Baptists > Doctrines > Second Coming
As a Thief in the Night...
   No one knows when thieves come.  No one can predict when they will arrive.  They just do and usually when we least expect them.  So, can we really say that, based on the "signs" around us, Jesus is coming soon?
   More has been declared, written, and discussed about the prophesied Second Coming of Christ in the last fifty years than ever before.  Due to the worldwide threat of nuclear holocost, along with the advancements in technology (which alert us to disasters within seconds no matter where in the world they occur), the sense of Bible believing Christians is that all these things indicate the soon return of Jesus.
   In fact, the fulfillment of the prophecies concerning His Second Coming have always been and continue to be a cause of excitement and wonder for Bible believing Christians; as well they should be.  However, Baptists have been all too often guilty of following the predictions of those who publish their "computations" that Jesus is indeed going to come at such and such a time.  They've convinced themselves throughout their history that world wars, natural disasters, and periods of national immorality prove that Jesus is on the verge of rapturing the saints.  However, we are still here and we are still waiting for His return--sometimes with egg on our faces.
   All that being said, we need to be responsible in how we present ourselves to a lost world regarding what the Bible says about the Second Coming.  By taking heed to all that the Scriptures teaches us concerning it, we will avoid the foolishness that some of our brethren have exhibited and truly come to understand the joy and peace that comes when we comprehend that He could come for us at any time; regardless of what is happening around us.
   Here is what we do know...
   Jesus promised that He would return again (Matthew 24:36, Mark 13:32) but also made it clear that we would not know the exact hour of His coming.  Therefore, the only possible indications of His return drawing near would be those "signs" that were further prophesied throughout the New Testament; specifically the Book of the Revelation.
   That book makes it clear that Christ's coming will be marked by a taking up of all born-again people.  It is referred to as the Rapture (a transport of delight).  Also included in the "last days" are a seven year long Tribulation period that culminates in the Battle of Armageddon (a historical battlefield in Israel) between Christ and the forces of the Antichrist.  Following that event, the victorious Christ rules the earth for a thousand years (the Millennium).
   The sticky point seems to be the question of at what point the Rapture will occur.  Most Baptists lean toward it occurring just before the Tribulation begins, whereas, others hold to either a mid or post tribulation view.
   Let it be said that dogmatism regarding events that have not yet occurred is a risky business.  Nevertheless, the Baptists have a reputation for being very convicted about their beliefs and the subject of things to come is no exception.  You will doubtless encounter numerous views concerning both the timing of the Rapture along with many other dearly held views concerning the last days when conversing with a Baptist on this subject.  Furthermore, any attempt to talk them out of looking toward the Blessed Hope (another name for the Rapture) will not be appreciated.  Due to their historical nature regarding a literal interpretation of the Scriptures, the Second Coming of Christ is a doctrine that is as dear to them as the salvation of their souls.
   It would not only be unwise to question their views regarding future prophetical revelation but one might seriously consider that the best place to understand Biblical truth is amongst those who have historically proven their trustworthiness in being committed to it.
   Keep looking up!  Jesus is coming soon!
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Slippage Questions: The Doctrine of the Second Coming of Christ

   "Therefore we ought to give the more earnest heed to the things which we have heard, lest at any time we should let them slip."  ~ Hebrews 2:1

Does the church you attend teach the Second Coming or are you now alarmed that you have not heard much about it from those who should know?
Are you looking forward to the possible return of Christ in your lifetime or does the thought of it make you fearful?  Why?
Does the church you attend debunk this Biblical doctrine?  If so, why is the Second Coming of Christ taught throughout the entire New Testament with such detailed descriptions in the Book of the Revelation?
If you believe that Jesus will Rapture His believers either at the beginning, midway, or end of the Tribulation, can you honestly say that you have studied all three views as opposed to simply believing what someone else has told you?
Are the signs of His Second Coming to be interpreted as events that will occur previous to the Tribulation or during it?
Why is it that we sometimes tend to accept the conclusions of some so-called Biblical "expert" who states that Jesus is coming again at such and such a time and such and such a date?
Can you honestly state that is acceptable for a Bible believing Christian to argue, contend, and offend other believers with dogmatic views concerning prophecies that have not yet been fulfilled?
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