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Second Coming Fatigue
October 11, 2014
-------Second Coming Fatigue-------
What is meant by second coming fatigue? It is the idea that the church has heard so much about the soon return of Christ within the last 50 years that the people who make up the body called the church have become sort of numb to the message Christ is coming back.
As a child, when the month of November ended, your excitement grew because Christmas was just around the corner. Santa Claus was coming! If you had loving parents, Santa Claus always showed up because the proof was the gifts under the tree. The church has heard so much about Christ coming back in recent years that the church feels like Christ should have already been here. Since He has not come back yet, apathy and disillusionment has started to set in. In fact, the church begins to wonder if the story of Christ coming back to Earth to set up His kingdom is along the same lines of Santa Claus bringing gifts at Christmas time.
The attitude of the church becomes, "Yes, Christ is coming back. I've been told that a thousand times or more already! But, you know what...He...is...still....not....here!" The church becomes weary of the message even though they want the message to come true.
This leads to the fulfillment of this prophecy, "3 Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, 4 And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation." 2 Peter 3:3-4.
Peter was not talking to unbelievers in this passage. He is addressing the church. The people of Noah's day said the same thing when Noah was building a giant boat. It did take Noah 120 years to finish the boat. What has happened that has led up to the current mind set of the church, especially the scoffers? Between the early church years and the time Israel became a nation once again, there was not much emphasis on the return of Christ being taught or preached in our churches. After Israel was restored as a nation, there has been so much emphasis on the second coming of Christ that "second coming fatigue" has set in for many people. What happened to cause the body of believers called the church to drift away from preaching on and teaching on the return of Christ?
After the disciples saw Jesus ascend into heaven on a cloud, they were expecting Jesus to come back in the same manner that He had left. They were of the belief that Christ was coming back to set up an earthly kingdom before they completely lived out their lives. However the disciples started to die out. Christ still had not returned.
Over time, especially after the disciples were gone, error slowly crept into the way the church interpreted the Bible. One example of a passage that clearly indicates Christ will return to Earth is "And in that day His feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, Which faces Jerusalem on the east. And the Mount of Olives shall be split in two, From east to west, Making a very large valley; Half of the mountain shall move toward the north And half of it toward the south." Another example is " and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years." One more example is "And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth."*
The error the church made was they started to interpret scriptures by other means than by their literal meaning. The church started to allegorize and spiritualize scriptures they could not understand or did not agree with. The first verse of the Bible states, "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth." There is not one person who truly belongs to the church who will dispute that. It is a simple and easy to understand statement.
However, take a phrase such as "we shall reign on the earth", which is also a simple and easy to understand statement, and there are various manners of interpretation of what this verse really means. The result of this spiritualizing or allegorizing of scripture simply caused most teaching of the return of Christ to be ignored or substituted by another teaching.
The church started to believe the church itself was the kingdom on the earth. The church also started to believe that the promises given to Israel were transferred to the church because of Israel's disobedience to God. The return of Christ was simply not taught very much in most churches for hundreds of years. When I was growing up in the sixties, I don't recall the return of Christ ever being taught in the church I attended. If it was, it was not something I heard about every Sunday.
During the 1800s, some bible scholars started to write books about the return of Christ and how the nation of Israel would be a focal point of this return. Since Israel was not yet a nation once again at that time, this teaching was largely ignored. After Word War II, a miracle happened. Hitler's attempts to destroy the Jewish people backfired. Israel became the homeland of the Jewish people, once again, in 1948. Understandably, bible prophecy scholars got excited and started to proclaim the soon return of Christ.
Why so much emphasis on the soon return of Christ after Israel became a nation? The scriptures teach that the focal point of events leading up to the return of Christ center around the nation of Israel. The restoration of the nation of Israel is foretold in Ezekiel Chapter 36. Chapters 37 & 38 of this book show a conglomeration of nations united together in an attack on Israel. These nations are the Islamic nations that currently surround this country and they have made no secret of their hatred of the nation of Israel.
The book of Zechariah goes into great detail about Israel's future and that country's connection with the return of Christ. The book of Daniel outlines the rise of Antichrist and his connection with Israel. Jesus Himself told Israel they would accept an impostor as their Messiah.
When Israel became a nation in 1948, they were attacked by a much larger Arab army but Israel won the battle against all odds In 1967, Israel retook Jerusalem as their own city in just 6 days. The rebirth of the nation of Israel and capturing Jerusalem were miraculous events. Prophecy preachers got excited. The prophetic scriptures were falling into place. Christ was coming back soon!
So why are the people who belong to the church growing so weary of hearing about the return of Christ? Billy Graham led thousands of people to Christ during his crusades. Prophecy books such as The Late Great Planet Earth by Hal Lindsey were being sold by the millions. More recently, the Left Behind books and movies have stirred the imagination of what Earth might be like during the second coming.
In order to capitalize on the second coming fever, books and videos came out that were not backed by sound biblical teaching. One example is the book "88 Reasons Why the Rapture Will Occur in 1988". We have had false teachers set a date for the Rapture several times and people foolishly sold all their possessions and quit their jobs because they thought they were going home to be with Christ soon.
We had the Y2K scare and millennial fever in the year 2000. The Mayan calendar foretold the beginning of the time of the end in 2012. Prophetically speaking, those were fairly quiet years. Now we have the blood moons lining up with the Jewish feasts of Israel. Because people get so excited about this, I predict this will be no more meaningful than the Y2k scare.
Concerning the return of Christ, the prophetic scriptures teach the church will be caught completely unaware when Christ does return. In Matthew 24:44, Jesus said, "Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh."
In Luke 18:7-9 Jesus said, " 7 And will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off? 8 I tell you, he will see that they get justice, and quickly. However, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?”
Second coming fatigue is the first step the church is taking in walking away from God. With the exception of a remnant, the church will not be looking for the return of Christ. The "prosperity gospel" preachers never, ever talk about the return of Christ. They do not want Him to return. It would ruin what they have going for them.
The inventions of man, signified by the incredible leap in technology in recent years, is contributing to humanism creeping into the church. Man is becoming more and more reliant on machines. Man's faith is slowly being put into gadgets. Man will soon start to worship machines as man will worship "the image of the beast" Rev. 13:15. Man is fooling himself into thinking he can accomplish anything without God's help. Man is deluding himself into believing he can become God.
This is the same lie that Satan deceived Eve with. Man is headed for the fulfillment of 2 Thess. 2:10-12, "0 And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. 11 And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: 12 That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness."
The world is beginning to embrace a dark spirit as more and more of it rejects God, and more specifically, Jesus Christ. When Christ calls his church home, it will catch the world completely by surprise. Will Jesus find faith then? Will you be one of the faithful? Only you can answer that question.
Copyright 2014 by Gary Goodworth
*Zechariah 14:4, Revelation 20:4, Revelation 5:10
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