RETURN OF CHRIST MAN'S ONLY HOPE!
By Pastor Max Solbrekken, D.D.
SIR WINSTON CHURCHILL believed that the return of Jesus Christ was the only hope for our troubled world! The brilliant British writer Kenneth De Coursey stated that Winston Churchill said: "The return of Christ is man's only hope!" He saw no other solution for our sin-sick, hate-filled and war-torn world, than that found in Christ's return.
LORD WILLIAM GLADSTONE, Great Britain's greatest Prime Minister and Statesman said: "More and more, I find my thoughts turning to the great statement, When the Son of Man Cometh..." (Luke 18:8)
EPHRAEM THE SYRIAN wrote in A.D. 373: "For all the saints and elect of God are gathered prior to the Tribulation that is to come, and are taken to the Lord lest they see the confusion that is to overwhelm the world because of our sins."
JESUS CHRIST promised: "Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father's House are many mansions: if it were not so I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go to prepare a place for you, I WILL COME AGAIN, and receive you unto Myself, that where I am, there ye may be also." (John 14: 1-3
ST. PAUL declared: "Behold I show you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed." (1 Cor.15: 51,52)
"I give thee charge in the sight of God, who quickeneth all things, and before Jesus Christ, who before Pontius Pilate witnessed a good confession; that thou keep this commandment without spot, unrebukeable, until the Glorious Appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ: (1 Tim.6: 13,14)
ST. PAUL wrote to Titus: "Looking for that Blessed Hope, and the Glorious Appearing of the Great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ, Who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto Himself a peculiar (purchased) people zealous of good works." (Titus 2:13-14)
He wrote to Timothy: "I charge thee before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick (living) and the dead at His APPEARING and His Kingdom; Preach the Word, be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long suffering and doctrine." (2 Tim.4: 1,2,8)
ST. PETER stated: "That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold which perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the Appearing of Jesus Christ." (1 Peter 1: 7)
ST. JAMES admonished: "Be patient therefore, brethren, unto the COMING OF THE LORD. Behold the husbandman waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth, and hath long patience for it, until He receive the early and latter rain. Be ye also patient, stablish your hearts: for the Coming of the Lord draweth nigh." (James 5: 7,8)
The Bible states: "Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompense of reward. For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise. For yet a little while, and He that shall come, will come and will not tarry."(Heb.10: 35-37)
TWO REASONS WHY!
There are two reasons why Jesus Christ has not yet returned in the parousia (gr. return), harpazo (gr. caught up,) epiphaneia (gr. appearing, disclosure), apokalupsis (gr. revelation, uncovering)!
"For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the Word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water: Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished: (In Noah’s Flood)
"But the heavens and the earth which are now, by the same Word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men. But beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some men count slackness but is long suffering to usward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance." (2 Peter 3: 3-9)
There are the two reasons that the Apostle Peter used: First, God does not reckon time as we do and second, He wants all men to be saved and is giving us more time win precious souls!
One Day with the Lord is like a thousand years with us! When Jesus said, I am Coming Soon, that was reality. He has been gone for less than two days, according to His reckoning! He will return when "the fulness of time" has arrived and not a second before! He is not slack concerning His promise, but is long suffering, waiting for more sinners to repent!
I believe there is possibly a Third Reason why our Lord has not yet returned and that has to do with the inheritance our Heavenly Father promised to give the Messiah, as recorded in Psalm 2.
"Yet have I set My King upon My Holy Hill of Zion. I will declare the Decree: The Lord said unto Me, Thou art My Son; this day have I begotten Thee. Ask of Me and I shall give Thee the heathen for Thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for Thy possession." Psalm 2: 6-8)
When God first laid this Scripture on my heart and I saw the relevance of the
situation world-wide, my heart almost broke. How could God send His Son to
rapture the Church, if His promised inheritance was not fully
complete? I have given 60 years doing what I could to bring the heathen to
Christ to help make that possible!
In May 1966 I was sitting on the platform of the Gandhi Freedom Park in Guntur, AP India. Suddenly, I heard a voice saying to me, "Son, you are helping to fulfill My Word." I turned to see who was speaking to me. There was no-one. I was shocked and asked, "Lord, is this You? How could that possibly be. How could I, a young preacher from Canada help fulfill Your Holy Word?"
He said, "Ask your interpreter, how many in this crowd have never heard the Name of Jesus before." I turned to Sadhu Vandenam, my interpreter, posing the question. He answered, "About 95% in this huge crowd of many thousands have never heard the name of Jesus before." WOW - That was a wake-up call for me on how interested God is in the work of Missions!
Then God prompted me to turn to Isaiah and I read: "I am the Lord, and there is none else, there is NO God beside Me: I girded thee, thou hast not known Me: That they may know from the rising of the sun, and from the west, that there is NONE beside Me. I am the Lord, and there is NONE else." (Isa.45: 5,6)
God wants everyone from the rising of the sun to the going down of the same to
hear the Gospel and be saved, therefore I was helping to fulfill that Scripture
and many others! It was sobering to say the least! I shudder at our
There is NO God but Jehovah, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. There is Salvation in none other than Jesus Christ, the Only Begotten Son of God, Who was incarnated (God in human flesh) to meet the demands of divine justice, by shedding His pure and sinless blood on Calvary's Cross to atone for our sins - past, present and future - thereby reconciling the world to God by Himself! Hallelujah to the Lamb of God Who rose from the dead and lives forevermore!
The doctrine of the 'harpazo' was given to St. Paul. Even St. Peter did not understand the Rapture. He was still preaching the Old Testament 'Day of the Lord' Judgment. He warned scoffers to get right with God because Judgment Day was coming!
Then he used St. Paul to back up his teaching about living holy lives, and he stated that Paul has great expertise on that subject: "Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye might be found of Him in peace, without spot and blameless.
"And account that the long suffering of our Lord is salvation: even as our Beloved Brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him hath written unto you: As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned to wrest (twist) to their own destruction.
"Ye therefore, beloved, seeing ye know these things before, beware lest ye
being led away with the error of the wicked seeing you know these things,
beware lest ye
also, being led away with the error of the WICKED, fall from your own steadfastness." (2 Peter 3: 14-17)
WHAT ST. PAUL WAS GIVEN!
"But I would not have you to be ignorant brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with Him. For this we say unto you, by the Word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep.
"For the LORD HIMSELF shall descend from Heaven with a shout with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then, we which are alive and remain shall be caught up (harpazo) together with them in the air and so shall we forever be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words." (1 Thes. 4: 13-18)
My dear friend, if you are longing for truth, tired of dead religion, fearful, lonely, lost, sinful or sick, why don't you call upon His Holy Name today? Jesus Christ wants to save and bless you. Then, contact us please and tell us what God has done for you! Thank you, in Jesus' name. Amen.