|Is Jesus coming back soon - part 1?|
It was late 90s, at the City Harvest Service at the Hollywood Theater in Katong at a bible study concerning End Times. Pastor Kong was preaching about the 2 nd coming of Jesus Christ, the signs of Jerusalem as God’s time clock, and the Gospel it seems already reaching to most of the people’s group. There was a real anticipation and fear that Christians will go through tribulation. The service ended with a singing of “Amazing Grace” with a reminder of the saints of God that had perished in the `16 th and 17 th century England in “Foxes Matrys” in the Reformation and to stay faithful. Is Jesus Christ coming back soon? Is Gay marriage one of the signs that Christian Fundamentalist claims will usher in the End Times and the destruction of God by mankind.
Jesus promised that He would be coming back in Mat 24:31, and gave signs of His impending return - deception about the representative for Christ (Mat 24:5), Great wars (Mat 24:6), Great diseases and times of famines (Mat 24:7), a time of great tribulation for Christians (Mat 24:9,10), False representatives of God (Mat 24:11), the love for Christ for many Christians will grow weary for many and they will be without constraint in their actions to kill, harm and do injustice (Mat 24:12), with many abandoning their faith in Christ (Mat 24:13). The Gospel of Jesus Christ will be preached to all the peoples group (Mat 24:14), when the Temple worship is taken over by the Romans with the Jews fleeing to the mountains of Judea. The persecution of Jews would be great that no one would be left if the days not shortened (Mat 24:29). The above signs will not passed away (Mat 24:35) and will start in the current generation (Mat 24:34), ie those born before AD33, would see the events transpiring.
Within 40 years of Christ death and resurrection, Jerusalem was no more, the temple worshiped ceased and defiled by the ungodly and pagan Romans, tribulation had occurred over two million killed and the Jews spread in a Diaspora to the known world. The destruction of Jerusalem in AD70 also led to the persecution of Christians who had previously went to Asia Minor and Rome due to persecution by legalistic Jews. The Gospel of John, was a theological argument to emphasize that Jesus was still the way, the truth and the Life, a message which it seems was distorted over time and with the passing of the Apostles. The bible ends in the Book of Revelation in the midst of the depths of tribulation where even the message was written in codes and symbols, hidden within the hope of the coming back of Christ, the only hope that was left for Christians being summarily killed and many giving up their faith. The Christians were no longer looking for the Old Jerusalem, but for God to come back to a new heavenly Jerusalem, their Hope of Glory and eternal life.
It seems that all the signs have been fulfilled.
- Persecution of believers - The remaining Christians who held fast after being persecuted by the legalistic Jews (in Rome and Asia Minor) are now persecuted by the Romans in the 1 st to the 3 rd centuries. When the church fell and was corporatized into Rome and became the Catholic Church, those who opposed were tortured and killed for the next 1000 years, whose testimonies made famous by the Foxes Book of Martyrs. Perhaps this has resulted in a “persecution complex” amongst Christians such as Derek Hong of the Anglican Church who thought that they were being persecuted by Gays when they themselves were the anti-gay crusaders.
- Great deception about Christ - The Catholic Church, its Saints, and the Pope now represent Christ, and became the Roman mediator between God and Man instead of Christ. The Christian Religion has a good track record of rationalizing the bible to fit their own man made beliefs and theology and call it moral and biblical. Therefore, they are so good are self deception that they could persecute Gays based entirely false premises and sincerely thought they were biblical.
- Love of Christians growing cold – Then the love of many Christians who held fast became cold, they act lawlessly – with flagrant disregard for justice and fairness, worshipped wealth and power, and came to own two thirds of Europe. They ran crusades (in the 11 th and 12 th century) killing hundreds of thousands and later persecuted those who had opposed then (hence the Foxes book of martyrs) in the 14 th to 17 th centuries. The church has no hesitation in distorting lies about gays or supporting the killing of gays in Jamaica, Nigeria and Uganda. Pastor Kong of City harvest thought that lawlessness will be the greatest threat to Christianity. He was right but 1000 years too late.
- Ending of the Times of Gentiles – The bible and its message was Jewish centered and the audience was expecting that the Messiah was to return them the Davidic reign and glory signified by the temple worship and rituals. The time of the Gentiles ended with the return of Jerusalem in 1967 after millions of Jews were tortured and killed over 2000 years. The Jews had suffered the tribulation mentioned in the bible during this period and was almost exterminated! However, the temple remained to be re-built at the Temple Mount at Jerusalem. Surprisingly, Jerusalem is one of the most religious place on earth, yet one of great freedom for gays. Palestinian Gays have been escaping to Jerusalem under threat of death in Gaza. It has become a source of hope and refuge for the GLBT community.
Why hasn’t Christ coming back yet? There are 1.1 billion Catholic Christians, another 600 million Protestants, Mormons, and Jehovah Witnesses. Still not enough? Could it be that the church is not ready – a bride not white nor pure, but in a mud pool and enjoying it! They find their unity and purpose in persecuting gays! Now, few believe that Christ is the way, the truth and the life. Fewer believe that the way of the Cross is the way of following Christ, a path of discipleship and choosing to have less that others may be blessed. Instead, we are known for our wealth, power and persecution of the outcasts. In Singapore, our titanium clad or the billion dollar entertainment centers are of no comparison to the many billions held by the Catholic, and the Mormon Church. They have made their heaven here on Earth. Persecuting Gays it seems make the church appear more pure and holy.
Come Lord Jesus, come. We await and longed for your return. Purify us from all unrighteous, cleanse us Lord from our sins, and give us grace where we have sinned against the gay community. Lead us back into the path of righteousness that we may see the light and be revived again. Revive Lord, revive the Church again that the World may see Your Glory and know that You have sent them to declare Your Love and Grace to the Nations. Come Lord Jesus, Come.