Many non-Christians think Christians take malignant delight in praying for the destruction of the earth. This perhaps is one of the reasons some non-Christians hate Christians, think Christians believe they are better than them, as such should be the only ones to inherit the earth. In these non-Christians’ minds, Christians take delight in conjuring images of non-Christian neighbors burning eternally in hell.
While there may be Christians who somehow lend credence to these beliefs on part of some non-Christians, these interpretations of essence of the Second Coming of Jesus Christ are sorely mistaken, unambiguously non-biblical.
Humor me by being patient with the lines of thought to follow for they lead to some important conclusions.
Suppose Armageddon is induced by some groups of Christians, who because they are tired of this sin laden world antagonize non-Christians, and other groups of Christians who disagree with them, with a view to ushering in the Second Coming of Jesus Christ.
By antagonization, I mean refusal to co-exist peacefully with those who choose not to be Christians, or Christians with whom they disagree. As I use it here, antagonization could be as disagreeable as persecution of non-Christians.
The question is, “would Jesus Christ embark, via promise of His Second Coming, on rescue of said Christians?”
Well, let us consider potential answers from no other than Jesus Christ Himself, and the four foremost Apostles of Jesus Christ.
From Jesus Christ Himself?
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God (Matthew 5:9).
From Apostle Paul?
Pursue peace with all people, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord (Hebrews 12:14).
If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men (Romans 12:18).
From Apostle Peter?
For “He who would love life and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips from speaking deceit. Let him turn away from evil and do good; let him seek peace and pursue it.” (1 Peter 3:10–11)
From Apostle John?
Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God (1 John 4:7).
If someone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen (1 John 4:20)?
From Apostle James (words in brackets mine)?
But the wisdom that is from above is first pure (founded on good motives), then peaceable (targeted at facilitation of peaceful coexistence), gentle (not abrasive), willing to yield (easily entreated), full of mercy and good fruits (exhibits love and magnanimity), without partiality (practices meritocracy) and without hypocrisy (never pretends to love) — James 3:17.
I am sure the answer is as clear to you as it is to me. If Christians mistreat non-Christians, yet hope to be rescued by Jesus Christ to new heavens, and new earth via His Second Coming and destruction of everyone else, they will be living a pipe dream that never will materialize.
This is evident in the declaration that whoever does not seek actively to live at peace with neighbors never will get to see God, or be called a son of God, or be considered to love God. Scriptures enumerated make very clear Jesus never will rescue people living in disobedience to His will, to His commands.
We conclude then that if Christians mistreat non-Christians they are judged right here on earth by Jesus Christ, do not induce any second coming of Jesus Christ for their rescue.
Non-Christians can sleep soundly at night in respect of any fears of destruction of the earth if they unlike ‘hypothetically described’ Christians adopt peaceful co-existence as mantra of life.
The problem though? There are some Christians who erroneously think that just because the Bible predicts conflict between good and evil, it is okay to antagonize each of non-Christians, and Christians who disagree with their interpretation of the Bible for generation of Armageddon conflict.
But did the Bible say anywhere that God is depending on Christians for kick starting of the predicted conflict? And by the way, have we not been having conflicts between good and evil for thousands of years already?
Yet again, did Jesus Christ say to live by prophecies or by love?
Apostle Peter on prophecy?
Knowing this first, that no prophecy of Scripture (the Bible) is of any private interpretation, for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit (2 Peter 1:20–21).
Apostle Paul on prophecy?
Love never fails. But whether there are prophecies, they will fail…And now abide faith, hope, love these three, but the greatest of these is love (1 Corinthians 13:8,13).
Need I say more? Each of Apostles Peter and Paul warn Christians not to live by prophecies, not to seek out their own private interpretations of prophecy, warn that if non-Christians are willing to live at peace with Christians, the prophecy of Armageddon can fail. What then never fails?
When it comes to Christian living, love is paramount, is litmus test of conformity of decisions and actions with teachings and life of Jesus Christ. Only Love never fails.
Based on Christian Scriptures, if Armageddon ever materializes, it will be because non-Christians refuse to coexist peacefully with Christians who have a right to live and teach what they believe, who live at peace with all men, Christian or non-Christian.
Apostle Paul summarizes it all nicely when he declares in Galatians 5:6 as follows:
For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision has any value. The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love.
Faith that expresses itself through love always seeks, so far as it lies within it’s power, to live at peace with all men.
Greek philosophers concur with espoused tenet of Christian faith. Seneca the Stoic declares that philosophy ought to help us recognize what we have capacity to do, e.g. capacity for antagonization of others, that we ought to refrain from doing, this because it is detrimental to well functioning of society.
Seneca’s words must be interpreted of course to mean ruling classes are not to give in to any base desires for mistreatment of those in opposing groups, this because graceful opposition is essence of democracy and peaceful coexistence.
If graceful well articulated opposition is part of essence of democracy and peaceful coexistence, no one ever should be disenfranchised because they belong to the group that did not become the ruling class.
Jesus Christ does not have any selfish self aggrandizing interest in destruction of the earth. Jesus comes back a second time only because Christians are being persecuted, as such require rescue.
So long as non-Christians live at peace with Christians, Jesus is content to leave Christians on earth to do good and seek the peace of the earth. Jesus will create new heavens and a new earth only because non-Christians choose to have the old earth to themselves, choose not to coexist peacefully with Christians, a wish Jesus Christ happily will grant.
Since non-Christians do not want Christians on the old earth, Christians joyfully relocate to the new earth, leave the old earth to non-Christians. So then now there is peace, Christians in new heavens and new earth, non-Christians having the old earth all to themselves.
What then happens to the old earth? Well, Christians will leave non-Christians who want the old earth to themselves to negotiate this out with Jesus Christ. Given they exercised the choice to believe Jesus Christ is not who He claims to be, to believe Jesus cannot enforce justice on the old earth in respect of their behaviors, they should be able to have superior negotiating power in negotiations that ensue over the fate of the old earth.
If we all will believe in treating each other right, in peaceful coexistence, Jesus is pleased to enjoy His relationship with His Father in heaven.
There does not exist any hubris in Christian tenets. No, ‘I can do whatever I want’. Jesus has promised Christians that they are judged by their actions, not by any confessions of faith only evident in words.
But is peaceful coexistence supposed to be a plea, or a normative of human coexistence?
Regardless of your spiritual or religious beliefs, is peaceful coexistence not the rational, moral, ethical, and spiritual mantra of life? If you deserve the right to pursue life in context of boundaries of morality, does not your neighbor possess exactly the same right?
If we all will derive satisfaction from our own pursuit of life, not derive macabre pleasure from attacks on others’ rights to pursuit of life, peaceful coexistence eminently is within reach, both in these last days of 2018, and in 2019 and beyond.