Monday, December 26, 2005

Christ will come in our generation?

Many teachers in the pre-tribulation rapture camp, such as Hal Lindsey, have told us that we are definitely the generation that will see Christ return, and that this is a scriptural fact. They come to this conclusion because they believe Israel is referred to as the "fig tree" in certain passages, and because Matthew 24 says:

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. Even so, when you see all these things, you know that it [Christ’s coming] is near, right at the door. I tell you the truth, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened (Matt. 24:32-34).

It is concluded by some that the fig tree in this passage is Israel. The phrase "As soon as its twigs get tender and its leaves come out" is said to be referring to Israel becoming a nation. So, with this conclusion, it is understandable that they would think that we will see Christ return in our generation because Israel became a nation in 1948.

But a parallel passage says, "Look at the fig tree AND ALL THE TREES (Luke 21:29)." If the fig tree is Israel becoming a nation, then, according to pre-trib’s way of interpreting scripture, "all the trees" must be referring to all the other lost nations becoming nations once again too! Of course, they do not say this, but it must be the conclusion if they are to be consistent in their interpreting method.

Clearly, this the fig tree in this passage is not referring to the nation Israel. The PARABLE, as it is called in Luke 21:29, is simply telling us that the signs are indicators that His return is near—just as we know that summer is near when the leaves come out on the trees. And remember, there is absolutely no reason to conclude that every time a fig tree is mentioned that it has to be speaking of Israel.

I certainly would not be one to say that Christ will not return in our generation, because I think that He may, but this is just one more example of why we need to study the Bible for ourselves rather than listen to what men tell us.

4 comments:

Gal 6:9-10 said...

Dave, the Holy Spirit will lead us and guide us in truth. I would be very careful about naming people and labeling them. As Christians we are not to trust in ANY MAN, including you or me. Let God's Word be the last word and let the Holy Spirit do his job in believers. Do we know the hearts of men? God does, many people might take offense when we speak badly about others, do we experience their revelations or the works God has done in their lives? Be careful about stirring up dissention amongst the brethren and don't be part of what was foretold. I find it difficult to love my enemies enough as it is, I don't want to hate all those who say they are ministers too. God Bless you, continue to preach the word of God, win souls for the kingdom, reprove those who are clearly in error, a wise man will be wiser still.

Jim P said...

Dave,
I'm not sure if I understand the previous comment. I may have misunderstood it. But if this person is saying that we are never to challenge anyone, especially teachers who are held to a much higher standard, then I would disagree. We are never to judge the motives of the heart, but we are to judge the words, actions or works of a person.
Hal Lindsay was one of my heros of the faith. His book, "The Late Great Planet Earth," was instrumental in alerting me to the Lord's return. I was convicted that if he were to return at any time, I was not ready. I give Hal great credit for that.
Having said that, I would like to be in a position to have an honest sit down bible study with him regarding end time escatology. I know that his beliefs cannot stand up when a careful examination is made. I will not judge his motives as I can't with many respected theologians who hold similar views, including Tim LaHaye.
I do wonder how I can see it when they can't. I do know from scripture that God gives grace to the humble, but resists the proud. I also know that all truth is spirtually discerned. Is this being judgemental on my part. I will let God be the judge.
Keep on keeping on. Call it as you are led by the Holy Spirit. May God continue to bless and keep you in your ministry. Yes this is a ministry.
Yours in Christ,
Jim P

Dave Bussard said...

Jim,

I'm not exactly sure what Gal 6:9-10 is trying to say either. And thanks for the encouragement.

Dave

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