SPECIAL TOPIC: A DELAYED SECOND COMING (imminent return of Christ vs. the delayed Parousia)
Most believers have been taught that Jesus is coming soon, suddenly, and unexpectedly (cf. Matt. 10:23; 24:34; Mark 9:1; 13:30; Rev. 1:1,3; 2:16; 3:11; 22:7,10,12,20; see Special Topic: Soon Return). But every expectant generation of believers so far has been wrong! The soonness (immediacy) of Jesus’ return is a powerful promised hope of every generation, but a reality to only one (and that one a persecuted one).
Believers must live as if He were coming tomorrow, but plan and implement
the Great Commission (cf. Matt. 28:19-20) if He tarries.
Some passages in the Gospels (cf. Matt. 24:45-51; 25:5,19; Mark 13:10; Luke 17:2; 18:8; 19:11-27) and 1 and 2 Thessalonians are based on a delayed Second Coming (Parousia). There are some historical events that must happen first:
1. world-wide evangelization (cf. Matt. 24:14; Mark 13:10)
2. the great apostasy (cf. 2 thess. 2:3)
3. the revelation of "the man of Sin" (cf. Matt. 24:15; 2 Thess. 2:3,8-12; Revelation 13)
4. the great persecution (cf. Matt. 24:21,24; Revelation 13)
There is a purposeful ambiguity (cf. Matt. 24:42-51; Mark 13:32-36)! Live every day as if it were your last but plan and train for future ministry!
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