Date Setters and the Return of Christ

110523-camping-hmed-3p.grid-6x2I’m a guy who likes to attempt to figure things out. Gather up all the evidence necessary and hopefully find a solution. I suppose I’m not alone in this and if you aren’t like this maybe you know somebody who is.

One thing I’ve never tried to figure out was when Jesus would finally return as He promised He would do.

If you’ve ever read the Good Book then you know what I’m referring to.

If you haven’t ever read the Good Book and would like to know what I’m referring to you can begin with Revelation Chapter 22. There are 44 or so biblical references on this subject but Revelation 22 should get you caught up to speed.

Date setting is nothing new either. Folks have been doing this sort of thing publicly for YEARS.

These folks each have one thing in common; all of them have been wrong.

Some, like the late Harold Camping, have been wrong multiple times. You would think they’d have quit after the first time wouldn’t you?

Anyway, the other night a seemingly well intentioned minister told the assembly I was a part of that after years and years of study he knows that Jesus will return this fall.

I guess the minister missed this during his study;

Matthew 24:36 KJV 

But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only.

I was able to find this scripture in the King James Version so it HAS to be legit……and it’s even red lettered as well. A double bonus!

Now when I read this I understand it to mean that no one but God knows when Jesus will return; not Jesus, not the angels and especially no man knows. Only God knows. It’s straightforward and crystal clear….and because it’s also in the King James translation it must also be accurate!

That’s not to say that God didn’t leave us hints in His Word because He did. The big problem here is would be that unless the Bible was written in this century, and it wasn’t, these same hints were given to first century readers also.

The other problem with these hints would be this; you could more than likely make a case from roughly 70AD on wards that most if not all of these hints were actually fulfilled in every century and generation and age right up until today. Jesus still hasn’t returned has He?

And that’s the point. No matter how many predictions or hints that have been seemingly fulfilled, Jesus still hasn’t returned.

The Apostle Paul said that God has set a day for Christ’s return to judge the world (Acts 17:31). but Paul didn’t publicly attempt to set a date.

Obviously he wasn’t as informed as the folks I linked above seem to be.

Maybe Paul did have the date of Christ’s return all figured out and just kept it to himself. Paul may have been a spectacle to the world (1 Cor 4:9) but he wasn’t foolish enough to make a spectacle of himself publicly.

Today’s date setters don’t seem to have that concern.

We didn’t talk about any of this on Calvin’s Corner this week. Instead Michael and I talked about my conversation with a King James Only advocate that led us to a discussion about Limited Atonement.

I’ll leave the player below or you can visit Calvin’s Corner and download the program to your portable listening device.

[audio http://media.blubrry.com/calvinscorner/archive.org/download/CalvinsCorner25/Calvin%27s%20Corner%20%2325.mp3]

 

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What About the Risen Christ?

Since my return to the states I’ve been looking for a church home. That means I’ve been attending quite a few different chapel services. The preacher last night was fiery, passionate and even had an eight point outline.

The entire message took about 30 minutes or so; he preached about sin, spiritual death, hell, heaven and presented a very convincing portrayal of Christ’s last minutes on the cross but he left out one very essential component of the gospel message;

What about the empty tomb or a risen Christ?

The preacher covered every single base except what made Jesus different from every other supposed “savior” and every person who was crucified either before or after.

The Apostle Peter thought it was important enough to demonstrate the difference between King David and Jesus.

(Act 2:22-32 ESV E-Sword emphasis mine) 

“Men of Israel, hear these words: Jesus of Nazareth, a man attested to you by God with mighty works and wonders and signs that God did through him in your midst, as you yourselves know—this Jesus, delivered up according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God, you crucified and killed by the hands of lawless men. God raised him up, loosing the pangs of death, because it was not possible for him to be held by it. For David says concerning him, “‘I saw the Lord always before me, for he is at my right hand that I may not be shaken; therefore my heart was glad, and my tongue rejoiced; my flesh also will dwell in hope. For you will not abandon my soul to Hades, or let your Holy One see corruption. You have made known to me the paths of life; you will make me full of gladness with your presence.’ “Brothers, I may say to you with confidence about the patriarch David that he both died and was buried, and his tomb is with us to this day. Being therefore a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him that he would set one of his descendants on his throne, he foresaw and spoke about the resurrection of the Christ, that he was not abandoned to Hades, nor did his flesh see corruption. This Jesus God raised up, and of that we all are witnesses.

Throughout the Apostle Paul’s ministry he constantly and effectively declared that Jesus was different than any other “god” in the fact that He was resurrected from the dead.

(1Co 15:3-8 ESV E-Sword emphasis mine) 

For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. Then he appeared to more than five hundred brothers at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have fallen asleep. Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles. Last of all, as to one untimely born, he appeared also to me.

(Act 13:29-39 ESV E-Sword emphasis mine) 

 And when they had carried out all that was written of him, they took him down from the tree and laid him in a tomb. But God raised him from the dead, and for many days he appeared to those who had come up with him from Galilee to Jerusalem, who are now his witnesses to the people. And we bring you the good news that what God promised to the fathers, this he has fulfilled to us their children by raising Jesus, as also it is written in the second Psalm, “‘You are my Son, today I have begotten you.’ And as for the fact that he raised him from the dead, no more to return to corruption, he has spoken in this way, “‘I will give you the holy and sure blessings of David.’ Therefore he says also in another psalm, “‘You will not let your Holy One see corruption.’ For David, after he had served the purpose of God in his own generation, fell asleep and was laid with his fathers and saw corruption, but he whom God raised up did not see corruption, Let it be known to you therefore, brothers, that through this man forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you, and by him everyone who believes is freed from everything from which you could not be freed by the law of Moses.

Paul stood longer on the resurrection than he did on the law and Calvin hit it straight out of the park when he commented;  God hath raised him up. The death of Christ was the salvation of the godly, yet joined with the resurrection; therefore doth Paul stand longer upon this second point. For he should never have persuaded his hearers that they were to seek salvation in Christ’s death, unless the power of Almighty God had appeared in raising Christ from death. (Calvin’s Commentaries E-Sword)

“Never persuaded them unless he spent more time on the resurrection” is an important point to notice and one that should never be overlooked.

Paul addressed the people of Macedonia much the same way as he did the people of Antioch.

(Act 17:1-4 ESV emphasis mine) 

Now when they had passed through Amphipolis and Apollonia, they came to Thessalonica, where there was a synagogue of the Jews. And Paul went in, as was his custom, and on three Sabbath days he reasoned with them from the Scriptures, explaining and proving that it was necessary for the Christ to suffer and to rise from the dead, and saying, “This Jesus, whom I proclaim to you, is the Christ.”

Much like the days of the Apostles we live in a time where men need to be persuaded that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the Living God. Men need to not only be told that they are sinners but also need to be told the complete story of Christ’s atoning work. Leaving out the resurrection of Christ is an incomplete message and does a disservice to the Gospel and more importantly does a disservice to the hearer who so desperately needs a Savior.

We didn’t talk about this subject on this weeks Calvin’s Corner. Instead we took a closer look at a response to former Calvinist turned Catholic Jason Stellman by Dr. James White and then we explained the differences between Hyper Calvinists, Calvinists and New Calvinists. I’ll leave a player below or you can download the 45 minute program by right clicking the image below and selecting “save as”

[audio http://media.blubrry.com/calvinscorner/archive.org/download/CalvinsCorner4/CalvinsCorner4.mp3]

Calvin's Corner header

Martin Luther and the Five Solas

On this week’s podcast Pastor Michael Newnham and I continue our series on Calvinism as we examine Martin Luther and the Five Solas.

To listen to the show from the site please click the link provided below. To save this program to your portable listening device please right click the link below and select “save as”.

https://phillyflash.files.wordpress.com/2011/10/martin-luther-and-the-five-solas.mp3

Book Review: The Jesus Inquest: The Case For and Against the Resurrection of the Christ by Charles Foster

I just finished reading The Jesus Inquest: The Case For and Against The Resurrection of Christ by Charles Foster and published by Thomas Nelson as part of the BookSneeze blogger review program. I was given this book as a gift and was not asked to give a positive review in exchange for said gift. Continue reading

Extending Grace and Mercy Because Christ Did That For You (and me)!

The following Scripture was in my daily reading plan last night. Due to recent events around here I thought I would share this with you.

1Timothy 1:12-15

I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has strengthened me, because He considered me faithful, putting me into service, even though I was formerly a blasphemer and a persecutor and a violent aggressor. Yet I was shown mercy because I acted ignorantly in unbelief; and the grace of our Lord was more than abundant, with the faith and love which are found in Christ Jesus. It is a trustworthy statement, deserving full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, among whom I am foremost of all.

After the jump I’ll share some thoughts. Continue reading

Is The “Great Commision” For Everyone? by Boyd Miller

Every church goer has heard the “Great Commission” as recorded in Matthew 28:18-20, and in  a somewhat similar manner in Mark 16:15-18 and Luke 24: 46-49. This scripture has been used as the basis for  missions, crusades, TV programing and taught as an obligation of every believer. Jesus spoke this command to the eleven remaining apostles after his resurrection in each of these recorded accounts. So my questions are; Continue reading