I thought it fitting to use the King James Version of the Bible for all the many biblical quotes I have used for my columns. The bible was a gift from my godmother on my tenth birthday (three quarters of a century ago), suitably inscribed with a 20-line poem in my godmother’s hand, which starts out: “Never on this Holy Book with careless cold indifference look…” It was also responsible for my gradual ‘conversion’ to atheism – it did take three readings from Genesis to Revelation before I was fully convinced that atheism was destined to be my worldview. The first reading made me sceptical, the second made me an agnostic and the third confirmed me an atheist. This all happened over a period of 20 years between the ages of 20 and 40.
I was raised in the Church of England. As I matured I was very aware that the church to which I gave my allegiance (and some of my allowance) was founded by Henry Vlll, and by extension it implicitly supported his family values. Good Lord!! I was Crucifer – the cross-bearer – in the Sunday morning processional and on the day of my realisation at the age of 17 that religion was essentially myth-information I asked myself what on earth was I doing.
Here are a few selected biblical supports for an imminent(?) Second Coming which can easily be reduced to two words – promises, promises!
In those days came John the Baptist preaching in the wilderness of Judaea, and saying, Repent ye; for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. -Matthew Ch.3 vv. 1-2
Now, after John was put in prison, Jesus came into Galilee preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God, and saying The time is fulfilled and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent ye and believe the gospel. -Mark Ch.1 vv 14-15
For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God
bring with him. For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first. Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them to meet the Lord in the air; and so shall we ever be with the Lord. -1 Thessalonians vv 14 – 17 – the only biblical reference to what some Christians hope will lie in store for them at The Rapture.
Behold, I shew you a mystery; we shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed. In a moment at the last trump; for the trumpet shall sound and the dead shall be raised incorruptible,and we shall be changed. -1 Corinthians Ch.15, vv 51-52
Be ye also patient; ‘stablish your hearts; for the coming of the Lord draweth nigh. -James Ch.5, v 8
In contemporary parlance – “Yea – Right.”