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Beginning Apologetics – The End Times: The Second Coming I

September 24, 2009

I apologize for the delay, folks.  The audio for the class is posted here.  Please provide me with some feedback; if you’re not getting what you’d like out of the class, tell me, and I will adjust.  This is not just for me; it’s for all of us!  Gid bless; see you Sunday!

Beginning Apologetics 8:

The End Times

The Second Coming

I.             The Second Coming – What is it?

A.           Christ’s return at the end of time

B.           The Last Judgment

C.           Prophesied in various places in Scripture

1.            Matthew 24

2.            Revelation

3.            1 John

4.            2 Thessalonians

5.            Luke 21

6.            Others

II.           Who Gets it wrong? And Why?

A.           Many Protestant denominations mess this up

B.           Stems from a misunderstanding of the prophesies of the Book of Daniel

C.           Compounded by the missing books in Protestant Bibles (1/2 Maccabees among others)

1.            (How many books are in the Bible (73)

2.            How many are the Protestants missing? (7)

3.            What are they?

a)            1 Macc

b)            2 Macc

c)            Wisdom

d)            Sirach

e)            Judith

f)             Baruch

g)            Tobit

D.           Lack of familiarity with events around the destruction of the Jewish Temple in AD 70

III.          What signs will precede the Second Coming?

A.           Sources of the Signs

1.            Matthew 24 lists a bunch of them (we’ll review which)

2.            Problem is:

a)            some are things that happen before the destruction of the Temple

b)            Some are things that happen at the end of time

c)            Some could relate to both!

B.           The Thousand-year reign (The Millenium)

1.            There is no official Catholic definition of the Millennium

2.            Common view follows St. Augustine (City of God, Book XX, esp. ch 7 9 ) (found here: http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/npnf102.iv.XX.7.html)

a)            The number 1,000 is figurative; representa time between first and second coming of Christ

b)            Between the two, Christ is reigning through His Church, and the power of Satan is diminished.

c)            Closer to the Second Coming, Satan’s power grows (which will bring severe trial for the Church

Pull quote: Rev 20: 7-9 – “

7 6 When the thousand years are completed, Satan will be released from his prison.

8 He will go out to deceive the nations at the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, 7 to gather them for battle; their number is like the sand of the sea.

9 They invaded the breadth of the earth 8 and surrounded the camp of the holy ones and the beloved city. But fire came down from heaven and consumed them.

Pull quote:  CCC 675:

Before Christ’s second coming the Church must pass through a final trial that will shake the faith of many believers.574 The persecution that accompanies her pilgrimage on earth575 will unveil the “mystery of iniquity” in the form of a religious deception offering men an apparent solution to their problems at the price of apostasy from the truth. The supreme religious deception is that of the Antichrist, a pseudo-messianism by which man glorifies himself in place of God and of his Messiah come in the flesh.576

C.           The Rise of the Anti-Christ

1.            References:

a)             1 John 2: 18 – 23: 

18 Children, it is the last hour; 9 and just as you heard that the antichrist was coming, so now many antichrists have appeared. Thus we know this is the last hour.

19 They went out from us, but they were not really of our number; 10 if they had been, they would have remained with us. Their desertion shows that none of them was of our number.

20 But you have the anointing that comes from the holy one, 11 and you all have knowledge.

21 I write to you not because you do not know the truth but because you do, and because every lie is alien to the truth.

22 12 Who is the liar? Whoever denies that Jesus is the Christ. Whoever denies the Father and the Son, this is the antichrist.

23 No one who denies the Son has the Father, but whoever confesses the Son has the Father as well.

b)            2 Thess 2:3-4

3 Let no one deceive you in any way. For unless the apostasy comes first and the lawless one is revealed, 3 the one doomed to perdition,

4 who opposes and exalts himself above every so-called god and object of worship, so as to seat himself in the temple of God, 4 claiming that he is a god–

c)            2 Thess 2:9-10

9

the one whose coming springs from the power of Satan in every mighty deed and in signs and wonders that lie,

10

and in every wicked deceit for those who are perishing because they have not accepted the love of truth so that they may be saved.

d)            Rev 13 – Read it on your own

2.            This guy is the Ultimate false Prophet; he will simultaneously persecute the Church AND seduce the masses

D.           A Mass Apostasy

1.            References:  2 Thess 2:3; Rev 13:3; Matt 24:11-12; Luke 18:8 (“But when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?”)

2.            There will be a massive falling away from the Christian faith; Many will be deceived by false prophets (including the Antichrist.

E.           The Conversion of the Jews

1.            Reference:  Romans 11 (read the pull quote in the text)

2.            The Jews will accept Jesus as the Messiah

F.           The preaching of the Gospel to the Whole World

1.            Reference:  Matt 24:14: “And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached throughout the world as a witness to all nations, 8 and then the end will come.”

2.            Undoubtedly means more than simply broadcasting the Gospel through media/Internet (though some believe it means exactly that!)

3.            Refers to evangelization that will implant the Gospel in every nation and will greatly diminish the influence of non-Christian religions.

G.          The Appearance of the sign of Christ in the sky

1.            Reference Matt 24:30: “And then the sign of the Son of Man 17 will appear in heaven, and all the tribes of the earth will mourn…”

2.            Generally believed to refer to a cross

H.           Frightening signs in the sky; severe natural and man-made calamities

1.            References:

a)            Matt 24:29: 16 “Immediately after the tribulation of those days, the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will fall from the sky, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken.

b)            Luke 21:25-26: 25 “There will be signs in the sun, the moon, and the stars, and on earth nations will be in dismay, perplexed by the roaring of the sea and the waves. 26 People will die of fright in anticipation of what is coming upon the world, for the powers of the heavens 8 will be shaken.

2.            SOME of this occurred in AD 70 (the destruction of the Temple).

3.            Should be assumed that even the things that have already happened will have multiple fulfillments/occur to a greater extent.

4.            History repeatedly reports upheavals in nature in times of widespread wickedness.

5.            We should expect a peak in natural calamities in the time of supreme evil before the Second Coming

6.            Man-made calamities (such as the Destruction of the Temple) will obviously increase in times of increased evil.

IV.           Why were we given the signs of the Second Coming?

A.           Well…why were we NOT?

1.            NOT for calculating the exact date of His return

a)            Christ flatly states (Matt 24:42) the NOT ONE can know the date of the Second Coming.

b)            The exact sequences are not given

c)            The time intervals are not given

d)            Many of the signs have multiple fulfillments; cannot know if we are expecting a greater fulfillment

B.           So…Why were we given the signs?

1.            To remind us of the fragility of this life

2.            To remind us that, even if we don’t live to see the Second Coming, we will still have a personal “end of the world” at our own death.

3.            To help us to understand the need for vigilance and discernment

4.            To remind us that while Satan is powerful, God is MORE powerful.

 

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From → Apologetics

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