Could Christ Return in 2007?

by John C. Whitcomb, Th.D

The Biblical answer to this burning question is—yes and no! Yes, He could return from heaven at any moment now to meet His true church—His body and bride—in the air. And, therefore, no—He will not come down to the earth during the next 12 months. His return to the earth will occur seven years after the church has been caught up to heaven.

Why does the Bible make this distinction? Because the second coming of our Lord, just like His first coming, is a complex series of events covering a number of years. Think for a moment of the first coming. It began with the miraculous conception of the God/man in the womb of a Jewish woman about 4 B.C. Then came His birth, growth, public ministry, death, burial, resurrection and ascension back to heaven—requiring more than a third of a century.

So also, the second coming of Christ will cover a number of years, beginning with the resurrection of dead Christians and the rapture of living Christians (1 Thess. 4:13-18). Then, for the church, there will be a period of examination by her Bridegroom to determine gain or loss of rewards (1 Cor. 3:5-15), culminating in “the marriage of the Lamb” (Rev. 19:7-9, KJV).
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Needs on SI

SI is almost two years old, and we’ve been doing a good share of evaluating. We will be changing many aspects of the site here in January including the addition of policies, more intensive moderation, and new staff members. However, we could use some help in some other areas, and I’d like to bring them to your attention.
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Fundamentalists and Theater: Act Three, Say What?

In The Nick of Time
In spite of my perplexity about theater, the truth is that occasionally I still see it. I am assaulted with it on airliners. I am exposed to it in other people’s homes. Other circumstances also arise.

One of the most frequent is when some friend insists that if only I watch a particular film, then I will instantly grasp the value of theater and its ability to cast light upon the human condition. Not often do I find such an offer intriguing. One instance when I was intrigued was the release of Peter Jackson’s version of The Lord of the Rings. Copies of the film were placed in my hands. Friends assured me that Jackson’s work would withstand any reservations that I might harbor. What is more, my daughter was writing a thesis for her degree in aesthetics, focusing particularly upon the difference between epic (the written story) and theater (the enacted story). We were both familiar with the details of Tolkien’s work, and the comparison of Tolkien’s books to Jackson’s movies was too tempting a laboratory to resist.

I had not watched a movie, even on television, for—I’m not sure, but it had been a long time. Viewing Jackson’s work was almost like coming to the medium for the first time. It was powerfully engaging, and I asked myself wherein that power lay.
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A New Year Wish

As another year comes to a close, we are again faced with how we, as believers, should view the changing of the years. The Chinese may have started this practice with special dishes symbolic of good luck and prosperity along with fireworks to attract the attention of benevolent gods and to frighten away evil spirits. Today there is a celebration of the close of another year, and we welcome the prospect of a better year with noise, bubbly, and New Year resolutions. But what should believers wish each other for the New Year? Perhaps Paul’s words in his final farewell to the Corinthians might be applicable here.

May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.”2 Corinthians 13:14
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Merry Christmas from the Janz Family

cl06 - golf.jpgTen years. My wife and I have been married ten years. I have been on staff at Red Rocks Baptist Church for ten years. A decade has passed. Wow. When a virus attacked my heart muscle several years back, my wife framed my EKG and engraved the words of Psalm 90:12 on the bottom: “Lord, teach me to number my days.” Spending time in Coronary ICU makes anyone number his days. The rest of the verse encourages us to apply our hearts to wisdom. The pursuit of wisdom should entail looking at our days to see if we are truly redeeming the time. So writing this letter has, in a way, been an exercise in examining our lives this past year to see just that—are we applying our hearts to wisdom?
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Christmas Greetings from the Les Heinze Family

Heinzes.jpgMerry Christmas to every SI reader from Les Heinze. My prayer is that you will have a wonderfully prosperous New Year as you grow in grace.

Our kids are grown and out of the home, and even though that is a wonderful stage of life, Starry and I are really enjoying being “empty-nesters.” We have a daughter, Amanda, who is married to Michael Fizer who is in dental school in Morgantown, West Virginia. They have three preschool children whom we would love to spend more time with if we could, and we await the day when they will move our way. Our son, Ben, is single and lives in downtown Denver but is leaving us the week after Christmas for a job transfer to Seattle, Washington. He loves the ocean and even the weather of Seattle, so he is excited about this change. I try not to take it personally that our two children have chosen to live on opposite sides of the country from us!
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Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from the McCrories!

family2006.gifWow! Can it possibly be time for another holiday letter already? Well, the Lord has been so gracious to our family again this year. For the first time in three years, our son Jason has not had to be hospitalized for his breathing problems acquired as a premature baby. Praise God! Where Jacob had to work for 14 years to acquire the love of his life, I was able to celebrate 14 years with mine this summer! Praise God! A special blessing this year was being able to baptize my nine-year-old daughter, Ashley, and see her take that important step of expressing her faith in Christ publicly. Praise God! This year, the Lord allowed us to make a local move into a much more spacious home to accommodate our growing clan. Praise God!

Christina (12) is now in seventh grade. She is much like her daddy, both positively and negatively! She serves on the student council in her school and also on the leadership team in the church youth group. She is finally able to baby-sit! She is still playing the clarinet, piano, and violin; and has even started working on the penny whistle. She loves music and enjoys singing for hours with her daddy around the family piano. Nina, as we call her, also loves to play on her school’s sports teams and did well on volleyball and basketball teams this year, despite having to sit out for a couple weeks due to a tonsillectomy!
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2006 Christmas Letter from the Todd Wood Family

wood picture 1.JPGStuff about my wife …

Twenty years ago, I took this gorgeous knockout on a date. Like Jacob in Scripture, I loved her the minute I spotted her, walking the hallways of Skyline High School in Idaho Falls, Idaho. Reflecting back, I can roughly divide our relationship into increments of five—five years of dating, five years with no kids, five years of child bearing, and now five years since the birth of our youngest.

My wife, Kristie, stays busy—homeschooling, nursing weekly at the Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center and occasionally in an office for a female doctor attending our church, singing, directing Patch the Pirate Club, teaching a Sunday school primary class, hostessing families in our home, organizing church activities, and planning family fun evenings. When she is gone for a ladies’ retreat, the kids receive only microwave popcorn and toast. I would be utterly lost and confused without her. She loves me and prays for me. The only thing she refuses to do is edit any of my SI entries (makes me thankful for Adam Blumer and Lyn Marshall). Occasionally, she will give critical and vital suggestions to my blog entries on or My new year’s resolution for 2007 is to give my wife more back rubs. She definitely deserves them.
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