GOD ANNOUNCES PLAN TO VISIT PLANET EARTH!
Can you imagine the great Creator God coming to planet earth in human form? Well, it happened, and it will happen again.
Most Bible-literate people understand that the ancient Hebrew Scriptures (Old Testament) contained many references and details concerning the coming Messiah, which were 100% accurate, one of many confirmations of His deity. There are 365 such prophecies listed at http://www.bibleprobe.com/365messianicprophecies.htm
However, few people know about the knowledge or hints of His coming found in various cultures throughout the world. This is amazing. Here are a few examples:
1. TACITUS. Tacitus, speaking for the ancient Romans, says, “People were generally persuaded in the faith of the ancient prophecies, that the East was to prevail, and that from Judea was to come the Master and Ruler of the world.”
2. SUETONIUS. Suetonius, in his account of the life of Vespasian, recounts the Roman tradition thus, “It was an old and constant belief throughout the East, that by indubitably certain prophecies, the Jews were to attain e highest power.” Suetonius quoted a contemporary author to the effect that the Romans were so fearful about a king who would rule the world that they ordered all children born that year to be killed—an order that was not fulfilled, except by Herod.
3. CHINA. China had the same expectation; but because it was on the other side of the world, it believed that the great Wise Man would be born in the West. The Annals of the Celestial Empire contain the statement:
In the 24th year of Tchao-Wang of the dynasty of the Tcheou, on the 8th day of the 4th moon, a light appeared in the Southwest which illumined the king’s palace. The monarch, struck by its splendor, interrogated the sages. They showed him books in which this prodigy signified the appearance of the great Saint of the West whose religion was to be introduced into their country.
4. THE GREEKS. The Greeks expected Him, for Aeschylus in his Prometheus six centuries before His coming, wrote, “Look not for any end, moreover, to this curse until God appears, to accept upon His Head the pangs of thy own sins vicarious.”
5. THE MAGI. How did the Magi of the East know of His coming? Probably from the many prophecies circulated through the world by the Jews as well as through the prophecy made to the Gentiles by Daniel centuries before His birth.
6. CICERO. Cicero, after recounting the sayings of the ancient oracles and the Sibyls about a “King whom we must recognize to be saved,” asked in expectation, “To what man and to what period of time do these predictions point?” The Fourth Eclogue of Virgil recounted the same ancient tradition and spoke of “a chaste woman, smiling on her infant boy, with whom the iron age would pass away.”
7. PLATO AND SOCRATES. Not only were the Jews expecting the birth of a Great King, a Wise Man and a Savior, but Plato and Socrates also spoke of the Logos and of the Universal Wise Man “yet to come.”
8. CONFUCIUS. Confucius spoke of “the Saint” the Sibyls, of a “Universal King” the Greek dramatist, of a savior and redeemer to unloose man from the “primal eldest curse.”
All these were on the Gentile side of the expectation. What separates Christ from all men is that first He was expected; even the Gentiles had a longing for a deliverer, or redeemer. This fact alone distinguishes Him from all other religious leaders.
A second distinguishing fact is that once He appeared, He struck history with such impact that He split it in two, dividing it into two periods: one before His coming, the other after it. Buddha did not do this, nor any of the great Indian philosophers. Even those who deny God must date their attacks upon Him, A.D. so and so, or so many years after His coming.
A third fact separating Him from all the others is this: every other person who ever came into this world came into it to live. He came into it to die. Death was a stumbling block to Socrates—it interrupted his teaching. But to Christ, death was the goal and fulfillment of His life, the gold that He was seeking. Few of His words or actions are intelligible without reference to His Cross. He presented Himself as a Savior rather than merely as a Teacher. It meant nothing to teach men to be good unless He also gave them the power to be good, after rescuing them from the frustration of guilt.
God announced His coming through the ancient Hebrew Scriptures.
God announced His coming through various cultures.
He died for us, because He loves us.
He rose from the dead.
He ascended back into heaven.
Before He left, He said He would return.
In the past 2,000 years there have been a few futile attempts to pinpoint WHEN He will come, but this is the first time in history that millions of people all over the word are in agreement that His return is very, very near, “at the door.”
What does God want from us? The main thing is to believe and trust Him.
(Source of the above eight points and some of the commentary is the book, “Life of Christ,” by the late Fulton J. Sheen, published in 1958 by the McGraw-Hill Book Company, Inc.)