Jesus is Coming Shortly, Quickly

The Time of Revelation Is Shortly

So let us look at words such as “shortly,” “quickly,” “time is at hand,” KJV (or in the NKJV “the time is near”)

“shortly” “quickly” “speedily”
“Shortly” Greek: tachei tacei
an adverb translated shortly (4), quickly (2), speedily (1)
Related English words: tachyon-A hypothetical subatomic particle that always travels faster than the speed of light.
Revelation 1: - The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave Him to show His servants--things which must shortly take place. And He sent and signified it by His angel to His servant John,
Re 22:6    And he said unto me, These sayings are faithful and true: and the Lord God of the holy prophets sent his angel to shew unto his servants the things which must shortly be done. 
Are there passages that it means something other than “right away”? Yes.
Luke 18:8    I tell you that he will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth? Here Jesus used the analogy of endurance of prayer and how the woman actually wore down the unrighteous judge by her long-suffering and patience. But when justice came, it came speedily.
Romans 16:20    And the God of peace shall bruise Satan under your feet shortly.
Paul is clearly referring to Satan being defeated, but it did not come right away. Rome persecuted the Christians for hundreds of years after this writing.

“quickly” Greek: tachu tacu  
an adverb translated quickly (12), lightly (1)
Revelation 3:11 - Behold, I am coming quickly! This is Before the Tribulation.
Revelation 22:7 - "Behold, I am coming quickly! This is also Before the Tribulation.

Can quickly be conditional? In other words, can God say He is coming quickly and because of action by people, choose not to come? Yes, that is seen in the book of Revelation
Revelation 2:5 - Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent and do the first works, or else I will come to you quickly and remove your lampstand from its place--unless you repent.
Revelation 2:16 - Repent, or else I will come to you quickly and will fight against them with the sword of My mouth.
Other related words can also mean “fast” or “swift,” rather than “soon.”
2 Peter 2:1 - But there were also false prophets among the people, even as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Lord who bought them, and bring on themselves swift destruction. 

“time is at hand” (kjv) “the time is near” (NKJV)
kairos (time) engus (is near) Greek: kairos eggus
an adverb translated: nigh (13), at hand (6), nigh at hand (4), near (4), from (1), nigh unto (1), ready (1)
Revelation 1:3 -  Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand
Revelation 22:10 - And he saith unto me, Seal not the sayings of the prophecy of this book: for the time is at hand

Jesus used this phrase regarding His crucifixion, saying “My time is at hand” (Matt. 26:18). When combined with time or kairos, it can simply mean “at any moment.” Obviously, by the time of John’s writing the Revelation, salvation was nearer than the writings of Paul, who wrote in Rom. 13:11, “And do this, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep; for now our salvation is nearer than when we first believed.”
Jonah. So is it possible that something could be “near” and going to happen “quickly” and yet doesn’t happen? We have seen this in the Old Testament. In the story of Jonah, Jonah preached the message that God told him to preach. What was that message? “Yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be overthrown!” (Jonah 3:4). Yet because they repented, God did not overthrow them at that time. Did that make Jonah a false prophet? No, it showed that God responds to the response of people and their repentance.
Moses. Not only will God respond to people, He will respond in prayer. In Exodus 34, God was going to bring judgment on the people of Israel, but because of the intervention of Moses, God “turned around” or “repented” in what He was going to do.
Luke 13:6-9. God’s judgment which would have come quickly can be delayed by the favorable response of people. This is seen in Jesus’ parable of the fruitless fig tree found in Luke 13:6-9

He also spoke this parable: "A certain man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard, and he came seeking fruit on it and found none. Then he said to the keeper of his vineyard, 'Look, for three years I have come seeking fruit on this fig tree and find none. Cut it down; why does it use up the ground?' But he answered and said to him, 'Sir, let it alone this year also, until I dig around it and fertilize it. And if it bears fruit, well. But if not, after that you can cut it down.' "

Thief. Besides “quickly” “at hand”, are there other Scriptures that would lead us to interpret that we should define Christ return as “imminent” rather than “immediate”? Yes, the passages which say that Jesus will come as a “thief.” Matthew 24:43-51 indicates that the long delay requires the people to be diligent to be ready in any hour. The parable is found in the context of when the end of the age will be.

But know this, that if the master of the house had known what hour the thief would come, he would have watched and not allowed his house to be broken into. Therefore you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect. "Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his master made ruler over his household, to give them food in due season? Blessed is that servant whom his master, when he comes, will find so doing. Assuredly, I say to you that he will make him ruler over all his goods. But if that evil servant says in his heart, 'My master is delaying his coming,' and begins to beat his fellow servants, and to eat and drink with the drunkards, the master of that servant will come on a day when he is not looking for him and at an hour that he is not aware of, and will cut him in two and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites. There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

The analogy of a thief is surprising since it compares the arrival of Christ to that of a criminal. Yet the subject of the parable is not Christ, but rather the enduring readiness of the believers. And it is used elsewhere in Luke 12:39, 1 Thessalonians 5:2-4, 2 Peter 3:10, and Revelation 3:3, 16:15. Like the battery, we should be ever ready.

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