Rev. Anthony Owens
Because of the lack of a belief in the historical Jesus Christ, believing that Jesus of the Bible never existed, I would challenge anyone to review other literature to disprove the existence of Jesus Christ. I would even go as far as to recommend the reading of Josephus, who was a military officer and historian in Israel who was fighting against the Romans. During a battle, he was captured and eventually made a Roman citizen after Roman captors took a liking to him. In Rome, Josephus wrote books and volumes, many of which were on Jewish history. He was an eyewitness of the events during the first century and briefly mentioned Jesus, John the Baptist, and James, Jesus' brother. Information on Flavious Josephus was obtained from the Lexham Bible Dictionary.
As much as many have tried to discern the second coming of Jesus Christ, believing that today's events are set up for His return, the Bible shares some things with us that I will highlight in red below, so please continue to read.
Christians confess that Christ will come again to earth at the end of time in an event usually described as the parousia (Greek for "arrival" or "presence"). However, only the Father knows when that will be, according to Jesus himself, and Jesus refused to disclose the information to his disciples when they asked him for it (Matt 24:36).
According to Matthew's gospel, no one knows the day or the hour, not even the angels in heaven nor the Son, but the Father only knows. So, it would behoove us to live each day like it is our last day because tomorrow is not promised to any one of us. We plan for tomorrow and the days ahead, but we do not know if today will be our last. So, again, it would behoove us to be grateful for today, and if we happen to wake up tomorrow to be thankful for that day as well. But, moreover, we shall live a meaningful life, most of all living for Jesus Christ, because, other than we believe it or not, Jesus is as accurate as the evil we are all witnessing in the world. And, I have often said to myself, if evil exists, which we cannot deny, then absolute goodness must also exist because there must be a balance to all things. And, if absolute goodness is in God, then that ought to reorient some things in our lives.
While the timing is a complete mystery, other aspects of Christ's return have been revealed. At his trial, Jesus told his accusers that the Son of Man would come on the clouds of heaven (Mark 14:62), a statement that is repeated at the time of his ascension into heaven (Acts 1:11). The message is fleshed out in 1 Thessalonians 4:16–17 and 1 Corinthians 15:12–28, though, in the latter passage, the second coming is implied and not directly mentioned as such. These details of Christ's second coming are hard to interpret, however—it is difficult to imagine, for example, how the entire world will see his coming at the same time. But the general theme is present throughout the New Testament if the precise details escape us. The book of Revelation may even be regarded as an extended discourse on the subject, though its symbolism is a subject of ongoing debate.
In Mark's gospel, which is the oldest gospel, Jesus said during his trials saying to his accusers that the Son of Man (He was begotten from the Father God) would come on the clouds of heaven and if I were to use my sanctified mind, that those who will be alive will see the Lord, coming on the clouds to restore His kingdom on earth.
When Jesus ascended to heaven, it was said, men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into heaven? Because this same Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will come (if I would add) the same way as you saw him go into heaven, which is Luke's account in Acts 1:11. And we know that what goes up must come down, and Jesus the historical Jesus will return one day. Just a thought, what if the world were to live like Jesus could return at any time? Do you think our priorities would be different? Do you think what we consider essential would be less critical in our lives? What if the world truly lived for Jesus Christ? I want to be truthful in this blog; I am an intellectual regarding the word of God. And I want others to be a scholar, too, because life would be much better for us, our families, and the world. So, that is the mission of this ministry. Of course, some people want a difference in the world, which ought to be the church's mission (not the building thinking it is the church, but our bodies are the church). Still, the people thirst for authentic submission to a historical Jesus Christ that can make all the difference in our world. It does not matter your ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, race, or whatever, because if the truth is told, we are all from our first parents, Adam and Eve.
If we are concerned about the order of Jesus' return and what will happen, we can look no further than 1 Thess. 4:16-17, because it tells us there will be an archangel whose voice will acknowledge Jesus's return and a trumpet sounding. It will be the dead in Christ who rise first, and then those of us who are alive (and if I might say, believed and accepted Jesus as their Lord and Savior) will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and will forever be with the Lord.
If we look closely at the gospel, it is believed the body of Jesus was stolen from the tomb. That was what the guards were told to say by the chief priests, and they were given money to do so – Matt. 28:11-15. And even today, many people believe the body was stolen from the tomb; consequently, many believe it. But I would challenge anyone to do your research because your very soul could depend on the outcome of this scripture.
The church's attitude to Christ's second coming doctrine has varied. Early on, it was common to expect that Christ's return was imminent. The persecution of believers and the rapid expansion of the church worldwide were both regarded as signs of the approaching end. Later on, the fall of Rome was also seen as heralding the return of Christ, as was the approach of the year 1000. The event's failure to materialize made the church cautious, and the recurring phenomenon of prophetic sects that proclaim the approaching end has reinforced this. Jesus warned his disciples not to listen to such predictions. At the same time, we are always told to expect the Lord's return (Matt 24:44; 1 Thess 5:2–4). The celebration of the Lord's Supper likewise remains central to Christian worship, with its precise eschatological dimension—in the Supper, we proclaim the Lord's death until he comes again (1 Cor 11:26).
I would go as far as to say that we are coming out only recently with the advent of COVID-19 and how the world was on lockdown. COVID was the reason this ministry was birth because the church will never be the same, and we realize we can reach more people online than we can ever reach between the four walls of the church. So that ministry is 24/7, and if we are serious about God's calling in our lives, we would want to cultivate relationships, pray for one another, encourage one another, and whatever else to help live this life in the fullness of Jesus Christ, not a particular ministry or church.
So, again how should we live as believers in Jesus Christ? We are to be ready for the Son of Man to come anytime. I want to be doing God's will in my life. Not that I am a Jesus freak and every word that comes out of my mouth is Jesus, but to put God first in everything, and everything else will be added unto me, which is Matt. 6:33. But being ready is found in Matthew's gospel, chapter 24:44.
Just like we need to be on the lookout for thieves who want to take from us, Jesus will come as a thief in the night because some of us are not expecting his return. Consequently, it will surprise some of us. Not only that, if Jesus were to return, which he will do one day, he may find some of us doing things he never sanctioned in our lives, but we thought it was the most important thing to do. I understand we all have lives, but priorities are necessary for all our lives, and what is important is evident in all our lives.
I pray this blog blessed someone reading it for the first time. That you took the time to read any of this blog blesses God, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit. I pray that you will take the time to comment, and I will respond, but most of all, you will give this writing some thought in your life. Again, I challenge you to disprove the existence of a historical Jesus. Most of all, thank you for what a ministry of answering your questions with a biblical base would mean to you and many others. Please share our ministry with others and consider subscribing to our blog. I will try to post often and follow up with a video on Youtube, where we can dialogue in the chat.
Bray, Gerald. 2018. "Jesus' Second Coming." In Lexham Survey of Theology, edited by Mark Ward, Jessica Parks, Brannon Ellis, and Todd Hains. Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.