Re: [asa] A theology question (imminent return of Christ)

From: Bethany Sollereder <>
Date: Tue Oct 07 2008 - 18:20:19 EDT

Hey Bernie,

Funny you should mention the idea that we would not have retirement and
college funds if we really believed... at the Bible college I attended, we
had a speaker come in and tell us that when he was young he scorned all
those things because of the immanence of Christ's return. Now, at
retirement age, he was unable to, and actually advised us not to take his

I'm not sure where you mean that Jesus said he would return immediately.
When he speaks of coming on the "clouds of heaven" etc. I like to follow
N.T. Wright's approach which says that this is language of vindication -
vindication which came with the fall of Jerusalem in AD 70. As for when the
second coming would be, I don't think he actually said it would be
immediate. It seems to me that most of his teachings/parables on the nature
of returning are usually emphasizing the uncertainty of the timing of the
return. I'm thinking of the parables of the women with the lamps, or the
servants with the master gone away. Also, the one time Jesus speaks
directly of the timing, he says he does not even know the day or the hour,
only the Father knows.

I don't know that it would be a big deal if he waits another 2000 years.
Why would it be? My job is to be faithful while I have time.

Also, this just occurred to me, so I haven't done any studying on it, but
some of the language may also be referring to the resurrection, which did
happen immediately, while some would be talking about the "proper" second
coming. As in all prophetic writings/oracles, the time scale in view is
always a difficult thing to pick out.


On Tue, Oct 7, 2008 at 3:01 PM, Dehler, Bernie <>wrote:

> Here's a question I have.
> In the NT, it is obvious that the disciples thought Jesus would return at
> any time and that the end was near. For example, that's why in Acts it says
> the believers had everything in common- sold what they had and shared
> everything. We would too if we seriously thought Christ would return
> tomorrow, but we don't really believe it. So we keep our own money- our
> retirement and college plans for our kids. We don't believe in the imminent
> return of Christ like the first believers did, as evidenced by our behavior.
> *Here's my question: *Was Jesus wrong when He taught about the immediate
> return? How do we explain his slowness in coming, when they all thought it
> would have happened almost 2,000 years ago? And since it has been so long
> already, what's the big deal if Jesus waits another 2,000 years? I know
> that's inconceivable to most evangelical Christians, just like if you told a
> Christian in 100AD that Christ still did not return by 2000AD.
> No need to post scripture about "scoffers who say Christ isn't going to
> return." That isn't the question. The question is how to you resolve the
> fact that Christ clearly taught, and His disciples clearly believed, in the
> imminent return, which didn't happen yet? There was no imminent return. If
> Christ returns today, it was not imminent.
> It is a genuine problem that I have and am pondering, as a believer.
> …Bernie

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Received on Tue Oct 7 18:21:01 2008

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