Monday, September 19, 2011

Aunt Bertha and the Second Coming

I’m reading a wonderful book (What Is God by Jacob Needleman) which I will review in due time. Pretty much in the beginning, the author tells of his aunt Bertha, who died when she was nineteen and he was four. He writes that he knew about plants dying and animals, but what did it mean when people died? Especially people we love?

He toddled over to his father, and asked him to his face: "Where is aunt Bertha?"
His father's face “became young” and replied: "She is with God."

I’m eager to find out what the author is going to do with that because I’m not getting it. God is everywhere, so it’s impossible to not be with Him. What does aunt Bertha’s death have to do with her being with God?

A similar conundrum meets me every time I think about what Christians usually refer to as the Second Coming. Most Christians must be vastly intelligent because after decades of intense Scripture study, I’m still not getting it.

According to the Bible, Jesus ascended into heaven; nobody’s disputing that. But when He ascended He said, “And lo, I am with you always even to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:20)

In other words, just like aunt Bertha’s death didn’t have anything to do with her being with God, so has Jesus’ ascension nothing to do with Him being somewhere from whence He will return at the event generally referred to as the Second Coming.

Please leave a comment if you have any insight into this.


  1. Since we don't have any proof that there is life after death (no one has ever come back except Jesus so a non christian would have doubts about that) we only have this life, our life time to deal with it. I believe we make our life with God here.

  2. This is a Trinity matter. Jesus is with is in the form of the Holy Spirit, who was sent to the apostles at Pentecost and lives in every believer from then on. The Father, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit are one... but they're also three. So while Jesus is with us because He's one with the Holy Spirit, He's at the same time more physically at the right hand of the throne in heaven. He's not physically here...

    While I believe in this, I also used to struggle with why people seemed to long for Jesus and his second coming when we have the amazing intimacy of oneness with the Holy Spirit. God IS with us...

    Then God put me in the relationship I am with now with my boyfriend Ryan, who is in India, and suddenly He's helped me understand.

    I actually blogged about this a few months ago.... here:


Be nice.

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