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2 Peter 3:4



4 And [kai] saying [lego], Where [pou] is [esti] the promise [epaggelia] of his [autos] coming [parousia]? for [gar] since [apo] [hos] the fathers [pater] fell asleep [koimao], all things [pas] continue [houto] [diameno] as they were from [apo] the beginning [arche] of the creation [ktisis]. KJV-Interlinear



4 and saying, Where is the promise of His coming? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all continues just as it was from the beginning of creation. NASB



Beginning with Matt. 24:6, Jesus Himself identified the trends of history by which the characteristics of our dispensation would be identified. Wars and rumors and earthquakes and so forth.All these things are merely the beginnings of trouble, and then, the big trouble (Tribulation) would come. And then, at the end of the Tribulation, Jesus Himself will return in what we call the Second Advent.


Throughout the Old Testament, the return of Christ in the Second Advent is prophesied.


The Rapture of the Church Age believers is nowhere mentioned in the Old Testament. Only in the New Testament is it mentioned.Our dispensation is called the parenthetical insertion, or the hidden or mystery dispensation. Peter here is referring to the Second Advent, not the Rapture.


Since the beginning of time (since Adam), the return of Christ has been a part of Bible Prophecy. No one knows when that return will occur.That is to say, no one in history except those who will live during the Tribulation, will know when, or approximately when the Second Advent will occur.


Since the Tribulation will last only seven years (a shortened seven years), then once the Rapture occurs, folks who remain behind for the Tribulation can guesstimate the approximate time of Christs return.However, even then, world troubles will be so great, that folks will most certainly be spending most of their time just trying to survive, let alone trying to keep track of the seven years until Christs return. And even then, the day and the hour cannot be known even to them. In those last few months and weeks and days, the Armageddon war will have nearly everyone hiding for their lives.


During the Tribulation, one-half of the worlds population will die from a variety of things (disease, crime, executions, disasters, starvation, etc.). And in the end, nearly everyone else will die from the ravages of war, not to mention Christs return, and His role in executing all remaining evil in the world instantly upon His return.


Very few (mature believers only) will live to enter into the Millennium. Perhaps hundreds, perhaps thousands, that number we don t know. But as for the billions, they will all be gone.


We are currently in the dispensation of the Church Age.Ours is a dispensation of historical trends. Ours is the dispensation where God (the Father), is preparing the enemies of Christ as a footstool for His feet. In our dispensation, there are no prophecies except one the Rapture.


Far too many people get the prophecies of the Tribulation and the Millennium, mixed up with our dispensation, and that leads to mis-interpretations of historical events.


No, Obama is not the anti-Christ.No, Hitler was not the anti-Christ.No, Napoleon was not the anti-Christ.No, the nation of Israel created in 1948, is not the re-gathered nation of Israel.


What can we say about or dispensation?Well yes, there is an increase in earthquakes.Yes, there is a dramatic increase in knowledge (technology, science, invention, etc.). Yes, there is a dramatic increase in population.Yes, there are always wars and rumors throughout the world, somewhere (Africa, Middle East). Yes, there is a dramatic rise in anti-God sentiment, corruption, diminished integrity and so forth (in government, business, social circles, etc.). And we could go on all night about the many trends we see in our contemporary time.


But can anyone predict the day or hour, or even the year of the Rapture? No.


The doctrine of the Rapture is that it is always imminent.It could occur at any time.Whether it will occur tonight or a hundred years from now, we cannot know. But God has a timeline known only to Himself. And on that timeline the worlds nations, cities, villages, individuals are being made ready for that next great event, the Rapture, and then the Tribulation. And Gods readiness spans generations, not just months or weeks.


Since the time of the Cross, approximately 1979 years have passed (2009-30). If you use 33 years as the average lifespan, then we are in the sixtieth generation since the Cross. There were 75 generations from Adam to Mary, and sixty generations from Adam to Joseph. Generations are typically counted through the fathers not the mothers.


Human history has spanned about 6000 years (4000 before Christ and 2000 after). Ours is the longest of all of the human dispensations. The world is fully populated today. Today, the gospel is preached in every country, in every language.


You can take these tidbits and create any number of scenarios in your imagination, and they all come up with only one conclusion that we are more near the ends times than we were yesterday, and the day before, and the day before that. And that means what? Nothing to you, if you do not take God, Christ, doctrine, and your spiritual life seriously.


You cannot travel down the road for very long before you pass a church, a cemetery, or doctors office, and such, and not see something that speaks of mans limitations.


But with all of the evidence, we still have to contend with folks that come up with the most bizarre ideas of Christ s second coming. Predictions come and go, with nothing but embarrassment and bad publicity for Christianity.


Every time a crazy comes up with an end of days scenario, they do more harm than good. People, tend to begin to disregard God, doctrine, and Christianity in general.


People begin to mock and ridicule Christians as a whole, as crazy people. Where is this savior? Where is God? And the ridicule doesn t stop there. All of Christianity is thought of as nothing more than a cult of wishful thinking people. Or just another political group, unlike any other group.


And, just like all who lack doctrinal orientation, people look at history as nothing more than the continuation of the natural forces of the universe. The seasons come and go. The sun rises and falls. Generations pass, and ours is the better because, after all it is the twenty-first century! Grandma and grandpa did not have mp3 s and computers, and cell phones and such.So we must be better, right?


Anyway, gadgets do not make a people better.Only Bible doctrine can make a person better, regardless of when he or she lived in history.


Peter has a lot more to say regarding these indifferent attitudes in the next few verses. And needless to say, your priority should be on your spiritual growth, not on speculation of when things might occur in the future.

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End Of Lesson

Study to show thyself approved (mature) unto God, a workman that needs not to be ashamed, rightly dividing (studying/discerning), the Word of truth.

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