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Today the Western world has pretty much given up on God and heaven. Our ability to talk about galaxies millions of light years away, and our ability to talk about matter creating itself billions of years in the past has given us an inflated opinion of ourselves. We feel that we are too smart for fairytales about God and Jesus now.

But no matter how many zeros we put on the end of the number of years or on the number of miles that our imaginations can stretch, our actual recorded history is still something like 6,000 years, and our explorations barely extend beyond the speck of dust that we call Earth. Our ability to create life hasn't even succeeded in creating a single DNA molecule yet.

Within the confines of our short history and our limited travels, the one Person who stands out above all the rest is Jesus Christ. He claimed to be a messenger from heaven; the only begotten Son of God, come to tell us what the Creator of the universe expects from each one of us as his subjects.

The world measures time from the year he was born. More books and songs have been written about him than any person in history.

When Jesus Christ ascended into heaven 2,000 years ago, two angels promised that he would one day return to earth. (Acts 1:9-11)  He himself promised several times that he would return, to reward (or punish) people according to their works. (Matthew 16:27)

He said, "Don't be afraid. If you believe in God, then believe in me too. In my Father's house are many mansions. If this weren't true, I would have said so. But I'm going to prepare a place for you. And if I go, I will come again for you, so that you can be with me always." (John 14:1-4)

Jesus vanished into another dimension; but he promised to return from that dimension at some time in the future.  His first coming was the most significant thing that has happened on this planet in 6,000 years, so his second coming will almost certainly be even greater.

Stay Faithful

But to be a part of it, we must stay faithful to what he taught on his first visit to this planet.  And that seems to be exactly what everyone has forgotten to do.  Sure, it's been a long time; but the longest that any of us has to wait is one lifetime.  And what Christ taught is relevant even if he doesn't return in our lifetime. It's not like we will have wasted our lives.  In fact, it is more likely that we will have wasted our lives if we don't do what he taught us to do.

Jesus compared the situation on earth just before he returns, to the situation in Sodom just before God destroyed that city, or the situation at the time God told Noah to build the ark.  He said, "As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be in the days of the Son of Man. They ate and drank, and married and raised families, until the day that Noah entered into the ark. Then the flood came and destroyed them all. Likewise, as it was in the days of Lot, they ate and drank, bought and sold, planted and builded. But the same day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven and destroyed them all." (Luke 17:26-29)

Traditionally, people think what was wrong in Noah's day was that everyone was atheists; and that the problem in Sodom was homosexuality.  But notice that Jesus makes no mention of either of those problems here.  They are just the end results of a deeper problem.

The real problem was that "good" people were just too damned busy with the mundane affairs of life to take God seriously.  They were religious; but it was all according to their own rules about religion.  The counterfeit religion of Sodom was so convincing, that Abraham prayed to God to spare the city for the sake of the many righteous people he assumed were in it. (Genesis 18:20-33)

Many today assume that, despite rampant atheism and homosexuality, at least the churches must have faithful, righteous people in it.  But evidence suggests the opposite to be true.  We will look at the evidence as we progress further in this study.


BB3 01Some groups and individuals have majored on the subject of the second coming of Christ; but the result of their efforts is that the public has been even more put off the subject. The reason is that these groups and individuals have majored on all the wrong issues, and have usually overlooked the most important ones.

The most famous errors come from trying to predict dates when Christ will return.

The media loves to set such people up for ridicule, by offering coverage if they will name a date. Many have fallen for the temptation.
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Another temptation has been to exaggerate facts and to bend the Bible to make it line up with pet theories. People will read into almost every news report evidence that the second coming of Christ is just around the corner. But overdoing this destroys credibility.

There will be support for Bible prophecies in the newspapers; but we should point people to the Bible more than we do to newspapers for evidence.And there is the tendency to exploit people's fears, so that talk of Christ returning becomes a doomsday message more than one of hope. Pointing to problems without offering convincing solutions only creates panic and paranoia.

We will try to overcome each of these problems by giving a clear picture of what lies ahead, without exaggeration, and we will try to show simple solutions to the problems that we will face as we prepare for the return of Christ.

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