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Did the apostles teach imminent return?

John 21:17  He saith unto him the third time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? Peter was grieved because he
said unto him the third time, Lovest thou me? And he said unto him, Lord, thou knowest all things; thou knowest
that I love thee. Jesus saith unto him, Feed my sheep.
18  Verily, verily, I say unto thee, When thou wast young, thou girdedst thyself, and walkedst whither thou
wouldest: but when thou shalt be old, thou shalt stretch forth thy hands, and another shall gird thee, and carry
thee whither thou wouldest not.
19  This spake he, signifying by what death he should glorify God. And when he had spoken this, he saith unto
him, Follow me.

No man knows the day or the hour when Jesus will come back, but we know that Jesus gave a prophecy
concerning Peter's death and that he would not be back before then. Jesus was caught up in the clouds while
Peter was still alive and they knew that Peter would have to die before Jesus came back. Did they expect imminent
return after Peter died? No, they did not believe in something that cannot be found in the word of God. To deny
imminency would devoid pre-trib teaching a little because in doing so it would make it difficult to disprove
scriptures about his second coming vs pre-trib. The validity of imminency can only be argued based on personal
interpretation that otherwise cannot be found in scripture. After a prophecy has come to pass, it does not do
away with "...no man knoweth the day or the hour..." but rather we will know that it will happen after that event
and not before the event.

Mat 24:14  And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and
then shall the end come.

The apostle Paul was told he was going to Rome - He did not expect the imminent return of Jesus.

From a pre-trib perspective:
Mal 4:5  Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD:
1Th 5:2  For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night.

Does the scripture(Mal 4:5) speak of John the baptist or one of the two prophets in the book of Revelations.

Many teach that when the rapture happens he will come as a thief in the night, both pre and post tribulation
believers hold to this as long as it is favorable and sounds good, but when it come to Rev 16:15 - "Behold, I come
as a thief. Blessed is he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame."
Now all of a sudden the pre-trib say this is it no longer applies to the pre-trib church because it is for the
tribulation saint. The truth is, this is something most don't want to hear so they disconnect this from what they
will have to endure and choose to reject it from the perspective of escapism.

Keep does not mean rapture:
John 17:15  I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from
the evil.
Rev 3:10  Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will
keep thee from the hour of temptation,
which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth.

keep
τηρέω
tēreō
Thayer Definition:
1) to attend to carefully, take care of
1a) to guard
1b) metaphorically to keep, one in the state in which he is
1c) to observe
1d) to reserve: to undergo something
Part of Speech: verb

God will keep us from falling away from him when the world is being tested.
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