Imminency in the Bible
In this Learning Activity, we will be looking at some specific statements made by Jesus and other authors of the different books of the New Testament to examine the truth of “imminency” in the Bible. “Imminency” means that something is about to occur, something that is very close at hand and impending.
1. Matthew 10: 22–23
2. In the verse above, Jesus uses the words, “ye” and “you” to refer to those He is speaking to. Who is the “ye” and “you” in this verse? (Hint: See verse five).
3. Jesus tells the disciples that they are going to be hated because of their preaching of the gospel of the kingdom (verses six and seven), and that when that happens they should flee from the city they are in. In addition, what does Jesus say is going to happen as they preach the gospel of the kingdom in the cities of Israel?
4. Matthew 26:64
5. What does Jesus say is going to happen in the lifetime of some of those to whom He was speaking?
6. Matthew 24:34
7. When did Jesus say that “all things [would] be fulfilled”?
8. The things that would be fulfilled in their lifetime are those things that precede this statement in chapter twenty-four. Read chapter twenty-four and make a list of the things that would be fulfilled (completed) in the lifetime of those who heard this statement from Jesus on that day.
9. Read Mark 13:1–32 (This passage is a parallel to Matthew twenty-four).
A special note needs to be made about verse thirty-two of the scripture above. Some believe that this verse is stating that not even Jesus knew when He was coming back so how could the apostles have known! The key to understanding what is said here must be looked at somewhat similar to the expected delivery date and time of a child that is to be born. The mother and family may not know the exact day nor the exact hour of the delivery, but they can “read the signs” and know generally when the event will take place. A similar understanding can be applied to knowing when the Parousia would take place.
10. Matthew 23:36
11. In the verse above, who was Jesus speaking to (Hint: See verse twenty-nine), and what did He say to them?
12. Philippians 4:5
13. What does the verse above tell you about the topic of imminence?
14. James 5:8
15. What does the verse above tell you about the topic of imminence?
16. 2 Peter 3:12
17. What does the verse above tell you about the topic of imminence?
18. 1 John 2:18
19. What does the verse above tell you about the topic of imminency?
The language of Jesus and the biblical writers is in need of no explanation, it speaks for itself. The biblical record clearly shows an attitude of expectation and hope in which those in the early church waited for the manifestation of their returning Lord. They were comforted by the assurance that the day of deliverance was at hand. The judge, the avenger of the wrongs being perpetrated against them was already at the door; yet in a very little while He who was to come was coming, and that time would not tarry.
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