Afterword – The Traditions of Men or the Truth of God?
In this book, I have shown you how the Bible teaches that the Second Coming of Jesus Christ should be considered by us in the 21st Century not future and physical, but rather past and spiritual. In other words, Jesus Christ has already come again – sometime late in the 1st Century A.D. not too many years after the destruction of Jerusalem’s temple in 70 A.D. I did this by showing you what the Scriptures themselves say about the Second Coming, and how history confirms it.
We spent the bulk of our time first analyzing what Jesus and His apostles said about the timing of the Second Coming. In doing so, we brought to light the fact that is so often ignored in today’s Bible teaching on this subject – that all believers in the New Testament expected the Lord’s return in their generation and gave no indication that they thought it could possibly come in any other generation. This actually explains why this fact is ignored, for if you say the New Testament disciples were wrong about this but right about everything else you look a little silly to the world you are trying to convince. Second, we analyzed what Jesus and His apostles said about the nature of the Second Coming. We saw that they were describing not a physical event, but a spiritual one. We are to see Jesus coming in His kingdom the same way we saw Him at the right hand of the throne of God – that is, by faith. “Faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen” (Hebrews 11:1). Trusting Jesus, His apostles, and the prophets before them about the timing and nature of the Second Coming demands a belief in a Second Coming that was accomplished in their timeframe and in their way. What was imminent future for them is, for us in the 21st Century, distant past. Fait accompli. Mission accomplished.
All this is completely fitting with what Paul said in his second letter to the believers at Corinth:
…even though we have known Christ according to the flesh, yet now we know Him in this way no longer. 2 Corinthians 5:16 NASB
This is the church that Paul called “still fleshly” in his first letter. Yes, God did come in the flesh…but we are to know Him in the spirit now.
By the way, it was outside the purpose of this book to deal with the implications of the Lord’s coming as accomplished fact. In a sentence, it is that we should acknowledge and revere His presence at all times, serving Him with joy and gladness in all that we think, say, and do. If you want an elaboration, see the overview of A Scriptural Guide to Jesus and His Kingdom; and if you want more biblical support of those elaborations, see the blog A Bible Reader’s Guide to Jesus and His Kingdom.
I do not deny that the teaching of a “future, physical” Second Coming is more traditional than what I have shown you in this book. I simply ask which is more important to you: the truth of God or the traditions of men?
End of the Afterword
End of the book