Inevitable?

There is an old saying that takes many forms—all which come out the same. Here’s one: “Nothing is certain but death and taxes.” I’m not so sure about taxes, but when it comes to the certainty of death, that statement is dead (excuse the pun) wrong.

“How so? Seems to me that it is even more certain than taxes.”

Are you forgetting the Old Testament men who never died?

“What?”

I refer to Enoch and Elijah. God just “took” Enoch off the planet and Elijah rode into the sky in a God-sent carriage.

“Well, yeah. I had forgotten them. But it’s certain for us.”

Hmmm. Are you sure?

“Of course. Haven’t you got your burial plot picked out?”

No yet; but I probably will one of these days.

“Why do so, if death isn’t certain? Makes no sense.”

Ultimately, of course, you are absolutely correct. But even if I didn’t die, it wouldn’t be a bad investment because the money it would cost would mean nothing to me anymore.

“Why no, if you don’t die. You could spend it on this or that.”

No, I couldn’t.

“Couldn’t? Why?”

Because I’d be a transformed person living in a transformed world where it would be useless.

“Explain—if you can. Indeed, if you can’t, our conversation is over!”

OK. One of these days—no one here, only God Himself knows when—Jesus will return just as he left ascending into the sky. Only, of course, it will be a descent rather than an ascent. When he comes, every believer on earth will be instantly transformed as, in the blinking of an eye, he will be caught up to escort Jesus back, and be given a deathless body just like Jesus’ glorified body. You can read about it in I Thessalonians 4:13, where we are plainly told this fact. And the instant change is also explained at some length in I Corinthians 15.

“Ah, now I see. You’re talking about the second coming of Christ.”

Most people call the event by that name, but it’s inaccurate. It will be His third coming.

“Third? What are you getting at?”

Can’t explain it all here, but in 70 AD Jesus came invisibly to destroy Jerusalem and set up His spiritual worldwide kingdom. He told us about it in any number of places such as Matthew 24, Luke 21, and Mark 13 (especially vv. 29, 30).

“Third? That’s a shocker. Hmmm. I certainly want to hear more about this.”

Someday, I may write a line or two more in this blog about it. But I have just finished a book on the subject called “This Generation.” That should be published—probably before the third coming—at least, I hope so!

“Why that title?”

Because Jesus said that the second, invisible, judgment coming of Christ and all that would take place during it would happen in the generation of those alive at that time (Eg., Mark 9:1; Matthew 24:33, 34). The invisible part is mentioned, for instance, in Matthew 24:23-27. The terrible destruction of the temple and city would be as visible a lightening, but the One Who was to come bringing the judgment would not. His visible coming will at His third Advent.

“A bit confusing; but I’m going to look up those verses.”

Good.

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