Why the Prediction That Christ Would Come May 21 Was Wrong (Part 2 of 8)

by | May 24, 2011 | Current Events, Eschatology

I am assuming three things in this response to Camping.

First, the Bible predicts the yet future bodily return of Christ (Acts 1:9; 3:19, 20).

Acts 1:9-11 And after He had said these things, He was lifted up while they were looking on, and a cloud received Him out of their sight. And as they were gazing intently into the sky while He was going, behold, two men in white clothing stood beside them. They also said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into the sky? This Jesus, who has been taken up from you into heaven, will come in just the same way as you have watched Him go into heaven.”
Acts 3:19-21 “Therefore repent and return, so that your sins may be wiped away, in order that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord; and that He may send Jesus, the Christ appointed for you, whom heaven must receive until the period of restoration of all things about which God spoke by the mouth of His holy prophets from ancient time.

Second, this return of Christ will not be secret, but public, glorious, visible, and universal (Matt. 24:24-27; 1 Thess. 5:1-4; 2 Thess. 1:6-10).

Matthew 24:24-27 “For false Christs and false prophets will arise and will show great signs and wonders, so as to mislead, if possible, even the elect. Behold, I have told you in advance. So if they say to you, ‘Behold, He is in the wilderness,’ do not go out, or, ‘Behold, He is in the inner rooms,’ do not believe them. For just as the lightning comes from the east and flashes even to the west, so will the coming of the Son of Man be.”

My rejection of setting dates for Christ’s second coming in no way means that I do not believe that Christ is coming. To put this in other words, rejecting the notion of setting dates for Christ’s coming does not mean rejecting Christ’s coming itself.

Third, I am not denying that there are certain signs that Christ’s coming is drawing near. My rejection of setting dates for Christ’s second coming in no way means that there are no signs of His coming. What I am assuming and saying is that there are no time signs of His coming. For instance, Jesus gives this sign of His coming:

Matthew 24:14 “This gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all the nations, and then the end will come.”

This is in a sense a sign of His coming. But this sign of Christ’s coming is in no way a time sign of His coming. That is, it enables no one to make a prediction like that Mr. Camping made of the date of Christ’s coming.

The fact that dirt is being moved on one side of our property is a sign that a new building is coming, but it is not a time sign. We do not know when our church’s first service in the new worship center will take place.

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Implications of Jesus’ Relationship to the Law

Implications of Jesus’ Relationship to the Law

You remember that we are working through Matthew 5:17-20 under the theme we determined at the beginning of this blog series. That theme concerns Jesus’ relationship to the Old Testament Scriptures. Those Scriptures are described in the way typical of the New Testament as the law and the prophets. Jesus’ relation to them is described both negatively and positively. It is not to abolish but to fulfill them. Jesus comes to bring the Scriptures to their intended goal or predestined destination. This relationship of Jesus to the Old Testament is the underlying theme of the entirety of verses 17-20.

The Perpetuity of the Law

The Perpetuity of the Law

This, then, is why Jesus feels the need to issue this warning. A new time—the time of the kingdom—has come. What will this mean for the law and the prophets? Does it mean that their time is over and that their authority has been overthrown? To this Jesus gives an emphatic answer. It does not! He does not overthrow their authority. Rather, the authority of the Old Testament Scriptures remains and must remain inviolate forever. It is not their abolition, but their fulfillment which Jesus brings.

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