EVEN SO, COME, LORD JESUS!
Is it true, as someone recently indicated to me, that John wrote Revelation, including 22:20, before 70 a.d., having in mind the coming of Jesus to destroy Jerusalem? After all, Jesus said, Surely I come quickly. And wasn’t the Apostle Paul expecting the same when he wrote to churches encouraging them with the hope of the Lord’s coming? And isn’t it most natural to understand Jesus’ words in the gospels (ex. Matthew 24), watch...for you know not the hour, to be primarily referring to His coming in the generation to whom He was addressing?
The point of this short article is not to answer all the questions relating to Jesus’ prophesy of the destruction of Jerusalem and how the statements of His coming fit in. The point here is simply to respond to the proposition that when Jesus or the Apostles spoke of the coming of Christ they were thinking of His coming in their generation to destroy Jerusalem and the temple. Those who think this way tend to read most, if not all, references to the coming of Christ in the Epistles and Revelation as history. And if not all history, they certainly do not think references to the future coming of Christ to be intended for us.
It is a grave error of interpretation to teach that references to Christ’s coming again primarily refer to 70 a.d.. Such teaching should be rejected. Here are three reasons, among others, that may help dispel this error:
1. Quickly refers to suddenness, not time frame. It fits Paul’s description (and Jesus) of Jesus’ coming as a thief in the night (1Thess. 5:2).
2. Peter concurs with Paul regarding the nature of His coming, as a thief in the night (2Pet. 3:10). Peter is answering the objection of those who see the delay in the promise of His coming to be an indicator that He is not coming. Peter dispels that notion and concludes that we look for new heavens and a new earth, following fiery renovation of the present, which happens at His coming. His “delay” is intentional so that all those He does not intend to perish will come to repentance.
3. Finally, John’s reference to Christ’s coming and appearing in 1 John 2:28 and 3:2,3, are intended for all of the sons of God in these last days following the resurrection of Christ. This is OUR hope, not merely those present at the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 a.d..
Any teaching that distracts our faith and hope from the coming Christ and that would discourage us from praying, Even so, come, Lord Jesus, must be rejected.