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News and views from the German-language region of Europe

December 22, 2017

Signs of the time(s)

Filed under Sabbath Thoughts

Christians have been waiting for centuries for the promised return of Jesus Christ. And starting with the first generation of Christians ("we who are alive and remain") probably each generation since has hoped for Christ to return in their lifetime. And up to today that hope remains unfulfilled.

The Bible warns us multiple times about deception in the end time. And one of those warnings involves Christ's return to earth: "Knowing this first: that scoffers will come in the last days, walking according to their own lusts, and saying, Where is the promise of His coming? For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of creation" (2 Peter 3:3-4).

Since this will happen "in the last days", it can only be referring to Jesus' return. Those who succumb to this deception fail to see that God fulfills His plan methodically and according to plan. We see evidence of that about Jesus' first appearance on earth 2000 years ago, as history confirms.

When Jesus was to live on earth the first time, there needed to be a Jewish presence in Jerusalem with temple worship. So the Persian king Cyrus was motivated to allow those Jews taken to Babylon as captives and who were willing to return to Jerusalem to do so. Later the conquests of Alexander the Great spread the Greek language well beyond the borders of Macedonia, making it the common language throughout much of the Roman empire at the time of Christ and His apostles. That, coupled with the road and commerce network of the Roman empire, prepared the way for the relatively fast spread of the gospel of the kingdom of God in the first Christian century. And the Romans had perfected crucifixion as a means of execution by the first century A.D., so Christ was executed as prophesied by being "lifted up" on the stake.

In similar fashion God has been preparing the return of His son for centuries. In hindsight we will be able to see how God guided events or allowed them to happen, so Jesus will intervene at exactly the right time to prevent mankind's global suicide (Matthew 24:22).

Those who think that Jesus' return is being dragged out are well advised to heed the admonishment we find in the book of Hebrews: "For you have need of endurance, so that after you have done the will of God, you may receive the promise: For yet a little while, and He who is coming will come and will not tarry" (Hebrews 10:36-37).

"But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son", Paul wrote about Jesus' first coming. And we will be able to repeat that sentence when Jesus returns to the earth.

With these thoughts I wish everyone a rewarding Sabbath!

Paul Kieffer's blog with personal insights and news from the German-language region in Europe.


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