It is fashionable in metal music these days to promote disbelief in Jesus Christ. Yet Jesus Christ was historically real. It is one thing to disbelieve that Jesus was the Son of God and another to not believe he lived in the first decades of the first millennium.
Jesus Christ is one of the most historically known people that ever lived. It is possible these days to deny that Elvis ever lived or that Elvis was real because computer simulation spoofing could readily make fake Elvis video and music. Then one can discount eyewitness testimony (as Mathew, Mark, John and others provided and categorize the Lord right up there with fake Apollo moon landings. Yet Jesus was real and his disciple and followers liked him enough to keep detailed written records of his life and works.
Jesus Christ is one of the greatest geniuses that ever lived. I don’t believe that many unbelievers realize the genius of His sayings that a philosopher could categorize as ethics. The Lord was so far ahead of his time that even today none have created a comparable ethical system that is practical. Marcus Aurelius’s stoic Meditations are good to read yet falls far short of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
It is interesting that Jesus is painted with unbelief in music by so many professing atheism who might accept the existence of Sakyamuni (Buddha), of Mohammad, of Zoroaster and even Mani of Manichean fame from the Parthian Empire.
The genius of Jesus Christ extended far beyond ethics obviously. Simply on a secular basis his predictions of the future apocalypse of Israel that occurred after his death (and resurrection) in the first century anno domini is the largest easily recognizable body of prophecy that is 100% accurate ever made.
There were of course prophecies fulfilled by Jesus made by others that occurred before His birth. Those aren’t the prophecies in the book of Matthew that I am referring too.
I am referring to prophecies made by Jesus Christ himself about the fate of Jerusalem in its end time in the first century with fundamental eschatological paradigmata in Matthew 24:3-28. ( N.I.V.)
“3 Now as He sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately, saying, “Tell us, when will these things be? And what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?”
4 And Jesus answered and said to them: “Take heed that no one deceives you. 5 For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many. 6 And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; for [a]all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. 7 For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, [b]pestilences, and earthquakes in various places. 8 All these are the beginning of sorrows.
9 “Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name’s sake. 10 And then many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another. 11 Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many. 12 And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold. 13 But he who endures to the end shall be saved. 14 And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come.”
15 “Therefore when you see the ‘abomination of desolation,’ spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place” (whoever reads, let him understand), 16 “then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. 17 Let him who is on the housetop not go down to take anything out of his house. 18 And let him who is in the field not go back to get his clothes. 19 But woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing babies in those days! 20 And pray that your flight may not be in winter or on the Sabbath. 21 For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be. 22 And unless those days were shortened, no flesh would be saved; but for the [c]elect’s sake those days will be shortened.
23 “Then if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Christ!’ or ‘There!’ do not believe it. 24 For false christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect. 25 See, I have told you beforehand.
26 “Therefore if they say to you, ‘Look, He is in the desert!’ do not go out; or ‘Look, He is in the inner rooms!’ do not believe it. 27 For as the lightning comes from the east and flashes to the west, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. 28 For wherever the carcass is, there the eagles will be gathered together.”
In Matthew 29 Jesus refers to His second coming. The topic is complex and has been misunderstood by many. The Reverend Kenneth Gentry has a good brief article on the topic.