The Gem among the ice cubes
There’s this scene in the 1984 Indiana Jones movie The Temple of Doom: Indiana is forced to surrender a valuable gem, but he finds he’s been poisoned at a nightclub table. He lunges at the antidote vial but it falls and rolls across the floor. The gem too is lost in the activity. What follows is a desperate dance: Indie trying to find the vial amid a floor of shuffling dancing feet and his female companion chasing the equally-eluding gem. She finds the vial, but must also find the gem. Then in the fracas some wine chillers topple and hundreds of ice cubes go skating across the floor. The sought after object is lost in the sea of look-alike ice cubes!
When we consider the second coming of Christ we see the devil initiating a tactic similar to spilling the ice cubes.
The real gem is this: Jesus is going to return. Scripture proclaims this as clearly as it proclaimed His first coming–as the babe of Bethlehem. But this next time it will be as no babe, but as the exalted Lord of all. This coming will be undeniably evident to everyone, like lightning… Jesus said so,
“For as lightning that comes from the east is visible even in the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man.” (Matt. 24:27).
But as we wait, the devil has flooded the world with phonies. Here’s just a few since the dawn of the 20th century:
John Hugh Smyth-Pigott (1852–1927)
Lou de Palingboer (1898–1968)
Ernest Norman (1904–1971)
Krishna Venta (1911–1958)
Ahn Sahng-Hong (1918–1985)
Sun Myung Moon (1920–2012)
Jim Jones (1931–1978)
Marshall Applewhite (1931–1997)
Yahweh ben Yahweh (1935–2007)
Laszlo Toth (1938–2012)
Ariffin Mohammed (1943–2016)
Mitsuo Matayoshi (1944–)
José Luis de Jesús Miranda (1946–2013)
Inri Cristo (1948–)
Thomas Harrison Provenzano (1949–2000)
Shoko Asahara (1955–)
David Koresh (1959–1993)
Hogen Fukunaga (1945–)
Marina Tsvigun (1960–)
Sergey Torop (1961–)
Apollo Quiboloy (1950–)
Alan John Miller (1962–)
David Shayler (1965–)
Maurice Clemmons (1972–2009)
Oscar Ramiro Ortega-Hernandez (1990–)
By this ploy he has trained the sceptic to laugh all the louder at the notion of the True Gem yet to come.
But Jesus knew this would happen. He told us to be wary. Of these end times He said,
“…if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Messiah!’ or, ‘There he is!’ do not believe it. For false messiahs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect. See, I have told you ahead of time.” (Matt. 24:23-25).
Peter further warns us what to expect,
“… in the last days scoffers will come, scoffing and following their own evil desires. They will say, ‘Where is this ‘coming’ he promised? Ever since our ancestors died, everything goes on as it has since the beginning of creation.’ … But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.” (2 Pet. 3:3-4, 8-9)
Jesus is waiting for the command from the Father, saying “Now!” The lull is to give as many as possible opportunity to repent. Is He waiting for you?
The hour is urgent. We must act now.
“…the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything done in it will be laid bare.” (2 Pet. 3: 10).
“I tell you, now is the time of God’s favor, now is the day of salvation.” (2 Cor. 6:2)
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