Thursday, April 22, 2010

Dangerous Idea (1)

I get really disturbed by some of the beliefs that held by some quite mature Christians. These beliefs do not compromise their salvation, but they do prevent them from understanding the fullness of God’s plans for his church.

Recently I heard someone say these words.

The Bible teaches that Jesus will return when the gospel has been preached to all the nations of the earth.
He then went on to say that only a few hundred tribes have not heard the gospel, so we can expect Jesus to return in the next decade.

This is a very widespread belief, but it is simply not true. The Bible does not say what my friend says it does. The verse he is referring to is Matt 24:14.
And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world
as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.
A couple of things should be noted about this verse.

First of all, we must be clear about what Jesus was referring to when he used the expression “the end”. The Greek word is “telos”. It is not the word generally used for the second coming, “paousia”. Telos means end or completion.

A close examination of the context shows that Jesus was speaking about the destruction of the Jerusalem, the time when the amazing building of the temple would be smashed (Matt 24:2,3). Jesus had warned of this event and the disciples wanted to know when it would happen. Jesus was not speaking of the second coming, but giving a sign for the destruction of Jerusalem. The gospel being “preached in the whole world” is a sign of the destruction of Jerusalem. It is a not a sign of the second coming.

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