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Delaying the end
OSV.com ^ | 05-09-18 | Msgr. Charles Pope

Posted on 05/12/2018 8:06:09 AM PDT by Salvation

Delaying the end

Question: People in the early Church expected Christ to return in glory during their lifetimes. Are the Gospel quotes of Christ saying he would be back before they finished evangelizing all the towns of Israel part of this tradition, and if so, why didn’t he come? — Joann Capone, via email

Answer: It is inaccurate to say that the early Church universally expected Christ’s imminent return. Just like today, there were some who announced his quick return. But there were also cautionary rebukes from the Church regarding this.

For example: “Now concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to him, we ask you, brothers, that you be not easily shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand. Let no one deceive you in any way, for it will not come until the rebellion occurs and the man of lawlessness (the son of destruction) is revealed. He will oppose and exalt himself above every so-called god or object of worship. So he will seat himself in the temple of God, proclaiming himself to be God” (2 Thess 2:1-4).

The Church has further held, based on Scripture, that the Second Coming presupposes that the Gospel has been effectively preached to the nations, and that there is a large-scale conversion of the Jews. The Church too will go through a final trial, and the faith of all will be tested, and many will fall away (see Catechism of the Catholic Church, No. 672-77).

Thus the Second Coming is delayed until such things are in place. Some argue they are, or are soon to be in place, but they are not as yet. Further, we must recall that we know not the hour or day of the Lord’s coming (see Mt 25:13).

But the bottom line is that neither we nor the early Church universally thought the end was soon or very soon.

As for your reference to Matthew 10:23: “Truly I tell you, you will not finish going through the towns of Israel before the Son of Man comes” — this does not necessarily refer to his Second Coming, but more likely to his coming in judgment on Israel and definitively ending the Temple sacrifices. This was fulfilled.

The end of ancient Israel occurred in April of 70 A.D. The Temple was destroyed, never to be rebuilt, and ancient Jerusalem also was leveled by the Romans. Jesus spoke of this incident as the coming of the Son of Man on the clouds. This is a use of prophetic imagery where God’s judgment is described in terms of God coming on the clouds. For example, in the Book of Exodus (14:24), God cast a glance on the Egyptian army from the cloud and threw them into confusion. Thus Jesus coming on the clouds is a definitive judgment on ancient Israel for her lack of faith (see: Mk 13:26ff) but not the second coming.


TOPICS: Apologetics; Catholic; History; Theology
KEYWORDS: catholic
**we must recall that we know not the hour or day of the Lord’s coming (see Mt 25:13). **
1 posted on 05/12/2018 8:06:09 AM PDT by Salvation
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To: nickcarraway; NYer; ELS; Pyro7480; livius; ArrogantBustard; Catholicguy; RobbyS; marshmallow; ...

Monsignor Pope Ping to OSV column.


2 posted on 05/12/2018 8:40:54 AM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation

I thought that the deal was to “act” like the end was coming today. That way, you would always be ready.

Anticipating, hoping for, or counting on the end to come is a bad, bad plan. That is “13th Mahadi” shit.


3 posted on 05/12/2018 8:56:34 AM PDT by Vermont Lt
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To: Salvation

Although I think Scripture indicates many did think the Lord would come in their time (the 70AD destruction of Jerusalem probably helped), and each generation often had the same thoughts (just about every generation has had their version of the “Antichrist”), I have strong reason to believe that the Lord will come before this, the 21st Century, is over, but interestingly, I don’t think I will be “taken up with the saints” by Christ in the clouds - I think I will go to Heaven before that.

No, we don’t know the day or the hour, but we do or should know the times and the seasons.


4 posted on 05/12/2018 9:08:31 AM PDT by Jim 0216 (MAGA by restoring the Gospel of the Grace of Christ and our Free Constitutional Republic!)
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To: Salvation

Jesus did “return” in their lifetime - in Judgement of the nation Israel - defeated and destroyed in 70 AD. Jesus baptizes with water and fire - the fire of judgement came within their lifetimes.


5 posted on 05/12/2018 9:10:00 AM PDT by impactplayer
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To: impactplayer

And He set up the millennial reign just when?

I missed that part in history class.


6 posted on 05/12/2018 9:14:18 AM PDT by metmom ( ...fixing our eyes on Jesus, the Author and Perfecter of our faith..)
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To: impactplayer

**Jesus baptizes with water and fire**

Jesus baptizes with water and the HOLY SPIRIT!


7 posted on 05/12/2018 9:46:55 AM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: metmom

The millennial reign was set up as a time when Satan would be constrained form stopping the spread of the Gospel among the Nations. “He threw him into the Abyss, and locked and sealed it over him, to keep him from deceiving the nations anymore until the thousand years were ended.” This was accomplished as the Gospel spread throughout the world (this was never achieved under the Jewish nation). Some say we are still in the Millennial period, others that it ended in 1071 AD (one thousand years after the destruction of Jerusalem) when the Muslims from Turkey (Gog) defeated Jerusalem.


8 posted on 05/12/2018 9:49:26 AM PDT by impactplayer
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To: Salvation

Sorry - but that is not what it says. The disciples, to whom he was talking, would certainly have heard it that way.


9 posted on 05/12/2018 11:13:04 AM PDT by impactplayer
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To: Salvation
The end of ancient Israel occurred in April of 70 A.D. The Temple was destroyed, never to be rebuilt, and ancient Jerusalem also was leveled by the Romans. Jesus spoke of this incident as the coming of the Son of Man on the clouds. This is a use of prophetic imagery where God’s judgment is described in terms of God coming on the clouds. For example, in the Book of Exodus (14:24), God cast a glance on the Egyptian army from the cloud and threw them into confusion. Thus Jesus coming on the clouds is a definitive judgment on ancient Israel for her lack of faith (see: Mk 13:26ff) but not the second coming.

The Son of Man coming in the clouds was NOT the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 A.D.. There was more to what Jesus foretold than that:

    But in those days, following that distress, “ ‘the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from the sky, and the heavenly bodies will be shaken.’ “At that time people will see the Son of Man coming in clouds with great power and glory. And he will send his angels and gather his elect from the four winds, from the ends of the earth to the ends of the heavens. (Mark 13:24-27)

    Immediately after the tribulation of those days: ‘The sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from the sky, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken.’ At that time the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and all the tribes of the earth will mourn. They will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven, with power and great glory. And He will send out His angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather His elect from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other. (Matthew 24:29-31)

When the Romans sacked Jerusalem, every eye did NOT see Jesus coming on the clouds. Jesus was clearly talking about His return to the earth after the Great Tribulation and the setting up His 1000 year reign upon the Earth. Seven years prior to that, Jesus will come upon the clouds to catch up the Bride (believers in Him) because, "For God has not appointed us to suffer wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ." (I Thess. 5:9) for Jesus is who delivers us from the wrath to come and we will meet Him in the clouds. This "catching up" (the Rapture) is not the Second Coming. That occurs after.

10 posted on 05/12/2018 5:16:52 PM PDT by boatbums (The Law is a storm which wrecks your hopes of self-salvation, but washes you upon the Rock of Ages.)
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