“The future just isn’t what it used to be.” —Unknown
The Bible alludes to the return of Christ at least 200 times. Trying to pin an exact date on His return is very difficult. Still, this seems to be an ongoing hobby among Christians. Throughout the centuries, dozens of predictions have been made, and they all have one thing in common so far: all were wrong.
My favorite example was a little book entitled 88 Reasons Why Christ Will Return in 1988. By carefully manipulating numerous prophetic verses in the Bible, the author concluded that Jesus would come back during the Jewish feast of Rosh Hashanah on a weekend in September of 1988. The author sold about a zillion of these little booklets. Everybody was trying to get their hands on one. Where my dad was a pastor, we were constantly getting calls from people trying to get copies from the church’s bookstore. As September drew near, the callers kept asking my dad’s secretary why he wasn't carrying the book. "Just tell them to call me back in October," he said.
Listen, in Matthew 24, Jesus told the disciples about many of the "signs" that would be seen before He came again. Honestly, it looks like a lot of them are taking place around us here and now. We may have entered the season of the last days. But putting a date on His return? Jesus made one thing very clear:
“No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. For in the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark; and they knew nothing about what would happen until the flood came and took them all away. That is how it will be at the coming of the Son of Man.” —Matthew 24:36-39
My concern is that false and foolish predictions have the same effect as the boy who cried “wolf,” when the townspeople became numb to the false warnings and were therefore unprepared when the event actually did take place. Instead of fruitless predicting, Jesus calls us to "be on the alert” and make the most of the time we have left for things that matter!
Lord Jesus, would You calm my mind for just a minute? Would You stir up Your Spirit inside of my spirit and let me truly ponder the implications of Your second coming? Check my priorities, Lord. Check my motives. Expose what I am trusting in and living for today. Shift my trust to You, and empower me to live by Your Spirit today. Amen.
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