Why the delay in Christ's return?

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Ancient of Years
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Post #11

Post by Ancient of Years »

JehovahsWitness wrote:
Mark 8,9
8:38 If anyone is ashamed of me and my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will be ashamed of them when he comes in his Father’s glory with the holy angels.� �
Where are the TIME REFERENCES to the first century in this scripture? The scripture only says that the son of man would be "ashamed of them" it does NOT state that he would find them still alive. To illustrate: I should think that present day Americans are ashamed of their forefathers that owned slaves. This does not mean those slave owners expected to be alive in 2015 or that modern day americans expect to find any of those slave owners still alive.

There is no indication of expectations in terms of time on the part of the generation being referred to or of the time frame when the "son of man" would "come" (returen).

OQD: The New Testament tells us that Christ’s departure from Earth 2,000 years ago will be short-lived and his return is imminent

JW
The timeframe is explicit in the part of the quotes you omitted. Here they are again. Some of the people standing there with Jesus will still be alive when the Son of Man returns.
Mark 8,9
8:38 If anyone is ashamed of me and my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will be ashamed of them when he comes in his Father’s glory with the holy angels.�
9:1 And he said to them, “Truly I tell you, some who are standing here will not taste death before they see that the kingdom of God has come with power.�

Matthew 16
27 For the Son of Man is going to come in his Father’s glory with his angels, and then he will reward each person according to what they have done.
28 “Truly I tell you, some who are standing here will not taste death before they see the Son of Man coming in his kingdom.�

Luke 9
26 Whoever is ashamed of me and my words, the Son of Man will be ashamed of them when he comes in his glory and in the glory of the Father and of the holy angels.
27 “Truly I tell you, some who are standing here will not taste death before they see the kingdom of God.�
If you want to say that the generation referred to is the one that will be alive when the Son of Man returns, then why should Jesus say that this generation will not pass away before they see it? This is like saying that the people who will be alive when some future event happens will not be dead when it happens. It makes no sense to say something like that. Considering the connections to the "not taste death" passages, there is only one reasonable meaning that can be given to the phrase "this generation" and that is the "this generation" that Jesus was living in.

Paul and the Synoptic Gospel writers were saying that Jesus was going to come back when some of the people who saw Jesus in life would still be alive. John and Acts were written when it was no longer possible to believe that and changed the story. John does it rather clumsily by omitting the Olivet Discourse and making the "not taste death" be a mistake. The always clever Luke in Acts does a terrific tap dance around it.
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CHRIST RETURN - Pangs of Distress

Post #12

Post by JehovahsWitness »


QUESTION #1: Did Jesus indicate that the first century generation that heard him speak would also witness his return?

ANSWER: Mark 13: 29, 30 records the words of Jesus as being the following “ when you see these things happening, you know that it is near, right at the door. Truly I tell you, this* generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened."

Clearly Jesus here is refering to a generation that witnesses a series of event ("these things"). He likened "these things" to buds on the trees that indicate that spring is near, saying "Even so, when you see all these things, you know that it [his return] is near, right at the door" (Mt 24:32). So Jesus is not necessarily refering to the first century generation but to the "generation" that witnesses specific events referre to earlier in the discussion. Furthermore, when Jesus said "YOU" he is not necessarily speaking of his first century disciples but all future disciples throughout the ages. [For example, when his disciples on an earlier occassion asked to be taught how to pray Jesus' reply "YOU must pray this way, 'Our Father, who art in Heaven...' clearly again the "YOU" was meant to encompass both those physically present with him in the first century but also future generations of disciples as well]

Question #2: What are some of the "things" that Jesus listed that would indicate His (Jesus) return was near?

Jesus painted a detailed picture of events which included (amongst other things) : International War, widespread famine, great earthquakes, diseases, crime, lack of love [Mt 24:6-8; Mk 13:7,8; Lk 21:9-11] and a worldwide preaching work [Mt 24:14; Mk 13:10]... Jesus likened these features to a womans labour pains that would become increasingly bad until the final events, the return of himself (Christ) in kingdom power. While some would claim that all these events happened in first century Judea, it seems reasonable at the very least to admit that the application of these features (and thus the identification of the generation Jesus was referring to ) is open to interpretation and may very well refer to a generation yet future in time.

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Re: Why the delay in Christ's return?

Post #13

Post by 1213 »

2Dbunk wrote: ...
Can anyone posit a reason why the delay in the Second Coming?
I have understood that the “delay� is because the fullness of the Gentiles has not yet come in

For I don't desire, brothers, to have you ignorant of this mystery, so that you won't be wise in your own conceits, that a partial hardening has happened to Israel, until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in,
Romans 11:25

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Post #14

Post by JehovahsWitness »

Ancient of Years wrote:

The timeframe is explicit in the part of the quotes you omitted. Here they are again. Some of the people standing there with Jesus will still be alive when the Son of Man returns.


QUESTION: Did Jesus indicate that his first century disciples would see him returned in Kingdom power? (Mark 9:1; Matthew 16: 27, 28; Luke 9: 27)

ANSWER: No, not literally. Firstly, note that Jesus' emphasis was on those present would "see" not necessarily what would happen. For example: one can today "see" Elvis, although he is in fact long dead and a vision of the future could, in theory enable someone to "see" a winning lottery ticket even if it hasn't yet been chosen. In a similar way, Jesus was promising his disciples they would "see" something quite magnificent but not that that magnificent event would literally be happening when they see it.

Indeed, what Jesus promising was that they would "see" him in his kingdom glory, something which they did indeed witnesses in a vision a week later; This event is often referred to as "the transfiguration"

The bible writer Luke, links Jesus' words above with the transfiguration, explaining: "In fact, about eight days after saying these words, he [Jesus] took Peter, John, and James along and climbed up the mountain to pray. And as he was praying, the appearance of his face changed and his clothing became glitteringly white." - Luke 9: 28, 29. So Luke equates the fullfillment of Jesus words to this event.

Further, The Apostle Peter (one of those present) also viewed the transfiguration as a fullfilment of Jesus promise above. Refering to the same event Peter writes: "we were eyewitnesses of his magnificence.  For he received from God the Father honor and glory when words such as these were conveyed to him by the magnificent glory: “This is my Son, my beloved, whom I myself have approved.� Yes, these words we heard coming from heaven while we were with him in the holy mountain" The apostle John may also have alluded to the transfiguration at John 1:14.


Note: Christ "coming" is not to be confused with the "Parousia" or his presence [Mat 24:3]

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Post #15

Post by Tired of the Nonsense »

JehovahsWitness wrote:
Ancient of Years wrote:

The timeframe is explicit in the part of the quotes you omitted. Here they are again. Some of the people standing there with Jesus will still be alive when the Son of Man returns.


QUESTION: Did Jesus indicate that his first century disciples would see him returned in Kingdom power? (Mark 9:1; Matthew 16: 27, 28; Luke 9: 27)

ANSWER: No, not literally. Firstly, note that Jesus' emphasis was on those present would "see" not necessarily what would happen. For example: one can today "see" Elvis, although he is in fact long dead and a vision of the future could, in theory enable someone to "see" a winning lottery ticket even if it hasn't yet been chosen. In a similar way, Jesus was promising his disciples they would "see" something quite magnificent but not that that magnificent event would literally be happening when they see it.

Indeed, what Jesus promising was that they would "see" him in his kingdom glory, something which they did indeed witnesses in a vision a week later; This event is often referred to as "the transfiguration"

The bible writer Luke, links Jesus' words above with the transfiguration, explaining: "In fact, about eight days after saying these words, he [Jesus] took Peter, John, and James along and climbed up the mountain to pray. And as he was praying, the appearance of his face changed and his clothing became glitteringly white." - Luke 9: 28, 29. So Luke equates the fullfillment of Jesus words to this event.

Further, The Apostle Peter (one of those present) also viewed the transfiguration as a fullfilment of Jesus promise above. Refering to the same event Peter writes: "we were eyewitnesses of his magnificence.  For he received from God the Father honor and glory when words such as these were conveyed to him by the magnificent glory: “This is my Son, my beloved, whom I myself have approved.� Yes, these words we heard coming from heaven while we were with him in the holy mountain" The apostle John may also have alluded to the transfiguration at John 1:14.


Note: Christ "coming" is not to be confused with the "Parousia" or his presence [Mat 24:3]
Is there a realistic time limit on this claim? If another 2,000 years passes and no return from the dead has occurred, would it be fair at that point to begin to reach the conclusion that the whole claim may have been somewhat overly optimistic from the very beginning? What if we get to the 10,000 year mark with no second coming? Would it be okay at that point begin to have just the slightest bit of doubt? When does the statute of limitations on profound gullibility end, exactly? Or are we just supposed to continue on with: "Psst! He's coming back at any moment now. Pass it on." indefinitely? What if another hundred years into the future most people are just no longer as abjectly gullible as they are today? What then? At that point Christianity dies without so much as a whimper. Like the thousands of ancient superstitious religious beliefs that came before it have already done.
Image "The word God is for me nothing more than the expression and product of human weaknesses, the Bible a collection of honorable, but still primitive legends which are nevertheless pretty childish. No interpretation no matter how subtle can (for me) change this." -- Albert Einstein -- Written in 1954 to Jewish philosopher Erik Gutkind.

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Post #16

Post by Ancient of Years »

JehovahsWitness wrote:

QUESTION #1: Did Jesus indicate that the first century generation that heard him speak would also witness his return?

ANSWER: Mark 13: 29, 30 records the words of Jesus as being the following “ when you see these things happening, you know that it is near, right at the door. Truly I tell you, this* generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened."

Clearly Jesus here is refering to a generation that witnesses a series of event ("these things"). He likened "these things" to buds on the trees that indicate that spring is near, saying "Even so, when you see all these things, you know that it [his return] is near, right at the door" (Mt 24:32). So Jesus is not necessarily refering to the first century generation but to the "generation" that witnesses specific events referre to earlier in the discussion. Furthermore, when Jesus said "YOU" he is not necessarily speaking of his first century disciples but all future disciples throughout the ages. [For example, when his disciples on an earlier occassion asked to be taught how to pray Jesus' reply "YOU must pray this way, 'Our Father, who art in Heaven...' clearly again the "YOU" was meant to encompass both those physically present with him in the first century but also future generations of disciples as well]

Question #2: What are some of the "things" that Jesus listed that would indicate His (Jesus) return was near?

Jesus painted a detailed picture of events which included (amongst other things) : International War, widespread famine, great earthquakes, diseases, crime, lack of love [Mt 24:6-8; Mk 13:7,8; Lk 21:9-11] and a worldwide preaching work [Mt 24:14; Mk 13:10]... Jesus likened these features to a womans labour pains that would become increasingly bad until the final events, the return of himself (Christ) in kingdom power. While some would claim that all these events happened in first century Judea, it seems reasonable at the very least to admit that the application of these features (and thus the identification of the generation Jesus was referring to ) is open to interpretation and may very well refer to a generation yet future in time.
You have yet to address this question.

“If you want to say that the generation referred to is the one that will be alive when the Son of Man returns, then why should Jesus say that this generation will not pass away before they see it? This is like saying that the people who will be alive when some future event happens will not be dead when it happens. It makes no sense to say something like that. Considering the connections to the "not taste death" passages, there is only one reasonable meaning that can be given to the phrase "this generation" and that is the "this generation" that Jesus was living in.�

You also have not addressed the “not taste death� passages except to omit the timeframe reference and then claim the timeframe reference does not exist. Those passages clearly say that some people who were standing there with Jesus would still be alive when the Son of Man appeared in glory with angels, exactly as it says will happen in the Olivet Discourse.

In chapter 11 Mark had woven a connection between the fig tree and the Temple. (Temple, fig tree, Temple, fig tree, Temple) The fig tree was not ripe then. Jesus began his end of days discourse with prophesying that the Temple will be destroyed. And he ends it with connecting the end of days with the fig tree is ripe, that is, the Temple. The destruction of the Temple is the sign that the end is near, “right at the door�.
Mark 13
28 “Now learn this lesson from the fig tree: As soon as its twigs get tender and its leaves come out, you know that summer is near. 29 Even so, when you see these things happening, you know that it is near, right at the door. 30 Truly I tell you, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened.
And do not forget that he is talking to his disciples when he repeatedly says that “you� will see these things, just as in the “not taste death� passages. Would his disciples have thought he was not speaking to them but to other people in the indefinite future? He could not have been speaking to them and to people in the future because only one generation would see the return of the Son of Man.

All of the events described as preceding the return of the Son of Man can be tied to events that already happened when the Temple was destroyed. Paul had preached to “all nations� (Gentiles) that were known at the time. I have already mentioned the Neronian persecution in which people were turning in other people as being Christians, who were a hated class in Rome.

Mark is very clearly making the end of days something that is to happen not long after the destruction of Jerusalem, and therefore still in the time range of Paul’s expectations. This is to revivify fading faith in the expected return of Jesus and very cleverly to help reverse the psychological impact of the terrible Jewish War. Instead of dashing hope in messianic movements, it becomes the sign of imminent victory.
To see a World in a Grain of Sand
And a Heaven in a Wild Flower,
Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand
And Eternity in an hour.

William Blake

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Why the delay in Christ's return?

Post #17

Post by 2Dbunk »

tam says that many have not been born yet. Others are predestined to be among the few chosen. And those really good unbelievers will become subjects
of the Kingdom, but not, of course, "priests and kings," all of which we were not taught in Sunday school!

JehovahWitness says ", . . . until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in."
For I don't desire, brothers, to have you ignorant of this mystery, so that you won't be wise in your own conceits, that a partial hardening has happened to Israel, until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in,
Romans 11:25
I am no Biblical scholar by any stretch of the imagination and I'm indebted to Ancient of Years for his succinct contribution, but aren't the above defenses about as convoluted as yarns can get? To understand all this theobabble one might need a doctorate in ecclesiastical study which I don't think you could even get at Liberty University. Predestination! You mean God already knows who will be chosen, even before I was born? What kind of gameplay is that? Certainly not fair (but a good topic for another thread).

And fundamentalists think evolution and the Scientific Method are complex -- too complex that a "God of the gaps" has to be recognized. If the above rationale isn't a cl_____ F___, I'll eat my "subject of the Kingdom" halo.[/b]

Please pardon my passion
RPS

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Re: Why the delay in Christ's return?

Post #18

Post by tam »

[Replying to post 17 by 2Dbunk]

I'm not sure what is hard to understand. Christ does not return until everyone who is supposed to come to Him has come to Him.

Admittedly, 1213 was much more succinct with his post about the full number of the gentiles coming in. Hence, I 'liked' his post.


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your servant and a slave of Christ,
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Re: Why the delay in Christ's return?

Post #19

Post by JehovahsWitness »

2Dbunk wrote: tam says that many have not been born yet. Others are predestined to be among the few chosen. And those really good unbelievers will become subjects
of the Kingdom, but not, of course, "priests and kings," all of which we were not taught in Sunday school!

JehovahWitness says ", . . . until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in."
For I don't desire, brothers, to have you ignorant of this mystery, so that you won't be wise in your own conceits, that a partial hardening has happened to Israel, until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in,
Romans 11:25
I am no Biblical scholar by any stretch of the imagination and I'm indebted to Ancient of Years for his succinct contribution, but aren't the above defenses about as convoluted as yarns can get? To understand all this theobabble one might need a doctorate in ecclesiastical study which I don't think you could even get at Liberty University. Predestination! You mean God already knows who will be chosen, even before I was born? What kind of gameplay is that? Certainly not fair (but a good topic for another thread).

And fundamentalists think evolution and the Scientific Method are complex -- too complex that a "God of the gaps" has to be recognized. If the above rationale isn't a cl_____ F___, I'll eat my "subject of the Kingdom" halo.[/b]

Please pardon my passion
RPS

You seem to be mixing up your quotes. The above was not me [Jehovah's Witness].


Regards,

JW

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Post #20

Post by JehovahsWitness »

Ancient of Years wrote:

You [...] have not addressed the “not taste death� passages .
Please see my post above which fully addresses the "not taste death" passages - namely: Mark 9:1; Matthew 16: 27, 28; Luke 9: 27.

Regards,
JW

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