Is The Imminent Return of Jesus Christ Biblical?
by W.L. "Sonny" Payne
(Maryville, TN 37802)
1. If the imminent return of Jesus Christ is biblical, it would have had to originate with the early church and our Lord Jesus Christ. But we know that is not true since one of the last things the Lord Jesus instructed His disciples to do before He ascended to heaven was to go into all the world and preach the gospel. That would take time, plus, the New Testament had not yet been written, nor had the printing press, radio, television, satellite, etc. been invented, instruments God would use to reach the world with the gospel before His return in these last days.
2. If the disciples and Paul the apostle had believed in the imminent return of Jesus, they would have stayed in Jerusalem and waited.
3. Prophecy had to be fulfilled, such as the Diaspora, the return of the Jewish people to the land of Canaan, and Israel becoming a nation again.
4. II Thessalonians 2:1-4 tells us that two things must happen before the Rapture. One, the great apostasy, or falling away of believers from the faith, and two, the antichrist be revealed.
5. Finally, Revelation 20:4-6 must be fulfilled. These are saints who do not take the Mark of the Beast, yet they are part of the first resurrection.
W.L. "Sonny" Payne
Reply from Watchman Bob: Well thought-out commentary. Let's not put our salvation eggs in the pre-trib basket.