Has the time arrived to go back to Christianity and the Almighty Christ?
The book of Revelations, the last in the bible, has long caused controversy and debate, as it deals with the second coming of Christ and final end of the World; though often cryptic and difficult to understand and interpret.
Jesus specifically states you may not know the day or hour (Matthew 25) and many denominations do not emphasise the apocalypse and it is rarely preached on in services.
However in Matthew 24 Jesus states specific things, which will happen before the end.
These include War, Famine, Earthquake, Persecution, Lawlessness and False Prophets and a hardening of hearts.
Though he also says his great commission to spread the Gospel to the whole world will be complete by the time the end comes.
Revelation 13 says an anti-christ will usher in the last days. 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 Angels will gather believers from all four corners of the world and will join Christ above.
This is known as the Rapture and according to Revelations 20 this will be the start of Christ’s thousand year reign on Earth.
Matthew 24 says Jesus will come again in Glory and all believers will join Christ in Heaven.
Different denominations often have different ideas of the end of the world but the essential core Christian belief is that those who accept Jesus as their saviour will join God in Heaven either upon death or the ending of the world.
Another core belief is the second coming of Jesus and a reign of Glory before the world ends.
Defense of Christianity Using the Resurrection
Why the Resurrection of Jesus Christ is the proof for Christianity
christianity, apologetics, resurrection, theology, defense of Christianity
Why is the death, burial, and subsequent resurrection of Jesus Christ such a big deal? Why didn’t Jesus just die like everyone else and go to Heaven and wait for us there? Why did it have to be so gruesome and public, His death, His burial, and His resurrection? Because it validates everything Jesus said while He was on earth, it validates everything he taught and shared for three years.
You see, if Jesus Christ hadn’t come back from the dead after three days, there would be no Christianity, no followers of Christ, no hope. But He has. And because Jesus Christ came to earth, we can have life and have life everlasting.
When He was on earth, He talked a lot about His Kingdom and how He was going to create a new temple in 3 days.
The people of His time did not understand, thinking that He was referring to an earthly kingdom.
If He had left earth, been buried, and didn’t resurrect, He would have been the purveyor of another false religion. Today, He would be the prophet or god of just another dead religion.
But because he came back from the dead, rose from a sealed, guarded tomb and appeared to over 500 people before He ascended to the Father to prepare a place for us in Heaven, we have proof that He was, is, and always will be, Who He said He is.
Who did He say He is? He said He is the way, the truth and the life, and no one comes to the Father but through Him.
What do we know about the details of the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ? “More than we know about the death of any other man in all the ancient world.” (Wilbur Smith)
But just to focus on His burial for a moment, Matthew, one of Jesus disciples, tells us:
At the end of the day that Jesus died, a rich man of Arimathaea, Joseph, went to Pilate, and asked for the body of Jesus. So Pilate commanded the body to be delivered to Joseph. So Joseph took the body and wrapped it in a clean linen cloth.
He laid it in his own new tomb, which he had hewn out in the rock: and he rolled a great stone to the door of the sepulcher, and he left. The next day the chief priests and Pharisees came together unto Pilate, Saying, Sir, we remember that that deceiver (meaning Christ) said, while he was alive, After three days I will rise again.
Command therefore that the sepulcher be made sure until the third day, in case His disciples come by night, and steal him away, and say unto the people, He is risen from the dead: so the last error shall be worse than the first. So Pilate said unto them, You have a watch: go your way, make it as sure as you can. So they went, and made the sepulcher sure, sealing the stone, and setting a watch. (Matt 27: 57-66)
What do you think? How sure was, ‘as sure as you can’? My guess is, not only did the chief priests and the Pharisees make sure that the stone that had been rolled over the mouth of the stone cave, where the body was buried, was extra heavy and unmovable, but they stood watch over the tomb. They had Roman soldiers guarding the tomb. Nobody was going to come take the body of Jesus! He would remain in that tomb forever!
But what do we know now that really happened?
Matthew tells us this:
At the end of the Sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary came to see the sepulchre. And there was a great earthquake: for the angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat upon it. His countenance was like lightning, and his raiment white as snow: And for fear of him the keepers shook, and became as dead men. And the angel answered and said to the women, Do not fear: for I know that you seek Jesus, Who was crucified. He is not here: for he is risen, as He said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay. And go quickly, and tell his disciples that he is risen from the dead; and, behold, he goeth before you into Galilee; there shall you see him: lo, I have told you. And they departed quickly from the sepulcher with fear and great joy; and ran to bring his disciples word. And as they went to tell his disciples, behold, Jesus met them, saying, All hail. And they came and held him by the feet, and worshipped him. Then said Jesus unto them, Be not afraid: go tell my brethren that they go into Galilee, and there shall they see me. (Matt. 28: 1-10)
After this time, Jesus Christ appeared repeatedly to the apostles and was seen by as many as 500 people at one time, during a period of 40 days after His resurrection. He repeatedly offered proofs of His resurrected life.
If Jesus the Christ had not risen from the dead, then He had done nothing any other prophet or god had ever done. He would have simply died. But He didn’t just die. He died and rose again, from the dead. Broke out of His tombclothes, escaped from a cave that was sealed with a great and heavy stone, and guarded by brutal Roman soldiers.
Why? So that we would be without excuse. So that we would have the infallible proofs, the historical evidence, 2000 years later and counting, that Jesus Christ was not just a man, not just a prophet, but God Himself in living flesh.
What does that mean to you and me? For me it means that He really is Who He says He is. He said He is the Way the Truth and the Life and that no one comes to the Father but through Him.
That is serious. That means that there is no other religion, god, or prophet who can offer genuine life, redemption from the fallen state of this earth, no matter what they claim. You see, Jesus the Christ is the only one who has died and risen again with witnesses. Mohammed is dead, Buddha sleeps, no tribal gods ever visited the earth, and no man becomes god through his own goodness as many religions claim.
Do the math, look at the evidence. For 400 years, Jesus Christ was predicted to come to earth. He came to earth as he said he would. He died and rose again from death, with proof. Either He is who He says He is or He is a fraud, and all the witnesses, on multiple occasions, over 40 days, were deceived, hallucinogenic, and willing to die horrible, bloody deaths via public stonings and hangings and beheadings over something they didn’t really see, over a person they didn’t really talk to, in whom they did not really believe.
One of the greatest incredulities of history would be that over 500 hundred people who claimed to have seen Jesus resurrected would be willing to die for the belief that He really rose again, and not one of them would have been willing to expose the lie, that Jesus wasn’t who He said He was, to escape death.
What does this mean to us, today? For those of you who have never been presented a logical proof that Jesus was Who He said He was, and have never accepted the life Jesus offers, you have no excuse. You now know the facts, what really happened and why. You have seen a logical explanation for why we can believe today what others have believed for two centuries. You see, truth never changes. The truth never lies. And you can see today that the truth is that Jesus Christ is the Way, the Truth and the Life. You have but one option—make Jesus Christ the eternal king of your life, and accept his gift of everlasting forgiveness and life.
What about the rest of us? What do we do now? While He was on earth, showing proof after proof of his resurrection, of His divinity, He gave a final commandment to all of us who believe that He is who He said He is: “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.” (Matt 28: 19-20)
There is more to Truth and Reality than what elementary minds would want to pursue and consider. It often seems more comfortable to sit in the dark where we see nothing than to face the blinding light. Is the blindness the same in both cases? The former is blissful ignorance, the latter an initial shock–but one that eventually offers solace to the soul. It is the courageous individual that seeks Truth no matter how painful or shocking it may be. In this paper we do not pretend to represent Truth, we simply give directions to it. Because there are those that seek Truth, humankind may be categorized into two distinct groups:
1) “The Many,” the believers, those who are devoted and satisfied with the dogmas of their creed and resistant to any teachings that contradicts and upsets their beliefs and faith, including the higher revelations of the Paraclete, or the Holy Spirit.
2) “The Few,” the seekers, those who are jaded with irrational faiths and creeds that do not satisfy the intellect nor the growing conscience of the inner self, and who seek spiritual knowledge and experience to fill the empty heart of spiritual yearning. St. Martin, the co-founder of Martinism, calls this second group, “Men of Desire.”
Realizing this division within humankind ever since the spring of existence, the higher intelligence that oversees the evolution of man instituted religions with dual sections that catered to the two types of men. It has been acknowledged by the spiritual guardians, the “Minor Spirits” of Martinism that the masses of man are as yet too puerile to participate in their own salvation and the unfoldment of their divinity. Only the few had the capacity of doing so. Religion, therefore, has its mysteries, an esoteric side to its nature, established for the nurture and nourishment of those few who were qualified to receive the higher teachings that would stimulate the awakening and unfoldment of their divine consciousness, their seed potential of Christhood, or Buddhahood, and establish them firmly on the path of discipleship, that they may become initiates of the Holy Spirit.
“But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory.” (1Co:2:7)
Religion, to be of value, should reach the hearts of men standing at various grades of the evolutionary ladder, as depicted in the symbolism of Jacob’s dream. Its doctrines and precepts should include both elementary and advanced teachings of Cosmic laws that would assist man in fulfilling the ancient threefold injunction: “Know thyself, know thyself as God, and know they enemy.” Teachings suitable for the few are called “esoteric.” St. Paul called such manna “meat,” in contradistinction to the “milk” suitable for the many–or the “babes”–those whose soul-experience, personal evolution, and consciousness are still on the elementary level. Origen, one of the early Fathers of Christianity, taught that only when the members of the church’s congregation ceased to do evil would the esoteric side, or secret mysteries be revealed. Sinners were told not to sin, but notwithstanding the simplicity of this precept, the early Christian following found it difficult to put this teachings into practice, and sincere seekers, as a result, became scarce. Gradually, the portal of the “strait and narrow gate” was closed and withdrawn from the Christian institution and its existence forgotten by lay members and priesthood alike. The “keys” to the Kingdom of Heaven were no longer in the hands of the Apostle Peter’s successors–the very nature of these “keys” are unknown to most religious representatives of God, even more so to the lay follower. The latter is unconscious of its existence.
Nowadays, blind leaders mislead their equally blind followers with a salvation based on a false interpretation of the scriptures. But this condition has actually always existed in the past in the temples of religious instruction. The Master Jesus was very vocal regarding these misleaders of the Spiritual Law.
Minor signs that the end can be nearer include:
– When it will be regarded as a shame to act on Quranic injunctions.
– When untrustworthy people will be regarded as trustworthy and the trustworthy will be regarded as untrustworthy.
– When it will be hot in winter (and vice versa).
– When the length of days is stretched, i.e. a journey of a few days is covered in a matter of hours.
– When orators and lecturers lie openly.
– When people dispute over petty issues.
– When women with children become displeased on account of them bearing offspring, and barren women remain happy on account of having no responsibility of offspring.
– When oppression, jealousy, and greed become the order of the day.
– When people blatantly follow their passions and whims.
– When lies prevail over the truth.
– When violence, bloodshed and anarchy become common.
– When immorality overtakes shamelessness and is perpetrated publicly.
– When children are a cause of grief and anger for their parents.
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