming of Jesus is often used to describe two distinct events. First, is the rapture. This is the event when everyone who has called on Jesus for salvation will be called up to heaven (I Corinthians 15:51-58; I Thessalonians 4:13-18).

However, the most accurate use of this term is to apply it to when Jesus comes back to the earth as King. This event is prophesied throughout the Bible. Psalm 24; Isaiah 9:6-7; Daniel 2; Daniel 9:24-27; Zechariah 9:9; Zechariah 14:1-5; Revelation 19:11-16 are examples.

My purpose is to address the timing of the Second Coming.

Jesus said that no man knows the day and hour of His return. Claiming to know more or to specify times is futile.

If the Second Coming occurred prior to A.D. 70, when and how were the other promises related to that event fulfilled?

Why does the book of Revelation, penned after A.D. 70, still point to it as a future event?

The closing words of Revelation declare that Jesus was still to come (Revelation 22:20).

Jesus’ return will happen on God’s schedule. His “delay” is an opportunity for every person to be saved.

What should those of us who know Jesus do while we wait for His return?

First, we need to tell others about Jesus. Jesus told His disciples that they would receive power to be His witnesses. Until He returns, we have a mission to share His truth!

Second, we need to live considering that He is coming. Read Paul’s words in Titus 2:11-15. We need to determine to honor Him recognizing that He is coming.

I hope that those who know Him will join me in living in the reality of “that blessed hope.”

MICHAEL WILLARD

Senior Pastor, Cornerstone Independent Baptist Church

Rocky Mount

Editor’s note: This letter has been updated to correct the name of the person who wrote the original piece on the Second Coming. The writer was Pastor Glenn Hill, not Billy Graham.

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