Opinions vary widely as to whether Jesus will return or has already. What is the real truth? Tune in!
[Steve] Do you think that Christ is going to return?
> Absolutely, I think He is coming back, yes!
> > I believe so but it is hard to be certain.
> Yes I do.
> > I don't know… I wouldn't hazard a guess.
[Steve] Do you think that Jesus Christ is going to return to earth?
> I don't know if it will be in the same perspective as He came here originally and it might be in a different form.
> > Someday, yeah. I don't know when that's going to be. But I'm open to the idea that, yeah, He could return or that He would return.
[Steve] Will Jesus Christ really return? Could it actually happen? And what difference does it make? Stay tuned to Beyond Today as we examine "Christ's Second Coming: Can You Believe It?"
[Announcer] Join our host, Steve Myers and his guests, as they help you understand your future on Beyond Today!
[Steve] Can you really believe that Jesus Christ is coming back to earth? When you talk to people about the return of Christ or try to research the topic, you quickly find there is almost no end to opinions about it.
Many deny that Christ will return to earth. Others feel that He has already returned. And still others say He will return secretly sometime in the future. And most... just don't seem to know.
I heard some interesting comments while talking with people on the street about whether or not you can trust in Jesus' second coming:
Do you think, yourself that Jesus Christ is going to return?
> > Personally if He were to come back, I don't know what would be the reason because… I'm just human.
> I don't think we will know until it starts happening and how it's going to happen, I don't know.
[Steve] It can be confusing. Is there really a way to really know - that's more than just another opinion?
In fact, whose opinion counts? Isaiah 46:9 Isaiah 46:9Remember the former things of old: for I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me,
American King James Version×says, "I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like me. I make known the end from the beginning, from ancient times, what is still to come. I say, ‘My purpose will stand, and I will do all that I please.'"
You see, God's opinion is the only one that counts.
So the place to begin is with proof that Jesus Christ will return. So we've got to go to the Source - the inspired Word of God. What does the Bible say?
During His ministry, Jesus repeatedly spoke about His return to establish the Kingdom of God on earth. You can find His straightforward, clear statement about His promise to return right in John 14:2 John 14:2In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.
American King James Version×. That's where He said He was going to prepare a place for His followers. Christ promised that if He went away, He would also come again.
Now that's important: If you believe in Jesus, then you must believe Him - believe what He said. You see Jesus Himself actually said the people of the earth will "see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven, with power and great glory" (Matthew 24:30 Matthew 24:30And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.
American King James Version×). So Christ Himself said His second coming is certain - and it will certainly not be a secret! Everyone will be able to see Christ; an archangel will announce His return, a trumpet will sound when these things happen.
Yet, few people understand what Jesus taught. The message that He preached, the gospel. It wasn't just "love your neighbor" but it also includes His return and the establishment of His government - the Kingdom of God on earth.
So what do you believe? Many believe the gospel is only a message about Jesus' life, just about His actions while He was on the earth at His first coming. But that's not the case. The fact is that we better not overlook or dismiss Jesus' second coming as symbolic. Now why not?
Well did you know that every writer in the New Testament spoke about His coming? They wrote of His return as King of Kings over all the earth - the ultimate perfect ruler. That's a vital part of the true gospel message that's found in your Bible.
The apostle Paul wrote: "For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God..." (1Thessalonians 4:16).
So once again we have the direct Word of God, promising Christ's return to earth. You can't get any better guarantee than that. So you can believe in the literal return of Jesus Christ! In fact, doesn't our world needHim to come?
Why do you think that Jesus Christ needs to return?
> I think the country and the world in general just are in really hard times. And it's a lot of things that you read in the Bible that said would come true when Jesus is about to return that are kind of happening right now, but I feel like everything is in a bit of a shambles.
> > I haven't really thought about what I personally think that God might decide why but - I haven't really thought about that.
> I think that one of the main reasons why He needs to return is because without Him we're living in a world that's lost.
[Steve] That's right! We are living in a lost world and it's because of sin! Certainly, part of that basic biblical message is that God loves people so much that He gave His Son for them. But don't confuse God's love with tolerance of sin. Bible prophecy shows that God will not tolerate sin continually. Yes, He's loving. Yes, He's forgiving. But God's made it just as plain that His patience does have a limit.
We have a God who loves us dearly, but it's foolish to mistake God's patient, loving forgiveness for blind tolerance. The day will come when His patience will reach its end.
> Because the world's become so sinful.
[Steve] It's true: our world is a sinful place. Over and over again prophecies in the Word of God make simple, blunt, direct statements that one day God will no longer put up with sin. Jesus will come again and He will intervene to stop it.
Do you wonder when and what's going to happen? How will it affect you and your family? There's no doubt that prophecy reveals critical information about the future. But it can be difficult to grasp. I'd like to offer you a free Bible study aid that will help you discover the fascinating truth: You Can Understand Bible Prophecy. It will help you really get a handle on the prophecies about the second coming of Christ.
Go online to BeyondToday.tv to download, read or request your free copy of You Can Understand Bible Prophecy. In North America you can call toll free: 1-888-886-8632. That's 1-888-886-8632. If you live outside of North America, go to our website or write us to request your free booklet.
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Prophecy is one of the most intriguing subjects in the Bible. It tells us specifically how and why Jesus will return to intervene in world affairs. Do you understand it?
Get your free copy of You Can Understand Bible Prophecy. With this helpful study aid, you'll be able to read your Bible with greater understanding; so instead of just being acquainted with prophecy - you can begin to truly understand it.
Understanding Bible prophecy gives you insight into world conditions at His second coming.
[Steve] What do you think the world's going to be like in order for Jesus to return?
> I think it'd have to, I mean, it'd have to be pretty bad. I'm thinking maybe like worldwide war or something. I don't know - bad.
> > I think that it's going to be a lot of chaos, because it's kind of predicted and it's kind of like where we're heading.
> I mean I don't think it's like based on destruction, you know, somebody's super evil and you know he thinks the world has just become really bad and, you know he's going to take it away.
> > Well, it'd have something to do with war, famine, plagues and death.
[Steve] That's right. Christ Himself described this time ahead. We can count on what He said. Just like us, His early disciples wondered about His return to earth. "Tell us," they said. "When will these things be? And what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?" (Matthew 24:3 Matthew 24:3And as he sat on the mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of your coming, and of the end of the world?
American King James Version×).
Christ's reply must have stunned them. The signs of His coming wouldn't be a pleasant scene. He said, "It will be a time of great distress; there has never been such a time from the beginning of the world until now, and will never be again. If that time of troubles were not cut short, no living thing could survive..." (verses 21-22, NEB).
So Jesus said, He must intervene, we need Him to intercede. He has to return to save us from ourselves - to keep mankind's sin, mankind's anger and hatred from erasing life. This world, it will be on the brink of annihilation - on the verge of self-destruction. And without miraculous intervention from God, the human race has no hope of survival.
But that must be far into the future, isn't it?
Do you think that's close? Do you think that's something that's imminent? Fairly soon? Or do you think it's a long way away? How close do you think we are to the return of Christ?
> I honestly have no idea. Some days I feel like it's close but my mom always says, a day to God could be a thousand years here on earth so, you never know.
> > Oh, I think it's going to happen soon, I just don't know when.
> I don't think it is something that will happen during our lifetime, at least mine - I don't know, I guess it depends on what is going to happen in the future.
> > I pray that He don't come during my lifetime, I want to see my kids grow up.
[Steve] Do you think that would happen during your lifetime?
> I hope not.
> > I think that… it will be when we need Him most.
[Steve] Christ will return and we better hope He does because it will be when we need Him most! Inspired by God Himself, the apostle Peter tells us that "scoffers will come in the last days, walking according to their own lusts, and saying, ‘Where is the promise of His coming?'" (2 Peter 3:3-4 2 Peter 3:3-4  Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts,
 And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation.
American King James Version×).
Jesus predicted wars, disease and famine just ahead. Yet, even in those terrible times to come, there will be people who will show contempt. They'll show disregard and disrespect God even as that time comes. Imagine it. No matter how difficult things look, some will assure everyone that it's all under control. But that'll only be a false sense of security. It will lead people to foolishly continue to trust in human ability, in our own efforts, in mankind's solutions rather than trusting God.
Now do you think that's a long shot?
Here's a remarkable statistic: A recent USA Today poll found that 74 percent of Americans can name all three Stooges! Now that sounds kind of funny, but how does that compare to God's Commandments? If we go all the way back in 1996, an article about a survey found that most of those polled could name no more than two Commandments. And it said, "They weren't too happy about some of the others when they were told about them" (John Leo, U.S. News & World Report, Nov. 18, 1996, p. 16).
That's the kind of attitude, that's the kind of approach that Jesus prophesied about when He said, "And because there will be more and more lawlessness, most people's love will grow cold" (Matthew 24:12 Matthew 24:12And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.
American King James Version×, GW).
Do you see that that's already begun? Bible prophecy says that since evil has spread, because lawlessness is multiplied, because sin is so rampant everywhere, because of the widespread disregard of God's law - events will culminate in horrifying occurrences that will lead up to the return of Jesus Christ.
So don't be caught off guard. What should you do?
What should I do in order to be ready for that? What would I do in order to be ready for Christ's return?
> I would probably, seriously suggest people repent and pray for forgiveness.
> > I would just rather again just be living a repentful life because it's important. You gotta always assess yourself.
> Well I think the main thing that they need to do is read the book, called the Bible, which kind of explains everything.
[Steve] The Bible does explain everything. It should be your guidebook for life. It tells us that only a short few weeks after Jesus' crucifixion, the apostles were already preaching about Christ's second coming and what to do about it. Peter said, repent; meaning to turn from sin and live a godly life, change your way of thinking and put on the mind of Christ.
He said, "Repent therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord, and that He may send Jesus Christ, who was preached to you before" (Acts 3:19-20 Acts 3:19-20  Repent you therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord.
 And he shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached to you:
American King James Version×).
Believing in Jesus and believing His message of the gospel of the Kingdom of God coming to this earth and repenting of your disobedience to God's law are a foundation for your relationship with God. That means practice the faith of the Bible. Do you know it?
Be ready! Stay spiritually awake. Be attentive and alert because you don't know exactly when He'll return. It means staying close to God - ready for His return at any time. It means we must be about our Father's business - obeying His commands and serving Him and serving our fellow man. It means watching for Jesus' second coming with hope and with eager anticipation.
> It really doesn't make no sense for us to try to guess when He comes, it just makes sense for us to be ready - so when He comes, we're ready.
Now there is so much more to talk about on this subject. Up next, we'll discuss with our panel what Jesus is planning to do when He comes back.
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Well it's time for the Beyond Today panel. Our topic today has been "Christ's Second Coming: Can you Believe it?" So joining me now are Darris McNeely and Gary Petty.
You know when you think about the subject guys, there's, talking to people on the street, it's interesting to hear all the different ideas and really the lack of surety that Christ would really come. So I think it's important for us to talk about it for a minute. Can you really believe it? How do we really secure ourselves in the belief that Christ is going to return?
[Gary] You know, we call ourselves Christians or followers of Jesus Christ. If you believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and you believe He came to this earth and you believe that He died and was resurrected, then you're going to have to believe what He said - you even mentioned that earlier. You have to believe in what He said and He said He was going to come back.
[Steve] There is kind of a disconnect between people believing in Jesus and really believing about what He said.
[Gary] What He said about a lot of things, but about this subject also.
[Darris] When you ask and you really believe it - if you believe in the Bible, which most people profess a belief in the Bible to be the Word of God - then you have to believe that Jesus Christ will return because that is a central teaching of Scripture. His first coming well documented, well prophesied through the Old Testament, central to the New Testament teaching is the promise, the hope, the expectation that Jesus will return. So if you believe in the Bible, then you must believe that He will return to this earth in the manner and in the form that He said in the Scriptures prophesied that He will do.
[Steve] So it's not just an idea.
[Steve] It's not just symbolic.
[Darris] It's a basic teaching of the Scripture.
[Steve] People get off on that. That hey that this is really going to happen. It's not just an ethereal kind of thing or symbolic or just a nice idea.
[Gary] It's central to Christianity!
[Steve] It has to be, doesn't it? If you really believe God, believe Christ, you've got to believe that that's absolutely going to happen. But I wonder if people understand why? That Christ needs to return. He needs to come back and I think people don't understand why He needs to.
[Gary] Well you know, when you look at the Bible, it's the purpose of humanity. God created human beings, as it says in Revelation, because He wants to be their God and they shall by my sons. He created human beings to have children. Unfortunately, we've messed this up and we've messed it up very terribly over the thousands of years, but He's not going to leave it that way. He's going to have a family and Jesus Christ is going to return to save us from ourselves and to create that family that God wants!
[Darris] You know Steve I listened very carefully to the interviews that you had from these people on the street and I think that if you went onto any street in America, Canada, Australia, virtually around the world where you found people who were professing a belief in Christianity and the Bible and asked them those questions, you would sense, get the same sense that these interviews brought back and that is people feel that we've messed up. That there's something wrong and they feel that the world and life is leading to some type of a judgment, and connected with the coming of God to the earth, the return of Jesus Christ and I think that that is something you would find just about everywhere. That's the sense I got from these interviews that you had that people feel like we can't get it together and something is, needs to be changed. And the only change is the hope of Christ's return with the promises behind that.
[Gary] In many of those interviews you could see people felt a need almost, a need for His return.
[Steve] And they couldn't really explain why and some expressed to the effect that He needs to come back and maybe get His people and maybe have a limited kind of perspective in that way but there's a lot more to it than that. You know, when Christ comes back what is He going to do? I think that's an amazing question that people have: what is He going to do? How do we explain that?
[Gary] Well Jesus Christ isn't just coming back for the Church, although that's part of His reason for His return but it is to save the world! It is to bring people all over the world together to change the governmental structure, to change the social structure, to change the economic structure of the world to really bring all the things we look for: peace and prosperity and love and family. The things we talk about all the time. He's going to come back in order to create those things.
[Steve] And that's a literal thing!
[Darris] And it's very narrow for people to focus just on their particular belief, in the Bible their particular denominational belief or idea that Christ is going to come back just for them. Or just for a select few people and be raptured away or whatever it might be. When you look at the key scriptures, Christ's return will impact every tribe, every nation on this earth. Christ is coming back as the King of Kings, Lord of Lords and His Kingdom is going to replace the rule of all the other kingdoms on the earth. There's not a person land or people on this earth that will not be impacted by that. It will not be done in secret. The other programs we are doing in this series will show that. It's not going to be something done in secret. Everyone will know and it will impact everyone on earth.
[Steve] And it's not going to be a temporary kind of thing. It's not something that we just look forward to as kind of a thing that hopefully will happen, but it's something that we got to do something about, don't we?
[Darris] Yeah, it impacts one's life today. And what really the knowledge and this understanding, this very hope that people see is impending and a need on this earth and in their own lives really should help people make a decision that they need to make a change today, and to make a commitment to God and to His Church, and understand where and how they can begin to prepare for this global event that is going to come. It's not going to be done in secret and yet people can prepare for it today and make an impact in their life that will last for eternity.
[Steve] So how would you prepare then? What kind of things...?
[Gary] Well first of all you have to get the vision. You have to really understand what God is doing and His plan for humanity and you have to repent. Even a few of your interviewers said that, or interviewees. You have to repent. You have to turn to God with everything you are, everything you have so that every day is spent trying to follow the life of Jesus Christ. Be His disciple now and learn God's ways so that you can be prepared for His return. You know Jesus Christ returns for some of us today because some of us will die today. So we have to be prepared all the time for His return and that has to be a guiding driving force in our lives.
[Darris] You know, Gary brings up the idea of repentance. Repentance is the hard word for people to wrap their mind around but it's really embedded in the meaning of our whole program here because we are really trying to get people to think beyond today. To think about how the decisions they make today impact their life in the future. And that is what repentance is all about; is stopping and thinking about how the knowledge that I'm exposed to on this program, through our literature, really can make a difference in one's life today, and to begin to think and plan and act beyond today in their own life. That's how one prepares for the second coming of Jesus Christ. It's not something to... way off in the future necessarily, although we don't know when it's going to happen. But one can begin to live as if Christ is going to come tomorrow or the next day and live for the better in their own life today. That's what it's all about.
[Steve] And that's how then we watch and we're ready...
[Darris] And we pray and we're in anticipation, in that forward leaning way.
[Steve] We have that right relationship with God and ultimately, what the Bile talks about we can be with Christ when He returns. We can be with Him. We can serve with Him. We can help Him as He rules the earth!
[Gary] That's part of that vision too. If you are part of the Church today and you respond to that message today, you will help Jesus Christ change the world. That's the amazing concept.
[Steve] Well it's a vital one that you've got to find out more information on. We hope you'll remember our free offers. You'll want to order your copy of our study aid: You Can Understand Bible Prophecy. This is an amazing topic that you want insight in. This booklet will help you grasp the truth about Jesus' return. It doesn't have to be a mystery. It's written to help you know the facts. And then there's your free subscription to The Good News. Call toll free: 1-888-886-8632. That's 1-888-886-8632. Or, you can read or download both The Good News and You Can Understand Bible Prophecy online at BeyondToday.tv or send us a letter.
The time is ahead when this corrupt civilization of ours will be swept away and a new era will dawn at the return of Christ. Mankind's misrule will end and Jesus will come again to establish the Kingdom of God - God's government right here on earth.
Scripture reminds us to "be patient until the coming of the Lord... Establish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand" (James 5:7-8 James 5:7-8  Be patient therefore, brothers, to the coming of the Lord. Behold, the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, and has long patience for it, until he receive the early and latter rain.
 Be you also patient; establish your hearts: for the coming of the Lord draws near.
American King James Version×; Hebrews 9:28 Hebrews 9:28So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and to them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin to salvation.
American King James Version×). So now's the time to conduct your life with the expectation of His return.
Jesus promised, "I will come again" (John 14:3 John 14:3And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you to myself; that where I am, there you may be also.
American King James Version×). So we can have absolute confidence because God cannot lie. Prophecy will be fulfilled. Christ will return.
I'll be right back with one final comment after this.
[Narrator] Christ came to earth with a central message of the Kingdom of God. What is the Kingdom of God? Most have never heard or understood what Jesus actually taught on this subject. The United Church of God is hosting free seminars held simultaneously around the world.
[Steve] That Kingdom is coming to earth - that was the message of Jesus Christ. It's not a Kingdom that's off up there in heaven but it's a Kingdom that Christ is going to establish right here on this earth.
[Narrator] Go to KOGSeminars.org for details to find one near you. Kingdom of God Bible Seminars - giving the message of hope for tomorrow, beginning today.
Thanks for joining us. Now don't forget our free offers and be sure to tell your family and friends about us. Tune in again next week for another edition of Beyond Today and join us in praying, "Thy Kingdom come." For Beyond Today, I'm Steve Myers. Thanks for watching.
[Announcer] For the free literature offered on today's program, go online to BeyondToday.tv. Please join us again next week on Beyond Today!