Friday, November 7, 2008

Soon and Very Soon . . .

What if another century goes by and Jesus never returns?

What about another millennium?


What if during that time, a cure for cancer is found? What if cloning technology allows us to make genetic material from scratch and clone humans? What if we eventually map out DNA in all life and then discover how to turn off the aging and "death" signal to our cells? What if mankind eventually achieves immortality?

What if our conscience could be uploaded from our minds and one day downloaded into a new clone of ourselves -- allowing us to not only live forever but also move forward into time?

Okay, that last one might sound far out.

But think about it. What if Jesus never comes?

I know what some nearby Christian is thinking, "What if he does come? Then you'll burn in hell!"

When I read comments like these from Christians on message boards across the Internet, I get the feeling that they relish the idea of non-Christians burning in hell for eternity.

This eagerness and enjoyment sounds sick, vengeful, and evil to me. If you can't wait to see me burn in hell, then you should wonder whether or not you're saved.

Ah, I digress.

Growing up in church, we often sang a song:

Soon and very soon, we are going to see the king.
Soon and very soon, we are going to see the king.
Soon and very soon, we are going to see the king.
Hallelujah! Hallelujah! We are going to see the king.

And after converting to Pentecostalism, we were bombarded with the idea of Jesus coming at any moment.

Could that moment happen right now while I'm writing this?

Could that moment happen right now while you're reading this?

Has Jesus come and gone already and I didn't even get to finis . . .

People have been waiting for Jesus for a long time. Some argue that the disciples expected Jesus to come in their lifetimes. And since Jesus obviously hasn't . . . well . . . I guess that would be the end.

In the Pentecostal church I once attended, people felt certain that Jesus would come in our lifetime. That was back when I was a teenager. Well, sure it's still my lifetime. But, people didn't think the pastor of that generation would fall ill and die after reaching just over eighty years of age. People thought he was too close to God and too important of a spiritual leader for him to die before Jesus would come.

I've read a saying that circulates on the Internet among other skeptics:
Today's Religion is Tomorrow's Mythology

How long until Christianity becomes commonly known as mythology in the United States?
Not very soon, I'm afraid -- especially since Jesus' 2000 year delay is still considered soon.
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