The Second Coming
By Nick Twinamatsiko:
Dude must have been very daring, or I must have looked very gullible. As I walked past the Osagyefo statue that stood in front of my hall of residence, he accosted me and introduced himself as the Original Osagyefo – Jesus Christ of Nazareth! I know this has the ring of fiction – I have in fact included it in a work of fiction, Jesse’s Jewel! But it did happen, about 11 years ago. I wasn’t as gullible as I must have appeared. I asked ‘Jesus’ to give me the Bible he was holding, looked up the verse in Matthew about false Messiahs, asked him to read it, and walked away from him as he began to read.
From earliest childhood, I had been told that the day was nigh when Jesus would return. Somehow the idea of The Second Coming had inspired in me more terror than eagerness. I was quite ambitious, and didn’t want Jesus to ‘interrupt’ before I had made my mark upon the world. When I was in senior one, some preachers came to the Christian fellowship and authoritatively averred that the scud and patriotic missiles then flying in The Gulf were unmistakable signs of end-times. These preachers went ahead to tell us that there was something spiritually significant about the figure seven, and that the world was certain to end at the elapse of 7×7 years since the creation of the state of Israel. They told us that this state had been created in 1948, and that, mathematically, doomsday was bound to come in 1997! But, said the preachers, the calenders in contemporary use had an inflated number of days. If we went by the original number of days in a year, it would be found that doomsday was just round the corner! As we walked away from the venue of the fellowship, we saw strange stars in the sky, and were left in no doubt that the preachers had been prophets. It was 1991, but I remember the night more vividly than I remember yesternight!
By the time I met the impostor at the entrance to Nkrumah Hall, 1997 had come and gone, the much-awaited 2000 had come and gone, and Kibwetere too had come and gone. I had read the Bible twice from cover to cover, and therefore knew that Jesus will come as unexpectedly as a thief in the night, and that nobody, except the Father, knew the day and the hour of the Second Coming. I also knew that when Jesus appeared, the whole world would know it at once – he wouldn’t creep in quietly, stand in front of Nkrumah Hall and, picking out select individuals, divulge to them the secret that he was back.
Sir Isaac Newton, the English scientist, was more religious than most people know. In fact, he wrote far more on religion that he did on science, and one of his religious books was printed into the 19th century. Robert Hatch of University of Florida says, ‘his passion was to unite knowledge and belief, to reconcile the Book of Nature with the Book of Scripture.’ In this endeavor to unite Nature and Scriptures, he reportedly reached the conclusion that the world wouldn’t end before 2060!
So are we to believe Newton about the second coming, the same way we believe him about gravity? No! We should believe the Bible: nobody, except the Father, knows the day and hour of the Second Coming. But since Jesus will come as unexpectedly as a thief in the night, we should always be ready for him. We should be ready, even today!
In a sense, the preachers of my Senior One days, the Kibwetere of Kanungu, the American preachers of 21st May, and others who keep talking doomsday, may be false prophets, but they help to keep The Second Coming in our consciousness. Isaac Newton was wrong and presumptuous about 2060, but his false claim helps to assert the idea that there will come a time when the planetary system will experience a sudden shift. The man at the Osagyefo statue was an impostor, but my memory of him should convey to me the idea that Jesus will come into my path as unexpectedly – that I will be going about my ambitions, and The Real Redeemer will suddenly stop me.