When God raised Jesus up from death, the Resurrection started. It was as if God paged “Dead Person #1,” and Jesus came out. But the Resurrection is an End-of-the-world event, which means that when Jesus rose from the dead, the End of the present age (end of the world as we have experienced it) began. Unexpected and unannounced, the age to come burst suddenly on the scene, interrupting plans, confounding expectations, breaking into a present age still in full operation, racing full throttle open.
No sooner had the shock of that surprise settled slightly in, than a second surprise equally startling sent everyone reeling again. The Resurrection, which had just started with Jesus, temporarily stopped. Jesus rose from the dead and ascended to the Father’s right hand in heaven to occupy the seat of second highest honor–temporarily.
I say that Jesus’ present position is temporary, because both the Old and New Testaments tell us that. The Old Testament says that Jesus is at God’s right hand—until (Psalm 110:1). The New Testament tells us that heaven has received Jesus—until (Acts 3:21). This “until” represents a pause in the end of the world. When the until has fully run its course, the pause will also be over.
When the purpose of the pause has finished, Jesus will reappear. God will page “Dead Person Number 2” and the Resurrection will continue. Final Judgment will take place, followed by eternal reward and punishment. But until then, like a baby’s birth interrupted in mid-delivery, there is a pause in the End of the world. The present age goes on, though clearly in a state of decline. The Age to come is sometimes visible, but obviously not fully here. We live with one foot, as it were, in both ages.
“…This same Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will so come in like manner as you saw Him go into heaven.” (Acts 1:11)
I don’t know when He will come, nor do I know much about the events surrounding His return, but I do know for sure He will come. Will it be soon? I have no way of knowing. I know His coming is sooner than when I first considered this question some 40 plus years ago.
There are scores of questions concerning the “end of the age”, few with clear answers. Don’t get me wrong, there are lots of answers but they are as varied as the people who give them and are mostly not clearly supported by scripture. Several well known preachers are supposed to be prophecy experts but for the most part I don’t put much weight on what they espouse. When a preacher is so obviously in error on other, pretty basic doctrine, I am cautious about his views on eschatology.
The several times I have been asked my view on the rapture, tribulation, the millennial reign of Christ, the role of the nation Israel, etc., my answer is usually pretty simple. “I don’t have an opinion to share on this subject because I have not studied it for myself and I am not going to just take what someone else says for truth”, or something very akin to this reply is my response.
What about you? Have you studied this topic? What are your conclusions? I would be very interested in knowing, and I’ll wager others will too.
I have recently began to study the topic by first studying the Abrahamic and Davidic Covenants. I have been reading the prophets and trying to wade through the mass of texts widely considered to be prophetic. I am excited to see what I will learn. I have an open mind, no axe to grind, no dog in the fight, I’m just a student wanting to learn. If I am able to reach the place where I believe I have some truth to share I will. Until then I’ll remain silent except to ask questions.
Your comments please!