Today many Christians began to talk openly on the Second coming of Christ. Seminars and conferences dealing with this issue are going on. Many see end times signs and many more people are convinced that we live in end times. I have never heard in history that Christians from various denominations and broad spectrum believe in these things openly. We hear frequently words like Tribulation, Rapture, Armageddon, Anti Christ etc. With all disasters, terrorism, divorce, illness, war and other pains we witness today end times signs are prevalent. Particularly what happened in Middle East seams match with end times prophesy.
Even non-Christian source like Maya Calendar indicate strongly that we live in end times. I think it is time to bring this issue on this board.
Do you think we live in end times?
Jesus said that not even he knew the time nor the hour -- only his Father did.
We're living in a time of transition, that's for sure, and one can always expect to hear prophets of doom and gloom howling at the moon during such times. With nuclear weapons on the scene, global warming, pollution, etc., the stakes are very high indeed, especially with terrorists willing to suicide to make some kind of point. One can find resonance with the apocalyptic perspective of the book of Revelation, but that's always been the case; after all, the early Christians thought that they were in the end times.
I don't let any of this bother me. History belongs to God, and what more can one do than live one's life as best one can.
I don�t either bothered by the second coming of Christ and the event associated with it. To the contrary the second coming of Christ is a day of hope and joy for me. I�m not scared by the time of difficult years (Tribulation) which must take place prior to his Second coming.
It is not because I�m bothered that I bring this issue here. I believe it is healthy to discuss the issue that all Christians have been waiting in the last two millennia.
I do believe it will happen sometime, Grace -- a "day" of fulfillment . . . full establishment of the reign of God on earth as in heaven. It is for me, too, an affirmation of hope -- that history does belong to God.
I don't accept the scenario of Rapture, Tribulation, etc., as I think that's an inaccurate interpretation of the Scriptures involved. I'm also leery of plugging current events into the biblical passages about the end times to make it seem as though we're in the last days. People have been doing that for ages, and they've all been wrong. Finally, I place no credence in prophecies like those of Nostradamus, nor do I consider it significant that the Mayan calendar has nothing to say about what happens beyond the next decade or so. That's not really a "calendar," when you get down to it.
I do believe in "ages," and "seasons of time." Biblically speaking, we're in the "Age of the Gentiles," which is the period between the crucifixion and the Second Coming. This age will come to an end, but when, even Jesus would not say. The "season" in the "age" is one of transitions happening on numerous levels all over the world. While the media might make it seem as though all is going to hell quickly, that's not the case at all. There are many positive developments happening all around the world. A terrorist with a nuclear weapon can destabilize things, for sure, but that possibility doesn't indicate that the end is near, imo.
Those who are interested might look up the distinctions between pre-millennial vs. post-millennial views on the end-times. And after doing so, it might help to know that Catholicism is neither.
- see http://www.usccb.org/catechism...1sect2chpt3art12.htm for the Catechism's summary.
Another view to consider.
There is a depth of meaning that exists within those phrases you refer to, that may have nothing to do with Jesus coming back after "all hell has broken loose." I'm not talking about the coded numerology or the historical factors and the "middle-east" chaos that existed then and now.
If you read Rev. as one tortured soul's attempt to express his inner journey in a vivid compelling way, you'll find it contains a lot of spiritual wisdom. We don't know for certain who John was and most mystical writings are difficult to fathom because they are dealing with abstract truths, but people tend to love Revelation because it's scary!
Most mystical writings put people to sleep because the abstractions seem indecipherable. But, I grew up on sermons about the rapture and tribulation too - what better way to scare people into repenting of something - anything - than by a book or sermon applying Revelation to present day reality.
But, what if there is no better way to express the eternal now, or the spiritual significance of timelessness but "the end of time?"
Could the rebirth of the Christ Self within, be any better expressed that "the Second Coming?"
Or the "Last Judgement" as the power inherent in ending one's judging of others or self-recrimination.
There often is a depth of meaning in the simplest phrase from one of our Holy Books, that even the most well-meaning of hearts may not be able to discern unless he looks deeply within.
I find it hard to come to terms with a literal interpretation of the second coming of Jesus Christ. It is something which for me, when taken in context of the gospels doesn't make literal sense. If I don't believe in a literal second coming of Jesus, am I a gnostic - am I a heretic?
"Alright everbody, outta the pool!"
-Second Coming, Bill Cosby Translation
Very interesting question you present to us re our answer as to you being a gnostic or a heretic. I do not have an answer for you. What really matters is, how you see yourself and are you satisfied and content in your spiritual life?. If the answer is yes, therein is your peace.
Could you share as to how you see the interpretation of Christ's second coming.
What I find interesting is how the ego likes to label and appropriate. This erroneous belief that if we can say what something or someone is, then we will understand and know it or them more clearly. However, if I accept that the Kingdom of God or the Kingdom of Heaven is within us, it seems reasonable for me to expect that any second coming refers to an inner knowledge. Gnostic or no, perhaps there are different ways of reading different gospel passages. I really do not know.
"Meditating on the past and future Advents, we learn to recognize the present Advent that is taking place at every moment of our own earthly life as wayfarers. We awaken to the fact that every moment of time is a moment of judgment, that Christ is passing by and that we are judged by our awareness of His passing. If we join Him and travel with Him to the Kingdom, the judgment becomes for us salvation. But if we neglect Him and let Him go by, our neglect is our condemnation! Meditation on the first Advent gives us hope of the promise offered us. The remembrance of the third reminds us to fear lest by our fault we fail to receive the fulfillment of that promise. The second Advent, the present, set in between these two terms, is therefore necessarily a time of anguish, a time of conflict between fear and joy. But this is a salutary struggle! It ends in salvation and victory because it purifies our whole being."
-Thomas Merton, Seasons of Celebration, pp. 76-77.
Hi Mystic's Maze,
Could the rebirth of the Christ Self within, be any better expressed that "the Second coming?".
Your quote does not exactly agree with what I understand. It tells us that the Christ Self is reborn. I find this to be untrue due to our spirit self and body being spiritually dead until we are quickened by the Spirit of Christ and indwelled by the Holy Spirit. It is then when our human spirit is made alive in eternal union with Christ's Spirit indwelling us in birthing the son of man and the son of God who must be lifted above. Until this merger and quickening of Christ's Spirit and the indwelling Holy Spirit, we are in the tomb. When the gift of the new birth comes upon us, it is than that we can say: "He is not here in the tomb, for He is Risen". The Lord our God is a living God. It is through His Spirit and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit that allows us to be resurrected to eternal life and to leave the tomb.
Spiritually, I am now married to Christ my bridegroom, made one with Him as a direct answer to His High Priestly Prayer in John 17. Second, my physical, mortal body is made alive to God, enabled to carry me into and through the good works God has planned for me to walk into. Through this new birth, His resurrection life in me is my life now, both spiritually and physically. Christ is our hope and glory.
We have no Christ Self before our new birth, for we are spiritually dead to sin. Not I, but Christ now lives in me, and without His gifts and promises of our new life, we cannot attain this treasure and union with Him, on our own.
There are two ways that I could describe the second coming of Christ. The first is when the graces of God have gifted much of humanity with the new birth. These individuals will see Christ as He is because the life of Christ is in them, His light within our reborn spirits bears witness to Him, and we will see Him in us through the spirits' aliveness in others. These will be our true brothers and sisters in the life of Christ, the living God.
The Bible also tells us that all eyes will see Him, and that He will return. When this day arrives we have no revelation on same. May it be when we all who have been birthed anew, and it is judgment time, I can only trust in God to that certain day.
Luxnatura, that was a beautiful quote by Merton and I thank you for the answer to my question. With clarity within Merton's quote, you have explained to us as to what you believe is the second coming of Christ.
Just re-iterating my post above. Second Coming refers to more than Christ's birth in our souls, conversion, etc. The New Testament writers are well aware of personal rebirth, and, additionally, stress a fulfillment of history in Christ.
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