In Mark 13:6 Jesus says “Many will come in my name, claiming, " I am he,” and will deceive many." How does this square with the second coming being like a “thief in the night?” I don’t have all the scripture references but I have this idea(maybe from the song “It is well with my soul”) that Jesus’ second coming will be an “event” and there will be no ambiguity about it. In other words, why is the warning in Mark necessary ? Am I completely mixing things up? Perhaps Mark is not referring to the second coming but to false messiahs. There is only one Antichrist, correct?
@plantaseed That is a great question John makes it clear in 1 John 2:18 that there are many antichrists—those who deny Jesus’ true identity or alter the Gospel—but we do see a particular figure called the antichrist / beast in Scripture. This issue is complicated by the fact that different Christians believe differently about exactly when the great tribulation described by Jesus will take place. In fact, I personally think it already took place, though I do believe Jesus will still return in the future. I’ve included multiple threads and videos below to help you begin to think through the different views of the end times.
However, we can look at history to understand why Jesus’ warning in Mark was necessary. I believe the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD was the great tribulation Jesus spoke of…or at a minimum the immediate fulfillment. And it is clear that the Jews in Jerusalem thought that Jerusalem, the holy city, could never fall, so many did not flee even though the city was surrounded by Roman armies. In fact, Jews poured into the city for Passover shortly before the city was besieged and absolutely leveled to the ground.
So Jesus’ warning was necessary because people thought Jerusalem could not fall, just like the Jewish people that Isaiah and Jeremiah warned thought God would never let Jerusalem fall.
Check out Steve Gregg’s book “Revelation: Four Views” to better understand different ways Revelation can be interpreted:
Thank you! This is so much more in depth than I expected. I never knew there were 4 interpretations with shading between. Even the idea of AD70 being pegged as the tribulation is fascinating. I have studied Daniel and Revelation, but honestly, I am so caught up in living in the present that I don’t dwell on this too much. I have read the emails and will look at the videos. The other thing I wonder about - there is so much lying and untruth in our culture bc of social media and the masks we wear and our own wickedness of our hearts- what will prevent the antichrist from just covering up or lying about believing in Jesus? Or is one of his characteristics going to be proclaiming this through a megaphone? Is this even a legitimate/sensible question? Thanks again!
@plantaseed Sure thing In my opinion, it is probably wise to focus on living your life for God now rather than being too caught up in uncertain matters such as the tribulation, though it is certainly worth studying.
I am not sure if I understand your question correctly, but I think we see in Scripture that humans suppress the truth themselves quite effectively even without the intervention of other supernatural agents (Romans 1:20-21). But I do not think that is a reason to be concerned. Jesus made it clear that His Kingdom cannot be stopped (Matt 16:17-19). As God’s Church, we may face persecution and hard times, but we do not need to worry about God’s Kingdom. God is quite capable of handling that Himself