You are hereAfter the Passion of Christ [tract]

After the Passion of Christ [tract]

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By Virgil - Posted on 04 June 2004

OK – so you saw the movie “The Passion of Christ” but what now???


What happens next? In the movie, we saw Jesus nailed to the cross and then we saw a hint of his rising from the dead.We know the story doesn’t end there. Does it become obscure after that? The Bible says Jesus showed himself alive to his followers who then went from dejected, depressed disciples to exuberant, excited espousers of Jesus’ message. And we know this is true because history attests to the fact that the world was changed by this message.

Next, the Bible says Jesus ascended up to Heaven.



Now here we are 2,000 years later. Did the story simply go to freeze frame? Was the pause button pushed and we are all awaiting the sequel?



Many preachers say yes. They say that Jesus went to Heaven and promised to return, and with that there is no argument. But what must be considered are the very words of Jesus on this matter. Let’s take a look.



Jesus said he would return soon:


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“The Son of Man is about to come in the glory of His Father with His angels; and will then recompense every man according to his deeds." (Matt. 16:27)

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"There are some of those who are standing here who shall not taste death until they see the Son of Man coming in His kingdom." (Matt. 16:28; cf. Mk. 9:1; Lk. 9:27)

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"This generation will not pass away until all these things take place." (Matt. 24:34)

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From just these few sentences it should be obvious that there should have been expectation that Jesus was going to shortly finish what he started. Even the movie leaves the viewer with the expectation that Jesus was truly victorious. He claimed to be the King and he was about to really prove it. But instead, many preachers have led people to believe Jesus has delayed that part of his plan.



The question arises, why would these preachers do such a thing if it really is so obvious that Jesus was going to return so soon after he went up to Heaven?



Well, some reasons they give aren’t found in the Bible but are found in their emotional responses. On the next page, we’ll take a look at some of the reasons preachers deny Jesus has already come back.



Many preachers and even most Christians will deny Jesus has already come back by saying such things as:

• “If Jesus returned, where is he?”

• “Jesus said when he came back that he would get rid of all evil yet evil is still here so he must not have come back.”

• “All kinds of things have to happen before Jesus comes back.”


What is interesting about these denials is that they sound a lot like the denials people used when Jesus came originally and denying Jesus was the long awaited King from God.



The people in the Bible when Jesus came originally were upset at Jesus for claiming to be the long awaited king because they claimed he didn’t fulfill their expectations about what that king would be like and what he would do. Let’s look at the Bible on this again.



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At that point some of the people of Jerusalem began to ask, "Isn't this the man they are trying to kill? Here he is, speaking publicly, and they are not saying a word to him. Have the authorities really concluded that he is the Christ ? But we know where this man is from; when the Christ comes, no one will know where he is from." (John 7:25-27)

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See how the people thought they knew how they would know when Christ (the King) really had come. Obviously they were mistaken.



How is it that Jesus could have come back already and so many people misunderstood?



Well, we again can look at history. Take for instance how at one time the Roman Catholic Church once ruled most of the world. Whatever the Roman Catholic Church taught was considered the only true “Christian” teaching. But during the early 1500s many people began to question the Roman Catholic Church’s conclusions on many points. From that era was born what is called the “Protestant” churches (because they protested against what they considered wrong conclusions of the Roman Catholic Church).



I believe we are in another such era where many people are questioning the teachings of not only the Roman Catholic Church’s conclusions but also the Protestant churches conclusion about how and when Jesus was supposed to return.



Keep in mind, when the people in the 1500s questioned the Roman Catholic Church’s conclusions, those questions were posed using the Bible to support the opposing conclusions. In this same way, we hope to use the Bible to support the conclusion that Jesus did indeed return as he said he would – within a short time after he went up to Heaven.



If this conclusion proves itself from the pages of the Bible (as has already been quoted) then preachers and people who deny it, are simply denying the plain words of the Bible on this matter. And if these same people twist the words of the Bible to make Jesus’ coming still in the future then such people only do injustice to the proper understanding. Please do not be dismayed or put off as if it doesn’t matter since so many people come to different conclusions on the Bible. Just as in all things, there is only one truth, not varying shades of truth. It is that truth we seek, even if we are proven wrong.



WHAT DOES THIS MEAN TO YOU & YOUR LIFE?

“Ok”, you might ask, “so what if Jesus has already come back, what does it mean to me”?



How does it change anything? Well, if you are a Christian it means that you are no longer looking up into the sky waiting for Jesus to pop out of the clouds but rather you are living in that spiritual kingdom Jesus promised (Luke 17:20-21) You are truly able to say that for you as a Christian there is no more evil, no more tears and no more sorrow.



As a non-Christian, it means that there is more to life than what you suppose. While you are living your life out dying each day you could be living in a life promised by Jesus. As a non-Christian you must confess that you are a “sinner” (a person outside the will of God) and then trust on Jesus as that King he said he is.



No longer is there this feeling that why bother if Jesus is going to come back in the future and destroy the planet? Why bother being a Christian if it means you must have a pessimistic, fatalistic, depressing outlook on life? Understanding Jesus as he intended, that he was a king about to set up an everlasting kingdom – not a kingdom that was seen but a more real “spiritual” kingdom will liberate you from the freeze frame. It will liberate you from the pause button of life.



Let’s look at what Jesus said about this kingdom.


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Once, having been asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, Jesus replied, "The kingdom of God does not come with your careful observation, nor will people say, 'Here it is,' or 'There it is,' because the kingdom of God is within you." (Luke 17:20-21)

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I know this little tract has only begun to raise issues about this conclusion, but it is most important that you don’t stop your studies into this matter.



The impact and implications of Jesus having already returned is so life changing, you owe it to yourself to consider it further. Now, imagine if you dismiss it without further consideration. That would it have been like if those people in the 1500s dismissed the Protestant claims without further investigation?



This would have been a very different world without the events in the 1500s and as I said before, I believe Christianity is about to go through another era of major understanding that will impact the world as much as the events the 1500s impacted the world from that time until now.



After the Passion of Christ was supposed to be the victorious return of Christ – Did it happen or not?


_____________________________________


This article was written as a tract for friends and family that have seen or shown an interest in the Mel Gibson film The Passion of Christ

You can download the tract (tri-fold) from:

The Kingdom Come Resource Center at www.thekingdomcome.com



In Christ, all for Christ

Roderick

Seeker's picture

Great tract. I visited your website. You've got some great tracts that I will use.

Seeker

Seeker

B's picture

Roderick,

I've viewed a lot of your writings. What is your stance on tithing. Please let me know.

Brent

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