4 Excuses People Use To Claim The Second Coming of Christ Is Distant
by Nate Richardson, email@example.com
“The World is Not Bad Enough Yet”
“The Lord’s People aren’t ready yet”
“Much Prophecy Needs to Be Fulfilled Before He Comes (“wars, gatherings, meetings and stuff”)”
“Past Prophets Thought It Was Soon, but We’re Still Waiting”
Note: For more comments about the timing of the Second Coming of Christ, strictly based upon the teachings of the prophets, see my article “Second Coming Timing”. Rest assured I do not bother you with intricate timelines and predictions, just quotes from the prophets about the temporal meanings of the scriptural seals, etc. No one knows when the coming of the Lord will be exactly, but I’m not going to be taken by surprise. Any time now.
Consider a few scriptures before we look at the 3 reasons people claim that the coming is distant:
-Luke 2: 45-48 “But and if that servant say in his heart, My lord delayeth his coming; and shall begin to beat the menservants and maidens, and to eat and drink, and to be drunken; 46 The lord of that servant will come in a day when he looketh not for him, and at an hour when he is not aware, and will cut him in sunder, and will appoint him his portion with the unbelievers. 47 And that servant, which knew his lord’s will, and prepared nothimself, neither did according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes. 48 But he that knew not, and did commit things worthy of stripes, shall be beaten with few stripes. For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required: and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more.”
And these excerpts from the LDS Guide to the Scriptures in the topic “Jesus Christ, Second Coming of”:
-he who fears the Lord will look for signs of coming, D&C 45:39.
-poor who are pure in heart to see the Lord’s coming, D&C 56:18.
-the Son comes in hour you think not, D&C 61:38.
1. “The World is Not Bad Enough Yet”
I often speak to people who don’t believe that the second coming of Jesus Christ is near. The reason they usually give me for this belief is their belief that the world isn’t bad enough yet. They say something like “well things are bad but not nearly bad enough! There is much evil to be wrought before Jesus Christ’s return.” I suggest that one of the grand deceptions of the Devil is that he desensitizes us to evil, so we don’t even realize it is all around us.
“‘Vice is a monster of so frightful mien As to be hated needs but to be seen; Yet seen too oft, familiar with her face, We first endure, then pity, then embrace.” (Alexander Pope)
This address from the 70’s by Elder Mark E Peterson titled Warnings from the Past says the world was evil enough back then.
President Boyd K Packer of the Quorum of the 12 Apostles said this in a 2008 address titled “Lehi’s Dream and You” where he speaks of entertainment standards etc. which are more evil than the world has ever known.
President Ezra Taft Benson in an address titled Satan’s Thrust given December 1971 gave this specific warning against rock music, and the myriad of other evils among us today which are considered normal.
There are scores of other talks given long ago and recently that show the idea that the world isn’t bad enough yet is not true.
Remember the scripture that says when the Lord comes, it will be business as usual in Babylon; things won’t be so bad that people won’t be going on doing their daily routines. Truly among the wicked the coming of the Lord will be as a thief in the night, far from their expectation!
Note that in the Book of Mormon it was business as usual, then 3 years of super bad, then the destruction, then 1 year, then Christ came.
2. “The Lord’s People aren’t ready yet”
The 2nd coming is at a set time, not dependent on weather we are ready. That’s the whole point, we are being tested. Elder McConkie also taught that the timing is set, just as set as the birth of Christ was, and when the appointed time has come, the Lord will come, regardless of everything and everyone.
Remember also Nephi’s prophecy that though church members would be all around the world, their numbers would always be “few”.
We should not think that everyone in the church is going to suddenly become righteous before the coming of the Lord. The parable of the 10 virgins (which according to President Kimball and Elder Holland applies to church members not just Christians in general) reminds us that only half will be ready at the coming of the Lord. There have been several sifting events in the church recently such as it’s outspoken statements on controversial social issues like abortion, homosexual marriage, the need for marriage and childbearing within marriage, etc. The prophets have spoken of a divide, that many are holding to the promises, and others falling away with secular ideas. It isn’t hard to see that many are choosing to better themselves, and others are choosing to drift.
3. “Much Prophecy Needs to Be Fulfilled Before He Comes (“wars, gathering, meetings and stuff”)”
-We already are seeing lots of wars and stuff. Those familiar with the prophecies know that the signs are upon us.
-Many of us are guilty of not having studied the signs of the times (he who fears the Lord will look for signs of coming, D&C 45:39.; look for signs of the Lord’s coming, D&C 39:23 (61:38); poor who are pure in heart to see the Lord’s coming, D&C 56:18.), and are thus unfamiliar with what is going on.
-In my summary of LeGrand Richard’s book “A Marvelous Work and A Wonder”, I show that this latter-day Apostle identifies many signs which are already fulfilled. He shows that much of what we look forward to a future day for is already occurred, or already occurring. The Lamanites to blossom, the wilderness as a rose, the kings being carried on shoulders, the gathering, the Isaiah description of the last days, the evil foreseen, and much more has occurred, and is occurring.
-Review my article titled “Events Preceding the Second Coming of Jesus Christ” where I show the prophets’ words on things that are prophesied to take place before Christ’s grand return.
-Review this short document based on the teachings of Elder Bruce R McConkie speaking of the signs of the times.
-Review my summary of “Prophecy Key to the Future” by Dwane S Crowther, a well known LDS writer.
-Regardless of things that may still need to occur, we have been counciled to not rely on intricate timelines and detailed numerical calculations on the timing of the coming of the Lord. The events of the scriptures which still need be fulfilled could happen very quickly. It is very unwise to say “it will be at least x number of years before he comes.”
-I will briefly say that a basic research on the gathering of the Jews to Jerusalem is already by and large fulfilled. I will say that the gospel goes to all the world via the internet and the missionaries. I will say that not everyone needs to hear the gospel before the Millennium, the Millennium will be a time of great missionary work. I will say that many who “abide the day of his coming” will not be members of Christ’s church, or even claim to be Christians at all. We know people of various faiths who are of good heart will not be wiped out at Christ’s coming. For more on this, see my document “The Righteous will be protected at the Second Coming” and my document “Who Won’t Abide The Day of His Coming?”. Also see this Full Text Lecture: Scriptural Search for the Ten Tribes & other things we lost, by Joseph Fielding McConkie which shows that ideas of a strange gathering of lost tribes from space or a cave or some secret place isn’t supported by scripture. He shows, as do the prophets, that the tribes are scattered throughout the earth, and we are currently gathering them. Well has President Nelson said that the gathering of Israel taking place presently is the most important event taking place on earth at this time (see the address President and Sister Nelson’s Devotional for Youth: A Call to Enlist and Gather Israel).
4. “Past Prophets Thought It Was Soon, but We’re Still Waiting”
A careful study of the prophecies and attitudes of latter-day prophets show a theme of excited waiting for the eminent coming of the Lord. Seeming discrepancies fall away as one looks at the circumstances surrounding statements regarding the timing of the coming of the Lord. For example, the statement to Joseph Smith that the Lord would come by about the time Joseph was 80 or something if Joseph lived that long. Well Joseph didn’t live that long. Also that could have been referring to the Lord’s coming to the New Jerusalem with his people (that will be a private coming), rather than referring to the grand coming to the whole world which is at a set time (as before mentioned). Also consider that the ‘day of the Lord’ can have several meanings, such as a momentous time when great events will take place for the people of the Lord, rather than always applying to the grand beginning of the Millennium when Christ is seen by all coming in the clouds from the east.
-There are also statements of presidents of the church which suggest an opinion that the coming will happen by a certain year, such as this “The day of the coming of the Lord is near. I do not know when…. I sincerely believe it will come in the very day when some of us who are here today [5 April 1936] will be living upon the face of the earth.” (President Joseph Fielding Smith ; see Doctrines of Salvation, 3:2-3; see also the Doctrine and Covenants Institute Manual pg. 61.). Note that he doesn’t state this is a prophecy, he states it as his personal belief.
-Joseph Smith and others have repeatedly taught that no one who says the exact time of Christ’s coming is speaking truth. (see Joseph Smith—Matthew 1:40; D&C 49:6–7; 133:10–11).
-Joseph Smith also taught that when Christ said no one knows the time of the coming, that he was refering to the people then living, and that at the time near the coming of the Lord, that day would indeed be revealed to the prophet. He used Amos 3:7 to prove this, that everything God does will be made known to his prophet. (See Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith compiled by Joseph Fielding Smith for this).
-In my document 5 Quotes from the Ensign and Living Prophets which show The Second Coming will occur shortly after year 2,000 AD, I show the consistent teaching from ancient and modern scripture as seen in official church manuals and publications that the meaning of the seals in the book of revelation have been clarified by prophets, and that the time of the coming of the Lord is indeed upon us in the very near future. Basically, the bible dictionary says Adam lived 4000 BC, and that means 6000 years have passed. The D&C teaches that the temporal life of earth is 7000 years, each thousand being like a day, and the last ‘day’ being the 1000 year millennium. The book of Revelation speaks of seals, the Lord clarified the meaning of these seals to be representative of these 7 1000 year ‘day’ periods of earth. Many ask why, based on these doctrines, didn’t the Second Coming happen at year 2000 AD to start the last ‘day’ of earth (the openning of the 7th seal). D&C 77:12 gives the answer to that question, showing that there is a little season after the openning of the 7th seal before the coming of the Lord.
-I would like to point out that the Holy Ghost has been showing President Nelson that the coming is very near. We sustain the prophet as the mouthpiece of the Lord. He isn’t teaching a specific year, but he is suggested that we are Millennials in the sense of the word that we are helping each other prepare to live in the Millennium. This is what he said, “Many people refer to you as Millennials. I’ll admit that when researchers refer to you by that word and describe what their studies reveal about you—your likes and dislikes, your feelings and inclinations, your strengths and weaknesses—I’m uncomfortable. There is something about the way they use the term Millennial that bothers me. And frankly, I am less interested in what the experts have to say about you than what the Lord has told me about you. When I pray about you and ask the Lord how He feels about you, I feel something far different from what the researchers say. Spiritual impressions I’ve received about you lead me to believe that the term Millennial may actually be perfect for you. But for a much different reason than the experts may ever understand. The term Millennial is perfect for you if that term reminds you of who you really are and what your purpose in life really is. A True Millennial is one who was taught and did teach the gospel of Jesus Christ premortally and who made covenants with our Heavenly Father there about courageous things—even morally courageous things—that you would do while here on earth. A True Millennial is a man or woman whom God trusted enough to send to earth during the most compelling dispensation in the history of this world. A True Millennial is a man or woman who lives now to help prepare the people of this world for the Second Coming of Jesus Christ and His millennial reign. Make no mistake about it—you were born to be a True Millennial… Expect and prepare to accomplish the impossible. God has always asked His covenant children to do difficult things. Because you are covenant-keeping sons and daughters of God, living in the latter part of these latter days, the Lord will ask you to do difficult things. You can count on it—Abrahamic tests did not stop with Abraham.” (see https://www.lds.org/broadcasts/article/worldwide-devotionals/2016/01/becoming-true-millennials?lang=eng)
May we live with faith in God, and not think that he “delayeth his coming”! The time of the Second Coming of Christ will be a time of great joy. The beginning of the Millennium means the end of wickedness on earth, and that our bodies will be changed to a state where they will no longer experience sickness. Knowledge from the foundation of the earth has been reserved for this dispensation, and will culminate in the many revelations to come in the Millennium. Weep for joy, the day of the Lord is neigh at hand!
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