“And behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to give to everyone according to his work.” - Revelation 22:12
Kempton New Church

Summer 2003

Dear Neighbor,

For years there has been a rumor that New Church people (or Swedenborgians) believe that the Lord is going to make His second coming on the Pinnacle. Apparently a professor at a local university taught this to his students. I don’t know where he got that idea. It is a fact that some New Church people have bought land around the Pinnacle, but that is because they want to live close to the church and school on Hawk Mountain Road.

For us who are living today, the Lord’s first coming takes place through the Bible, especially the four gospels. We do not see the Lord Jesus Christ walking among us, but when we read His Word and picture Him, and we apply His teachings to our lives, the Lord is with us.

We each need to choose for ourselves to believe in and follow the Lord. When a person accepts the Lord for himself, then it’s like the Lord has made His first coming to that person. The Lord has been born in his heart and can now begin His ministry to that person. Jesus is no longer just an historical figure to him. The Bible is no longer just a book that he has heard about as a child. The Word is made flesh (John 1:14).

In the book True Christian Religion it says, “The Lord is present with everyone, urgent and pressing to be received. And when a man accepts Him, by acknowledging Him as His God, Creator, Redeemer, and Savior, then is His first coming, which is called the dawn.” (n. 766)

This is the way the Lord makes His second coming as well: by leading us to a clearer understanding of what He is saying to us in His Word, and thus to a growing closeness with Him in our hearts, our minds and our lives.

Jesus said, “I have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. But when it shall come, the Spirit of Truth, it will guide you into all truth… These things I have spoken to you in proverbs, but the hour is coming when I will not longer speak to you in proverbs, but I will announce to you plainly concerning the Father.” (John 16: 12, 13, 25)

The Lord has now given mankind the Heavenly Doctrine, through His servant Emanuel Swedenborg. He has opened the Scriptures to us, as He did with His disciples after His resurrection (Luke 24:27, 32, 44-45). Anyone who chooses can now understand and follow Him better. Jesus spoke of coming “in the clouds of heaven,” but we believe He was speaking in a proverb, about how He would shed new light on the cloudy parts of the Word, so that we can really see what He means, and who He is.

I hope this helps with the question about the Lord’s second coming. If you’re still curious, please give me a call or an email (lmsmith@entermail.net), or talk with a New Church neighbor. You are always welcome to come to church, at 10:00 a.m. on Sundays.

Sincerely,

Rev. Lawson M. Smith