What if Christ came back today?

Discussion in 'Revelation & Eschatology' started by Nathan A. Hughes, Jul 1, 2019.

  1. Nathan A. Hughes

    Nathan A. Hughes Puritan Board Freshman

    Have you ever wondered how would the Jesus of the New Testament be received if he was to return to earth today? Would Jesus be welcomed in your church?

    In the modern culture of political correctness and tolerance, it is interesting to explore the hypothesis of Christ’s second coming in the context of liberal western values. One cannot help but think would the Christ of the Bible be an offensive judgmental, out of touch dinosaur in the eyes of contemporary society. Maybe the words, “your kind is not welcome here, we are a tolerant, inclusive, and loving church” will be on the lips of the respectable and benevolent Pastor.

    Mark Twain the American writer is credited to have once said that if Jesus was alive today the last thing, he would be is a Christian. I suggest that there is an element of truth in that statement considering how the modern church portraits Jesus Christ. Today a large section of those who profess Christianity as their faith preaches a Jesus that is contrary to the one, we see in the New Testament. Take Matthew 23 for example where Jesus used very direct and strong language to condemn the practices of the religious people of his day. In verse 15 Jesus said, “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you travel land and sea to win one proselyte, and when he is won, you make him twice as much a son of hell as yourselves.” Did Jesus really say this, did the meek and mild gentle Jesus of modern Christianity utter such damming words? As we read on Jesus’s condemnation is still very strong, “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you cleanse the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of extortion and self-indulgence” is recorded in verse 25.

    It is evident that the teachings of Jesus are at odds with the values and customs of the modern age. In fact, this is nothing new. The world has always fought against the teachings of Christ. In the 1850s there was conflict regarding the origins of the universe. This is just one example of the teachings of the Bible being brought into question by society.

    As we live in an ever-growing secular society it is very important that Christian people have a good grasp of key doctrines of Scripture and able to defend their beliefs in the public sphere. Alas, the teachings of Scripture are not popular, and some might say they have no place in our society today. However, with that being said we need to really consider whose approval do we value more, men or God. If it is God’s approval, then we must be faithful to Scripture and unashamed of the truth. Our Lord and Saviour said in Matthew 6:24, “No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.” This means that we can’t be faithful servants of God while trying to please those around us all the time.

    In James 4:4 the Bible says, “Adulterers and adulteresses! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.” There is of course much more to be said regarding the subject in hand, however, today my aim is to encourage you, the Christian to ponder, pray, and search your heart before God.

    Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world--the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life--is not of the Father but is of the world. And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever.

    1 John 2:15-17
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  2. jwright82

    jwright82 Puritan Board Senior

    Well there is a lot to unpack in your post but I'll focus on the eschatological question. Jesus came once in meekness and he will come again in judgment and rulership as the one true king of everything.
  3. RJ Spencer

    RJ Spencer Puritan Board Freshman

    Wow. Do you actually believe that anyone will survive His return? My understanding of His return is that as He is descending to the earth we will meet Him in the sky and finish His descent. What is the reasoning for this? Simple, the bloodshed that will take place at that time will be such that every single person on the earth at that time will be slaughtered. Please see Amos 5:18-20
  4. StephenMartyr

    StephenMartyr Puritan Board Freshman

    Thank you very much for this post! My Mom and I were driving back from the mall today (didn't get anything) and my Mom started talking about the state of the church and how my Dad was feeling bad about it. She brought up the verse in Galatians:

    Gal 6:1 Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted.

    The part about restoring mostly.

    I don't want to say I'm Mr. Perfect and point the finger, but how do you restore people? I asked that question and my Mom went on to say to take the log out of your own eye and that there's a lot to do before going into it. How true.

    Where is the "spiritualness" in the church?

    Nathan, you brought up some good points and I'll agree with James that there is a lot to unpack.

    If Jesus wasn't allowed in a church, what Christianity is that church preaching / teaching? They might have the Bible and whatever else but not the life.

    How is one able to "stop" and "access the situation", if you know what I mean? Rather than keep rushing forward in what you think Christianity looks like, how can we stop and think?
  5. Jack K

    Jack K Puritan Board Professor

    I think Nathan was not asking about what Christ's second coming, to judge the world, might look like. Rather, he was speculating about a theoretical visit (which we all know won't actually happen) in which Christ would appear much as he did in his first visit.

    This has been a popular question to ponder. Many preachers and writers have asked a version of the question, "What would Jesus do/find if he visited your church/town today?" The answer usually involves Jesus confounding expectations somehow, or perhaps being rejected, with the point being that we have failed to be like him the way we should. I once heard a preacher spend half a sermon defending the idea that if Jesus visited our church he would surprise everyone by heading straight to the nursery to hold and pray for babies.

    I suppose speculating about this might help some people consider how well they are growing in Christlikeness. But at the risk of being a spoilsport, I will confess that I have never been able to get my head around the question.

    The Jesus I see in Scripture seems intently focused on his purpose. Before I can speculate on what he might do, I need to know why he is there. And the theoretical visit to my church today lacks the kind of world-shattering purpose of both his first and second comings as described in the Bible. I get hung up on this whenever someone asks about Jesus casually visiting my church, and I find that the question itself doesn't seem to fit Jesus.
  6. Ed Walsh

    Ed Walsh Puritan Board Junior

    Probably at first yes but maybe not for long. At any rate, He would never be an elder because he was the ultimate TR guy.:)
  7. Ed Walsh

    Ed Walsh Puritan Board Junior

    Come on everyone. Give Nathan a break. You must know the OP is asking a hypothetical what if question that has nothing to do with this actual coming as it will really be in flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power; When he shall come to be glorified in his saints, and to be admired in all them that believe (because our testimony among you was believed) in that day.
    2 Thessalonians 1:8‭-‬10
  8. TheInquirer

    TheInquirer Puritan Board Freshman

    Similar to the OP and in the vein of Rev. 2-3, I often wonder what kind of letter Jesus would send to our church or to me personally. What kind of pointed criticisms and commendations would he make?

    Of course we have the totality of Scripture to hold ourselves up against but the truth of the matter is there is often a prideful resistance and blindness toward our own shortcomings personally and corporately. The remaining corruption in us makes us resistant to the piercing power of the word of God that divides soul and spirit, joint and marrow (Heb. 4:12). Even when we seek to be humble we are often shocked when the Spirit reveals more of our sinfulness.

    In my limited experience, humility is a quality that is incredibly undervalued and neglected.
  9. Nathan A. Hughes

    Nathan A. Hughes Puritan Board Freshman

    You have given a very good summary of my post. This is what I was aiming at. I believe that when Christ comes back he will come as judge and king. I was merely addressing the current state of the world and the church.
  10. Nathan A. Hughes

    Nathan A. Hughes Puritan Board Freshman

    Thank you for this. You are right.

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