prisonchaplain

Jesus' Return -- The Blessed Hope

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Are You Ready?

 

I grew up reading, listening, and watching warnings that Jesus was on the way to pick up his followers. The book The Late Great Planet Earth, by Hal Lindsey, was a non-fiction description of why we were on the brink of the rapture. The Left Behind series was likely inspired by this book. The movie Thief in the Night was a frightening depiction of a post-rapture world, in which Christians were rounded up and threatened with the guillotine if they did not take the mark of the Beast. Finally, Larry Norman’s song, “I wish we’d all been ready,” soulfully mourned those who knew Jesus was coming, but were not prepared.

 

2 Peter 3:10 tells us that Jesus’ coming will be ‘like a thief.’ Likewise Matthew 24:44 says he will come at an hour we do not expect. So, why do we not hear much in churches today about Jesus’ return, when it was such a hot topic in from the 1970s-90s? The short answer is that we ministers overplayed our hand. I remember the images of televangelists waving the Bible in one hand and the newspaper in the other, proclaiming, “Fulfillment!  Fulfillment!” Ultimately, there was too much newspaper and not enough Bible. After the threat of the Y2K Bug fizzled, many Christian ministers became reticent to address the promised return of Jesus.

 

Still—the Bible says Jesus will come back. So, why wouldn’t a Christian be ready? Problem #1—they figure it’s been 2,000 years; it just might be 2,000 more. Problem #2—they believe certain events must happen before Jesus returns: the rebuilding of the Temple, the preaching of Jesus to all peoples, or perhaps that the Antichrist becomes identified. The final problem is that they just get too busy with daily life, and the promise/threat of Christ returning fades.

 

How to address these challenges? In answer to all of them, Jesus says to be ready. That so many are no longer expecting him to return soon means we are in exactly the kind of time when he might—an hour when he is not expected! Further, In Luke 12:40 the Master labels Christians who are unprepared as slovenly and careless. Jesus-followers should continue to share their faith, engage in charity, seek out strong Bible teaching, do what is right, eschew what is wrong, and obey God’s directions.

 

What of those who are not God-seekers?. Become one. God promises that those who seek Him will find Him—though He is not far. A final humble suggestion—God associates with his own followers; so church is a good place to find Him!

 

 

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First off, I'm guessing you are aware that the LDS do not subscribe to the rapture doctrine -- at least not as was depicted in "Left Behind".

 

As for the 2nd Coming in general: Pastor Robert Jeffress said, "Sometime in the next 50 years either I'm going to see Him, or He's coming to see me."  Either way I'd better be ready.

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Are You Ready?

 

I grew up reading, listening, and watching warnings that Jesus was on the way to pick up his followers. The book The Late Great Planet Earth, by Hal Lindsey, was a non-fiction description of why we were on the brink of the rapture. The Left Behind series was likely inspired by this book. The movie Thief in the Night was a frightening depiction of a post-rapture world, in which Christians were rounded up and threatened with the guillotine if they did not take the mark of the Beast. Finally, Larry Norman’s song, “I wish we’d all been ready,” soulfully mourned those who knew Jesus was coming, but were not prepared.

 

2 Peter 3:10 tells us that Jesus’ coming will be ‘like a thief.’ Likewise Matthew 24:44 says he will come at an hour we do not expect. So, why do we not hear much in churches today about Jesus’ return, when it was such a hot topic in from the 1970s-90s? The short answer is that we ministers overplayed our hand. I remember the images of televangelists waving the Bible in one hand and the newspaper in the other, proclaiming, “Fulfillment!  Fulfillment!” Ultimately, there was too much newspaper and not enough Bible. After the threat of the Y2K Bug fizzled, many Christian ministers became reticent to address the promised return of Jesus.

 

Still—the Bible says Jesus will come back. So, why wouldn’t a Christian be ready? Problem #1—they figure it’s been 2,000 years; it just might be 2,000 more. Problem #2—they believe certain events must happen before Jesus returns: the rebuilding of the Temple, the preaching of Jesus to all peoples, or perhaps that the Antichrist becomes identified. The final problem is that they just get too busy with daily life, and the promise/threat of Christ returning fades.

 

How to address these challenges? In answer to all of them, Jesus says to be ready. That so many are no longer expecting him to return soon means we are in exactly the kind of time when he might—an hour when he is not expected! Further, In Luke 12:40 the Master labels Christians who are unprepared as slovenly and careless. Jesus-followers should continue to share their faith, engage in charity, seek out strong Bible teaching, do what is right, eschew what is wrong, and obey God’s directions.

 

What of those who are not God-seekers?. Become one. God promises that those who seek Him will find Him—though He is not far. A final humble suggestion—God associates with his own followers; so church is a good place to find Him!

 

I enjoy reading your posts. :)

 

I'll just add, that we are called always be prepared. For whether the parousia occurs in our lifetime or not, we all must die, and will meet our judgement. 

 

Also, from a Catholic perspective, every Mass we experience is a parousia, when Jesus is made present, Body and Blood, so of course we should be prepared to receive Him.

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Also, from a Catholic perspective, every Mass we experience is a parousia, when Jesus is made present, Body and Blood, so of course we should be prepared to receive Him.

 

While LDS do not believe the same as Catholics regarding the sacrament or communion, your comments are really pertinent. LDS do believe that partaking of the sacrament (or communion) is one of the most sacred ordinances we have as we participate in the Atonement of Christ while doing so. The LDS church has been emphasizing the importance of being prepared for our Sunday worship services and for the Sabbath Day in general.

 

Thank you both (PC and blueskye) for your example and faith. It helps me to look to my own and find improvements for myself.

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While LDS do not believe the same as Catholics regarding the sacrament or communion, your comments are really pertinent. LDS do believe that partaking of the sacrament (or communion) is one of the most sacred ordinances we have as we participate in the Atonement of Christ while doing so. The LDS church has been emphasizing the importance of being prepared for our Sunday worship services and for the Sabbath Day in general.

 

Thank you both (PC and blueskye) for your example and faith. It helps me to look to my own and find improvements for myself.

Hey beefche, I'm glad you feel that way. What a grace for us to experience!  :pope:

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It's a different meaning, of course, but I like (yes, emotively) blueskye's reference to the presence of Christ.  In the mass?  Surely.  Every time I go to church?  Absolutely.  As the old chorus puts it:

 

Surely the presence of the LORD is in the place

I can feel his mighty power and his grace

I can hear the brush of angels' wings

I see glory on each face

Surely the presence of the LORD is in this place

Edited by prisonchaplain

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On 12/10/2015 at 9:43 AM, prisonchaplain said:

Are You Ready?

 

I grew up reading, listening, and watching warnings that Jesus was on the way to pick up his followers. The book The Late Great Planet Earth, by Hal Lindsey, was a non-fiction description of why we were on the brink of the rapture. The Left Behind series was likely inspired by this book. The movie Thief in the Night was a frightening depiction of a post-rapture world, in which Christians were rounded up and threatened with the guillotine if they did not take the mark of the Beast. Finally, Larry Norman’s song, “I wish we’d all been ready,” soulfully mourned those who knew Jesus was coming, but were not prepared.

 

2 Peter 3:10 tells us that Jesus’ coming will be ‘like a thief.’ Likewise Matthew 24:44 says he will come at an hour we do not expect. So, why do we not hear much in churches today about Jesus’ return, when it was such a hot topic in from the 1970s-90s? The short answer is that we ministers overplayed our hand. I remember the images of televangelists waving the Bible in one hand and the newspaper in the other, proclaiming, “Fulfillment!  Fulfillment!” Ultimately, there was too much newspaper and not enough Bible. After the threat of the Y2K Bug fizzled, many Christian ministers became reticent to address the promised return of Jesus.

 

Still—the Bible says Jesus will come back. So, why wouldn’t a Christian be ready? Problem #1—they figure it’s been 2,000 years; it just might be 2,000 more. Problem #2—they believe certain events must happen before Jesus returns: the rebuilding of the Temple, the preaching of Jesus to all peoples, or perhaps that the Antichrist becomes identified. The final problem is that they just get too busy with daily life, and the promise/threat of Christ returning fades.

 

How to address these challenges? In answer to all of them, Jesus says to be ready. That so many are no longer expecting him to return soon means we are in exactly the kind of time when he might—an hour when he is not expected! Further, In Luke 12:40 the Master labels Christians who are unprepared as slovenly and careless. Jesus-followers should continue to share their faith, engage in charity, seek out strong Bible teaching, do what is right, eschew what is wrong, and obey God’s directions.

 

What of those who are not God-seekers?. Become one. God promises that those who seek Him will find Him—though He is not far. A final humble suggestion—God associates with his own followers; so church is a good place to find Him!

 

 

I am ready, and I'll be waiting for him at jollymont station.

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Definitely always be prepared! One should always be ready since it is not known when He'll be met, whether through Coming or death. But as for the Second Coming it is not yet. There's another big event that is also prophesied to take place: the Covenant people turn wicked, along with the other people of the "promised land", and are punished. We read of this very many times in the scriptures. For example:

 

"Therefore is the anger of the Lord kindled against his people, and he hath stretched forth his hand against them, and hath smitten them: and the hills did tremble, and their carcases were torn in the midst of the streets. For all this his anger is not turned away, but his hand is stretched out still." (Isaiah 5:25)

 

"5 ¶ O Assyrian, the rod of mine anger, and the staff in their hand is mine indignation. 

6 I will send him against an hypocritical nation, and against the people of my wrath will I give him a charge, to take the spoil, and to take the prey, and to tread them down like the mire of the streets." (Isaiah 10:5-6)

The "hypocritical nation" is the USA - the same nation whose motto is "in God we trust" yet is the greatest producer and exporter of filth and smut.

 

Jeremiah 49 prophesies about a nation in the last days that will be destroyed. There are 6 clues within the chapter that gives us hints to whom that nation is. For example, it is a wealthy nation (v 31), a nation that has enjoyed being free from attacks by opposing armies and believes they are secure (v 31), is not surrounded by other nations (v 31), etc. That nation will be destroyed of the political leaders during an invasion/war and the Lord will 'set His throne' there (v 38). Everything in that chapter points to the USA being destroyed. That happens to also be consistent with the vision that George Washington was shown by an angelic visitor. 

 

Another prophecy is in Isaiah 28. In that chapter the Lord is displeased with His covenant people because they fail to come to Him through the Spirit. Because of that He will give the warnings to prepare in such a manner that only those who seek and listen to the Spirit will recognize the warnings, and those that fail to seek guidance by the Spirit will be snared and broken (v 13). He tells us that it will get so ugly within the land that "it shall be a vexation only to understand the report" of the conditions (v 19). He also reveals that the destruction will be intentionally caused by our political leaders, of which they will mistakenly think they'll be immune from (v 14-19).

 

There's many other prophecies, too. It will be most beneficial to prepare for that time because it is quickly coming and will get extremely ugly. Jesus verified how bad it will get in this land:

"And I will execute vengeance and fury upon them, even as upon the heathen, such as they have not heard." (3 Nephi 21:21 = Micah 5:15)

We just barely escaped a total financial collapse in 2008. The stage is set for the next one which we will not be able to recoup from. The amount at stake is higher, final plans are being made to abandon the dollar as the world reserve currency for a gold-backed world currency, and the group that has the power and has been attempting to create chaos in the USA for their political gain is not giving up. A nation has never been destroyed without having been first forewarned by the prophets (2 Nephi 25:9) and we have been given one stern warning in Family: A Proclamation to the World, which has been officially violated as of last year. In that proclamation we were warned that the prophesied calamities would come upon nations and individuals if the Proclamation was not heeded. Though the times will get ugly they are necessary so that the people will finally turn to God in righteousness, especially including His covenant people, so that Zion can finally be realized, which is essential before the Second Coming.

Edited by Sadliers

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Whether Jesus returns in a person's lifetime or not, the most important thing is to be living the gospel and repenting.

Jesus may or may not come soon. But death is certain for all. (Of course, in a real sense, there is no such thing as death - your body just goes into the grave, but you live on in the spirit world while you wait the resurrection.) The important thing is to be as ready as you can, no matter what happens.

It is apparently much easier to repent in this life than later in the spirit world. And we are all going to either repent or suffer to pay for our sins ourselves, eventually. So it makes sense to live the best life we can now.

Quote

"It is my judgment that any man or woman can do more to conform to the laws of God in one year in this life than they could in ten years when they are dead. "

-- "The Three Degrees of Glory"
Elder Melvin J. Ballard, Of the Council of the Twelve Apostles
(Sermons and Missionary Services of Melvin J. Ballard, p.234-261, Delivered at the Ogden Tabernacle )

http://scottwoodward.org/Talks/html/Ballard,%20Melvin%20J/BallardMJ_TheThreeDegreesOfGlory.html

Quote

 

"Ye cannot say, when ye are brought to that awful crisis, that I will repent, that I will return to my God. Nay, ye cannot say this; for that same spirit which doth possess your bodies at the time that ye go out of this life, that same spirit will have power to possess your body in that eternal world."

Alma 34:34

 

 

Edited by tesuji

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On 10/12/2015 at 4:43 PM, prisonchaplain said:

Are You Ready?

 

I grew up reading, listening, and watching warnings that Jesus was on the way to pick up his followers. The book The Late Great Planet Earth, by Hal Lindsey, was a non-fiction description of why we were on the brink of the rapture. The Left Behind series was likely inspired by this book. The movie Thief in the Night was a frightening depiction of a post-rapture world, in which Christians were rounded up and threatened with the guillotine if they did not take the mark of the Beast. Finally, Larry Norman’s song, “I wish we’d all been ready,” soulfully mourned those who knew Jesus was coming, but were not prepared.

 

2 Peter 3:10 tells us that Jesus’ coming will be ‘like a thief.’ Likewise Matthew 24:44 says he will come at an hour we do not expect. So, why do we not hear much in churches today about Jesus’ return, when it was such a hot topic in from the 1970s-90s? The short answer is that we ministers overplayed our hand. I remember the images of televangelists waving the Bible in one hand and the newspaper in the other, proclaiming, “Fulfillment!  Fulfillment!” Ultimately, there was too much newspaper and not enough Bible. After the threat of the Y2K Bug fizzled, many Christian ministers became reticent to address the promised return of Jesus.

 

Still—the Bible says Jesus will come back. So, why wouldn’t a Christian be ready? Problem #1—they figure it’s been 2,000 years; it just might be 2,000 more. Problem #2—they believe certain events must happen before Jesus returns: the rebuilding of the Temple, the preaching of Jesus to all peoples, or perhaps that the Antichrist becomes identified. The final problem is that they just get too busy with daily life, and the promise/threat of Christ returning fades.

 

How to address these challenges? In answer to all of them, Jesus says to be ready. That so many are no longer expecting him to return soon means we are in exactly the kind of time when he might—an hour when he is not expected! Further, In Luke 12:40 the Master labels Christians who are unprepared as slovenly and careless. Jesus-followers should continue to share their faith, engage in charity, seek out strong Bible teaching, do what is right, eschew what is wrong, and obey God’s directions.

 

What of those who are not God-seekers?. Become one. God promises that those who seek Him will find Him—though He is not far. A final humble suggestion—God associates with his own followers; so church is a good place to find Him!

 

 

Well said. Be ye prepared... part of that preparation needs to be humility, and in a state so that you can be guided by the spirit.

Alternatively with problem 2- said things do need to happen first, however the ability to recognise an important event as part of a prophecy is important.
(for instance what if it's the LDS that build a temple in Jerusalem?, how many outside the faith would consider that another's faith temple as being able to fill the technicality of that prophecy? [or something in that manner vice versa])

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On Being Ready:  I totally can't understand the story of the foolish and wise virgins the way some see it.  The wise had physical preps and they were waiting with expectation.  The foolish hadn't what they needed.  It wasn't something spiritual, the way I saw it, but the story is presented in a pragmatic way.  The foolish hadn't purchased items they needed to be ready to be able to go off with the bridegroom--that made them foolish.   Once a Baptist person told me on basis of this scripture that I need to be ready and the "ready" was a quick little prayer that signs and seals me into some kind of rapture protection program.

It was just my experience, but I couldn't make the leap.  I couldn't see that being ready in this story meant anything more than have whatever gear you need when Jesus comes.  It looks physical to me.  Have what you need ready because you might not be able to have time or the ability to buy the things you'll need.  The wise also didn't say, here, have some of my oil.  They knew they needed it all, and they sent the foolish to go and buy their own.  But it was too late.

To me, and I'm really just trying to learn, the thought that ministers of the gospel had "overplayed their hand" on prophecy makes me think that it is (to some) something as base as a bluff in a card game--and I'm sure the chaplain didn't mean it that way.  

It's just my opinion, but I would think that something like prophecy, REAL prophecy (whether it would be about Jesus' return or some other matter) would be so sacred, that one would look at it as though the person who speaks it is actually speaking God's words, saying what He would say to each of us.  It would be an honor to hear the words because you'd know the cadence of the voice and the tenor of the speech because it's the Master's words, even though it would be spoken by a person.

 

 

 

 

 

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On ‎5‎/‎20‎/‎2016 at 9:20 AM, Blackmarch said:

Well said. Be ye prepared... part of that preparation needs to be humility, and in a state so that you can be guided by the spirit.

Alternatively with problem 2- said things do need to happen first, however the ability to recognise an important event as part of a prophecy is important.
(for instance what if it's the LDS that build a temple in Jerusalem?, how many outside the faith would consider that another's faith temple as being able to fill the technicality of that prophecy? [or something in that manner vice versa])

I doubt any "rapture-ready" teachers (or even the broader premillenialists--all who believe that the 1000-year reign is yet to come) would consider the building of an LDS temple in Jerusalem to fulfill prophecy.  Most still argue it must be built where the Dome of the Rock currently is.  On the bright side, I'm not so sure it is important to recognize specific events.  More necessary is to simply maintain a sense of urgency.  Jesus is coming back.  We don't know when.  So, be watchful...be waiting...be ready.

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10 minutes ago, Takawi said:

On Being Ready:  I totally can't understand the story of the foolish and wise virgins the way some see it.  The wise had physical preps and they were waiting with expectation.  The foolish hadn't what they needed.  It wasn't something spiritual, the way I saw it, but the story is presented in a pragmatic way.  The foolish hadn't purchased items they needed to be ready to be able to go off with the bridegroom--that made them foolish.   Once a Baptist person told me on basis of this scripture that I need to be ready and the "ready" was a quick little prayer that signs and seals me into some kind of rapture protection program.

The prayer should have been long and large.  Okay, I'm making contrast--but for a reason.  Sincere recognition of need, overwhelming guilt at sin, then a desperate desire to become clean and right, all followed by a laying down of one's will and life to Jesus--there should be nothing "little" or "quick" about that.

It was just my experience, but I couldn't make the leap.  I couldn't see that being ready in this story meant anything more than have whatever gear you need when Jesus comes.  It looks physical to me.  Have what you need ready because you might not be able to have time or the ability to buy the things you'll need.  The wise also didn't say, here, have some of my oil.  They knew they needed it all, and they sent the foolish to go and buy their own.  But it was too late.

If the only thing I ever read of Jesus was this parable, then I could understand the very literal interpretation you offer.  However, when Jesus tells us what to do--love God and neighbor (including enemies), and when he tells us how to be (meek, mournful, poor in spirit, etc.), his focus is spiritual.  He even tells us not to worry about tomorrow, about what we will eat or wear.  Then too, this is a parable.  I've yet to encounter one that was purely literal and material in meaning.  Oil is symbolic of the Spirit, so to me the key idea is to be filled with the Spirit--every day and all day.  That's how we are ready.

To me, and I'm really just trying to learn, the thought that ministers of the gospel had "overplayed their hand" on prophecy makes me think that it is (to some) something as base as a bluff in a card game--and I'm sure the chaplain didn't mean it that way.  

It's just my opinion, but I would think that something like prophecy, REAL prophecy (whether it would be about Jesus' return or some other matter) would be so sacred, that one would look at it as though the person who speaks it is actually speaking God's words, saying what He would say to each of us.  It would be an honor to hear the words because you'd know the cadence of the voice and the tenor of the speech because it's the Master's words, even though it would be spoken by a person.

Scripture teachers should be careful--whether the interpret prophesy, or any scripture.  In fairness, many prophecy teachers are careful to say that certain passages COULD mean, and that such a description MIGHT BE...they are trying to show that prophesy relates to today, and we are driving ever closer to a climax.  BUT YES, some get carried away with their interpretations.  That's bad.

 

 

 

 

 

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30 minutes ago, prisonchaplain said:

If the only thing I ever read of Jesus was this parable, then I could understand the very literal interpretation you offer.  However, when Jesus tells us what to do--love God and neighbor (including enemies), and when he tells us how to be (meek, mournful, poor in spirit, etc.), his focus is spiritual.

Does Jesus tell in the story that the wise virgins were to love their neighbor (including the foolish) by SHARING their oil?   No. Do they say they are as birds of the air and don't give any care about tomorrow and give away all their oil?  No.   Aren't they dressed in their finery waiting for the Bridegroom?  Jewish brides are going to have all the bling they can fit on their bodies and not dressed as lilies in the field.   Does he tell that they were meek and just let the foolish virgins take their oil?  No again.  By this act of the wise virgins alone, it clues me in that it is literal.   

It's my observation that Jesus often doesn't do or say the same thing twice (not including the gospels that were written by different authors covering the same events).  He heals in different ways; he speaks harshly and softly.  He rebukes and he shows compassion.  He recognizes a woman's grab of his tzitzit (the fringes of his Jewish religious garment), and he knows.  What are the tzitzit?  They are a Jewish man's representation of the laws of Moses which he wears daily.  Think of what that means!  And an issue of blood?  Oh my, she's definitely "unclean."  He's not so typical to the Jews around him.

Also, it's not the only thing I've read of Jesus.  But it's true, I'm thoroughly "unchurched" I think the word is.  I had never read the Book of Mormon before either.  As I say, I'm just learning, but I can't agree with you, chaplain that the story is anything but literal.  Be prepared in a pragmatic way.  It truly is wise.

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2 hours ago, Takawi said:

Does Jesus tell in the story that the wise virgins were to love their neighbor (including the foolish) by SHARING their oil?   No. Do they say they are as birds of the air and don't give any care about tomorrow and give away all their oil?  No.   Aren't they dressed in their finery waiting for the Bridegroom?  Jewish brides are going to have all the bling they can fit on their bodies and not dressed as lilies in the field.   Does he tell that they were meek and just let the foolish virgins take their oil?  No again.  By this act of the wise virgins alone, it clues me in that it is literal.   

One understanding of this parable that is near-universal is that it pertains to Jesus' return.  He is telling his followers to be ready.  They won't need material when he returns, but they will definitely need to be filled with the Spirit.  When Christ returns it's too late ask for oil.  The time for sharing is past.

Also, it's not the only thing I've read of Jesus.  But it's true, I'm thoroughly "unchurched" I think the word is.  I had never read the Book of Mormon before either.  As I say, I'm just learning, but I can't agree with you, chaplain that the story is anything but literal.  Be prepared in a pragmatic way.  It truly is wise.

Again, I'm not opposed to being ready in the practical sense.  However, in this parable, like many, the readiness is for his return.  It would be more practical to have a steady prayer and scripture practice than to have a stocked bunker somewhere. 

 

Edited by prisonchaplain

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10 hours ago, prisonchaplain said:

One understanding of this parable that is near-universal is that it pertains to Jesus' return.  He is telling his followers to be ready.  They won't need material when he returns

Sure, this should be likened to the return of Jesus.

But where you and I depart is that I say this is physical and you say this is merely "spiritual," whatever that means to you.

If you consider why he chose brides to contrast the wise and foolish, you might be able to see where I'm coming from.  Brides in this position are ready for the bridegroom to come; they are excited; they are in anticipation of a new life.  They have not just oil but in those days, a Jewish bride would have garments made, food put by, kitchen implements, jars and vessels.  A bride is truly physically prepared for her bridegroom, complete with all she needs to start life as his helpmeet.  How do you know that we "won't need the material when he returns?"  Jesus just told us that it's important to wait for him just like a wise bride!  He told us to make sure we bought oil.  How much clearer can he be?

I see this and don't understand how it's thought that God is like some kind of Santa Claus.  He will provide all.  BUT, wedding customs are present in all cultures and especially this one and that is that the bride is expected to provide and to prepare physical preps.  It's too late to prepare when he comes and he's disappointed that his bride was foolish and didn't prepare for his arrival.  It's too late because you can't even buy oil.

And I don't "buy" that the oil in this case is merely being "filled with the spirit."  Oil is so much more.  Oil is food, medicine and fuel.  Oil is what stood between life and death for a widow and her son who had borrowed vessels when the prophet Elisha told the woman to gather them.  Oil is the ultimate prep item across the ages.

"Steady prayers and scripture practice?"  Are you joshin' me?  That's how you are ready?  Do you mean like memorizing words?  Rote prayers?  I really don't think that would mean much to the bridegroom coming.  Hey, Jesus, I prepped for this day, I memorized all of 2 Kings, OK I'm ready, uh but no, I didn't buy oil.  The Pharisees had beautiful prayers and their superior knowledge of scripture.  You realize when this was spoken, there was no New Testament.  There was only the law, history, prophecies and tradition, and we all know what Jesus thought of tradition.

From what I understand, this simply can't be any clearer. 

 

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Takawi, it may help if you spell out your understanding of the 2nd Coming of Jesus.  Do you believe we will face hardships that require us to have provisions prepared?  Will we be the ones building the new heaven and new earth?  As for my church, when the Y2K bug threatened worldwide disaster, we were counseled to share what we had (within reason and safety, of course).  We found the survivalist mentality of some to be rather unChristlike.  So, please do school me on what you are driving at.

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I think two things would make it easier for people to understand where you're coming from @Takawi:

1) What is your religion?  Are you a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, or....?

2) Are you coming from a perspective of being prepared to survive the difficult times which exist and will exist in the years leading up to the millennium, or of preparing material supplies for use in the millennium, or both?

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23 minutes ago, prisonchaplain said:

Takawi, it may help if you spell out your understanding of the 2nd Coming of Jesus.  Do you believe we will face hardships that require us to have provisions prepared?  Will we be the ones building the new heaven and new earth?  As for my church, when the Y2K bug threatened worldwide disaster, we were counseled to share what we had (within reason and safety, of course).  We found the survivalist mentality of some to be rather unChristlike.  So, please do school me on what you are driving at.

Chaplain, I am in no position to "school" you on any subject but to show you my perspective.  I simply shared what my position is regarding the scripture as evidence.  As to my understanding of Jesus's return, I would direct you to John 21:25.  So as it was then, shall it be in his return.

 

23 minutes ago, zil said:

I think two things would make it easier for people to understand where you're coming from @Takawi:

1) What is your religion?  Are you a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, or....?

2) Are you coming from a perspective of being prepared to survive the difficult times which exist and will exist in the years leading up to the millennium, or of preparing material supplies for use in the millennium, or both?

Zil, (1) I'm not sure my religion--or rather lack thereof-- has anything to do with whether scripture is literal or figurative, but you have kindly reminded me that I have neglected to do an introduction on the forum page designed for that..  I should have done that.  I hope to do it today.  I'm simply learning.  I have just begun to read the Book of Mormon.

(2)  I'm coming from the perspective that I think that obedience is prudent whether it be for the return of Jesus or any other thing he would want us to do.

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6 minutes ago, Takawi said:

Chaplain, I am in no position to "school" you on any subject but to show you my perspective.  I simply shared what my position is regarding the scripture as evidence.  As to my understanding of Jesus's return, I would direct you to John 21:25.  So as it was then, shall it be in his return.

 

Zil, (1) I'm not sure my religion--or rather lack thereof-- has anything to do with whether scripture is literal or figurative, but you have kindly reminded me that I have neglected to do an introduction on the forum page designed for that..  I should have done that.  I hope to do it today.  I'm simply learning.  I have just begun to read the Book of Mormon.

(2)  I'm coming from the perspective that I think that obedience is prudent whether it be for the return of Jesus or any other thing he would want us to do.

1) Knowing your current religious affiliation (if any) or background helps the bunch of strangers with whom you are communicating understand your background, point of view, etc. so that they stand a better chance of correctly understanding your words.

2) Of course obedience is important in all contexts, but we're not talking about all contexts.  We're talking about understanding of one specific parable, and believe it or not, at least some of the readers here wish to understand what you are trying to communicate.  Part of that understanding comes from putting boundaries around what you're saying (aka context).  If you believe this "oil" is so that one will be physically and materially prepared to survive the difficult years preceding the Second Coming, that's one thing.  If you believe we will need (and be able to carry with us) material / physical supplies into the millennium after the Second Coming is complete, that's another thing.  Thus, I am requesting further context for your interpretation of these verses.

PS: John 21:25 says that the world couldn't contain all the books required to record all the things Christ did.  I don't understand how this correlates to understanding Christ's return.

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Just now, prisonchaplain said:

I doubt any "rapture-ready" teachers (or even the broader premillenialists--all who believe that the 1000-year reign is yet to come) would consider the building of an LDS temple in Jerusalem to fulfill prophecy.  Most still argue it must be built where the Dome of the Rock currently is.  On the bright side, I'm not so sure it is important to recognize specific events.  More necessary is to simply maintain a sense of urgency.  Jesus is coming back.  We don't know when.  So, be watchful...be waiting...be ready.

Indeed. I agree being prepared is more important.
But on the other hand being able to see the signs and etc.. can help motivate being prepared, and if you are already faithful in doing that, then can also help point you in which directions to prepare youself, at least in regards to temporal matters, or which items to prioritize.

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1 hour ago, zil said:

1) Knowing your current religious affiliation (if any) or background helps the bunch of strangers with whom you are communicating understand your background, point of view, etc. so that they stand a better chance of correctly understanding your words.

2) Of course obedience is important in all contexts, but we're not talking about all contexts.  We're talking about understanding of one specific parable, and believe it or not, at least some of the readers here wish to understand what you are trying to communicate.  Part of that understanding comes from putting boundaries around what you're saying (aka context).  If you believe this "oil" is so that one will be physically and materially prepared to survive the difficult years preceding the Second Coming, that's one thing.  If you believe we will need (and be able to carry with us) material / physical supplies into the millennium after the Second Coming is complete, that's another thing.  Thus, I am requesting further context for your interpretation of these verses.

PS: John 21:25 says that the world couldn't contain all the books required to record all the things Christ did.  I don't understand how this correlates to understanding Christ's return.

(1)I put in an introduction.  I have no religious affiliation.   I don't know your background either.  I still don't understand how that has anything to do with what I said.

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(2) I believe obedience, when you know that something is literal is simply that, literal.  I have no special knowledge outside what is written.  I choose to be obedient.

PS.  The world couldn't contain all the books required to record all the things that Christ WILL DO when he returns.

 

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Takawi, you've said we need to be physically ready.  You've indicated that "oil" is oil, not some spiritualized or allegorized other (such as Holy Spirit empowerment).  You've made reference to Jewish wedding traditions in a way that suggests you have some background study or knowledge.  So, exactly what do you believe Jesus is telling us...that we are to be prepared with provisions for troublesome times (this is how I interpret your posts, btw)?

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I wrote an introduction, but it doesn't appear yet.  Briefly (and more specifically when the post is approved) here is my background.  I belong to no church.  I love to study history, so when I read the Bible (which I love), I have delved deeper because our culture is different today.  Our customs are different.  Yes, I did study Jewish meanings, culture and history when trying to understand the Bible.  I've done this on my own because I love the Bible and wanted to understand what God wanted of me.

However, I come from this with no formal religious background or indoctrination, only the burning desire to know what he's trying to tell me.  And I came upon this forum when I decided I wanted a place I can ask questions because I wanted to read the BofM.

12 minutes ago, prisonchaplain said:

Takawi, you've said we need to be physically ready.  You've indicated that "oil" is oil, not some spiritualized or allegorized other (such as Holy Spirit empowerment).  You've made reference to Jewish wedding traditions in a way that suggests you have some background study or knowledge.  So, exactly what do you believe Jesus is telling us...that we are to be prepared with provisions for troublesome times (this is how I interpret your posts, btw)?

No, Jesus said to be physically ready.  I didn't say it.  I'm only telling you how I read it.

I mean exactly what I say, on the basis of what I've studied in relation to the readiness of Jewish Brides during the time of Jesus.  I interpret the passage as literal.  Therefore, since I do, I would be crazy not to do as Jesus says.   I invite all to do the same research.  Look at what a Jewish Bride did to prepare for her bridegroom in Jesus' day.  It will astound you.

Here is something that might shed some light on things:  If you are a soldier in the army and the general tells you to charge and take a ridge, you charge and take the ridge.  You don't sit back and question, hey, is this ridge for our camp tonight?  Is it really your opinion that it's right to take a ridge right now, we're kinda low on provisions and the road is out.  You don't sit back and question anything.  The general knows why you take the ridge, and you don't know.  You just do as you're told.  That's kinda how I am with obedience.  I dpn't have to know WHY.  I suppose it'll all be evident in time anyway.

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