The Second Coming...fear or comfort?

This is primarily addressed to dopers of the apocalyptic brands of the Judeo-Christian faiths. I think this warrants a GD topic because faith based threads tend to get a little messy around here(though its kind of a poll as well). I’m an atheist by way of conclusion, ex-Polish Catholic and a bit of a fence sitter(between shrug atheism and strong atheism). I have friend who is a JW, I don’t think he speaks for all JW’s out there, but he’s the only hardliner I know. By which I mean he takes the stance of biblical inerrancy, the Revelation of St. John as fact and Christ’s return in our lifetime, etc. Ok, to the point, does the thought of Christ’s return, the tribulation and the overall end of the world scenario provide comfort for you or does it cause you fear and stress in your everyday life? I ask because my friend and I have pretty much worn the topic thin and decided we aren’t going to change each other’s opinions nor do we really care to. However, he seems extremely troubled and will often admit(usually after a pint or three)to me that he suffers nightmares and general anxiety about the whole thing. So is the comfort provided by faith(he believes hell is here on Earth and that the End Times will literally bring about an end to Satan’s reign) worth the trade off of going through life and wondering when The End will come and if you have lived a life worthy of ascension?

I am a Christian and believe that Jesus Christ is coming back. I do NOT believe this earth is hell. I believe hell will be far worse then ever imagined. But I do believe we are in the end times.

No I am not afriad. I have accepted Jesus as my Lord and Savior and the Bible says I only need to believe in Him and love Him with my whole mind and soul and I shall be saved.

I have 5 children and 4 have accepted Christ. I’m praying for the 19 year old that he will come to know Christ the way I have one day.

In a related vein, if someone believes the Second Coming will occur and finds comfort/joy/delight in having it occur, should they be disqualified from high positions as political or governmental leaders? After all, do you really want a President someone who might be inclined to start WWIII just to make the Second Coming occur that much sooner?

Rjung you CAN"T make the second coming come any sooner.
It is all laid out in Revelations what must take place before the second coming. And no ones knows exactly when that will be.
For Jesus will come like a theif in the night.

Isabelle, I do hope you are “praying” for your 19-year-old to yourself, and not harrassing the poor kid into a nervous collapse. Have you and he/she discussed religion? Is he/she an atheist, or just undecided?

No when I pray, I pray quietly. No I don’t harass him. We rarely discuss religon. It is my firm belief that it is HIS decison NOT mine.

I was raised Roman Catholic. Went to mass everyday for years and years. Attended Catholic school for 11 years. But deep down inside I knew it wasn’t for me. I knew I loved God but that was all I really could grasp. It wasn’t until I became an adult that I had expeirences that showed me that Christianty was for me.
Now I’m a “Recovering Catholic” ha ha ha

I have brought my children up to believe in God as the foundation but it is all about “free will”

If it’s truly his choice to decide, why are you praying for him to “find” religion? Isn’t asking for divine intervention in a matter of choice rather presumptuous?

Well, good for you, Isabelle—I hope you can still have a good relationship with each other, even with differing religious beliefs.

Because I know the ONLY way to get to God the Father is thru Jesus Christ. I want him to make the “right” choice. It is up to him. Besides the Bible says to pray for your children.

Christians have believed that they were living in the end times for over a thousand years, though. None of them have been correct so far.

To forestall a few outraged Catholics’ hostile posts, please note that Isabelle is not saying that Catholics are not Christians but that she (a) was raised a Catholic and attended Catholic school, (b) didn’t get a good grasp on doctrine then, and © became an active Christian as a result of adult experiences.

That said, Isabelle, can I ask what parts of Catholicism were uncongenial to you, and not doctrinally accurate (as I presume you’d consider them from the “Recovering Catholic” comment)? I’m not looking to start fights, but to grasp your viewpoint and position better.

Well, it helps to keep a broad focus when speaking of these things! :slight_smile:

Seriously, St. Hippolytus about 110 AD compiled a Eucharistic Prayer (Canon of the Mass, Divine Liturgy, Prayer of Consecration, etc.) that various Christian groups have been using for over 19 centuries now. And one passage from it reads:

And we don’t see the slightest irony in continuing to use it.

As far as I’m concerned, whether we’re in the End Times or not is none of my business. You see, if I were to act differently because I believed the Second Coming was imminent, then I would be acting dishonestly. It’d be sort of like “Look busy! The boss is coming!” Also, what I’ve read of End Times theology, especially the Tribulation seems too cruel for the God I’ve chosen to worship and theologically shaky. As usual, I’ll go back to Christ’s words on this, “Behold I come like a thief in the night. No man shall know the day and hour of my coming” or words to that effect (sorry, I’m too tired to look it up on Bible Gateway right now). Have I lived a life worthy of Ascension? Of course not. As I understand Christianity, no one except Christ has. On the other hand, as someone who quite definitely has a personal relationship with Christ, there are very few even conservative Christians who would tell me I’m not Saved.

If the End Times arrive tomorrow, sure I’ll be nervous. I certainly get nervous enough before performance reviews at work! On the other hand, I trust that God knows I’ve done what I can as well as I can. That includes trusting Him. I do not consider my life on this earth a trial, although it’s certainly included plenty of trials; the thing is, it’s also included plenty of joys, including meeting some of you folks. What will happen will happen. Meanwhile, it’s my job to serve God as best I can and not worry about what will happen at the end of all things. He’s got it covered. In fact, I would argue that one reason Christians are explicitly assured of Salvation is so we can quit worry about whether our deeds will be good enough or not and get on with doing what needs to be done!

A curmudgeonly
CJ

Being Agnostic Apathetic (I don’t know, and I don’t care), my reaction to a Second Coming (I’ve had dates like that, actually) would be…well…indifference. :cool:

The early Christians didn’t bother to write any of Jesus’s teachings down because they thought the second coming was imminent. It seems to me that Evangelists in the US are completely obsessed by so-called ‘end times’, with many of their beliefs dating back to the 19th century prophecies of the leader of the highly eccentric Christian cult - the Plymouth Brethern (who are still extant today).

A devout Christian I know summed up the reason that Evangelicals want the end times so badly to be now, bad enough to even help it along if necessary with “Every one wants to go to heaven, but no-one wants to die”.

The early Christians didn’t bother to write any of Jesus’s teachings down because they thought the second coming was imminent. It seems to me that Evangelists in the US are completely obsessed by so-called ‘end times’, with many of their beliefs dating back to the 19th century prophecies of the leader of the highly eccentric Christian cult - the Plymouth Brethern (who are still extant today).

A devout Christian I know summed up the reason that Evangelicals want the end times so badly to be now, bad enough to even help it along if necessary with “Everyone wants to go to heaven, but no-one wants to die”.

labmonkey, doesn’t a JW believe it’s already happened? But there was a good quote I heard, live like Jesus was coming back tomorrow, plan like He won’t for a while. If you think looking busy will somehow get a pat on the back from God, who are you fooling? But if I really thought He would come back tomorrow, I’d tend to focus on things that really were important. I can’t see how that would be a bad thing.

Isabelle, as a parent has every right to pray for her children, and I don’t really think there’s even a shred of presumption in that. I pray for my son that if he’s faced with drinking and driving, or drugs, then he’ll choose right. Not only that, but I’d bet there were a lot of non-believers who also pray for the same thing.

I’ll take that bet. :rolleyes:

[QUOTE]
*Originally posted by Svt4Him *
**labmonkey, doesn’t a JW believe it’s already happened?

Svt4Him , my bud dosen’t believe its already happened, like I said, I don’t think he speaks for all members of the JW’s worldwide. We have been close friends since high school, and from what I gather his Elders teach that the end times are nigh, not already begun. It seems much of their teaching is based on the Book of Revelation(as interpreted by the Elders… reading scripture yourself does not seem to be encouraged). Only a certain number(very small, in the hundreds of thousands) as revealed by some number in Revelation, IIRC will be spared the tribulation and become immortal in God’s kingdom on Earth. There is no hell, this is hell and the rest of us unlucky souls will cease to exist. Which always made me wonder why they are one of they more actively recruiting groups, wouldn’t recruiting me possibly lower the chances of you copping a spot?

clarification on JW End-Times beliefs-

technically, JW teaching is that Jesus’s Invisible Presence did return in 1914, that He is reigning through the Governing Body of the Watchtower Society but that His reign has not been manifested to the world. The worldwide judgement in which organized religion & human government (Babylon) will collapse will then result in the Manifestation of Jehovah’s Kingdom. The 144000 Elect will become immortal to reign with Christ in Heaven, the wicked (those who could have known salvation but refused) will be destroyed, and vast throngs of humanity will live in a restored Paradisial Earth to be given full opportunity for salvation. They will not be made into immortal heavenly beings but will remain immortal humans to live in the physical creation. Btw, these multitudes that will live & receive opportunity for salvation include all who have died without that chance.

RE Christians expecting the EndTimes for 2000 years but it hasn’t happened yet- actually, it happens every day. Every day is SOMEBODY’S last day. Every day has someone going to meet Jesus & be judged by God. Just because it hasn’t become universal doesn’t mean it’s not an ever-present reality.