A Matter Of The End Being Nigh?

Written by A K Whitehead

Continued from page 1

Our Legitimate Preoccupations Are we so preoccupied with this question becauserepparttar version of Christianity which we have is so insufficiently exciting that we need to contunually embellish it? hype it up (because we do live in an age and culture of hype)? give it a bit more spin (because we seem to have more spin in our culture than we have simple truth)?

Some may quote Jesus that we should knowrepparttar 126930 signs ofrepparttar 126931 time: "You know how to interpretrepparttar 126932 appearance ofrepparttar 126933 sky, but you cannot interpretrepparttar 126934 signs ofrepparttar 126935 times." (Matthew 16. 3). But Matthew 24. 36 clearly over-rides this. Indeed, Jesus immediately went on to warn that "A wicked and adulterous generation looks for a miraculous sign, but none will be given it exceptrepparttar 126936 sign of Jonah." And, it says, Jesus then left them and went away. When we become preoccupied with looking for, trying to discern, expectingrepparttar 126937 end times in our day, are we not putting ourselves inrepparttar 126938 same category? ThePharisees and Sadducees wanted a sign because what they had before them was not enough. But in fact, had they been able to discern it, what they had was considereably more than enough.

Paul's case was different. He simply mistookrepparttar 126939 situation. We cannot claim that. We have his mistake and 2000 years of history as a basis for knowing differently. To knowrepparttar 126940 daterepparttar 126941 Father has determined is simply not in our portfolio to be concerned with. In a sense, it does not, or at least should not, matter to us whetherrepparttar 126942 Second Coming comes at tea time today or in another 2000 years.

In either case, there will be primarily one judgement for each of us. Surely, our concern is to be ready for that - whenever it comes. How and when and where it comes is of no consequence, if only we are ready for it.

About The Author A K Whitehead Web Site: www.christianword.co.uk Experience: Over twenty years in Christian healing and teaching. Qualifications: B.A., M.Phil., Cambridge University Certificate in Religious Studies. Conditions of use: This article may be reproduced on condition that it is unaltered and that all this information is included.

Jesus Autobiography

Written by Lawrence Hilliard

Continued from page 1

"But whenrepparttar fullness ofrepparttar 126929 time came, God sent forth His son, born of a woman, born underrepparttar 126930 Law, in order that He might redeem those who were underrepparttar 126931 Law, that we might receiverepparttar 126932 adoption of sons." (Galatians 4:4-5)

C. S. Lewis writes that among times "...there is a time that turns a corner and everything this side of it is new. Times do not go backward." (Perelandra, p. 62). Atrepparttar 126933 kairos point of history, whenrepparttar 126934 religious, political, economic and social pieces were all in place,repparttar 126935 time was ripe. Like a vessel full torepparttar 126936 brim, history was at its fullest measure. Underrepparttar 126937 control of God every ordained event in preparation for this climactic advent had transpired. The prophets of Israel who had described specific, soteric kairos periods to come to Israel andrepparttar 126938 world, had collectively reached an apex of fulfillment. The anticipatory strand of history had reachedrepparttar 126939 summit. In a backwater province inrepparttar 126940 Roman empire in a rustic village, aesthetically offensive, that spoke ofrepparttar 126941 ignoble status ofrepparttar 126942 lineage of David, Eternity would intersect time. Time's conquest would be accomplished by one who laid in an ox trough. The ancient cry for God to rendrepparttar 126943 Heavens and come down (Isa. 64:1) would be answered in a manner far different than Sinai. The God of Eternity would displayrepparttar 126944 essence of His love forrepparttar 126945 world; unreserved, self-emptying, self-sacrificial.

"But as for you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, too little to be amongrepparttar 126946 clans of Judah, from you one will go forth for Me to be ruler in Israel. His goings forth are from long ago, fromrepparttar 126947 days of eternity. Therefore, He will give them up untilrepparttar 126948 time when she who is in labor has borne a child..." (Micah 5:2-3)

For 600 yearsrepparttar 126949 House of David had been deprived of royal dominion, declining intorepparttar 126950 lowliness of its origin, intorepparttar 126951 obscurity of private life. Bethlehem spoke of humility and degradation withoutrepparttar 126952 least vestige of royalty. Nothing of David's greatness would attend torepparttar 126953 present descendants of his line. A young virgin wasrepparttar 126954 divinely chosen descendant to bring forthrepparttar 126955 scion of David, his greater son, whose coming would inauguraterepparttar 126956 day of salvation for Israel andrepparttar 126957 Gentile world. As a tender sprout, He would come forth fromrepparttar 126958 stump ofrepparttar 126959 felled tree ofrepparttar 126960 House of David (Isa. 11:1, 53:2, II Sam. 23:5, Jer. 23:16, Zech. 6:12). The ancient village where David was born and anointed to become King of Israel would once again rise to prominence.

"And she shall bear a son; and you shall call his name Jesus, for it is He who will save His people from their sins." (Matt. 1:21). Beforerepparttar 126961 birth of this child he was divinely designated to be named Jesus, indicating his soteric nature and work among men. The name "Jesus" is freighted withrepparttar 126962 implication ofrepparttar 126963 deity of its bearer. For it isrepparttar 126964 Greek form ofrepparttar 126965 Hebrew Yehousa ("Jehovah is salvation"). Every First Century Jew understood that only God could bring rescue and forgiveness from sin (Isa. 43:11, 45:22, Ps. 67:2). Salvation was exclusively a work of God alone. In Pesikta Kahana there is a characterization ofrepparttar 126966 Messiah's speech, "Confidence and restfulness are in His words. His tongue gives pardon and forgiveness..." (Pes. K. 149a). The Son of God left eternity to becomerepparttar 126967 Gaal, i.e., Kinsman Redeemer of mankind. One who is related to those in need of redemption and thus qualified to presentrepparttar 126968 redemptive price for their complete salvation.

2,000 years removed from Bethlehem's advent, Christmas for millions is just an opportunity for a cultural celebration without a vestige of redemptive adoration. Yetrepparttar 126969 enduring significance ofrepparttar 126970 incarnation confronts us still. Time's prisoner has been offered liberation byrepparttar 126971 Father ofrepparttar 126972 Ages. A portal from earth to eternity has been opened andrepparttar 126973 passageway secured byrepparttar 126974 Divine Visitor of Bethlehem. His voice still reverberates, "Come unto me, all that labor and are heavy-laden and I will give you rest." The fiat nature of that voice can bring peace by a whisper. Though it appears that most are deaf to this soteric sound, a consummate day that He andrepparttar 126975 prophets foretold, as certain as His first advent, is onrepparttar 126976 horizon. He will speak then, not asrepparttar 126977 Kinsman Redeemer from Bethlehem, but asrepparttar 126978 Kurios ofrepparttar 126979 cosmos.

"The Word ofrepparttar 126980 Father, by whom allrepparttar 126981 cycles of time were made, entered time itself when he was made flesh in Bethlehem. Withrepparttar 126982 Fatherrepparttar 126983 Word precedes allrepparttar 126984 time, but by a human motherrepparttar 126985 Word chose a particular day to appear in time. The mother of men became a man. The ruler ofrepparttar 126986 stars was born beneathrepparttar 126987 stars. The power that brings food fromrepparttar 126988 earth sucked atrepparttar 126989 breast, and then ate bread. The One who isrepparttar 126990 Way to salvation walked along dusty roads. The eternal judge of all mankind was condemned by a mortal judge. The true vine wore a crown of thorns. The foundation ofrepparttar 126991 earth itself was nailed to a tree. The source of all health was wounded inrepparttar 126992 side. The source of all joy suffered and died. He who was pure took upon himselfrepparttar 126993 whole punishment of sin, that those who are saved, might go free. Through Christ, time itself is made sacred,repparttar 126994 stars,repparttar 126995 plants,repparttar 126996 trees andrepparttar 126997 earth made holy-and mankind is saved."-Augustine, The Trinity

Lawrence Hilliard has been an educator and lecturer for over 30 years within private institutions, colleges, conferences, and churches. He has a Masters Degree in History from the University of Southern California and teaches philosophy, ethics, theology, and contemporary political philosophy.In an anthropocentric world, Lawrence Hilliard teaches from a theocentric perspective.

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